Dance reconstruction: Cécile LAYE Music for dancing english country dances / Early dance and traditional english tunes and second tunes specially devised for the dance
Longways for as many as will” are the very heart of a country dance ball. Just as « mixers» they draw together people who do not know one another and might not otherwise dance together; but they are far more elaborate. Progressing up and down the set makes the dance interesting; as the dancers repeat the figures, they get over the initial difficulties and eventually take pleasure in recreating each figure with new neighbours. CHESTNUT and the Papa Richard musicians are happy to present this new selection of 17 tunes for dancing. Except for The Toddler and Black Almain, all are “longways duple or triple minor set”, most of them taken from different editions of the Dancing Master.
It was not easy to make a choice among so many enticing possibilities. What should be dropped? We tried to take into account newcomers to the repertoire as well as of experienced dancers familiar with the sequences. We picked up dances wich offer a contrast in atmosphere and rhythm presenting a representative sample of the different sequences used in progression dances. But above all we let ourselves be guided by the beauty and variety of the music, in carefully choosing the instruments which would best enhance the poetry unique to each dance.