Sicilian Circle mixer
Music: March of the Toreadors and Toreador Song from Carmen
40 bars of 2/4
Several variations are mentioned in the notes. Here is the first incarnation, in which the men progress around the set and the women stay near their home positions.
||Ones [facing clockwise] lead through twos and cast back to place|
Ones two-hand turn
||Twos lead through ones and cast back to place|
Twos two-hand turn
||Partners change by right hand; neighbors half turn by left|
||Men draw poussette neighbor halfway around set|
Partners slow set & honor; men turn back on partner and cast behind neighbor to progressed place.
||Full poussette with next partner (men advancing to start).
- Requires an even number of couples. (Some Sicilian circles can work with an odd couple "standing out;" this is not one of them.)
- The version in which men progress is called Escamillo's Maggot after the toreador in the opera Carmen. In my opinion, he is a lightweight, a rock star accustomed to the adulation of the crowd and always on the prowl for love. He trifles with women. The men in this dance, like Escamillo, have a short attention span, beginning by strolling with one partner, then passing some time with the other woman in the minor set, and finally dancing a poussette with his next partner. I had in mind that the dancers ham it up. After all, how can one take seriously a mixture of English Country Dance figures with the music and character from a French opera set in Spain?
- B1: Like two changes of rights and lefts, but end facing neighbor. The effect of B1 is as if the neighbors catch each other's attention as they change places by the left, so they end facing each other; they reverse direction (as in a double-take) to gypsy by the right shoulder.
- B2: The progression is to the equivalent position in the next minor set in the direction the dancers face when leading through in the A part.
- The dance can be used to contrast a draw poussette and a regular poussette.
- Carmen's Maggot: What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Let the women progress, draw neighbor in the draw poussette, and begin the full poussette advancing. In fact, I think this is a bit smoother: if the ladies draw (i.e., pull) their neighbors at the start of B2, that motion continues the momentum of the gypsy; if the men draw, that motion is contrary to the momentum of the gypsy. (In fact, that's the way I was going to do it in the first place, but the music I found is strongly associated with the character Escamillo.)
- alternating version: I have not tried an alternating version, in which the women progress in one round and the men the next. The one adjustment that would have to be made besides alternating who progresses is where they progress. As written above, the progression is to the next equivalent position in front of the dancer (i.e., in front when facing in the original Sicilian Circle lineup). If the progression alternates between men and women, one group would have to progress backward (i.e., progress to the minor set behind). Otherwise, the second progression would just catch the dancers up to their original partners-and I'd rather not pursue that "stalking" story line. But even if PARTNERS progress in opposite directions, NEIGHBORS would keep reappearing; that is, dancers would have new partners every time, but would alternate between a pair of neighbors.