Cavan Reel Set - Current Variation

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Category: Irish, Set

The Cavan Reel Set appears to have at least three different forms:
(1) as danced by the Kells Set Dancers in Toss the Feathers, 
(2) as shown in the “Old Style Cavan reel set” video from the 1970’s, and
(3) as danced for competition, which is a shortened version of #2.  Mainly the ceili hold swings in #1 have been replaced by waltz hold in #2 and 3, plus the Dance Around or Do-Si-Do movement in the second figure are quite different.

To reduce confusion, version #2 is described here.

Style notes:  Swing and house in waltz hold.  “Step it out” on the last 2 bars of swings, houses, etc.  Dance with battering footwork throughout (if you can).  First sides are on the first top couple’s left.

Notes for the footwork used in this dance is available on Cavan Reel Set

Videos:(select to open)

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Figure 1: Arches, Ladies' Chain, Three-and-One

Reel, 224 Bars + 8 bar lead-in

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Toggle VideoToggle Crib Toggle Bars
1Everyone
Advance & retire All couples take crossed hands in front. Top couples advance and retire (4b) then side couples advance and retire (4b).  Repeat, tops and sides.
16
2Swing All couples swing for 6 bars in waltz hold.  Release partners and dance on the spot for 2 bars.8
3Top Couples
Arches Both couples advance and retire, right hand in right, then cross over with first couple making an arch and second couple passing under the arch. Second lady turns counter-clockwise twice as she crosses in front of him to opposite position, one turn under the arch and the second turn under her partner's arm and into place. First couple cross right shoulder to right into opposite positions with the lady turning counter-clockwise once under her partner's arm.

Repeat to home with second couple making the arch.
16
4Swing8
5Side Couples
Dance 3 and 4
24
6Top Couples
Ladies' chain Both ladies dance diagonally across the set, briefly taking right hands, and give left hands to opposite gents.  Gents raise left arms to turn ladies clockwise as the ladies dance around them.  Gents dance in place, moving their left arm behind their back instead of turning.  Ladies pass by right shoulders without taking hands and face their partner in home position.
8
7House Couples house around each other (6b), making a triangle.  Step it out in home position (2b).8
8Side Couples
Dance 6 and 7
16
9Top Couples
Three and one Couples advance and retire once, the gent's right arm over the lady's shoulder, holding right hand in right (4b).  Advance again, and leading gent takes second lady's left hand on bar 6 as she turns in beside him while the line of three retires. Second gent also retires. Leading gent now has an arm over each lady's shoulder (4b).

Three and one advance again, second gent taking the ladies from the first gent on bar 2.  Ladies dance forward in bar 3, turn on bar 4 so the second gent has his arms over their shoulders (4b).

Three and one advance on 5, turn the ladies on 6 to unwind the three.  Gents take hands, raise them up and over to rest behind the ladies' backs on 7.  Ladies place their arms on the gents' shoulders in bar 8 to form the basket.
16
10Basket / Swing in Four The four dancers swing for 6 bars in basket formation, clockwise.  Couples retire in waist hold on final 2 bars.8
11Side Couples
Dance 9 and 10: First side couple leads, forming the line of three first.
24
12Top Couples
Dance 9 and 10: Second top couple leads.
24
13Side Couples
Dance 9 and 10: Second side couple leads
24
14Everyone
Advance & retire Repeat movement 1.
16
15Swing Repeat movement 28

Figure 2: Train, Do-Si-Do, Pass Thru

Reel, 168 Bars + 8 bar lead-in

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Toggle VideoToggle Crib Toggle Bars
1Everyone
Circle Couples hold hands low and advance, taking hands with neighbors on bar 2.  All raise hands to retire (2b), advance again, and release hands when retiring again.
8
2Swing All couples swing for 6, step it out on 7 and 8.8
3Top Couples
Train Gents hold their lady's right hand over her right shoulder to advance and retire.  Couples advance again, ladies leading their gents to pass the other couple and dance into opposite places.  (8b)

Repeat to home. 
16
4Swing8
5Side Couples
Dance 3 and 4
16
61st top gent
Do-Si-Do Gent and opposite lady dance forward, pass by right shoulders, dance sideways back to back, and retire to stay inside the set and facing each other (6b).  Lady turns clockwise and gent turns counter-clockwise (2b), ending facing each other.
8
7Swing Swing in the center of the set (6b) and retire into home position (2b).8
82nd top gent
Dance 6 and 7
16
91st side gent
Dance 6 and 7
16
102nd side gent
Dance 6 and 7
16
11Top Couples
Pass Through Couples advance without taking hands, passing the opposite person by right shoulders (2b). All turn clockwise to face into the set (2b). Pass back to home by right shoulders, and turn toward each other into place.
8
12Side Couples
Dance movement 11: Instead of turning inward in the last 2 bars, all turn the shortest distance to face their corner (gents clockwise, ladies counter-clockwise).
8
13Everyone
Dance to corner and partner All dance on the spot (4b) facing their corner without taking hands.  All turn to face their partner, ladies turning counter-clockwise and gents clockwise, and step it out (4b).
8
14Swing8
15Circle Repeat the first movement.8
16Swing8

Added on 2012-01-06 17:00:09.
Modified on 2017-04-08 12:30:13.
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