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Black Nagg (1657)


Original Publications:

  • The [English] Dancing Master 3rd edn, published by J. Playford, 1657, London (and included in all subsequent editions up to 1716)
  • Original notation for Black Nagg

Modern Interpretations:

  • Country Dance Book II, Cecil J. Sharp, published by Novello  and Company Ltd, London 1911
  • The Playford Ball, Kate Van Winkler Keller & Genevieve Shimer, The Country Dance & Song Society, Boston USA, 1990 (repeating the Cecil Sharp interpretation)

Comments:

  • Name changed to Black Nag in 1686 and then Gallopping Nag in 1695
  • A different dance to the same tune was included in the seventeenth and eighteenth editions of the Dancing Master
  • Millison's Jig, which appeared in the Dancing Master from 1651-1690, is similar with respect to both the tune and the dance.
  • Most people have ignored the "corrections" which were published subsequently.
  • This interpretation follows the original instructions exactly and shows that it is possible to put a sensible interpretation, using existing choreographic units, without having to add a "turn single".

Formation:

  • Three couple longways set

Music:

Notation:

A1 1-4 Lead up a double forwards and back
A2 1-4 That again
B1 1-2 First couple take both hands and 4 slips up  and stand top couple four chasses up
B1 3-4 The second couple as much middle couple four chasses up
B1 5-6 The third couple slip up bottom couple four chasses up
B1 7-8 Turn all single suggest that this is up for both sexes (men left, ladies right, so that it flows for the bottom couple for whom the turn single follows on immediately from the chasses
B2 1-2 Last couple slip down bottom couple four chasses down
B2 3-4 The second as much middle couple four chasses down
B2 5-6 The first as much top couple four chasses down
B2 7-8 Turn all single suggest that this is down for both sexes (men right, ladies left, so that it flows for the top couple for whom the turn single follows on immediately from the chasses.  Also, as the dancers will be quite close together because of holding hands, it may be useful to open the set out a little during the turn single so as to provide more space for the siding that follows
A3 1-4 Sides all with partner, siding by the right shoulder using straight/oblique/Shaw (whatever you want to call it) siding
A4 1-4 That again with partner, siding by the left shoulder using straight/oblique/Shaw (whatever you want to call it) siding
B3 1-4 First man and last woman change places top man and bottom woman change places, passing right shoulders, with two doubles (as is customary in Hole in the Wall).  After the first double the dancers will be in the centre of the set, but have passed and be facing each other.  The second double is used to fall back from that place into the opposite persons original place.
B3 3-6 The second change with his own middle woman and middle man change places with two doubles as above
B3 5-8 First woman and last man change top woman and last man change places with two doubles as above
B4 1-8 All this back again repeat B3 from opposite sides of the set.
A5 1-4 Arms all Arm right with partner
A6 1-4 That again Arm left with partner
B5 1-8 Men the single hey the men perform a reel of three, without hands, starting with the top two men passing right shoulders
B6 1-8 Women as much  the women perform a reel of three, without hands, starting with the top two women passing left (allows two of the three dancers to finish the hey naturally facing their partner) shoulders

[Bold text represents original instructions and light text represents interpretations by Michael Barraclough]
© Michael Barraclough, 2017

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Written by Content Creator. Published: Tuesday, 28 February 2012 18:33.

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