Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Twisted Wizard Of Binghamton

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

The Twisted Wizard Of Binghamton 40 bar Strathspey for 4 couples Rod Downey The Tuatara Collection
A four couple, 40 bar Strathspey.

1-2 First and third couples cross over to opposite sides, but giving both hands in passing (no polite turns), finishing with the first couple and third couples on opposite sides facing respectively second and fourth couples.
3-4 First man turns second lady three quarters (to finish on her right) and similarly first lady with second man so as to finish in a line of 4 across first place facing down, the order taken from the women's side second woman, first man, second man, first woman. Third and fourth couples turn similarly but finishing facing UP across fourth place, in a line of 4, in order taken from the woman's side : fourth woman, third man, fourth man, third woman. The first 4 bars are quite slow and phrasing should be careful, particularly at the foot of the set.
5-6 All give hands and set.
7-8 All overlink in pairs. That is, first lady and second man, first man and second lady, fourth lady and third man, and third lady and fourth man. That is, link as in set and link, but continue the movement a bit further round so as to finish in two lines of four on the sides. From the top the order will be 2, 1, 4, 3, with second and fourth couples facing down, and first and third facing up. This will flow into...
9-16 Reels of four on the sides finish with 2 facing 1 and 4 facing 3 on the sides.
17-18 All set on the sides, 2's facing 1's and 4's facing 3's. Finish the setting facing across the set.
19-20 Giving hands all set on sides.
21-24 First and fourth couples circle left once round in the middle, pulling back right shoulder on bar 24 to face their "corners" meaning that first man faces second woman, first woman faces second man, fourth woman faces third man and fourth man third woman.
25-28 First man dances out around first ladies place (essentially giving right shoulder to second woman who currently occupies the position) and dances one place around the outside clockwise (thus finishing in fourth lady's original place), and first lady and the fourth couple dance dance likewise.
The second and third couples dance in passing the others right shoulder, and circle left once round in the middle (as in 21-24 for the other couples) pull back the right shoulder and finish facing the place they came from. (Thus, for instance, the second woman will be facing second woman's place).
29-32 Repeat 25-28 with the roles reversed and from the progressed positions. That is, the second and third couples will dance out and clockwise one position, while the first and fourth couples dance in and circle to the left once round pulling back the right shoulder on bar 32 and finish more or less facing the place they came from modified as below. The only change is that on bar 32 the first man and fourth lady finish in middle with nearer hands joined facing down, and first lady and fourth man finish in the middle with nearer hands joined facing up.
33-38 First lady and fourth man dance out of the top between the third lady and second man (who are in first place but both on opposite side), and similarly the first man and fourth lady out the bottom of the set, then cast first couple on the ladies' side and fourth couple on the men's side, give right hand to partner in passing and continue in this direction so that then first man dances around the second man (at the top in first lady's position), first lady down around fourth lady's position (occupied currently by second lady) and similarly the fourth couple on the mens' side, and all begin to dance in across the set, first man and fourth lady above the first couple's place, and the first lady and fourth man at the bottom below that fourth couple's place. First man and fourth lady half turn with two hands and similarly fourth man and first lady half turn with two hands to finish in two lines across. The order across will be (beginning on the woman's side) in first place second man, fourth lady, first man and third lady, and the others in a line in fourth place opposite their partners.
39-40 In two lines across all set giving hands. The dance now begins from the new positions, with the orientation rotated 90 degrees, with the old second couple the new top couple, with the old ladies' side the head of the set, but with the people in "second" and "fourth" places now on opposite sides. (That is the head of the set is rotated 90 degrees clockwise.)

By way of a hint, after each repetition, the previous first couple will again be active from third place.

After 4 times through all will be in original places.

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

Dance Information

This dance, The Twisted Wizard Of Binghamton, was dedicated to Terry Glasspool, "The Wizard of Binghamton", a wonderful deviser or Scottish Country Dances.

Inspired by the overlink idea of Terry Glasspool from his regrettably unpublished "Four on the Floor" collection.

This is a twisted version of The Wizard Of Binghamton, for those who love a challenge. In brief, it is more or less the same except that the first and THIRD couples are crossing on 1 and 2. The net effect of that is that each time the orientation not only changes, but also the side of the dance that people are on changes.

Recommended music is "The Miller O' Hirn" (James Scott Skinner), played ABAAB. Failing that, I would use a suitable recording of the Golden Wedding Strathspey, such as the RSCDS recording of music for Book 33 by Kenny Thomson and the Wardlaw Scottish Dance Band, where the recommended music occurs as the second tune.

See notes for The Wizard Of Binghamton. Devised 10 August 2010 in Wellington. Updated and corrected 17th May, 2014 after corrections supplied by Catherine Livsey from Yorkshire. Catherine also supplied diagrams for this dance, and I am, with her permission, putting them at the end of this dance book (The Tuatara Collection Of Scottish Country Dances).

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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