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Circassian Circle

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    Caberfei Jan. 24, 2002, 10:47 p.m. (Message 29265)

    Can anyone tell me the history behind the dance other then what is in Book 
    I am mostly interested in the name and how the dance came by it.
    Ralph Stoddard 
    DC  USA
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    res009k3 Jan. 25, 2002, 12:26 a.m. (Message 29268, in reply to message 29265)

    I don't remember if this site has an archival system for retrieving
    old postings, but sometime in the past I already answered your
    question re CC.
    The points are:
    1. In figure dancing there a number of formations:
       longways, square, round the room, etc.
    2. Longways can be while round, minor, improper, etc.
    4. As a longways dance, CC is a duple minor, in a set 
       "for many as will", imporper (1s crossed over to begin).
    5. As "round the room dance", CC is "two facing two" 
       (Ecossaise)as opposed to a "Swedish progression" (3-3 as
       in DWS), or "union/mezcolanze progression" (4-4 as in
    6. Other names for a duple minor improper (Ecossaise)
       in a circle are "Sicilian" or "Circassian [*1]" circles.
    7. Of the many "Circassian Circles" the RSCDS version is
       one example of a generic dance type having its name
       applied to a specific example. [*2 badly choreographed
       I might add].
    8. The same figures as our CC are also done in square for-
       mation in quadrilles. Here, where what the RSCDS would
       call dances, are called figures, usually 5 or 6. The
       first figure, often given a French generic name such as
       poule, or the name of the opening tune of a named 
       medley [*3].
    *1: The Turks, invading Christian lands often kidnapped 
        the children, raising them as muslems to serve in 
        janissary armies. Having no families, and forbidden to
        marry until retirement these, Circassians, tended to 
        be loyal to the Sultan. After retirement they were al-
        lowed to marry and settle down, and were often given
        high positions within the Turkish civil service. Their
        name comes from those of a collection of Caucasian 
        tribes in the former USSR. At the time of quadrilles, 
        many had military names, lancers, hussars (also from
        Eastern Europe) for example, attached to them, and / or
        their figures.  
    *2: [previously posted] The 32 bar tune, CC, consists of
        two 8 bar strains AABB. While I have found other sources
        of our dance using the same figures, the sequence of the
        figures is more appropriate to the music than the RSCDS
          SCD: RL - S2&T - LChn - Puset
        Other: RL - LChn - S2&T - Puset
        The reasons why I feel our version is not the best are
        1. While the music is AABB, the dance is ABAB with
           A using a skip change of step and 
           B using a pas de basque.
        2. If we align the steps with the music we have more
           natural transitions ...
           RL-LChain (no polite turns & end by joining hands)
           S2T-Puset (hands already joined for pousette).
     *3: For example, in the quadrille, "Trial by Jury" all six
         figures (dances) are named after and use tunes from 
         that operetta by G&S. In the Caledonians, the tunes are
         familiar tunes associated with Caledonia. All of my
         early editions of SCD Book 1 have a note saying that,
         "this dance is the same as the first figure of
         Quadrille" [Note: lack of article and uppercase "Q"]. 
    1. I am still looking for and have yet to discover the "real" name of
    the tune now called "Circassian Circle". This is an ongoing historical
    problem as tunes migrated easily. For example, I have heard that the
    worlds best known tune is that to which we sing "Auld Lang Syne" and
    so it is by that name that we know it. In fact, there is a tune "Hey
    Tuttee Tattie" to which Alan Ramsey set his poem, "Auld Lang Syne".
    All Burns did was paraphrase Ramsey's poem for his own more popular
    one and set it to the same music. If anyone can find Circassian
    Circle's tune with another name, I would appreciate the info.
    2. In bridging to another strand in this site, regarding the figure
    ladies' chain, I would like to put some historical perspective on the
    older "8" vs modern RSCDS "Z" version. [Citing SCD Book I,
    inaccurately dated 1924, probably around 1950 as it advertizes SCD
    Books 1-14 and has a price of 3/ [15p] printed on the cover,
    overprinted with 3/6 [17.5p] {SCD Book 11 was originally 2/6 [12.5p].
    "[bars] 17-20 Ladies' chain. That is, women give right hands to one
    another, cross over and turn the opposite man round by the left hand.
    Men dance into partner's place to recieve and turn opposite woman.
    21-24 The same again. This time the woman turn their own partners."
    In other words, my illustration in a previous post is unambiguously
    describe here in words:
    1-2. Men dance into partner's place (not beyond it) as women
       dance into the place vacated by the men (not each other).
    3-4. Men by giving women a half turn place them in each
       other's original places and return to their own (path
       is "8" not "Z") [there is no diagram shown].
    In my later edition of SCD Book I [also inaccurately dated 1924,
    probably after 1970, no SCD adverts or printed price (stamped 25p)],
    the page is an offset reproduction of the earlier without any changes.
    If the "Duncan" version existed, prior to the change from l/s/d
    currency to decimal, I have yet to see any evidence of it. While the
    "Note. --" cited above equates this [SCD] figure to one done in the
    quadrilles, it would have been impossible for the head couples to do
    the "Z" ladies' chain in a square formation with the sides blocking
    the man's path.
    Prior to WYJTD[Green] their was no handbook for SCD beyond
    descriptions given in the Books. For example in the original edition,
    foreward are described, sets, steps [skip change, pas de basque,
    common & Highland Schottische - no strathspey],  and progressions
    [pousette and Allemande], and reeling [right shoulder only, as the
    left shoulder or mirror reels had not been discovered yet]. In 1923,
    the Strathspey step for longways country dances had not been invented
    yet and our present step was not that used in the Highland foursome
    There is the caveat below the table of contents that verifies that the
    references given below our dances are only the oldest known form, not
    necessarily the choreography published by the [R]SCDS.
    If one wanted to more accurately date my oldest Book 1, this could be
    done by checking the address for Paterson's Publications in London,
    Sydney, Toronto, Wellington, & New York or J Michael Diacks copyright
    for his editions of:
    Welsh Cradel Song, by H. S. Roberton [#1859
    R Goss
  • ...

