I used to be under the impression that the quick-time »chain progression« went as follows:

1-2: 1st and 2nd couples, giving right hands, turn ¾ round into a line up and down the centre of the set.

3-6: 1st man and 2nd woman, giving left hands, turn 1½ times round while 1st woman and 2nd man chase clockwise half-way round to the other end of the line. Everybody finishes in another straight line of four.

7-8: 1st and 2nd couples, giving right hands to partners, turn ¾ round to finish on own sides.

This is also the way this formation is described on the RSCDS web site.

The chain progression was originally introduced in the 1973 Birmingham Book, and the description there contains a figure for the positions to be reached at the end of bar 6, which very obviously shows the four dancers not in a line of four down the centre of the set, but 45 degrees clockwise on from that position, in two offset diagonals.

Is that a mistake in the book, or have I been doing (and teaching) the formation incorrectly all these years?

asked 19 Nov '11, 21:36

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anselm ♦♦
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Is there any explanation in the book why this figure in Strathspey time has to differ from Quicktime?

I am a bit astonished at the diagrams. Could it be that there is a misprint, and diagrams 3a and 3b were interchanged at printing? Then the diagrams "a" would fit together well, and confirm the standard interpretation for the quick-time Chain Progression.

For Strathspey time, the "b" diagrams would then tell us the initial RH turn is only 1/2 turn, and the final turn is only 5/8 turn. It does not show any hands for the turn in the middle, which has to be 1 3/4. I cannot see whay that would be a more natural or more elegant phrasing than the standard one.



answered 20 Nov '11, 14:52

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EricFerguson ♦
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Asked: 19 Nov '11, 21:36

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Last updated: 20 Nov '11, 14:52

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