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Dargason 21

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Dargason 21
Source: Composed by John Sweeney
Formation: Four couples in a line facing up (MLMLMLML) - now face your partner.

A1 Left Shoulder Siding (Banana/Cecil Sharp style)
Set & Turn Single, spinning past to face the next person - start the Turn Single as a Gypsy Right
A2, B3, B4 Repeat three times with new people (some will be same gender)
When you are out at the end just turn and wait.
Should now be LLLLMMMM
A5 Arm Right (Clap, Clap on last two beats); Arm Left 1 & 1/2 to face the next person
A6, B7, B8 Repeat three times with new people to finish facing your Partner (set inverted)
A9, A10 Full Hey with hands - all the way there and all the way back
B11 Finish the Hey; Partner Swing* - finish facing Up
B12 Up a Double & Back x2 - face your partner

Dance it twice through to finish where you started.

Contradition played it for me at a festival just using the original Dargason tune, but "in a variety of keys and with some unrepeatable variations". As long as you have a band that can make it interesting that is fine, but I wrote the dance as 32 bars so that you can use your favourite tune, or switch from Dargason to another tune.

The dance is based on Dargason, but re-choreographed for the 21st Century so that most people are moving most of the time.

I learnt the "Turn Single Spin Past" from Sharon Green's Doctor Bending’s Serpent - thanks, Sharon! You start a Right Shoulder Gypsy with the person you are facing and once you are past them you keep turning until you are facing in your original direction with your back to that person. It should be one smooth motion.

*"Swing" has been used by "Dancing Masters" throughout the ages to mean whatever they want! Basically: connect with your partner and rotate around a shared axis. You can interpret it any way you wish in this dance: Two Hand Turn, Ballroom-Hold Buzz-Step, Ceilidh-Hold Skipping, etc., as long as you finish facing up with the man on the left and the lady on the right.

The name "Dargason": from an Anglo-Saxon word for dwarf or fairy? Or from Irish legend that tells of a monster resembling a large bear? Also known as Seda(n)ny, meaning a woman dressed in silks. Take your pick!

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