THE CALEDONIAN SET

Study Notes Copyright William Lynch 2007

First Figure - House Across (Reels) 128 bars
1 Circle: all join hands in a circle and advance and retire twice. 8 bars
2 Dance at home, with waltz hold. 8 bars
3 Top couples:
Advance, retire, (4 bars) and house across to the opposite place (4 bars), keeping waltz hold.
8 bars
Advance, retire, and house back home. 8 bars
Dance at home. 8 bars
Advance, retire, and house across. 8 bars
Advance, retire, and house back home. 8 bars
4 All advance, retire, and dance at home, waltz hold. 8 bars
5 Side couples now dance 3. 40 bars
6 All advance, retire, and dance at home. 8 bars
7 House around. 8 bars
Second Figure -House Around (Reels) 96 bars
1 Circle.
Dance at home.
16 bars
2 Top couples:
House around each other.
8 bars
Dance at home. 8 bars
House around each other. 8 bars
3 All advance, retire, and dance at home. 8 bars
4 Side couples now dance 2. 24 bars
5 All advance, retire, and dance at home. 8 bars
6 House around. 8 bars
Third Figure - Home and Across (Reels) 192 bars
1 Circle.
Dance at home.
16 bars
2 Top couples:
Advance, retire, and dance at home.
8 bars
Advance, retire, and house across. 8 bars
Advance, retire, and dance in place. 8 bars
Advance, retire, and house back home. 8 bars
Dance at home. 8 bars
Advance, retire, and dance at home. 8 bars
Advance, retire, and house across. 8 bars
Advance, retire, and dance in place. 8 bars
Advance, retire, and house back home. 8 bars
3 All advance, retire, and dance at home. 8 bars
4 Side couples now dance 2. 72 bars
5 All advance, retire, and dance at home. 8 bars
6 House around. 8 bars
Fourth Figure - House Opposites (Jigs) 224 bars
1 Circle.
Dance at home.
16 bars
2 Top couples:
House around each other.
8 bars
Advance and retire with waltz hold and gents turn across to their opposite ladies, turning clockwise twice while the ladies turn once in place. 8 bars
House around each other, new couples. 8 bars
Advance, retire, and gents turn back. 8 bars
House around each other. 8 bars
Dance at home. 8 bars
House around each other. 8 bars
Advance, retire, and gents turn across. 8 bars
House around each other, new couples. 8 bars
Advance, retire, and gents turn back. 8 bars
House around each other. 8 bars
3 All advance, retire, and dance at home. 8 bars
4 Side couples now dance 2. 88 bars
5 All advance, retire, and dance at home. 8 bars
6 House around. 8 bars
Fifth Figure - House all the Ladies (Reels) 192 bars
1 Circle.
Dance at home.
16 bars
2 Top gents:
House around each other with their own partners.
8 bars
Advance and retire, both couples (4 bars), and the gents leave their partners and house around each other to the next lady on the L while all the ladies turn in place (4 bars). 8 bars
House around each other, new couples. 8 bars
Advance, retire, and gents house around each other to the next lady on the L as all the ladies turn in place. 8 bars
House around each other. 8 bars
Advance, retire, and gents house around each other to the next lady on the L as all the ladies turn in place. 8 bars
House around each other. 8 bars
Advance, retire, and gents house back to their own partners as all the ladies turn in place. 8 bars
House around each other with their own partners. 8 bars
3 All advance, retire, and dance at home. 8 bars
4 Side gents now lead 2. 72 bars
5 All advance, retire, and dance at home. 8 bars
6 House around. 8 bars
Sixth Figure - The Hornpipe 160 bars
1 Quarterhouse: taking waltz hold, couples dance 1 step into the set and 1 step back to place then turn 2 steps on to the next place on their R (4 bars). They repeat this movement into each place and back home. 16 bars
2 House around. 8 bars
3 Changeover: All advance and retire, facing centre with waist hold (4 bars). Gents dance in, turning clockwise turn, dance out and turn anti-clockwise, while the ladies dance on to next gent on R, turn in to face him and take waltz hold (4 bars). 8 bars
4 Quarterhouse.
House around.
24 bars
5 Changeover.
Quarterhouse.
House around.
32 bars
6 Changeover.
Quarterhouse.
House around.
32 bars
7 Changeover, back to own partners.
Quarterhouse.
House around.
32 bars
STEPS
The Clare style reel step is used for all reel figures and the 'down' jig step for the Fourth Figure.
SOURCE
SOURCE: Dancers brought together in the Dolphin Bar, Kilkee, Co.Clare by Frances McGuane in April, 1991, principally for the purpose of showing me the Caledonian 'Round the House' version - but they couldn't end without dancing their own local set! The Caledonian is the dominant set in West Clare and there are slight variations in some of the figures in different areas.
At a workshop in Cecil Sharp House in November, 1994, Pat Moroney, of Ennis, taught this dance exactly as described above, but added that, purely as an option, many dancers were now doubling the last 2 bars of the 'house' in reels, the jig and the hornpipe. Much to the surprise of those present who had danced with Pat on previous occasions and knew how strongly he respected tradition, he gave his blessing to this development. He explained that, in his view, the doubled step was simply a way of adding ornamentation to a particular movement without in any way altering its structure and was acceptable, where a distinct change to a movement would not be acceptable. So double away those who will!
Similarly, it is often the case now that, when dancing the Fifth Figure, all dancers will advance and retire rather than just the dancing couples, and both ladies and the non-dancing gents will turn in place as the dancing gents change partners. Again the figure is unchanged but is given added ornamentation.
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