Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Malcolm Brown

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

Malcolm Brown 40 bar Strathspey for 4 couples Rod Downey The Tuatara Collection
A four couple, 40 bar Strathspey.

1-8 First and second couples, third and fourth couples dance four hands across and back, finishing on the diagonal holding partners with two hands, in order from the top, first man, first lady, second man second lady. (Thus the first lady and second man are back to back.) Similarly third and fourth couples.
9-12 Dance from this position a modified half poussette. That is dance as if you were doing a half poussette, but add an additional half a turn at the end to open out (second man releasing right hand and first man left hand) to finish on the sidelines, second couple on women's side and first on men's with the men at the top. (This resembles the opening out of a tourbillon.Strictly speaking the first couple does not really have an extra turn, rather they "open out" on bar 12.) Similarly third and fourth couples.
13-16 Both couples set and overlink, meaning that the linking travels a bit further to finish in a line of four across the dance in order (from the men's side), 1M, 1W, 2M, 2W, so that the first woman and second man are back to back. Similarly third and fourth couples.
17-24 Reels of four across. Finish the reel in a line of four across the dance, as it was begun, in order (from the men's side), 1M, 1W, 2M, 2W, so that the first woman and second man are back to back. Similarly third and fourth couples.
25-32 The four dancers dance the isobirl. To wit:
 25-26 1M and 1W, 2M and 2W set advancing to change places, 1M and 2W finish facing. Similarly third and fourth couples.
 27-28 1M and 2W turn with two hands ¾ and then birl on the spot at then end to finish with 2W facing up and 1M facing down. They will be in a line of four up and down the dance facing in order from the top, 1W, 2W, 1M and 2M as the 1W and 2M have cast to the clockwise ¼ round the outside. Similarly third and fourth couples.
 29-32 Repeat 25-28 with the roles exchanged so that you finish in original places.
33-36 2W followed by her partner, and 1M followed by his partner dance a clockwise chase around to progressed positions, second couple at the top, and first at bottom on own sides. Similarly third and fourth couples.
37-38 All take hands and set on sidelines.
39-40 First and fourth couples link. Finishing order 2,4,1,3.

Repeat from new positions.

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


Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams


Dance Information

This dance, Malcolm Brown, was devised 25/6/2011.

The isobirl formation is due to Terry Glasspool. I learned of this formation from my correspondences with Malcolm Brown.

Bars 9-12 are taken from a dance of Harry Ways, and I thought that it is sympathetic to the isobirl movement. This version has a correction on bar 12 found by Roberta Gotfried and her group.

The dance, Unjust Incarceration, offers a variation for two couples.

Recommended music is "Sundrum Castle" by Muriel A Johnstone the lead tune for the "Golden Wedding Strathspey", and suitable recordings are "Book 33. Music for Eight Scottish Country Dances" by Kenny Thomson and the Wardlaw Scottish Dance Band, track 4 or "Scottish Dance Favourites Volume 3" also by Kenny Thomson and the Wardlaw Scottish Dance Band, track 2.



Published in The Tuatara Collection.
Dance information from The Tuatara Collection Of Scottish Country Dances, reproduced here with the kind permission of the deviser, Rod Downey.

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