This set is from an area which includes parts of counties Donegal, Fermanagh and Tyrone. It is thought to originate from Donegal as there are resemblances to a set danced on Tory Island. The Donegal influence was probably due to migrant farm workers who came to Fermanagh and Tyrone after obtaining employment at hiring fairs, the largest of which was in Strabane. In the late 1980s and 1990s older people of the area danced “The Sets”, as they referred to this set, in the Blacktown Arms, a Tyrone pub between the market town of Castlederg and the Fermanagh village of Ederney, and just two miles from the Donegal border. It was here that the set acquired its name.
Danny Gorrnley was instrumental in the revival of the set. He conducted his research with the help of Barney Byrne of Lettercran, Co Donegal, close to ninety and in possession of good health and a good memory. After several practice runs and some dispute about the figures, they agreed on this version of the set. Danny hosted an event in June 2010, organised by his sister Anne McMenamin, where a team of local dancers presented the Blacktown Set to Pat Murphy.
In the final figure couples “jazz” around the set freely. For the demo they danced this by moving forward to the next place and then turning into place, repeating this around the set.
Notes by Pat Murphy from October/November 2011 issue of Set Dancing News. Reproduced with permission.
168 Bars + 8 bar lead-in
Modified on 2013-01-12 09:34:30.
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