2 Couple Repeat In 4 Couple SetThe Full set of the 2 couple repeat in 4 couple, Longwise set format has four Couples and each Repeat of the dance requires an Active set of only 2 Couples.
In the diagrams, the numbered Places of the Dancers in the Full set, i.e., the Places in which they Started the dance, are shown in Times New Roman font in the upper left part of the Dancer's symbol; their numbered Places in the Active set, i.e., the Places in which they Started the current Repeat, are shown in Helvetica font in the lower right part.
On the first Repeat, the 1st and 2nd couples dance while the 3rd and 4th couples Stand in Place. At the end of the first Repeat, the Progression leaves the 1st couple in 2nd place. They Repeat the dance (see the following diagram) with the 3rd couple while the 2nd couple, now at the Top, and the 4th couple, at the Bottom, Stand in Place.
2-couple Repeat in 4-couple Set - 2nd Repeat
On the third Repeat (see the following diagram), the 1st couple (now in 3rd place of the Full set) and the 4th couple dance at the Bottom While the 2nd and 3rd couples dance at the Top.
2-couple Repeat In 4-couple Set - 3rd Repeat
On the fourth Repeat, the 2nd couple (in 2nd place) dance with the 4th couple (in 3rd place) While the 3rd couple (at the Top) and the 1st couple (at the Bottom) Stand in Place. The dance continues with each Couple becoming the 1st couple of the Active set and dancing three Repeats, in turn, apart from the 4th couple who dance only twice through and Finish in 3rd place.
It is a common error for a Couple Starting from 1st place to treat this as the same as the 3 couple repeat in 4 couple set format and so to Drop to the Bottom of The set after only two Repeats, much to the consternation of the Couple in 4th place who are denied yet another Repeat of the dance. In this format, every Couple Starting from 1st place of the Full set must continue until the Progression brings them to the Bottom.
As in the 3 couple repeat in 4 couple set format, the Beginner needs to be careful to remember which Couples are dancing the current Repeat and which, if any, are Standing. S/he should not attempt to join in the dancing when s/he is supposed to be Standing still (in either 4th or 1st place of the Full set of the odd-numbered Repeats and, conventionally, also in 3rd place of the first Repeat) awaiting the next Repeat when s/he will be involved. While dancing a Repeat, it is most important not to attempt to include either a Couple who are Standing awaiting their turn in the next Repeat or a Couple who are performing in the other half of the Full set.
It may be helpful to remember the order in which the Original Couples of the Full set find themselves at the Start of each of the eight Repeats of the complete dance. The Standing Couples are shown in italic; the Active set for each Repeat has the 1st couple shown in bold face and the Supporting couple (the 2nd couple of the Active set) in roman face:
2s 1s3s 4s
3s 2s4s 1s
4s 3s1s 2s
1s 4s2s 3s
Note that there are two Active Sets in the third, fifth and seventh Repeats.
Unlike the 3 couple repeat in 4 couple set format, the dance does not treat all Couples equally; the 3rd and 4th couples of the Full set perform in only five Repeats instead of the six for the Original 1st and 2nd couples.
Another way of viewing this Progression is the sequence in which each Dancer performs each Place of the 8 Repeats. For the Original 1st couple this is:
111 4 222 0
where 4 means Standing in 4th place and 0 means Standing at the Top, in each case while the other two Couples are dancing. The Original 2nd couple follow the same sequence Starting two Repeats from the end of the list, i.e.,
2 0 111 4 22.
For the other two Couples, the sequence is slightly different since the dance Starts with both the Original 3rd and 4th couples Standing; for the Original 3rd couple, it is:
3 22 0 111 4
where 3 means Standing in 3rd place;
for the 4th couple it is:
44 222 0 11.
Again, as in the 3 couple repeat in 4 couple set format, there is some benefit for the Beginner and for the Dancer unfamiliar with the particular dance. By Starting in 3rd place of the Full set, s/he can Stand and watch the 2nd lady/man perform the 2nd lady/man's part in the first Repeat before having to perform that same sequence of Figures in the next two Repeats. Next, s/he Stands at the Top and can watch the same Dancer perform the 1st lady/man's part before having to perform that same sequence of Figures as 1st lady/man her/himself in the next three Repeats. Starting in 4th place of the Full set is even more beneficial; s/he can Stand and watch the 2nd lady/man's part performed twice before having to perform that sequence of Figures in the next three Repeats and, after Standing and watching at the Top, need only perform as one of the 1st couple for two Repeats.
For the purpose of learning the dance sequence, the teacher usually instructs the 3rd and 4th couples of the Full set to walk the same Figures as the 1st and 2nd couples, respectively. Note that, if the complete dance is actually performed with the Original 3rd and 4th couples Starting at the beginning of the 8 Repeats (as 1st and 2nd couples, respectively, of the second Active set), each Couple does perform six Repeats and the Dancers do Finish back where they Started.
If there are insufficient Couples to make up a Full set, the format can be performed with three Couples, each Top couple reaching 3rd place after dancing two Repeats only. Some devisers actually describe their dances as having a 2 Couple Repeat in a 3 Couple, Longwise set format and specify six Repeats rather than eight; these are not separately distinguished from 2 couple repeat in 4 couple, Longwise set dances here.
The format can also be performed with five Couples, preferably with the 3rd and 4th couples of the Full set Starting at the beginning of the dance; then the 1st couple reaches 5th place after dancing four Repeats as 1st couple of the Active set and so on. In extremis, the format can be performed with only two Couples, each alternately dancing as 1st couple of the Active set, though completing all eight Repeats would be somewhat arduous.
Here are examples of those Scottish Country Dances for which we have instructions on this site and in which the term, 2 couple repeat in a 4 couple set, either appears explicitly or is implied; note that for a common term these will be a small selection; for a rare term, these may be all that exist:
Anna Holden's Strathspey
Burn Of Sorrow
Deuks Dang Ower My Daddie
Duke Of Atholl's Reel
Rose Of Kilravock
Wee Cooper O' Fife
Links To Pages Related To 'Longwise Sets'Types Of Sets
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