Fiona Grant March 21, 2006, 9:17 a.m. (Message 44798)
re: The Triumph
Elissa writes: Oh, and I don't like that dance much, either. :-) Hi Elissa Some dances are fascinating from a historical point of view though, and this often changes how I feel about dancing them. Some Cornish dancers told me that in their part of the country The Triumph is a wedding dance, and there are lots of variations or triumphs throughout the British Isles. The first couple represent the bride and groom, the second the brides parents, the third the grooms parents and the fourth the best man and maid. See: http://www.an-daras.com/dance/d_danceindex_p_triumph.htm Best wishes Fiona Bristol, Sout West England. More info from website above: TRIUMPH: BACKGROUND INFORMATION Informant: Mrs Baker, Rilla Mill, 1981 Old Cornwall Society Magazine (1925 31) The Recorder of the Old Cornwall Society summarizes a lecture concerning the West Looe May Fair held in a field (or barn if wet) the Triumph along with the Cushion dance are referred to as stately, being slow and graceful. She comments that the Triumph was still being done in Looe (i.e. 1925 1930) and that the other dances named were last used in the district down to about '25 years ago'. Other dances mentioned are the four handed, six handed and eight handed reels noted elsewhere in Corollyn. Unfortunately these dances seemed to have been viewed as fairly commonplace by the Looe Old Cornwall Society and not worth noting in detail. Mrs Baker, whom we met in May 1981 (?), could remember the Triumph being done when she was a small girl. She was unable to describe the moves or pattern but she was emphatic about the steps which were a vigorous stamp hop, as she demonstrated to us in her wellington boots! The Triumph is a fairly well known British dance with variants recorded from Scotland down to Cornwall. Sometimes called the 'Old Triumph' it is listed as a Berkshire long ways set in the Carey manuscripts, La Triumph in the 'Ladies Pocket Book' by Stalker and the Triumph quadrille in Blessi's art of dancing l831. Cecil Sharp noted this dance as did Bult in 'Old Devon Dances'. These are all kept at the Vaughan Williams memorial library, Cecil Sharp House and make fascinating reading. In order to add `flesh` to the references we had to triumph we borrowed the pattern of the dance as noted by Bult. With some reservation it might be added as this clearly comes from the wrong side of the Tamar! People unfamiliar with this part of Cornwall might feel that geography is on our side as the moves we have borrowed come from but a few miles further East. Culture is not on our side, however, as there continues a strong tendency in this area to disassociate with traditions English and Devonshire over the Tamar border. Mrs Baker describes a 'stamp hop' hornpipe step and this we have used, hopefully reconstructing the vigorous dance she remembers. DANCE NOTATIONS Formation A three couple long ways set. Step: A Stamp Hop step throughout. Bars (A) 1 8 First Lady and second man lead down the centre of the dance while first man crosses the set and goes down behind the ladies. First and second man bring lady back up the centre lady holds outside hands of both men, they join inside hands to form an arch over her head. First lady is returned to her place. 9 16 Repeat bars 1 8, this time with second lady and first man leading down the set and second man crossing to go down behind the ladies. (B) 17 24 Head Couple lead down the set and return. 25 32 Head couple swing down the set (elbow link) and as they pass each couple casts UP the set and swings until all the couples are swinging. Dance is repeated three times TUNE/SONG The suggested tunes for this dance are Syans Den Bal, Zeak Waltz and Maggie May's Hornpipe, although any 32 bar Hornpipe would be suitable.