Scotch-Irish-L ArchivesArchiver > Scotch-Irish > 1998-02 > 0886860314
From: Colleen Eagan <>
Subject: Re: Celtic Dances
Date: Sat, 7 Feb 1998 09:05:14 -0500
A program held in the Waynesburg, NC area in the summer features the
folk dances of a variety of countries of the world, by invitation. The
clothing worn by the dancers are made from authentic museum patterns. The
year I attended, the countries featured included Denmark, Ireland, France
and some others I can't remember. I do remember observing that the folk
dancing reminded me of the "square dancing" form I had learned as a child.
The program goes on for about a month and moves around to various
places in the county. A final presentation is held in Waynesburg or Maggie
Valley where examples of all those invited may be seen. It's quite a big
deal. If anyone is in that area during the summer, it would be worth your time.
At 10:01 PM 2/6/98 -0500, you wrote:
>I wonder if this type of dance is a lingering tradition of the Britons of
>Strathclyde and old Cumbria. I wonder if it is known predominantly in the
>east or the west of this area? Mostly I wonder, where can I read more about
>The ring dances of pagan origin which you refer to may be English Longsword
>dances. I am not knowledgeable with that type of dancing but you may be
>able to find out more using a search engine on the internet. The dancers
>form a ring and each dancer holds a sword at the hilt. Each dancer then
>extends the sword he is holding to the right . The dancer to the right
>grasps the extended sword by the blade, thus making a linked chain of
>dancers and swords. The swords are alternately lowered and raised for the
>dancers to dance over or under the swords in sequence.
>You might also check out the topic Morris Dancing on the internet.
>Tacitus the Roman Historian records that when the Romans invaded Britain in
>54 B.C. they saw Caledonians dancing in and out among upturned swords and
>spears. This seems very similar to the several descriptions that you
>Almost every year the Black Watch, Royal 42nd Regiment, tours the U.S. and
>Canada. If you go, you can see quite able demonstrations of the martial
>elements of Highland Dancing. The solo Highland Sword Dance Gille Calum
>is always performed usually by 3 men who dance individually over the
>Argyll Broadswords is performed by 4 men as a unit with each man stationed
>at the end of a cross pattern. Each points his sword towards the middle
>and the swords are placed point to point on the stage floor in a cross
>shape. The men dance over the swords changing from one section to another
>and also reel about the outside handle edges of the patterns. These are
>vigorous and martial dances a spectacular to see the marvelous timing and
>phrasing of the dancing units.
>Adult men and women also demonstrate the Highland Dances on the Video
>Highland Fling. This video was produced by the Stirling Branch of the
>Royal Scottish Country Dance Society. It costs $29.95 plus postage and you
>can order it from Alberene Royal Mail in Harrisville, NH (1-800-843-9078).
>Hope this helps a bit.