strathspey Archive: Bourel, anyone?

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Bourel, anyone?

Message 2848 · Anselm Lingnau · 25 Oct 1995 13:44:07 · Top

The other day I received a crib sheet for a ball I'll be going to in a
couple of weeks' time. There's a dance on the programme that calls for a
`bourel', which must be some sort of 2-couple formation that I haven't
come across yet.

Can somebody clue me in how to dance a bourel, and maybe also point me
towards an original source for the figure (like, who devised it and in
which dance did it come up first)?

I'm asking for the latter since I've been working on a description of
all sorts of unusual figures -- like the Swirl, the Chain Progression,
the Highland Schottische Poussette etc. -- that aren't in the RSCDS
manual. For the formations that I do have already, I'm trying to give this
information together with the names of representative dances where they
occur. Hopefully by the time I'm done with it it'll just drop into the
manual at the appropriate place. Isn't it nice that the manual is in
a ring binder rather than a bound book?

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau ......................... lingnau@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
Usenet is like Tetris for people who still remember how to read.
--- Joshua Geller

Bourel, anyone?

Message 2849 · Sandra Rosenau · 25 Oct 1995 15:13:46 · Top

Anselm, PLEASE distribute your notes on the odd formations so we all
can drop them into our Manuals! What a good idea! As time goes on
there are more and more of these non-standard figures being devised
but few discriptions of them outside their original dance publication.
--Sandra Rosenau, Dayton, Ohio, USA--
(Home of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, location of the upcoming
Bosnian Peace talks...which are scheduled to start on Holloween!?)
sjrosenau@tasc.com

Bourel, anyone?

Message 2850 · briscoe · 25 Oct 1995 15:36:10 · Top

Yes, please distribute, and if anyone has edits or second opinions, let's
have them. Is "Corners Pass and Turn" on your list? (Is it in the Manual?)

ellie briscoe
briscoe@access.digex.net

Bourel, anyone?

Message 2851 · Andrew J. Smith · 25 Oct 1995 16:11:22 · Top

Anselm - the Bourrel (originally The Birl) makes its first appearance in
"Campsie Glen" in Bob Campbell's book "Glasgow Assembly". Actually you
probably know this as the second figure of the medley "Frae A' the Airts".

Instructions from "Campsie Glen"

9-12 First man and second woman set to each other, approaching on the
second step, then turn three quarters round with both hands. Toward the
end of bar 12 they release hands and pivot right about to finish back to
back, first man facing down and second woman up.
At the same time first woman and second man dance
counter-clockwise round the other dancers to finish facing partner.

*This part varies depending on what happens next*

13-16 Campsie Glen
First and second couples set to partner then turn with the right
hand, first couple to finish facing down in promenade hold, the man with
his partner on his right. Second couple finish in top place on own sides.

13-16 Frae A' The Airts
1st and 2nd couples set to partner then turn partner with 2 hands to
finish on own sides, having changed places.

The Napier index also lists these dances with a Birl/Bourrel:
Pet O' The Pipers, The Northern Meeting, Lake Geneva, The Michener
Strathspey, THe Northern LIghts, Michigan Shores.

I just checked my RSCDS Manual which does explain the HS Poussette on
page 6.33. Don't waste your time on that one, but please do gather
together the others. This will be most useful.

Regards,

Andrew Smith
*******************************************************************************
Message from:
Andrew J. M. Smith
mstajsx@gsusgi2.gsu.edu
*******************************************************************************

Bourel, anyone?

Message 2855 · Coletta Hill · 25 Oct 1995 20:21:35 · Top

Reply to: RE>Bourel, anyone?

Anslem;
In reference to unconventional figures is the "Slip knot" on your list?
Mel n' Ellie Briscoe devised a progressive knot figure for..... ah,
help me out with this Ellie, what was the name of the dance?

All I remember is it was a fun dance, with an incredible new figure:-)

Bourel, anyone?

