Esperance Morris Book vol 2 - online book

A Manual Of Morris Dances Folk-songs And Singing Games With Sheet Music And Instructions

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In the following dances, " Rodney," " Draw Back," "Double Set Back," " Blue-eyed Stranger," " How d'ye do, sir? ", " Laudnum Bunches," and " Trunkles," the dancers stand in the same position as in the dances of the first Esperance Book, that is, facing the audience, as shown by the arrows in the following diagram :—
When these movements occur they are always to be danced in this way (except in Bean-setting, see below), but the dancer can, if he prefers, substitute for the step in the last two bars (which we will in future call the "Back Step"), the following step : After alighting on both feet (right being behind), jump and place both feet apart, then swing left behind, alight on both feet, jump and place both feet apart, swing right behind again, and alight on both feet, jump and place both feet apart, then feet together, as Fig. II.
and are to be danced in the manner prescribed by the rules in " Esperance Book, I," p. 7 (any variation of the Shake up will be noted in the description of the dances) ; and during these movements the steps are as follows :—
In all the steps described above the dancer must try to dance on the ball of the foot towards the toe. The effect should not be of stamping or scraping, but one should make a clean clear tap on the ground. The less noise made the better; it is the bells that we should hear, not the stamp of the foot. The unemployed leg should, in general, be straight, but not stiffened. The effect should be one of naturalness and ease.
At the beginning of a step the foot which is about to be used is thrust forward, and is brought back into position on the ground in order to make the first step or spring. At the moment the foot touches the ground the other foot is thrust forward. In making the hop, the unem­ployed foot should not be raised too high from the ground ; but the hop itself should be a high one, as this act of restraining the unemployed leg should give the effect of a shake to that leg, which makes the bells " speak."
In Bean-setting the positions are the same, but the step is different ; it is spring on right foot, hop on right foot, spring on left, hop on left, and so on, as in Fig. III.
This step is danced during Circle, Hands across, and Back to back. During Dibbing there is no step.
There is another step called "Capers," which comes into the corner dances and jigs. In this step the dancer simply has to spring as high as possible from one foot to the other, keeping the knees fairly straight, just enough to enable him to give good springs. As in the above steps, the first foot is thrust forward as the second foot strikes the ground. Capers is, in fact, practically an enlarged version of the first three steps in R L R hR of Fig. I, and carried through to its fullest extent.
The Side-step will be found described in " Blue-eyed Stranger," where it is first employed.
At the beginning of each dance the musician plays the first section through once; this is called " Once to yourself." In the following instructions are given the bars of music which correspond to each figure of the dance.
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