Hard Ground

Set:4 couple longways.
Music:Bantry Bay.
Trivia:Allegedly about the fight of the fenlanders over the draining of the fens (although this wasn't known until after the dance was written).

In this dance people move about a lot, so their numbers are fairly arbitrary.
The dance starts in two lines off the stage behind 1 and 2, as follows (not to scale):
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5  3  1
7
                      8
                2  4  6
3,4,5&6 start on the right foot and 1,2,7&8 start on the left foot and keep leading with this foot for the entire dance.
(It's useful to remember that the four at the back therefore start on the inside foot).
 
Leading on
This figure is twice as long as the others.
1-81&2 circle clockwise round each other in as large a circle as the stage will allow.
There's plenty of room for theatrics, facial expressions and general audience contact.
As late as possible arc in to meet in the centre.
9-161&2 right arm turn twice without stopping at the beginning.
Finish facing across closest to own corner:
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5  3
7         1
            2         8
                   4  6
17-243&4 circle clockwise as 1&2 did, going round 1&2 once and a bit, going just past the person leading their line:
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5
7         1 3
          4 2         8
                      6
If the stage is too large to make it round that far then 3&4 can stop in each other's places - the two positions are fairly symmetrical.
25-32Star right, carrying on moving at the start and going round twice.
Finish facing across to the person who started in the same line as you.
 
Chorus 1
1-2Stamp step towards current partner (1 to 3, 4 to 2).
3-4Stamp step, turning up or down one quarter to face away from the centre of the set (1&2 left, 3&4 right).
(If you're on the wrong foot here it won't work!)
5-8Lead out as couples away from one another, single stepping.
Don't go too far!
9-10Stamp step, turning one quarter away from current partner.
11-12Stamp step, turning a quarter more in the same direction to face the other couple.
13-15Cross over with the other couple, single stepping and passing right shoulder.
16Back turn (which will be towards current partner).
Finish standing.
Partners have now changed to 1&4 and 2&3.
Orientation has changed to 2 couple longways, rotated formation.
 
Figure 1:Back to Back
5,6,7&8 (new couples):
1-85&7 and 6&8 take saluting waist hold and circle clockwise round the other four all the way.
Join on the end of the set, keeping saluting waist hold.
This bit is fast, so they may wish to start moving early on walk onto the stage in preparation to make sure there is time to get round.
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5 4 2 8
7 1 3 6
While 1,2,3&4 (old couples):
1-6Stand still.
7-8Stamp step, turning towards closest couple joining at the end of the set.
All:
9All step in the current direction, new couples going between the old couples to meet other new couple.
10New couples drop saluting waist hold and step to the side away from partner.
Old couples step to the side towards partner and take waist hold.
11Old couples salute.
All step backwards, old couples going between the new couples.
12Step on the spot.
13New couples step to the side towards partner and take waist hold again.
Old couples drop salute and waist hold and step to the side away from partner.
14New couples salute.
All step in the current direction, new couples going between the old couples to meet other new couple.
15Step on the spot.
16New couples drop saluting waist hold.
All turn to face partner, finishing in longways set in rotated formation.
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4 5 8 2
1 7 6 3
 
Chorus 2
Chorus 1 was effectively this without any middles (except beat 16).
1-2Ends stamp step towards current partner (this time 1 to 4, 2 to 3).
Middles stamp step a quarter turn to face nearest end (this time 5&6 right, 7&8 left).
3-4Ends stamp step a quarter turn to face away from the centre of the set (this time 1&2 left, 3&4 right).
Middles stamp step to join the ends of lines of 4 with the former ends in the middle.
5-8Lead out as lines away from one another, single stepping.
9-10Stamp step, turning one quarter away from centre of line.
11-12Stamp step, turning a quarter more in the same direction to face the other line.
13-15Lines cross over, single stepping and passing right shoulders.
Orientation has changed to 4 couple longways, unrotated formation:
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8 5
2 4
3 1
6 7
16Turn a quarter to face neighbour on the sides (single stepping this time).
 
Figure 2:Diamond Polka
This figure is done to the polka step.
1-2Fast polka turn, moving one eighth of the way round the set anticlockwise to finish in a diamond:
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  4
  5
2   7
8   1
  6
  3
3-4Fast polka turn, moving another eighth to finish back in new set:
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5 1
4 7
8 3
2 6
5-16Repeat 1-4 three times more to finish back in original places.
Drop shoulder hold on the second half of beat 16 but keep facing neighbour.
 
Chorus 3
Same idea as chorus 2, but people are facing slightly different directions to start.
1-2Ends stamp step, turning towards current partner and moving to meet.
Middles stamp step on the spot.
3-15As chorus 2.
Set is now in rotated formation again.
16Back turn as in chorus 1 to face new partner (all will turn towards the centre of the line).
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3 6 7 1
2 8 5 4
 
Figure 3:Catapult
1Quarter turn to face nearest end.
(This will be in the same direction as the back turn at the end of the chorus - keep it as two separate turns).
2-4Lead out in this direction.
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3 6         7 1
2 8         5 4
5Quarter turn to face current partner.
6Quarter turn in the same direction to face other foursome.
7Hands on nearest shoulder (in lines of 2) with partner.
81,4,2&3 put free hand on outside shoulder of person in front.
5,7,6&8 salute with free hand.
9-11Foursomes charge towards each other, shouting.
12Drop all hands and move backwards slightly, spreading out slightly.
13Pass right shoulders with two people in other foursome on the same side.
14Quarter turn to face current partner.
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7 1 3 6
5 4 2 8
15Cross over passing right shoulders with partner.
16Back turn (turning in again).
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5 4 2 8
7 1 3 6
 
Chorus 4
This is what all the choruses should have been, but couldn't.
Start as chorus 2, finish as chorus 3 - they're the same in the middle.
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2 4
8 5
6 7
3 1
 
Figure 4:Plough Head
1-83&1 (bottom couple) cross right shoulders and cast up the outside of the set, going slowly and wide, then come in to meet at the top for beat 9.
6&7 (the next bottom couple) cross on beat 3 and follow them.
8&5 cross on beat 5 and 2&4 cross on beat 7, joining on.
9-15(Shades of dare devil motorcycles here).
3&1 cross right shoulders at the top, leading out slowly diagonally.
The others cross on beats 11, 13 and 15 respectively and follow.
16Quarter turn to face out in each line.
Finish with a hoy.
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      2 4
    8     5
  6         7
3             1
 
Leading Off
1&3 turn down and round (ie. the long way) and lead in to meet, the rest following in each line.
As each person meets their partner in the other line they turn up and lead off to the top or wherever 1&3 take them.
Everyone should still be on the same foot as in the rest of the dance, so each couple should have mirroring arms.
 


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