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strathspey@strathspey.org:45085

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  • Patricia Ruggiero

    Patricia Ruggiero April 20, 2006, 4:13 a.m. (Message 45085)

    RE: Instruction and music for the "Irish Washerwoman."

    Tom wrote:
     
    > I got the instructions for the Irish Washerwoman last night 
    > and it appears that the dance is basically the same as the 
    > one you posted only with slightly different nomenclature.
    
    The source for the version I gave is "Asa willcxs book of Figures" [Ms.
    collection of dance figures] 1793. Newberry Library.
    
    I know nothing further about this Asa Wilcox; but, if this is his book of
    familiar dances, it's not surprising that the figures are slightly
    different.  He and his friends probably liked doing the rigadoon; whereas
    the folks who created your version obviously preferred simply to set forward
    and back.
    
    Your version has "down the center and balance." There are many Early
    American dances that have "down the center and rigadoon."  A ubiquitous
    combination, so much so that many dancers nowadays substitute that for the
    plain vanilla "down the center and back."  And vice versa, if they don't
    like doing the rigadoon.  Small groups of folks who danced only to please
    themselves got to make up whatever versions they liked of a dance!
    
    Pat
          

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