Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Labyrinth

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

The Labyrinth 32 bar Reel for 5 Couples Rod Downey The Johnsonville Collection
A 32 bar reel/hornpipe suitable for demonstration in a 5 couple set.

1-2 1C, 3C, 5C dance petronella turn into a line up and down the set, so that 1M and 3W, 3M and 5W are back to back (between, respectively, 2C and 4C).
Meanwhile, 2C and 4C set.
3-4 1W, 5M set on the spot, while the couples back to back changing places using pas de Basque (as in bars 3 and 4 of double triangles up and down).
Thus at the end of bar 4, 3W will be facing UP, and 1M facing down, etc.
Meanwhile 2C and 4C dance a petronella into the line formed by the others so that 2M and 4W are back to back
5-6 Using petronella turns, 1W dances into 1M's place, 5M into 5W's place, and the turners similarly dance petronella turns: to wit 1M into 3M place, 3W into 1W place, 5W into 3W place, 3M into 5M place.
Meanwhile, 2W and 4M set while 2M and 4W change places using pas de basque as in double triangles.
7-8 1C, 3C, 5C set in their current places, while the others petronella to the sidelines, 2W to 2M place, 4W to 2W place, 2M to 4M place, and 4M to 4W place.
9-16 Repeat 1-8 from the new positions (that is 1C, 3C, 5C petronella into the line from the new positions, now with 3W at the top and 3M at the bottom, etc, and 2C and 4C set.)
At the end of this, 4C and 2C will have changed places and be on opposite sides.
17-24 While 2C and 4C do nothing, 1C,3C and 5C repeat 1-8 from new positions. At the end of this 5M and 3M should finish the petronella facing out and down, with 5W and 3W facing in and down; all couples will be opposite their partners in order 5,4,3,2,1 from the top.
25-28 5,4,3,2 C dance a right shoulder half reel of 4 on the sides.
29-30 All take hands on the side and set.
31-32 All cross giving right hands.
Finishing order 2,3,4,5,1.

Repeat 4 more times.

(Dance crib compiled by the deviser Rod Downey, Johnsonville SCD Club Tutor)

Dance Notes

The three couple movement and the two couple one are "petronella chases" anticlockwise around the set.

For example, 1W follows 1M around the set in a circular fashion. modulo the petronella "wiggles".

The back to back couples clearly need to be close and the place exchanges tight, to enable places for the other couples to be at the same time. Thus I would suggest a long set.

Clearly, positional accuracy is needed for completion without collisions. To do this 5 times does need a level of fitness.

If done as a demonstration dance, I would do it twice.

(Dance notes by the deviser, Rod Downey)

Dance Information

This reel, The Labyrinth, was devised on 28/9/2016.

The "petronella chase" movement with the "interlocking petronella diamonds" movements in the above, were inspired by a dance of Ian Simmonds called The Harbour City from the Harbour City Collection.

Suitable music would be Crackens (Graeme Mitchell) and a suitable recording is "We've Nae Electric" track 10 of "A' the best fae Banffshire" by Colin Dewar and his Scottish Dance Band.

Failing that a good 5 x 32 Hornpipe or Measure would be suitable.

(Dance information from The Johnsonville Collection Of Scottish Country Dances, reproduced here with the kind permission of the deviser, Rod Downey)

Published in The Johnsonville Collection, reproduced here with the kind permission of the deviser, Rod Downey.

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