Thomas Bray

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Thomas Bray


 Given name:     Thomas
 Middle name:     
 Family name:     Bray
 Place of birth:     
 Place of death:     
 Year of birth:     
 Year of death:     
 Profile:     Composer, Musician
 Source of information:     

Biographical notes[edit]

Unfortunately, there is little known about Thomas Bray. What information we have is that he was a dancer with the United Company in 1689, and worked at Drury Lane and Dorset Garden Theatres. There he came into contact with dancing master and choreographer Josias Priest, whom he succeeded as dancing master in 1693 (Bray included music for dances by Josias Priest {c. 1645 – 1735} and his son, Thomas Priest in his "Country Dances"). Within two years Bray moved to Lincoln's Inn Fields Theatre and joined Thomas Betterton’s new company. Bray worked with actors and professional dancers (some from France) and it is supposed that many of his country dances were choreographed for entre-act or afterpieces to stage productions. Music from some of the stage productions of the time is included in Brays only published work, a small volume of 24 country dances issued in 1699.

Bray's dances were unusual for the time and took advantage of the professional skills of the theater people he worked with. Several are quite complicated and intricate.