THE FIGURES

Figure 1.

HANDS-THREE, HANDS-FOUR, ETC.

Three or more dancers, as directed, form a ring, extend arms, join hands a little above waist level, and dance round. In the absence of specific instructions to the contrary it is to be understood that one complete circuit is to be danced clockwise, the performers facing centre.

The dancers should clasp hands firmly, lean outward, and thus support each other. When the movement is followed by a repetition in the reverse direction, counter-clockwise, the dancers may stamp on the first step of the second movement.

Occasionally this figure is performed with the backs to the centre, the dancers facing outward.

When space is restricted and the ring reduced in size, and it is no longer feasible to extend the arms, the arms should be raised, sharply bent at the elbows (upper arms horizontal, fore-arms approximately vertical) and the hands joined above head-level. This, too, will be found to be the easier and more convenient method when the movement is slow and formal in character, as is not infrequently in the case of back-rings (e.g., the back-ring in "Fye, Nay, Prithee John," p.122).

Figure 2.

THE TURN

Two dancers face one another, join both hands, swing once round clockwise (unless otherwise directed), separate, and fall back to places.

In turning, performers should clasp hands firmly, arms at full stretch, and lean back so as mutually to give and receive support. If either the skipping-step or running-step be used, the feet should be slightly crossed so that the dancers may face each other squarely throughout the movement.

Figure 3.

THE SWING

This is similar to the preceding movement, the dancers however turning continuously and, on occasion, moving from place to place as directed.

Figure 4.

THE TURN WITH THE RIGHT OR LEFT HAND

Two dancers join right or left hands, as directed, and move round in a complete circle, separate, and fall back to places.

The carriage of the dancers and the position of their arms will depend upon the size of the circle describes and the speed with which the figure is executed. When eight steps are allotted to the figure the dancers should describe a large circle, lean slightly towards each other, and join hands above head-level. As the taking of hands in this case is for the purpose of balance rather than support, there is no pull on the arms and no necessity, therefore, to extend them at full stretch. The arms should, accordingly, be held loosely and slightly curved at the elbow (not bent at an angle). If, however, the Turn has to be completed in four steps, the arms should be fully extended and the arms joined a little above waist-level, the dancers leaning away from and supporting each other; while in still faster turns, where the dancers are compelled to turn in a very small circle (as in the Do-Si in the Running Set) they should join hands below waist-level with arms tensed and sharply crooked at the elbow.

Figure 5.

RIGHT-(OR LEFT-) HANDS-ACROSS

This is performed usually by four dancers (say, the first and second couples in a longways dance), but occasionally by three or six.

In the first case, first man and second woman join right (or left) hands, while second man and first woman do the same. Holding their hands close together, head-level, the four dancers dance round clockwise (or counter-clockwise), inclining inwards towards the centre, and facing in the direction they are moving.

When three performers only are engaged, two of them join hands and the third places his hand on theirs.

It is to be understood that the dancers make one complete circuit unless specific instructions to the contrary are given.

Figure 6.

HALF-POUSSETTE

Half-Poussette

This is performed by two adjacent couples.

Each man faces his partner and takes her by both hands. The arms must be held out straight, and very nearly shoulder high. First man, pushing his partner before him, moves four steps along dotted line to a, and then falls back four steps along the line a b c into the second couple's place, pulling his partner after him.

Simultaneously, second man, pulling his partner with him, falls back four steps along the line d e f into the first couple's place (four bars).

The above movement is called the half-poussette, and is, of course, a progressive figure.

When the half-poussette is followed by a repetition of the same movement, each couple describing a complete circle or ellipse, the figure is called the whole-poussette.

Figure 7.

BACK-TO-BACK.

Back-to-back

First man and first woman face each other and move forward, the man along the line a b, the woman along the dotted line d e. they pass by the right, move round each other, back to back, and fall back to places, the man along the line b c, the woman along the dotted line e f.

The arrow heads in the diagram show the positions of the dancers at the end of each bar, and point in the direction in which they are facing. The arrows alongside the lines show the direction in which the dancers move.

Figure 8.

WHOLE-GIP FACING CENTRE

Whole-Gip

First man moves forward along line a, dances round circle b c d, facing the centre, and falls back along line d e to place; while first woman dances along dotted line m, moves round circle n o p, facing the centre, and falls back to place (four bars). In the execution of the running-step the feet will have to be slightly crossed in order that the dancers may face each other squarely throughout the movement.

The arrows and arrow heads have the same significance as in the preceding figure.

Figure 9.

WHOLE-GIP FACING OUTWARD

Whole=Gip

FIrst man moves along line a and dances round circle b c d, facing outward to place; while first woman moves along dotted line m, dances round circle n o p, facing outward, and moves along dotted line p s to place (four bars).

Page transcribed by Hugh Stewart