> The Society's version is actually > pretty similar to this 3rd version except the Promenade is for 1st and 2nd > couples and the pousette is a right round pousette for 1st and 3rd couples > with 2nd couple moving up on the first 2 bars.
Steve, I would guess that the reason the RSCDS version assigns the poussette
to the 1st and 3rd couples is to effect the progression; that is, as the 1s
move downward, in order to poussette with the 3s, they necessarily progress
past the 2s. The arrangement would have to be this way because the Society
is using a nonprogressive poussette. In Wilson's dance, the poussette 1.5
times would end with the 1s and 2s in progressed places.
I'd hazard another guess, this time about the promenade. Perhaps the
Society changed it from three couples to two couples for the sake of
"aesthetic balance." In the last figure, the 1s and 3s are dancing while
the 2s stand still; maybe the Society thought the amount of dancing would be
more equitably distributed if, in the 3rd figure, the 1s and 2s danced while
the 3s stood still.
Back to the poussette -- another way this dance could have been
reconstructed would have been to make the promenade (for either 2 or 3
couples) be 6 bars, using bars 7&8 for the 1s to cast into second place,
with the 2s finishing at the top. Then the 1s and 2s could have done the
nonprogressive poussette. In fact, the 1s and 3s could have done it, this
time without the oddness of first couple maneuvering down past the 2nd
Below are Susan's notes regarding the poussette:
> Double figure (tune played AABB) > 8b The three ladies lead round the gents > 8b The three gents lead round the ladies > 8b Promenade three couples > 8b Whole poussette [progressive] > - Wilson's whole poussette is a progressive figure done one and a half > times round. It would be done in this case by the first and > second couple; > the third doesn't get involved at all. I have no idea when the > alteration was made, but having the first and third poussette while the > second moves up is not a figure I've ever seen in this period. (Or any > other prior to the 20thc, actually, but the early 19thc is my specialty > and the one I have looked at most thoroughly.) >