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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.

Friday, April 14, 2017

10 April 2017 –– Scotia

Again intended to be a fairly standard ball prep evening. That didn't last long. First day of the Jewish celebration and the attendance was light. So I got to play.

First Half - (Deborah teaching)

Circle of Cheer  –  (32 J n circle)  –  Hamilton
Hedwig's Reel  –  (32 R 3)  –   Graded 2
Hope Little's Strathspey  –  (32 S 3/3L)  –  Goldring
The White Cockade  –  (32 R 3)  –  Bk 5

Second Half - (me teaching)

Cabbages and Kings  –  (32 J 3)  –  Butterfield
Johnsonville Diamond  –  (32 S 2)  –  Downey
Zytglogge  –  (32 R 3)  –  Blackburn
Monadh Liath  –  (32 S 3)  – Drewry
Cranberry Tart  –  (32 J 3)  –  Glasspool
Anderson's Rant  –  (32 R 3)  –  MMM

*  **   ***   ** **    ** * **   ** **   ***   **  *

Circle of Cheer:- nice simple circle dance that just calls for a class on handing. And that was Deborah's plan for the evening.

Hedwig's Reel:-  Another "Chain" dance. Taught as written and danced other. So she went with the flow, as it were, and substituted a mirror fig. of eight for the original parallel Rsh fig. of eight.

Hope Little's Strathspey:-  One guess. A "chain" dance?  You betcha.  And this one has that 'something' that takes it out of tedious into acceptable. One piece of that is the set arrangement which means fewer repeats. Eight times through Seann Triubhas Willichan, for example. Nice dance but when will it ever end?

The White Cockade:-  Rights and Lefts. Just a different version of Chain.

Cabbages and Kings:-  Another of Deborah's dances and I got to open the 2nd half with it.  "I like it" the Walrus said, "The time has come to dance Cabbages and Kings." Again R&L (that mini-chain thing).

Johnsonville Diamond:-  I Like It.  Note: The Spiral variation is not good for dancers who are susceptible to motion sickness, and Deborah is one of the two who in the class who are. The opening setting figure shines when the dancers advance 'aggressively'. Wimps - stay home!

Zytglogge:-  It's Play Time! Simple set up, 16 bars of relatively simple central corner figure, Simple finish. The structure is simple, the figures are simple, and that opens the door to embroidery. And the door is not open just a crack.

When danced straight and clean care must be taken to round all the turns to the max and use ALL the allotted time. Elegant.

Play time version:- 2nd corners have little to do and little interaction with the other dancers. But they can become quintessential clockwork figures, turning about at the corners, spinning as they move along the track. First couple and 1st corners can twirl too, since the inside RH turn is only 3/4 in 2 bars, a twirl 'to face' is possible there and another is possible when 1C and 1st Corners turn each other into/out of the center. Lots of possibilities if you have a crooked mind and like to play.  Oh sorry!  I forgot. This is Scottish Country Dancing isn't it? No Fun allowed.  Hah!

Monadh Liath:-  Highland schottische balance in line is the highlight. Not a thumbs up, a High Five!

The music I have is by David South (an Aussie band) and I have just one of their CDs - "Kardinia Capers". On the whole I like it but I am not a huge fan, except for two tracks.

The music for Cauld Comfort, a Ron Wallace dance is on the CD as is the music for Monadh Liath. And they work!

Monadh Liath is not on any upcoming ball. This one was for my delight. And it has been a while since I have done it and I am seriously considering it for the next year's K&G short list.

The Cranberry Tart:- Terry was in a serious back and forth with the woman he wrote the dance for. She claimed the color of her gown was fuchsia, he insisted it was cranberry, and he brought the discussion to an abrupt end with this: Well if that is so then I'll have to name the dance "Fuchsia Shock". Need I say he won?

This dance is also a playground. He wrote the dance before Dolphin Reels became all the rage by way of Pelorus Jack. So one of our local dancers emailed him and asked him if he would have written the tandem reel across as a lead change reel? Terry has left the door open. We now embroider it that way. It is a liberty since only 1C is involved.

Anderson's Rant:-  A nice dance, a simple dance, with good music. A good ender for a rather brain heavy program.

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