Message 2856 · Courtney Cartwright · 25 Oct 1995 20:41:22 · Top

At 12:43 PM 10/25/95 +0100, Anselm Lignau wrote:

>I'm asking for the latter since I've been working on a description of
>all sorts of unusual figures -- like the Swirl, the Chain Progression,
>the Highland Schottische Poussette etc. -- that aren't in the RSCDS
>manual. For the formations that I do have already, I'm trying to give this
>information together with the names of representative dances where they
>occur. Hopefully by the time I'm done with it it'll just drop into the
>manual at the appropriate place. Isn't it nice that the manual is in
>a ring binder rather than a bound book?
>
Has anyone come across the Card Cribs and Card Figs? I bought a set of each
when I was at St. Andrews a couple of years ago. I bought them from the Summer
School shop, so of course they only stocked the series of Card Cribs that had
all RSCDS dances in them. I later sent off for the rest of the series.

These are index cards with the cues of dances printed on them. There are
hundreds of dances in a multiple series. There is also a little plastic book
with pockets, like credit card or photo pages like in a wallet. The idea is
that you look up the dances in the card collection for the next function
you're attending and place them in the plastic book. There are even cards
for Intervals. In addition, the author has prepared a set of index cards
describing all the known formations, one formation per card, called Card Figs.
I have referred to these notes for things like "Corners Pass and Turn" and
"Hazeltree Corners". I can't remember the name or the address of the devisor of
these innovations, (Derek Haynes?) but I believe that TAC has now started to
stock them, but also Strathspey Sales, through RSCDS headquarters, used to.

Card Figs might go a long way in filling out your formations list, Anselm.

Courtney Cartwright
Tucson, Arizona
ccartwri@primenet.com

Bourel, anyone?

Message 2862 · briscoe · 25 Oct 1995 22:53:26 · Top

> In reference to unconventional figures is the "Slip knot" on your list?
> Mel n' Ellie Briscoe devised a progressive knot figure for..... ah,
> help me out with this Ellie, what was the name of the dance?

Aw... the dance is "Ellie's Jig," and it's in the (recently published by
Mel) Slip Knot Collection. Is this a shameless plug or what?

ellie

Bourel, anyone?

Message 2864 · Sandra Rosenau · 25 Oct 1995 23:19:39 · Top

Another figure I ran into years ago was the Philabeg, taught at a ~1983
workshop in D.C. by Anthony Moretti Tufts (or was it Jr?). I remember it
as being somewhat like a strathspey pousette right round. Does anyone
have the dance source and figure discription?

Why does the RSCDS have to take a perfectly good English descriptive
name like "Birl" and turn it into some fake Frenchified word? Will we one
day have a Philabaquette?

Sandra Rosenau, Dayton, Ohio
sjroseau@tasc.com

Bourel, anyone?

Message 2865 · Courtney Cartwright · 26 Oct 1995 00:04:50 · Top

>Another figure I ran into years ago was the Philabeg, taught at a ~1983
>workshop in D.C. by Anthony Moretti Tufts (or was it Jr?). I remember it
>as being somewhat like a strathspey pousette right round. Does anyone
>have the dance source and figure discription?
>
>Why does the RSCDS have to take a perfectly good English descriptive
>name like "Birl" and turn it into some fake Frenchified word? Will we one
>day have a Philabaquette?
>
>Sandra Rosenau, Dayton, Ohio
>sjroseau@tasc.com
>
>
I believe the Philabeg was also first published in "Glasgow Assembly" by Mr.
Campbell, where it appeared in a dance called MacFarlane's Strathspey. It's
a sort of Strathspey Pousette with full turns at the points, or something
like that.

I've been told that the RSCDS took exception to the term "Birl" due to the
negative connotations associated... It seems that the Society did not want to
accept a formation with a name like "Birl", because prevention of excessive
birling was one of the reasons the Society was founded.
Courtney Cartwright
Tucson, Arizona
ccartwri@primenet.com

Bourel, anyone?

Message 2868 · king maghi · 26 Oct 1995 14:26:55 · Top

Duncan Keppie's manual, step We Gaily, has a description of several unusual
formations and indications of at least one dance where they appear. List follows:

knot, rondel, half rondel, tourne'e, set and link, set and rotate, en rond,
targe, whirligig, la baratte, espagnole, tourbillon, bourrel, roulette,
philabeg, shuttle.

