Old Noll's Jig

Submitted by Andrew Swaine on Mon, 2018-03-19, 22:46
Historical sources
Set formation

This dance has a really driving tune and is a lot of fun.

A1 (8) 1C change places passing right shoulder and facing each other throughout (2)
1C turn single over their left shoulder (2)
1C set to each other right and left (2)
1C cast down while 2C move up (2)
A2 (8) 2C repeat, leaving everyone progressed improper
B1 (8) Right hand star (4)
Left hand star (4)
B2 (8) 1C half figure of eight down through 2C, landing on both feet in the middle of the set, facing each other (4)
1C cast down and turn/swing as 2C move up and turn halfway back to their own side (4)

Note: The first Strain is to be played twice, and the second but once.

The 1. Man turn single into the 1. Wo. place, and the first Wo. does the same at the same time, and Sett to their Partner, and cast off  ·  The other cu. do the same  :  Then Right-hands a-cross and Left-hands back again, Then the Figure through the 2. cu. and make two stops, and cast off and turn to their own sides.

The A part is 8 bars and the B part 16, hence the direction to not repeat the B part.

The hard bit of interpretation in this dance is The 1. Man turn single into the 1. Wo. place, and the first Wo. does the same at the same time – how do you turn single into each others places? There's a set and cast afterwards, which would normally take four bars, and feel most satisfying that way, so we're after a move that takes four bars here. Options include:

  • Turn single right shoulders and then change places right shoulders – but wouldn't that be described as “turn single and then change places”?
  • Turn single right shoulders 1½ as you change places – but that doesn't feel very satisfactory.
  • Change places right shoulders, keeping facing as you do, then turn single left shoulders – not the closest match to the words but feels great and a good match to the music. And there's nothing wrong with a turn single left shoulder!

My current preference is the third option. I also tried simple changing places while facing in 2 bars, setting, then a 4 bar cast – but that really didn't feel good.

Setting steps in this period are more likely to start to the right.

We have a couple of stars, then a figure of eight of ambiguous length – given that we've got to fit a cast and turn after this, I'll go for the less tight timing and make it a half figure of eight.

The description and make two stops is particularly intriguing. For me, this is more evidence of the practice of finishing phrases landing on both feet, although I'm not sure I'd want to jump in the middle of the move as well as the end, which seems to be what it's requesting. It also gives an opportunity for 1C to meet prior to casting down into progressed place. At this point 1C are proper and 2C are not; 1C are going to turn/swing in the middle anyway and 2C can turn to their own side as they move up.