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

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

18 August 2015 - Summer Dance New Haven

I have now taught four dances from the RSCDS's latest publication (Book 49) and gotten 3 raves from the dancers. I am thinking that this is going to be a very, repeat very, successful book.

I taught MacDonald of Keppoch last week because I know the devisor, it was fresh in my head - his wife taught it recently at the Scotia club (NYC). Tonight's three dances were numbers 2, 3, and 4. I did not cherry pick them - and if the rest of them come close to these in quality the selection process was a success this time round.

The other piece of this is the music. The recording for Book 48 is, to be blunt, terrible. This one, Book 49, is wonderful. Jim Lindsay's accordion playing is enough to make me reconsider my prejudice for fiddles. His recordings with Muriel Johnstone and Keith Smith are stunning. This one - merely super. And he is clearly having a whole lot of fun! (Against all society rules of course).
But the joy comes across and it is very refreshing. I don't know who all were involved in making this CD happen, but to all of you - Thank You, many times over.

He has also included tracks for 3 older dances - Hooper's JigBritish Grenadier'sBonnie Geordie's Wig. And the latter two qualify as "any good reel" and I am using them as such. When I use them I hear whoops and hollers and see smiles break out all over the floor. - The short form - Recommended.

The dances taught :-

The Four Poster  -  (32 S 4some)  - Glasspool
Orpington Caledonians  -  (32 R 3)  - Bk 49/2
Midsummer Common  -  (32 S 3)  -  Bk 49/3
The First Rain in Spring  -   (32 J 3 set)  - Bk 49/4
Kiloran Bay  -  (32 S 4)  -  Johnston
Arthur's Seat  -  (32 R 3)  - 18C


The Four Poster :- I could have/should have picked an easier one of Terry's foursomes. Took a little longer than I had planned - I forgot - it has been a while since I last taught this one. It takes some work but I like the interlocking Back to Backs, and the Back to Back Half reel of four.

Orpington Caledonians :- Simple, flows, rewarding. Received a Golden Ghillie from the dancers! I have short listed it for the Kilts and Ghillies Tea Dance coming up in May 2016. Two thumbs up from me as well (because I only have two). A keeper.

Midsummer Common :- Not a Golden Ghillie but darn close. "Elegant" is the adjective the class agreed on. I could not agree more. Another keeper!

The First Rain in Spring :- Difficult because I fell into the trap of knowing too much. I know "Celtic" reels. I have a gift for patterns and sometimes, like here, I forget others don't see patterns as easily or as clearly. I will teach it again next week.

Kiloran Bay :-  I saw the name, I saw the video, I saw the 1947 movie "I Know Where I am Going". I couldn't resist because of what they had in common. The doing wasn't as spectacular as the video made it seem, but the dancer's liked it well enough.

Arthur's Seat :- The music makes the dance and the music was Hanneke Cassel and Dave Wiesler. OH MY!

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