Cotswold Notes: Cotswold Morris General Instructions: Adapting & Filling-in

Dances have often been adapted to different circumstances including changing the music, missing bits out of long repetitive dances, spicing up uninteresting figures, coping with different numbers of dancers, etc.. It is only in the 20th century Morris revival that dances have been codified to a snapshot of how they done at one point in history, prior to that they were likely to have been varied, intentionally or otherwise, whenever suitable. Improvisation is also needed to fill in missing bits. Here are some of Lagabag Morris’s standard fill-ins & number changes.

Default Introduction to Dance

Unless there is a specific start specified or the dance starts walking [e.g. with a Swagger Round], Lagabag face the direction of first travel during the introductory music and do a last bit of the appropriate Basic [typically slipbacks and FTJ] or just a jump. Hankies go out symmetrically at about hip level, inwards infront of the belly, outwards again and inwards to the chest for the jump. If using sticks, swing them likewise & clash them whilst jumping.

Default End of Dances

Unless otherwise specified, Lagabag do an All Up & Show.

Doing 3 Couple Corner Dances for More than 3 Couples

Lagabag do this by having all dancers other than the end ones doing the 3rd corner’s part of the dance at the same time.

Doing 3 Couple Heys on the Sides with More than 3 Couples

For 4 couples, Lagabag do it as 4 person Heys but still with two loops not the three loops normal for a 4 person Hey. Dap3 follows Dap1 going up whilst Dap5 follows Dap7 going down. For the passing in the middle. Dap7 passes between Dap1 & Dap3 and Dap 5 passes after Dap3 [i.e. it is like a normal Hey with an extra dancer inserted above the bottom one who follows the bottom one]. The other side is symmetric to this.

Alternatively, or for more than four couples, replace the Hey with Casting Out from the Top which is simply the top dancers turning out, travelling down the outside of the set, turning in & travelling along where the dancers stand back to place with everyone else following.

Doing 4 Couple Lichfield Dances with 2 Couples

Most of the figures & choruses work without problem but the Lichfield Hey needs adapting. Lagabag do it by having both couples crossing on the ends at the time when the end couples normally cross on the ends and the middle couples cross on the sides.

[Cotswold Morris General Instructions] [Different Traditions] [Abbreviations]