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  • Fiona Grant

    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.
    Best wishes
    Bristol, Sout West England.
    More info from website above:
    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.

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