Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Celtic Brooch (Advanced)

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

The Celtic Brooch (Advanced)
Hugh Foss   The Celtic Brooch
Jig   6x32 bars   3 Couple Repeat   3 Couple Set   Celtic Brooch Set
The Celtic Brooch set is a form of circular set in which the three Ls are at the vertices of a large equilateral triangle facing in, 1L at the top, back to the music; the Ls should be approximately 4m (4½ yards) apart. The Mn are in a smaller, concentric, parallel triangle, facing out toward their partners who are about 1m (just over 1 yard) away.
The essential element of every 32-bar sequence in The Celtic Brooch dances is The Theme, a 12-bar figure danced first by the Ls while their partners dance a complementary figure and repeated by the Mn while the Ls dance the same complementary figure. In crib form, for the Ls' theme:

  1-4   Ls pass partner giving right shoulder and dance right hands across two thirds round to finish 1L in 3L's place, 2L in 1L's place and 3L in 2L's place, Ls pulling right shoulder back to face in;

  5-8   Ls repeat bars 1-4, to finish 1L in 2L's place, 2L in 3L's place and 3L in 1L's place, facing in;

  9-12 Ls repeat bars 1-4, all finishing in original places, facing partners.

The Celtic Brooch provides a more complete explanation of the structure of these dances and defines the codes used to identify each complementary figure.

Sequence I - The Brooch (44Ax3)

  1-12 Ls dance the theme WHILE the Mn dance as follows:

  1-4   Mn chase anticlockwise two places on a circular path;

  5-12 Mn repeat bars 1-4 twice, finishing in original places;

13-16 1s 2s 3s turn by the right 1½ times, finishing in partners' original places;

17-28 Mn dance the theme WHILE the Ls dance as the Mn in bars 1-12, all from their partners' places;

29-32 1s 2s 3s turn by the right 1½ times, finishing in their own original places but with the Mn pulling left shoulder back to face inwards.

Sequence II - Heads and Tails (45B+45C+45B)

  1-12 Ls dance the theme WHILE the Mn dance as follows:

  1-4   Mn advance, giving right shoulders and dance dos-à-dos for three back to places, finishing by pulling right shoulders back to face outwards;

  5-8   Giving left shoulders, Mn dance reverse dos-à-dos for three back to places, finishing by pulling right shoulders back to face inwards;

  9-12 Mn repeat bars 1-4, finishing by pulling right shoulder back to face anticlockwise in original places;

13-16 1s 2s 3s turn by the right 1½ times, finishing in partners' original places;

17-28 Mn dance the theme WHILE the Ls dance as the Mn in bars 1-12, all from their partners' places;

29-32 1s 2s 3s turn by the right 1½ times, finishing in their own original places facing anticlockwise.

Sequence III - Loops (41Ax3)

  1-12 Ls dance the theme WHILE the Mn dance as follows:

  1-4   Briefly retaining right hands with partners, Mn cross behind them and dance to the next place clockwise, finishing by pulling right shoulder back and taking right hands with the L approaching that place;

  5-12 Mn repeat bars 1-4 twice (starting with a L who isn't his partner), finishing in original places, facing anticlockwise, and taking right hands with partner;

13-16 1s 2s 3s turn by the right 1½ times, finishing in partners' original places;

17-28 Mn dance the theme WHILE the Ls dance as the Mn in bars 1-12, all from their partners' places;

29-32 1s 2s 3s turn by the right 1½ times, finishing in their own original places.

Sequence IV - Twist and Set (22D)

  1-12 Ls dance the theme WHILE the Mn dance as follows:

  1-2   Mn dance petronella turn to travel half a place anticlockwise, finishing facing inwards;

  3-4   Mn take hands and set;

  5-6   Mn repeat bars 1-2;

  7-8   Mn take hands and set;

  9-10 Mn repeat bars 1-2;

11-12 Mn advance, passing left shoulders, to finish in original places, facing anticlockwise;

13-16 1s 2s 3s turn by the right 1½ times, finishing in partners' original places;

17-28 Mn dance the theme WHILE the Ls dance as the Mn in bars 1-12, all from their partners' places;

29-32 1s 2s 3s turn by the right 1½ times, finishing in their own original places.