Must confess that I'd never even heard of several of these before!

Maghi

Maghi King | Internet: king@divsun.unige.ch
ISSCO, University of Geneva | X400: S=king; OU=divsun;O=unige;
54 route des Acacias | PRMD=switch;ADMD=arcom;C=ch
CH-1227 GENEVA (Switzerland) | UUCP: mcvax!cui!divsun.unige.ch!king
Tel: +41/22/705 71 14 | FAX: +41/22/300 10 86

Bourel, anyone?

Message 2872 · Anselm Lingnau · 26 Oct 1995 16:28:06 · Top

Maghi King <king@divsun.unige.ch> writes:

> knot, rondel, half rondel, tourne'e, set and link, set and rotate, en rond,
> targe, whirligig, la baratte, espagnole, tourbillon, bourrel, roulette,
> philabeg, shuttle.

Quite a number of these *are* in the new manual (the ring-binder thing),
too.

If anybody sends me a description of the Philabeg and/or Shuttle (preferably
not lifted verbatim from Duncan's book) I'd be happy to include these; I
suppose I do have the rest of the list above by now. Private replies will
do fine for the moment. Maybe I'll manage to get a preliminary version
of the formations pamphlet together over the week-end so those of you who
want to can proofread and criticise it.

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau ......................... lingnau@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
There are three kinds of death in this world. There's heart death, there's
brain death, and there's being off the network. --- Guy Almes

Bourel, anyone?

Message 2874 · Ian Price · 26 Oct 1995 17:38:20 · Top

>I've been told that the RSCDS took exception to the term "Birl" due to the
>negative connotations associated... It seems that the Society did not want to
>accept a formation with a name like "Birl", because prevention of excessive
>birling was one of the reasons the Society was founded.

Also one of the reasons I let my membership in the Society lapse. I mean,
REALLY!

Bourel, anyone?

Message 2876 · Sandra Rosenau · 26 Oct 1995 17:50:19 · Top

>I've been told that the RSCDS took exception to the term "Birl" due to the
>negative connotations associated... It seems that the Society did not
want to >accept a formation with a name like "Birl", because prevention
of excessive
>birling was one of the reasons the Society was founded.

I agree with Ian Price. REALLY! Considering that most folks young
enough to birl (with much energy) started dancing since ~1960, and
given that RSCDS had already wiped out birling pretty effectively, I find
this reasoning silly. Not that I blame you, Courtney, for explaining it to us!

Bourel, anyone?

Message 2887 · ERBRUNKEN · 27 Oct 1995 03:08:22 · Top

The dance with the 'slip knot' or non progressive knot, is
called.....Ellie's Jig, a 32 J for 3 cpls. Available in the Slip Knot
Collection by Mel Briscoe. Great little dance. Music on Terpsichore's
Tape.

E

Bourel, anyone?

Message 2893 · Jim & Marilyn Healy · 27 Oct 1995 20:52:51 · Top

Courtney Cartwright wrote:
>I've been told that the RSCDS took exception to the term "Birl" due to the
>negative connotations associated... It seems that the Society did not
> want to accept a formation with a name like "Birl", because prevention
> of excessive birling was one of the reasons the Society was founded.

Others have written expressing outrage and indignation at this.

I am confused.

1. I would assume that the figure I have seen described in this list
had its name changed from "Birl" to "Bour(r)el(l)" because it is *not*
a Birl - a birl is not a figure, it's a birl.

2. Can somebody please explain to me what the RSCDS has got to do
with this? If the figure is not in an "official book" (and I repeat my recently
asked question - what does that mean?) - who in the RSCDS declared
it apostate and anathema and demanded it be changed; on what basis
and on what authority - representing us, the members?

3. "Excessive birling" has brought several references to "Controlled
abandon". These are two words - "control" modifying "abandon".
Banning birling - an alleged Society aim apparently condoned by some
replying to this thread - is not modification but the arrival of the thought
police.

