Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Celtic Brooch (Elementary)

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

The Celtic Brooch (Elementary)
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. This is described in crib form in Sequence I.
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 Theme (10Ax3)

  1-12     Mn stand in places WHILE Ls dance the 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;

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

17-28     WHILE the Ls stand in partners' places, Mn dance the theme, repeating their partner's movements of bars 1-12 from their partners' places:

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

Sequence II - Following (43A)

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

      1-2   Mn cast clockwise into partner's place;

      3-12 Mn follow 2 bars behind partners, 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, Mn facing anticlockwise.

Sequence III - Travel and Set (22Cx3)

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

      1-2   Mn chase anticlockwise one place on a circular path;

      3-4   Mn set, 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, finishing in their own original places, Mn facing anticlockwise.

Sequence IV - Set and Wheel (24Cx3)

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

      1-2   Mn set, pulling left shoulder back to face in and to the right;

      3-4   Mn dance left hands across to finish 1M in 2M's place, 2M in 3M's place, 3M in 1M's place, facing out;

      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, Mn facing anticlockwise.

Sequence V - It's me again (30A+40A+30A)

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

      1-4   Mn pull left shoulder back to face inwards and advance and retire, finishing by pulling right shoulder back to face anticlockwise;

      5-8   Mn dance clockwise around partner's original place, finishing facing anticlockwise;

      9-12 Mn repeat bars 1-4, 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, Mn facing anticlockwise.

Sequence VI - 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, Ls facing in, Mn out.

(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 I - The Theme (10Ax3)
The theme is strictly the Ls' figure in bars 1-12 (and the Mn's in bars 17-28) but the name is also used for this, simplest, 32-bar sequence in which the "insiders" do not move.

  1-12     The right hands across is only slightly more than halfway and so the Ls touch hands only quite briefly. In other sequences, the "insiders" may be using the centre of the set; if so, the "outsiders" will not then be able to take hands and may have to follow a path farther from the centre.
Although the Mn are standing throughout, each should acknowledge the L arriving in partner's place on bars 4 and 8.

    -4       Ls must finish by pulling right shoulder backwards quite sharply to be facing ready to repeat the figure from the new place.

Sequence II - Following (43A)

    -12     Mn may need to speed up to reach original places.

Sequence IV - Set and Wheel (24Cx3)

  3-4       Mn touch left hands very briefly, only.

Sequence V - It's me again (30A+40A+30A)

  1-4       This is an "insiders" figure which prevents the "outsiders" from touching hands.

Note that the video is of a display consisting of only four sequences, I (code 10Ax3), II (43A), a close alternative of III (actually 21C) and V (30A+40A+30A) followed by a choreographed exit.


Dance Instruction Videos

The Celtic Brooch - YouTube Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

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

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