Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Perpetuum Mobile

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

PERPETUUM MOBILE (J4x40) 4C set Ferenc Szemerédi Budapest SCDs

1- 8 1s+2s also 3s+4s dance RH across, 2s and 3s cross LH while 1s+4s chase clockwise ½ way
9-16 4s+2s dance "Mirror Ladies' Chain" (Men cross RH, Ladies turn Men LH on side) while 3s+1s dance (normal) Men's Chain ending with 4L+2M and 3L+1M turning RH 1½ times
17-24 All dance RSh reels of 4 on the sides and end with 4s and 1s facing out
25-28 All Balance-in-Line, all ¾ turn RH person on right into lines of 4 across with 4s and 1s in middle facing up/down
29-32 All Balance-in-Line and all ¾ turn RH person on right onto sides
33-36 2s+4s chase clockwise ¾ round square to end on opposite sides with 1s+3s dancing likewise
37-40 2s+4s also 1s+3s cross (Ladies pass between Men) and Ladies change places RH to end 2413

(MINICRIB. Dance crib compiled by Charles Upton, Deeside Caledonian Society, and his successors)

Perpetuum Mobile 40 bar Jig for four couples by Ferenc Szemerédi

1-4 1C and 2C and at the same time 3C and 4C RH across
5-8 2C and 3C LH across in the middle, meanwhile 1C and 4C half chase
9-16 4C and 2C dance a mirror ladies' chain (similar to the men's chain where ladies are dancing the men's part and men are dancing the ladies' part), meanwhile 3C and 1C dance a men's chain; at the end of the chains 2M and 4L and 1M and 3L turn 1½ RH
17-24 Reels of four on sides; to finish the reels 4C and 1C stay facing out
25-26 Balance in lines on sides
27-28 Turn RH ¾ for all (i.e. for those who were joining RH); at the end of bar 28 they are: 2C and 4C in a line across the set joining hands (4C in the middle) and 1C and 3C in a line across the set (1C in the middle) joining hands all four men facing up, all four ladies facing down ready for:
29-30 Balance in lines across the set
31-32 Turn RH ¾ for all (i.e. for those who were joining RH); all finish on the sidelines
33-36 2C and 4C and at the same time 1C and 3C ¾ chase (now everybody is on the opposite side)
37-38 All set (joining hands)
39-40 2C and 4C and at the same time 1C and 3C dance the first 2 bars of the Espagnole (4M and 2M and 3L and 1L cross up or down one place between their partners who are crossing to the other side of the set). Finish in order 2, 4, 1, 3.

Repeat the dance three more times from the new positions.

(Dance crib compiled by the deviser, Ferenc Szemerédi, 2002)

Dance Information

Also see the dance The Eternal Flame (Perpetuum Mobile) by John Drewry.

This jig, Perpetuum Mobile, was devised by Ferenc Szemerédi in 2002 for his friend's (Zoltán Gräff) birthday. He composed it as a 40 bar jig because it was Zoltán's 40th birthday.

It bears the title Perpetuum Mobile to describe the eternal vitality and energy of his friend in his life. Thus to be faithful to the title, in this dance the dancers are constantly moving without a halt for a second.

Tune: Any 4x40 bar Jig.

(Dance information from A Reel Goulash 1, Budapest Book of Scottish Country Dances (2011), reproduced here with kind permission)

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