Sequence V - The Wild Tulip (44Dx3)

  1-12 Ls dance the theme WHILE the Mn dance as follows:

  1-1   Mn dance out to finish on the Ls' circle, halfway to the next place anticlockwise and pull left shoulder back;

  2-4   Mn dance across the set, giving left shoulders, to finish in M's place on the opposite side, two places anticlockwise from his starting point, facing anticlockwise;

  5-12 Mn repeat bars 1-4 twice, finishing in original places;

13-16 1s 2s 3s turn by the right 1½ times, finishing in partners' original places;

17-28 Mn dance the theme WHILE the Ls dance as the Mn in bars 1-12, all from their partners' places;

29-32 1s 2s 3s turn by the right 1½ times, Mn pulling left shoulder back to finish in their own original places, facing inwards.

Sequence VI - Left Swing (48A)

  1-12 Ls dance the theme WHILE the Mn dance as follows:

  1-1   Mn dance into the centre, giving left shoulders, and, with left hand palm downwards, grip the left forearm of the next M anticlockwise;

  2-10 Mn dance left hands (arms) across three or more times;

11-12 Mn release hands and dance across to finish in original places;

13-16 1s 2s 3s turn by the right 1½ times, finishing in partners' original places;

17-28 Mn dance the theme WHILE the Ls dance as the Mn in bars 1-12, all from their partners' places;

29-32 1s 2s 3s turn by the right 1½ times, finishing in their own original places, facing partners.

(MAXICRIB, Scottish country dancing instructions compiled by Reuben Freemantle)

Dance Notes

Each L performs the same figures in unison (as also does each M) and there is no progression; at the end of every 32-bar sequence, all are back in their starting places.

Making up the Celtic Brooch set is not intuitive. For those familiar with the recommendation for making up the more familiar triangular set, the following procedure may be helpful:
all take hands in a neat circle with 1s at the top, 1.2m (4ft) between dancers (this is much more widely spaced than in the triangular set, full stretch for small dancers and almost so for average or larger dancers);
these circular sets must be at least 3 yards (2.7m) apart;
move round one twelfth of the circle anticlockwise so that 1M has his back to the music (the line between him and 3L will be the centre line of the set and so 3L should control the rotation so that she looks over his head towards the music on a line parallel to what would be a sideline in a lengthwise set);
each M, turning on the spot, should now turn his partner by the right, still at (almost) full stretch, one third round so that they finish 1s on the centre line, 2L 3L in a line across the set, i.e., at right angles to the centre line and equidistant from it, all facing partners;
finally, each M should move 20cm (8in) forward so that he and his partner are now only 1m (1.1 yards) apart.

Sequence II - Heads and Tails (45B+45C+45B)

  1-12 These are "insiders" figures which prevent the "outsiders" from touching hands.

  1-1   Mn briefly take nearer hands with partner.

  4-5   Mn, dancing backwards, take right hands with the L approaching partner's place, pull right shoulder back to dance inwards and retain hold briefly after she passes through.

  8-9   Mn, dancing forwards, take nearer hands with the L approaching partner's place, pull left shoulder back to dance inwards and retain hold briefly after she passes through.

12-12 Mn, dancing backwards, take right hands with partner approaching her own place and retain hold.

Sequence IV - Twist and Set (22D)

  1-12 This is an "insiders" figure which prevents the "outsiders" from touching hands.

Sequence VI - Left Swing (48A)

  1-12 This is an "insiders" figure which prevents the "outsiders" from touching hands.

  2-10 Mn may prefer to use a version of slip step to the right (as in a birl turn).

Note that the video is of a display consisting of only four sequences, codes 10Ax3, 43A, 21C and 30A+40A+30A followed by a choreographed exit. No complementary figure from this dance appears in the video. However, it does demonstrate well the structure of these sequences and especially the theme.


Dance Instruction Videos

The Celtic Brooch - YouTube Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

Also see the dance The Celtic Brooch (Elementary)
Also see the dance The Celtic Brooch (Intermediate)

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