Professor Kekule's Reverie
June 2007; revised May 2009
36 bars of 2/4
Music: Molecular Structure by David Smukler
Calls refer to actives and positions (top, middle, bottom) rather than numbers that persist no matter where the person is. The following is the original incarnation of the dance.
||Ones cross and go below (twos lead up after ones cross).|
Ones two-hand turn neighbors below WHILE twos two-hand turn at the top.
||Partners all back-to-back|
Ones two-hand turn other neighbors (i.e., neighbors above) WHILE threes two-hand turn at the bottom.
All end the turn facing the person you turned.
||Six changes of a circular hey, beginning by the right shoulder with the person you just turned and ending in the same place.
||Circle left six hands round all the way.|
||Current ones cross and go below while bottom couple lead up.|
- My late wife, Gretchen Pearson, asked me whether I had managed to combine my interests in English country dance and history of chemistry. (If you are interested in the latter, check out my Classic Chemistry website.) This dance was the result. The title refers to August Kekule, who proposed that the benzene molecule contains a ring of six carbon atoms connected by alternating single and double bonds. Years later, Kekule said that the ring structure came to him in a dream, "I fell into a reverie, and lo, the atoms were gamboling before my eyes."
- In the A part, the two-hand turns are supposed to evoke the alternating double bonds, which change positions.
- For dancers familiar with square dancing, "weave the ring" can be a useful call for B1.
- The circle in B2 is a walking circle, not slipping. For women, this is the same direction as the circular hey; for men the opposite direction.
- The last figure one time through the dance sounds just like the first figure of the next time through the dance (i.e., actives cross and go below). It helps to say "OLD (or CURRENT) ones cross and go below" and then "NEW ones cross and go below."
- Chemists may find that the circular hey and circle "resonate" with a more recent description of bonding in benzene, which involves six "delocalized" π electrons.
- Thanks to caller, musician, choreographer, and composer David Smukler for the tune. I had called the dance to the tune "Bar a bar." David told me that the dance deserved a tune of its own, which he provided a few days later.