Tourdion

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Arbeau on the tourdion

The tourdion is conventionally danced after a basse dance. It can be considered a form of Galiard, but should be danced more slowly and with more elegance than a galliard.

The tourdion and galliard may have the same tune, but a tourdion has a light lively beat and a galliard a slower stronger beat. However Arbeau indicates that certain songs were known exclusively as tourdions, and recomends requesting them as they will be more familiar to the dancer, enabling him to dance more smoothly.

It is danced with a partner, holding hands. Kicks in the tourdion are described as pied en l'air, that is kicks in which the foot barely leaves the ground. Arbeau stipulates that a courteous gentleman will ensure his kicks are small and not too boisterous, so as to not to "cause needless discomfort and jolting" to his lady. This does suggest that some people were dancing this dance more vigourously.

Arbeau suggests the following step sequence for a tourdion:

Each step takes one beat (equal length), the fifth step being a note not played by the musicians.

The following set of steps will be executed on the opposite feet to those listed above.

An alternative set of steps suggested is:

Other variations are possible, but it should be remebered that the tourdion is a gentle dance and more vigourous variations should be saved for a galliard.

When the music finishes, the well mannered lord should reverence (bow) to the lady and "quietly return her to the place from which you led her forth, whilst thanking her for the honor she has done you."