    RON TAYLOR Jan. 25, 2002, 8:30 a.m. (Message 29276, in reply to message 29268)

    Does anyone really read this !
  • ...

    Alan Paterson Jan. 25, 2002, 11:02 a.m. (Message 29280, in reply to message 29276)

    RON TAYLOR wrote:
    > Does anyone really read this !
    <snip massive quotation of Richard Goss's message>
    No. I don't actually. I WOULD be interested, since Richard has a lot of
    interesting things to say, but, as all of his (and only his) messages
    arrive in my PC in an almost unreadable format, I delete them unread.
  • ...

    Martin.Sheffield Jan. 25, 2002, 9:52 a.m. (Message 29281, in reply to message 29276)

    At 08:30 25/01/02, you wrote:
    >Does anyone really read this !
    Was it really necessary to quote the original message in extenso ?
    in Grenoble, France
  • ...

    Ian McHaffie Jan. 25, 2002, 1:26 p.m. (Message 29287, in reply to message 29276)

    Yes, Ron, there are some who do.
    And when I find a message from Strathspey or elsewhere that I don¹t 
    want to read, I touch single key (that I have programmed) that sends 
    the message to the trash faster than even the thought of complaining.
  • ...

    SallenNic Jan. 25, 2002, 2:21 p.m. (Message 29289, in reply to message 29265)

    In a message dated 25/1/02 10:03:14 am, xxxxx@xxxxxxx.xx writes:
    >I WOULD be interested, since Richard has a lot of
    >interesting things to say, but, as all of his (and only his) messages
    >arrive in my PC in an almost unreadable format, I delete them unread.
    I never have any trouble reading Richard's postings (and find them most 
    illuminating): is this possibly because I use a Mac?
    Nicolas B., Lanark, Scotland.

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