Polharrow Burn: which hand is "original"?

Anselm Lingnau

Message 26318 · 10 Jun 2001 22:55:18 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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Eric Ferguson <x.xxxxxxxx@xxxxxxx.xx> writes:

> The teacher/MC had learnt this from Foss himself, who taught that
> on bars 29-30 the dancing couples (1C+3C) make a (roughly 3/4)
> RH turn before casting off to their new (3rd, 5th) places.
>
> "Pilling" and all cribs I have ever seen specify a (roughly 1 1/4) LH
> turn, and I was told that the "original" (Glendarroch S.D. Sheets,
> no. 18) which I do not have, says the same.

I have the leaflet in question in front of me, and it is quite
unequivocal:

29-32 1st couple - and 3rd - turn by the LEFT hand and cast off
one place on own sides (4th - and 5th - move up on 31-32)

(Emphasis is mine.)

> Does anyone else remember how Foss taught it, and know if he
> made the change himself, and when / why?

My opinion is if he wanted it done differently from what the description
says then he should have put that into the description. Also this was
back in the good old days when diagonal half reels of four meant that
the dancing couple were to pass by the left shoulder unless explicitly
stated otherwise, and since the leaflet doesn't state otherwise it
would, IMHO, be decidedly un-Foss-y to specify a right-hand turn after a
series of left-shoulder passes. In any event it's not really a 1 1/4
turn since you can cast off from the middle of the set, so turning once
usually suffices.

I have only very rarely seen Polharrow Burn danced with right-shoulder
passes between the diagonal reels, and then only by people with terminal
Mairi's Divorce syndrome.

Anselm

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