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Event report: Hastilude

Submitted by Katherina Weyssin on August 21, 2011 - 3:10pm

William (and baby daughter), Katherina, Ludwig and Caterine travelled to Hamilton on Saturday to attend Cluain's monthly Hastilude.

We had a very pleasant and relaxed afternoon: there was some fencing, a lot of boffer-fighting for the kids, lots of cooking, sewing, and socialising, then a potluck dinner - with a surprising range of extremely tasty, and in many cases well-researched, dishes - in the evening.


Katherina taught a couple of dances late in the afternoon. For reference, they were "The Earl of Essex Measure" and "The Black Almain". I've written some brief notes below; if you're looking for more there are excellent articles on these dances, with very detailed notes and music, in "Practise for Dauncinge".


The Earl of Essex Measure

For a column of couples; men on left, women on right.

  • Double left forwards, single right backwards. Do this four times.
  • Slow single sideways to the left, slow single sideways to the right; double left forwards, single right backwards. Do this either once or twice, as your music indicates.

- repeat the whole dance as many times as you like -


The Black Almain

For a column of couples; men on left, women on right.

  • Four doubles forwards. End by releasing hands, and facing your partner.
  • A double backwards, away from your partner; a double forwards towards your partner.
  • Everyone turns 90 degrees to their own left, and does a double forwards, away from their partner. Everyone turns 180 degrees and does another double, back to their partner.
  • Men set and turn (single left, single right, turn around), then women set and turn.
  • Take both hands with your partner, change places with a double. Four slides 'up the hall'. Change places again. Another four slides down the hall, then release hands.
  • Double backwards away from your partner, double forwards to meet. Take ordinary hands and face the front, ready to start again.

- repeat the whole dance as many times as you like; on alternate repeats the women set and turn before the men -



I had a great time fighting with William and Cassia.  Congratulations to Cassia on completing her rapier authorisation - I look forward to many passes in the future.  Playing with William's longsword (both with and against) was great fun, and a rather more aerobic activity than fencing usually is.  It was good to dust off the cobwebs of winter.

Thank you all for coming! It was wonderful to see you, and chat away, and I was (pathetically) grateful for the chance to dance a little. :)

We always love to see our Ildhafn neighbours at our monthly Hastilude - glad you liked the chilled raspberry soup!

~ Monna Fina
Seneschal of Cluain