Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Circassian Circle Video

See Circassian Circle Dance Instruction Page

Circassian Circle - YouTube Scottish Country Dancing Video.
Performance Of Circassian Circle - The Graziani Family, Bologna, 2020.

Video Notes
For a long time I wanted to teach this dance in class, having to wait a lot before I could do it, I took advantage of the lockdown to dance it in first person.

Circassian Circle is a traditional dance present in many 19th century dance manuals. The variations are many but they all look similar. In particular I am fascinated by this version, described by Thomas Hillgrove in his manual published in 1857 in New York. Curiously in the re-edition of the same manual of the following year this dance has been eliminated.

The peculiarity of this manual compared to the others is that it gives an exact description of ten different sequences (ten! Exactly) that he call "figures". So we had fun doing them all, one behind the other.

I made the choice to dance in "Scottish way" with the RSCDS technique for steps and formations: although it is probably not the most historically exact choice, it is certainly the one I prefer stylistically; dancing the Circassian with French music or walking it are both depressing.

Obviously being only two couples in the progression we had to add a curve to face each other again: the original says to continue forward to meet a new couple.

Finally note how the official version of the RSCDS (the Circassian is the third dance that the RSCDS has published, after Petronella and Triumph, therefore the RSCDS itself has attributed it great tradition) has the Poussette as a progression, which is not present in any of these 10 sequences!

(Dance Information From Circassian Circle Video On YouTube.)


See Circassian Circle Dance Instruction Page


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