I love a good birl or a polka that teeters on the edge of falling over
the sense of achievement when it doesn't is fantastic: the very
occasional disaster is unfortunate. But dancing is a group activity and
my simple rules are
a) enjoy yourself:
b) do not stop anyone else enjoying themself.
Or, in the specific context - birl if you want but do nothing that will stop
others in the set from getting where they are going and all being in the
right place at the right time (and that includes being considerate to less
experienced dancers).

Sorry, if this is bit OTT but I really do feel we need to put a bit of the
"abandon" back into SCD and that might include reviewing the tempi
of "official" recordings - anyone for another thread????

Jim Healy
Perth, Scotland

Bourel, anyone?

Message 2896 · David Ll. Hills · 27 Oct 1995 22:29:46 · Top

Greetings

At 11:49 95-10-27, Jim & Marilyn Healy wrote:

>
>Sorry, if this is bit OTT
>

All I can say is:

Tsk tsk tsk tsk tsk tsk tsk tsk tsk tsk tsk tsk tsk tsk tsk tsk tsk tsk tsk
tsk tsk tsk tsk tsk tsk!! ... et cetera.

In my inestimably invaluable opining, it is neither OTT nor UTT ... and
even if it were some might think you are adding a diminishing qualifier to
lessen its force. So ... tsk!

If others are upset that is their problem, not yours!
Let them huffle and puffle and wallow in frustrated control. One of the set
books for any realistic teacher exam should surely be "Animalcule Farm"?
:-)

Give 'em hell! If you go on like this you'll soon be like me, excommunicate
and anathema. There'll be a big ceremony outside Coates Crescent. The
spirit of JCM will descend on a fiery ghillie and she will wave the crowd
to silence as she casts your name into the eternal furnace of ceilidh
dancing while those faithful myrmidons, the likes of Alistair McFadyen,
Norah Dunn, Alistair Aitkenhead, Lesley Martin, will be raised and imbued
with the holy flame of all conquering mediocrity.

Hallelujah!

Halle best

*D

*David Hills [Opinions mostly mine own; facts are everybody's]
<dlh@radarsun.jpl.nasa.gov>
Jet Propulsion Lab, Pasadena CA, U S A

Bourel, anyone?

Message 2899 · Colleen Putt · 28 Oct 1995 07:23:16 · Top

"Animalcule Farm"?
>:-)
>Please, what is this? And... aren't we getting a tad "twee"? The folks at
Coates Crescent are not the "bad guys". Let's ease up a bit! ;-)
Colleen
>
>
>
>
>

Bourel, anyone?

Message 2923 · king maghi · 30 Oct 1995 18:25:04 · Top

Sorry, but I do think David Hills message calling a variety of RSCDS people
irremediably mediocre IS over the top.

I know these people, like them (for the most part), disagree with them about
many things and feel able to say so to them: let's not have this kind of
slagging off on the net unless the person doing the slagging is able:

a) to prove his own superiority

b) to demonstrate, or at leats adduce evidence for, the inferiority of those
he's slagging off.

Maghi

Maghi King | Internet: king@divsun.unige.ch
ISSCO, University of Geneva | X400: S=king; OU=divsun;O=unige;
54 route des Acacias | PRMD=switch;ADMD=arcom;C=ch
CH-1227 GENEVA (Switzerland) | UUCP: mcvax!cui!divsun.unige.ch!king
Tel: +41/22/705 71 14 | FAX: +41/22/300 10 86

Bourel, anyone?

Message 2941 · anobile mike · 1 Nov 1995 19:47:09 · Top

unsubscribe, please.
Thank you.`M anobile
Geneva Swwiitzerlanndd

Bourel, anyone?

Message 2882 · Anselm Lingnau · 26 Oct 1995 20:23:26 · Top

Ian Price <73707.523@compuserve.com> writes:

> >I've been told that the RSCDS took exception to the term "Birl" due to the
> >negative connotations associated... It seems that the Society did not want
> >to accept a formation with a name like "Birl", because prevention of
> >excessive birling was one of the reasons the Society was founded.
>
> Also one of the reasons I let my membership in the Society lapse. I mean,
> REALLY!

