Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Bourrel For 4 Couples

This 8-bar Figure for 4 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, like The bourrel for 3 couples, it is not in any sense a Progression; if the Dancers Start Opposite their Partners, they do not Finish Opposite them.

If the Men Start in the order, 1 2 3 4 and the Ladies Start in the order, 3 4 1 2, all will Finish Opposite their Partners (in the order, 4 1 2 3). In detail:

Bars 1-2
1st man and 4th lady Set advancing While 2nd man and 1st lady Set advancing While 3rd man and 2nd lady Set advancing While 4th man and 3rd lady Chase anticlockwise approximately 13 around the rectangle formed by 1st and 4th couple's Places;

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

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

Bars 7-8
all four Couples Turn their Partners ¾ with Both hands, Finishing with 4th couple in 1st place, 1st couple in 2nd place, 2nd couple in 3rd place and 3rd couple in 4th place.

Where this Figure occurs in bars 17-24 of Mr Gallamore's Strathspey, the Men Start in the order, 1 4 2 3, and the Ladies Start in the order, 2 3 1 4; on Finishing, all are Opposite their Partners (in the order, 3 1 4 2).

Even more so than in The bourrel for 3 couples, Covering in bars 3-4 and 7-8 is particularly important, especially since this Figure occurs only in Strathspeys.


Links To Pages Related To 'The Bourrel'

Complex Figures

Additional search terms: Bourel, Bourell.

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