Friday 21 October 2016

What they call The Hey - serpentine lines in country dancing

The Dance - by William Hogarth c1745
The lines, which a number of people together form, in country dancing, make a delightful play upon the eye, especially when the whole figure is to be seen at one view as at the playhouse from a gallery. The beauty of this kind of "mystic dancing," as the poets term it, depends upon moving in a composed variety of lines, chiefly serpentine, governed by the principals of intricacy. The dances of barbarians are often represented without these movements, being only composed of wild skipping, jumping, and turning around or running backward and forward with convulsive shrugs and distorted gestures. One of the most pleasing movements in country dancing which answers to all the principles of varying at once, is what they call the "hey."

From William Hogarth -  The Analysis of Beauty

The Hey:

From the 17th century English Dancing Master collection by Playford:

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