RondelThe Figure, Rondel, is used in Scottish Country Dancing as a Progression to interchange adjacent Couples in a Longwise set, using the Travelling step appropriate to the Tempo throughout; although originally specified for Strathspeys, only, it does appear in some Quick tempo dances.
Rondel can be performed by two adjacent Couples from their Original Places, i.e., in the Sidelines, but it more usually follows a Figure, such as Lead down and up (as in The Silver Tassie), which readily leaves the Couples nearer the Centre line and Facing each other Up and down. When performed by 1st and 2nd Couples, from these Positions, i.e., Starting as shown in the first diagram, it consists of:
Taking right hands, 1st Couple Cross down to half a Place below 2nd Place under an Arch made by 2nd Couple Taking Nearer hands and Crossing up to half a Place above 1st Place (Ladies taking Precedence), all Finishing on Opposite Sides Facing Out, as shown in the following diagram;
Rondel - Bars 1-2
2nd Couple Cast to 1st Place While 1st Couple Cast up to 2nd Place, both Couples Finishing on Opposite Sides Facing In, as shown in the following diagram;
Rondel - Bar 3
Taking left hands, 2nd and 1st Ladies Dance Across under an Arch made by 2nd and 1st Men Dancing Across, both the Ladies and the Men Crossing on the sides (1st Man and 1st Lady taking Precedence) to Finish all in their Original Places, 1st Couple Facing Up, 2nd Couple Facing Down as shown in the following diagram;
Rondel - Bars 4-5
1st Man and 1st Lady Dance Up, In and Down While 2nd Man and 2nd Lady Dance Down, In and Up, both Couples meeeting their Partners and Taking Nearer hands on the line joining their Original Places, 1st Couple Facing Down, 2nd Couple Facing Up as shown in the following diagram;
Rondel - Bar 6
1st Couple Lead down to 2nd Place under Arches made by 2nd Couple Dancing up to 1st Place as shown in the following diagram.
Rondel - Bars 7-8
Those Crossing after making the Arches (2nd Couple in bars 1-2 and the Men in bars 4-5) must obviously Take Nearer hands; 1st Couple may find it more comfortable to Take right hands when Crossing under the Arch in bars 1-2, and, similarly, left hands for the Ladies in bars 4-5 thus making it more natural for 1st Lady (in both cases) to be given Precedence.
Note that the Phrasing and the terms used in this description are different from those in the RSCDS's The Manual of Scottish Country Dancing though a dancer would interpret both in the same way. This description is more consistent with the diagrams.
A non-Progressive version of the Rondel occurs in A Bend in the River. This differs from the Progressive form in bars 4-5 where the Couples do not Cross (paths) in the Arch but instead Cross The set using a conventional Arch with Nearer hands joined; thereafter, they perform the same movements as in the Progressive version, albeit from the other Couple's Place, Finishing where they Started the Figure.
Here are examples of those Scottish Country Dances for which we have instructions on this site and in which the term, Rondel, 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:
Dance Video Clip Which Demonstrates RondelRondel Video Clip
Links To Pages Related To 'Rondel'Complex Figures
Flirt And Cast
Kilt Pin Reel
Pass And Turn
Peter White Reel
Sash Pin Reel
Set And Link
Set And Rotate
Theme (Of The Celtic Brooch)
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