Arran Sword Dance

Tunes : Clach na Cudain, Rachael Rae

For Two Dancers
Medley: 16 bars Strathspey, 16 bars Reel. Repeated three times.

Two dancers start at places A and B with two swords crossed with scabbards on the floor (diag. 1). The sword points need to be about 9 inches apart. The letters and numbers on the diagram represent the places at which dancers will find themselves during the dance. Both dancers dance the same steps and figures simultaneously. The instructions are given for the dancer starting at A.

Diagram for Arran Sword Dance

Abbreviattions: L-left, R-right, F-foot, H-hand.

If a shortened version is required, dance only the first 64 bars.

Strathspey 1. Bars 1-16.

Bars

Beat

 

 

 

Bow

1-4

 

Highland schottische to finish at A1 facing A4.

5

1

Spring to L over sword hilt to A2, RF pointing to 2nd position (i.e. A1), LH at 2nd position.

 

2

Hop and RF behind L leg.

 

3

Hop and RF pointed to 4th position over crossed swords (i.e. to A4).

 

4

Hop and RF in front of L leg.

6

1

RF toe in 3rd position, hands in 1st position.

 

2

RF heel in 3rd position.

 

3

LF toe in 3rd position.

 

4

LF heel in 3rd position, turning to R to face A1.

7-8

 

Repeat bars 5-6, spring over scabbard to A3.

9-10

 

Repeat bars 5-6, spring over sword blade to A4.

11-12

 

Repeat bars 5-6, spring over scabbard to A1.

13-14

 

Dance a petronella turn to A5, facing swords.

15-16

 

Set.

On bars 5-12 the dancers move around the swords in a clockwise direction.

Reel 1. Bars 17-32

Bars

Beat

 

1-2

 

Set pas-de-basque, advancing to A4.

3-4

 

Join RH and dance 4 spring points.

 

1

LF over swords to A3.

 

2

RF over swords to A3.

 

3

LF over swords to A3.

 

4

RF over swords to A3.

5-6

 

Set pas-de-basque, moving to R to B3. Change hands (i.e. join LH)

7-8

 

Repeat bars 3-4.

9-10

 

Set pas-de-basque, retiring to B6.

11-12

 

High cuts. Hands in 3rd position.

13-14

 

Dance petronella to B, facing swords. Hands in 1st position.

15-16

 

High cuts, hands in 1st position.

The dancers have changed ends.

Strathspey 2. Bars 33-48

Repeat Strathspey 1, but on third beat of bar 5 the foot is not pointed to the floor but is made aerial. The dancer, if he so wishes, may elaborate this step.
Finish at B5.

Reel 2. Bars 49-64

Repeat Reel 1. Finish back in original places.

Strathspey 3. Bars 65-80

Bars

Beat

 

1-4

 

Highland Schottische to finish at A1 facing A4.

5

1

Hop and point LF to 2nd position over sword hilt (i.e. to A2) and raise RH to 2nd position.

 

2

Hop and LF behind R leg.

 

3-4

Hesitate, LF over scabbard pointed to A4.

6

1-2

Repeat hesitation.

 

3

Point RF to A4 over scabbard, turning body to left so that this becomes 2nd position. Hands in 1st position.

 

4

Hop, and still facing A2 bring RF to 3rd position.

7

1

Spring to right over scabbard to A4, pointing LF to 2nd position over scabbard (i.e. to A1), raise RH to 2nd position.

 

2-4

Repeat as in bar 5, beats 2-4.

8

 

Repeat bar 6.

9-10

 

Repeat bars 7 and 8, springing over sword blade to A3.

11

 

Repeat bar 7, springing over scabbard to A2.

12

 

Repeat bar 6 but do not turn body to left on beat 3. Now at A2 facing A1.

13-14

 

Dance highland schottische to left and still moving away from swords, turning to right at end to finish facing swords now at A7.

On bars 5-12 dancers move around the swods in an antti-clockwise direction.

Reel 3. Bars 81-96

Bars

Beat

 

1-2

 

Set pas-de-basque advancing to A.

3-4

 

Dance petronella to A8 facing sword.

5-6

 

Dance four spring points, LF, RF, LF, RF, hands in 5th position.

7-8

 

Set pas-de-basque, advancing towards the swords and joining right hands.

9-10

 

Still advancing using pas-de-basque, turn opposite dancer to change places. Now at B8.

11-12

 

Dance petronella to A.

13-14

 

Set pas-de-basque.

15-16

 

Dance high cuts with hands in 1st position.

Bow.

Green Lochan - Roy Clowes