One of the oldest highland solo dances and a favourite of the clansmen of bygone days. A lively dance always performed in a very limited space with the clansmen warriors dancing on their upturned targes (shields). The steps imitate a stag cavorting on a hillside, the raised arms signifying the antlers.
A spectacular dance being performed over crossed swords. King Malcolm Canmore is said to have been the dance’s originator. He supposedly killed a Chieftain of the Clan MacBeth in 1054, he crossed his own sword over his enemy’s to form a cross and danced triumphantly over them in the manner we see today. Believed a good omen clansmen would go to fight convinced that no harm would befall them.
In the post 1745 era the Hanoverian Government banned playing the pipes, bearing of arms and wearing the kilt. Highlanders resented wearing trousers and show their displeasure in the kicking and shaking movements in this dance. This represents the splitting of the trouser seams with the tempo changing to show imminent freedom from the trousers. The dance finishes with a leap to show that the highlander has kicked off the trousers and may now return to the kilt.
Using groups of four dancers this dance originates from the village of Tulloch on Deeside. The villagers, to keep warm while waiting for the minister one wintry Sunday, performed the steps we now see in this dance. The minister pronounced a curse on them, and legend has it that none that he saw dancing on that Sabbath lived beyond a year. However the dance did survive, as did the original music.
Flora McDonald who helped Bonnie Prince Charlie to escape after the battle of Culloden in 1746 danced these steps to amuse the Prince on the journey to Skye and then on to France. The dress worn is the Aboyne costume.
This is a jig type dance which celebrates the light hearted aspects of Scottishness. It has a unique time of 9/8 and its delicate steps are particularly favoured by female dancers although can also be danced by males.
This dance depicts some of the occupational and social movements associated with the day to day work of the sailors who manned the sailing sips of the nineteenth century
This is an amusing story of an Irishman giving his leather trousers to a washer-woman for cleaning. Because the trousers shrunk the movements of the man signify his discomfort and rage while the movements of the woman show her anger and displeasure at her having her professional skills as a laundress questioned.