XTRA! XTRA! Read All About It!

Sharlene Penman (piano), visiting from New Zealand, is the band leader for the 2019 Tea Dance.
Our fiddlers are Jenny Evans and Amy Beshara.

Friday, December 19, 2014

10 November 2014 - Scotia

The next program is the Brooklyn Class' Drewry Night - so it's all prep... again.

First hour (Deborah):-
  Brudenell Jig  - (32 J 2) -  2nd Graded
  Ha! Ha1 The Wooin' O' It  - (32 R 2) -  MMM
  Seann Triubhas Willichan   -  (32 S 2)  - 27/9

  Remembering Richard - (32 R 4) - Vivian Anapol et al

Second hour:-
  Scottish Reform - (32 J 2) - 3/1
  The Kenora Reel - (32 H 3) - Drewry
  A Summer Meeting - (32 S 3 set) - Townsend
  Reel of the Royal Scots - (32 R 3) - Leaflet

17 November 2014 - Scotia

First hour (Deborah):-
  The Ferryboat - (32 R n-circle) - Hunt
  Lady Wynd - (32 J 3) - Goldring
  Strathglass House - (32 S 3) - 13/9
  The Highland Rambler - (40 H 3) - Goldring

Second hour:-
  On the Quarter-Deck - (32 H 2) - Boyd
  The Bees of Maggieknocater - (32 J 4) - Drewry
  Twixt Don and Dee - (32 S 4) - Drewry
  The Fireworks Reel - (32 R 3) - 48/11

24 November 2014 - New Haven Friends Meeting

  The Mad Hatter - (32 J 3) - Boyd
  Back to Basics - (32 R 2) - Skelton
  The Blithest Lass that ever was seen - (32 S 3) - MMM
  Mrs Ellen McRanor (of Parish) - (32 R 3) - Price (unpublished)
  Kiloran Bay - (32 S 4) - Johnston (unpublished)

This has become a very interesting class. I now have a 9yo girl in it. Her mother was quilting downstairs, she heard the music, watched from the hall, then came in and sat, then joined in when invited. She is amazing. In her second class I taught her reels of 3, then mirror reels of 3, then crossover reels of three. She has handled e everything I have thrown at her.. with aplomb.

She brought a friend this week who is not as gifted as Emma, and two of her brothers. So I have gone from an advanced class with 6 to 8 very good dancers to a pretty basic class. But having the young beginners is Fantastic!

They left at 9:00 PM leaving me the chance for some very necessary guinea pigging -

I (literally) wrote the dance Mrs Ellen McRanor (of Parish) on the envelope back of a card I was sending to her. I was listening to music and Muriel's version of Anderson's Rant came up and her tune The Dissapointment was so good the dance practically wrote itself. 

The back story - Ellen taught two classes in Connecticut. She taught the Wilton/Norwalk class and started/taught the Woodbridge class. When she finally retired (to Parish, Florida) I took over the Wilton class and Leslie Kearney took over the Woodbridge class. About a year after she retired I sent Ellen a note with this dance scribbled on the back. I usually send my dances to three other people - and Leslie is on that list - which is how she got a copy of an unpublished, untested dance. (Note: this is the first time I have even seen it danced!)  I had no intention of publishing it - there is an end effect when 4th couple becomes third couple that is so severe that I saw no easy solution.

The dance has just appeared on the 2015 New Haven Highland Ball Weekend's Sunday Brunch program. Unbeknownst to me! And since it is now published, in a back handed sort of way, and tested in the New Haven class, I had to try it out for myself. Watched - didn't dance.

Verdict: It is an OK dance except for that end effect. First 24 bars pure dead simple, last 8 bars weird reels with kinship to the reels in Alex Doig's Jig aka The Dunblane Drummer by John Drewry. I still have not figured out a good workaround for that dastardly end effect - and may just leave it up to the dancers with this - "since you know it is coming - you figure it out".

Kiloran Bay:- I saw a video of this one - fell for it and have been wanting to try it for at least two months and, with myself and two ghosts in the set, we did it. Nice dance! I give it a thumbs up.

1 December 2014 - Scotia

First hour (Deborah):-
  EH3 7AF - (32 J 3) - 40/6
  Adieu Mon Ami - (32 S 3) - 24/11
  Shiftin' Bobbins - (32 R 3) - Clowes

Second hour:-
  The White Rabbit - (32 J 2) - Boyd
  MacLeod's Fancy - (32 J 4) - 33/3 (Drewry)
  Bewitched in Salem - (32 S 3 set) - H. Boyd
  Crossing the Line - (32 R 3 set) - Drewry
  Bratach Bhana - (32 R 3) - Drewry

8 December 2014 - Scotia

Drewry Night in Brooklyn - Over and done! Thank goodness!  20 + dances on the program and only 3 of them different from last year's program. In fact they have gone overboard, in my humble opinion, from having too many new/unusual/unknown dances to having too many repeated dances. 

Let me put it to you this way:
20 dances a year over 5 years (how long I have been going) =s 100 possible dances.
They have done 36. Eight of the them have been done 5 years in a row. (Silver Tassie/Peat Fire Flame/The New Opera/Major Ian Stewart/MacLeod's Fancy/Blooms of Bon Accord/Bratach Bhana/Byron Strathspey). Only two of those 36 dances have been done once in the last five years. Out of 788 Drewry dances (as listed in the scddb) surely they can come up with a few other reasonably accessible ones?  Honestly, I could really use some relief.

Off the top oh my head... What about Miss Florence Adams? Monadh Liath? Thomas Glover's Reel? Dunsmuir Strathspey and The Haggis Tree?  

Anyway, back to Scotia...

First hour (Deborah):-
  White Cockade - (32 R 3) - 5/11
  General Stuart's Reel - (32 R 3) - 10/3
  The Auld Grey Cat - (32 R 3) - Boyd
  Driving Through Eutaw - (32 J 3) - Leary (unpublished)

Second hour:-
  Duke of Atholl's Reel - (32 J 2) - 
  Glasgow Highlanders - (32 S 2 becket) - 2/
  Mrs Ellen MacRanor (of Parish) - (32 R 3) - Price (unpublished)
  Mairi's Wedding - (40 R 3) - Cosh

This time I got to dance my dance! Not bad.. just the end effect to watch out for.

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