William Hutt epitomised the very best sort of sprezzaturra. It’s a concept from Castigloone’s 1528 Book of the Courtier, just in case you don’t immediately know what I’m talking about.
William; had, of course, more-than-mastery of arms. He had enormous physical strength. And his dainty dancing was always an absolute joy to behold.

Since Will was sprezzatura incarnate, all of this was apparently without effort. The ideal Renaissance noble-man indeed!

I’m going to focus on Will’s dancing here since we all know, and you can see up above, what a master armourer he was.
Unfortunately – very very unfortunately – I don’t know of any photos or film of William dancing the galliard.  So here’s the nearest I can get to showing you what you might have missed.

While the second one illustrates how the galliard was the “dancing highlight of the late sixteenth century”. It’s performed here by “Kings almightly” to  “Joyssans” by Thoinot Arbeau. on Youtube channel of Elgato 1704
Marvel at the men’s “spritely jumps and turns”!

Imagine William’s enormously graceful, gracefully enormous person – lighter than the lightest feather as he offers his tenderly extended fingertips to his partner.

Of course, Will could dance the elegant, stately pavane better than the best of them too. How did he manage to look so alluring even during the ridiculous hopping bits?

But it’s really the galliard where Will came into his own.
It’s a ‘courting dance’ and I always felt thoroughly seducd by Will’s galliard, even when it wasn’t me he was looking at. The point of the leaps and turns is to show off the man’s hose and legs, as well as his ‘uncontrollable zest’. 

And that is William Hutt all over: zestful .. and understandably proud of his splendid legs!

Leave a Comment


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.