Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Breccan Feile

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

Breccan Feile
Maggie and Duncan Keppie   Haliburton School Of Arts SCD Book 4:
Reel   4 x 32 bars   4 Couple Repeat   4 Couple Set   Lengthwise Set

  1-8   TANDEM REEL OF 3 ACROSS: dance a right shoulder reel of 3, 2nd and 3rd men in tandem at the top with 1st couple, 3rd and 2nd women in tandem at the bottom with 4th couple (those in tandem change the lead halfway through the reel);

  9-16 TANDEM REELS OF 3 ACROSS: dance a left shoulder reel of 3, 3rd and 2nd men in tandem at the bottom with 4th couple, 2nd and 3rd women in tandem at the top with 1st couple (those in tandem change the lead halfway through the reel);

17-24 4-COUPLE SET AND LINK TWICE all set, nearer hands joined, then the two at the right hand end cast two places AS the two at the left hand end dance down the middle two places, i.e. 1st and 2nd women cast to 3rd and 4th women's places respectively AS 3rd and 4th women dance up the middle curling into 1st and 2nd women's places, respectively; AND 3rd and 4th men cast to 1st and 2nd men's places respectively AS 1st and 2nd men dance down the middle curling into 3rd and 4th men's places, respectively; REPEAT bars 17-20;

25-28 1ST COUPLE TO BOTTOM: 1st woman casts to 4th woman's place AS 1st man dances down the middle to 4th man's place (others step up on 27-28);

29-32 ALL SET TWICE or with set and spring points.


(Dance Crib compiled by the devisers, Maggie and Duncan Keppie)

Dance Information

"Breccan Feile" is an anglicized form of the Gaelic "Breacain an fhéilidh" or of "Féileadh bhreacain", both of which mean the "Tartan kilt" in its traditional form. This highlander's garment, made of some 12 yards of narrow tartan, was wrapped around the waist and belted and the remainder was passed over the left shoulder and either pinned or tucked under the belt. Donning the garment was commonly by placing the whole length on the floor, lying on it and winding oneself up in it, as was demonstrated in the BBC TV programme of the 1980s, The Generation Game, by the late Mike Begley, the Highland Dancing teacher from Marlow, Buckinghamshire.
"Breacain an fhéilidh" should be pronounced as "Brek~n ~n eelee" in English (and "Féileadh bhreacain" as "Feel~ vrekin"), always with stress on the first syllable of each word and with the following conventions:
  "~" represents the very short, indeterminate, vowel sound; and
  "ee" is as in "beet".
See Gaelic Dance Names for more information on Gaelic spelling and pronunciation.

Additional search terms: Breacan Feile.

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