Cavan Reel Set - Current Variation

Category: Irish Set
Description:

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  Mainly the ceili hold swings in #1 have been replaced by waltz hold in #2 and 3, plus the Dance Around or Do-Si-Do movement in the second figure are quite different.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

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

224 Bars + 8 bar lead-in

Toggle Video Toggle Bars
1 Everyone
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
2 Swing All couples swing for 6 bars in waltz hold.  Release partners and dance on the spot for 2 bars. 8
3 Top 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
4 Swing 8
5 Side Couples
Dance 3 and 4
24
6 Top 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
7 House Couples house around each other (6b), making a triangle.  Step it out in home position (2b). 8
8 Side Couples
Dance 6 and 7
16
9 Top 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
10 Basket / Swing in Four The four dancers swing for 6 bars in basket formation, clockwise.  Couples retire in waist hold on final 2 bars. 8
11 Side Couples
Dance 9 and 10 First side couple leads, forming the line of three first.
24
12 Top Couples
Dance 9 and 10 Second top couple leads.
24
13 Side Couples
Dance 9 and 10 Second side couple leads
24
14 Everyone
Advance & retire Repeat movement 1.
16
15 Swing Repeat movement 2 8

Figure 2: Train, Do-Si-Do, Pass Thru (Reel)

168 Bars + 8 bar lead-in

Toggle Video Toggle Bars
1 Everyone
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
2 Swing All couples swing for 6, step it out on 7 and 8. 8
3 Top 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
4 Swing 8
5 Side Couples
Dance 3 and 4
16
6 1st 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
7 Swing Swing in the center of the set (6b) and retire into home position (2b). 8
8 2nd top gent
Dance 6 and 7
16
9 1st side gent
Dance 6 and 7
16
10 2nd side gent
Dance 6 and 7
16
11 Top 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
12 Side 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
13 Everyone
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
14 Swing 8
15 Circle Repeat the first movement. 8
16 Swing 8
Added on 2012-01-06 17:00:09.
Modified on 2017-04-08 12:30:13.
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