The magic word in the message Ian quoted is `excessive'. Obviously
`excessive birling' is not something most of us would be advocating, either.
On the other hand, why not have a good birl every once in a while when the
conditions are right? It is difficult to draw the line between the birling
that is fun for everybody and the birling that the `birlers' themselves
enjoy but all others in the set find obnoxious or distracting. The old
Dr. M saying about `controlled abandon' comes to mind once more. Outlawing
birling altogether, as the RSCDS is trying to (and in vain, so far), is
certainly a way of handling *excessive* birling, but still...

Secondly, don't you folks find it funny that the RSCDS objects to a
perfectly reasonable formation that (as far as I can tell) only occurs
in Strathspey time anyway, being called a `birl' in their publications?
As if getting rid of the B-word meant getting rid of the phenomenon
itself. 1984, anyone? :^)

Anselm
Campaign for Conscientious Birling
--
Anselm Lingnau ......................... lingnau@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger
and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and
better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning. --- Rich Cook

Bourel, anyone?

Message 2912 · Priscilla M. Burrage · 29 Oct 1995 21:06:02 · Top

On Wed, 25 Oct 1995, Anselm Lingnau wrote (in part):

> . . . I've been working on a description of
> all sorts of unusual figures -- like the Swirl, the Chain Progression,
> the Highland Schottische Poussette etc. -- that aren't in the RSCDS
> manual. For the formations that I do have already, I'm trying to give this
> information together with the names of representative dances where they
> occur.

I would be pleased if you would include the two new-to-Scottish
progressions that I've put in some of the dances in "Kitchen Capers."

Back-to-back progression, described on page 14, is my attempt to bring
back the lovely figure danced in St. Martin's (a country dance published
in 1651). I've changed it to strathspey time and made it a progression
danced by two couples, but the concept is the same: two people on the
diagonal dance back to back while the other two (second woman, first man)
dance back to back around them. An easier way to think of it: Starts with
the two women dancing out to their left while the two men dance out to
their left also. Continues as a back to back with the people on the
outside staying on the outside.)

The second progression figure, progressive reel of three, page 15, is my
attempt to bring to the Scottish the final progression in Fandango, a
three couple set published in Thompson's Compleat Collection, 1780.

I put the back-to-back progression in Strathaven, a three couple
strathspey, and the progressive reel of three in Strathaven
and in Sugar on Snow also a three couple strathspey.

happy dancing,
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Priscilla Burrage (priscilla.burrage@uvm.edu)
Vermont USA (pburrage@moose.uvm.edu)

Bourel, anyone?

Message 2919 · Irene x3716 · 30 Oct 1995 08:36:10 · Top

In reaction to David Hills' message of 27 Oct (which I don't want to quote):

I'm sure we all want to *improve* the RSCDS - not destroy it, together with
those who are prepared to help run it. Personal attacks on individuals are
just not on - and more so when they give the impression that they would be
supported by a third party.

On 27 Oct 95, Jim Healy said:

> ... dancing is a group activity and my simple rules are
> a) enjoy yourself:
> b) do not stop anyone else enjoying themself.
>
> I really do feel we need to put a bit of the "abandon" back into SCD ...

Compare that with:

" The whole movement of the dance should seem to say, 'Isn't this fun!' and
when the dancers have this feeling they are, indeed, in the spirit of the
dance. "

Some, I think, might be surprised to know that that was said by Miss
Milligan.

The difference is that the world has changed since the 1920's. Jim Healy is
someone who is willing and eager to accept those changes and to keep SCD
relevant in today's world - not by simply throwing out everything that's
traditional, but by considering what *needs* to be changed and then trying to
*do* something about it.

Let's try to keep our criticisms realistic and constructive, and not hurtful.

Irene van Maarseveen
Pretoria, South Africa
ivmaarse@mattek.csir.co.za
* From 18 November: ivmaarse@csir.co.za *

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