


The pavan is a slow, processional court dance. All pavanes have a common thread, that is they all have the same basic steps. The word pavan comes from "Padoanna", which is an ancient dance of Padua, in Italy. All pavanes are done in duple time. Each pavan is commonly followed by a Galliard. The galliard for any pavan is often danced to the same tune as the pavan, but played at a much livelier pace, in triple time. Galliard tunes developed a character of their own during the time of Elizabeth I's reign (some of which I find too slow to be danceable). 





The basic steps of all pavanes is a set of three steps: SingleSingleDouble. This is either SLSRDL (a pavan set left), or SRSLDR (a pavan set right). Most steps done in a pavan are done going either forwards or backwards. 


SL  Single Left, moving forwards. 
Step forwards on the left foot, then join feet, stepping forwards on the right foot. 


SR  Single Right, moving forwards. 
Step forwards on the right foot, then join feet, stepping forwards on the left foot. 


DL  Double Left, moving forwards. 
Step forwards on the left foot, then forwards on the right foot moving past the left foot, then forwards on the left foot, moving past the right foot, then join feet, stepping forwards on the right foot. 


DR  Double Right, moving forwards. 
Step forwards on the right foot, then forwards on the left foot moving past the right foot, then forwards on the right foot, moving past the left foot, then join feet, stepping forwards on the left foot. 


SLb/SRb  Single Left/Right moving backwards 
These steps are the same as the singles moving forwards, except that they are done backwards. 


DLb/DRb  Double Left, moving backwards. 
These steps are the same as the doubles listed above, but the steps are done moving backwards. In a pavan, a single takes two bars (lefttogether), and a double takes four bars (leftrightlefttogether). 


Pavan Set 
A “Pavan Set” is a combination of singlesingledouble, done moving either forwards or backwards. This is the basic step unit of the Pavan – all pavans are simply pavan sets done over and over again. 





This is an SCA choreography set to the Pavan music (Belle Qui Tiens Ma Vie), in Arbeau’s Orchesography. It is one of the most common dances done in the SCA. This is often called the “Carolingian Pavan”, or just “The Pavan”. 



1  8 
SL SR DL 
Pavan set forwards 

9  16 
SR SL DR 
Pavan set forwards 

17  24 
SL SR DL 
Pavan set forwards 

25  32 
SRb SLb DRb 
Pavan set backwards 



At this point, the gentlemen kneel, and the ladies continue the dance in a full circle around the men, still holding hands. 



33  40 
SL SR DL 
Moving half way around the man, to end up facing backwards down the line, and on the opposite side to where you started. 

41  48 
SR SL DR 
Moving back into position. 



At this point, the men rise, and dance around the ladies in the same way: 



49  56 
SL SR DL 
Moving half way around the lady, to end up facing backwards down the line, and on the opposite side to where you started. 

57  64 
SR SL DR 
Moving back into position. 



The dance repeats as often as necessary to the end of the music. In the Stomhold version of this dance the men do not kneel, and the couples drop hands during bars 33  64. 

