New Hampshire Contras

Source: Collected by Roy Dommett and Tubby Reynolds; published in English Dance & Song, Summer 1980. Volume 42 Number 2

Unknown Dance
Formation: Longways; Improper
A1 Star Right; Star Left
A2 Ladies' Chain - Up & Down the Set to your Neighbour
Partner Swing
B1 #1s Split the #2s, Separate, Cast Back to Place
Circle Left
B2 Ladies' Chain - Across the Set to your Neighbour
Neighbour Swing

The first Ladies' Chain appears to be up & down the set; that would be considered very unusual today in a modern contra, but that direction was often used in older dances.

A Nova Scotian Variant
Formation: Longways; Improper
A1 Neighbour Allemande Left
#1s Swing - finish Facing Down
A2 Down the Hall in Lines of Three (leaving #2 Man behind) (4)
Right Hand High, Left Hand Low: Invert the Line (4)
Partner Swing(8)
B1 Ladies' Chain; Ladies Dosido
B2 New Neighbour Balance & Swing

The first half of the dance is the same as The Nova Scotian. I can't find the actual name for this dance.

More modern versions of The Nova Scotian use a Hand Hand Allemande, with #1s down the middle, so that they flow into the swing.

The instructions below state that after the final swing you should finish on the wrong side. This seems strange today. Perhaps it was a Double Progression dance and after swinging your neighbour you did the Allemande with the next new neighbour.

Spaelimenninir Reel #4 by Larry Jennings (or was it Beth Okun as documented in the Northern Junket?)
Formation: Longways; Improper
A1 Neighbour Allemande Left; Men Pass Thru
Partner Swing
A2 Circle Left 3/4; Right & Left Through Up & Down the Set
B1 Neighbour Dosido - finish in Tidal Waves (Long Wavy Lines) with Men Facing Out
Balance the Wave; Neighbour Allemande Right
B2 Previous Neighbour Allemande Left; Neighbour Swing

I have documented Spaelimenninir Reel #4 as it appears in Larry Jennings' Zesty Contras. If the men don't cross the set in A1 to swing their partners, then the swing is across the set, which can be very tight for space, and the circle is only halfway, which leaves too much time. The same space problem occurs if the final allemande is with your partner; the flow is much better if you allemande your previous neighbour instead. Did they dance it the way it is written below on the night? Or was it taken down slightly incorrectly?

Chapel Hill Contra by Beth Okun
Formation: Longways; Improper
A1 Long Lines Go Forward & Back
Cross Over
A2 Right & Left Through; Ladies' Chain - finish the Courtesy Turn facing down the hall in Lines of Four
B1 Down the Hall in Lines of Four (4); California Twirl (or Wheel Around) (4)
Up the Hall in Lines of Four (4); Bend the Line (4)
B2 Ladies' Chain
New Neighbour Swing - finish on the wrong side

Another dance where you finish the final swing with the man on the right and the lady on the left? Or another Double Progression?

This dance was originally published on page 25 of Northern Junket, Vol. 13, No. 2 in 1978.

Mainly 32 bar reels.

The location was actually Francestown, NH. There were very big dances in that town hall for at least a couple of decades.

Original page from English Dance & Song, Summer 1980

New Hampshire Contras

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