Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Bourrel For 3 Couples

This 8-bar Figure for 3 Couples in a Longwise set in Strathspeys uses the Strathspey travelling step throughout. While it is a derivative form of The bourrel for 2 couples, The bourrel for 3 couples is not in any sense a Progression; if the Dancers Start Opposite their Partners, they do not Finish Opposite them.

Where it occurs in bars 17-24 of Barbara's Strathspey, the Men Start in the order, 1 2 3, While the Ladies Start in the order, 2 3 1; on Finishing, all are Opposite their Partners (in the order, 3 1 2).

In this example, the Figure consists of:

Bars 1-2
1st man and 3rd lady Set advancing While 2nd man and 1st lady Set advancing While 3rd man and 2nd lady Chase anticlockwise approximately 13 around the square formed by 1st and 3rd couple's Places;

Bars 3-4
1st man and 3rd lady Turn approximately 23 with Both hands, release Hold and Turn halfway clockwise On the spot While 2nd man and 1st lady Turn approximately 23 with Both hands, release Hold and Turn halfway clockwise On the spot While 2nd lady and 1st man continue to Chase anticlockwise to Finish with all three Couples on the Centre line Facing Partners, 3rd couple in 1st position, 1st couple in 2nd position, 2nd couple in 3rd position;

Bars 5-6
all three Couples Set Facing their Partners;

Bars 7-8
all three Couples Turn their Partners ¾ with Both hands, Finishing with 3rd couple in 1st place, 1st couple in 2nd place and 2nd couple in 3rd place.

Covering in bars 3-4 and 7-8 is particularly important, especially since this Figure occurs only in Strathspeys.


For example, here are some Scottish Country Dances in which the term, The bourrel for 3 couples, is used in either the MiniCrib or the MaxiCrib Dance instructions or both -
Miss Eleanor
Stephen's Web

Dance Video Clip Which Demonstrates The Bourrel For 3 Couples

Bourrel For 3 Couples

Links To Pages Related To 'The Bourrel'

Complex Figures

Additional search terms: Bourel, Bourell.

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