The Ballyvourney Jig Set from Ballyvourney, Co. Cork, Ireland
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The Ballyvourney Jig Set (Co. Cork):



Formula: house, square, swing and slide


Music: The Abbey Ceili Band have this set on track 18 of their first CD, "Bruach an tSulain"


Pattern for all figures:

Tops first, then Sides: dance house, square, swing and slide. The swing is the only bit that changes from one figure to the next.


Swings:

  1. 1st figure: swing your own partner at home.
  2. 2nd figure: swing opposite, then swing your own (gents cross).
  3. 3rd figure: swing in four with the opposite couple for 16 bars.
  4. 4th figure: the two two dancing gents swing each of the four ladies, starting with the lady on the left and finishing with your their partners.
  5. 5th figure: swing your own partner in the opposite place.


Notes:
- there is no break between the figures: when Tops finish each figure, Sides repeat it and when Sides finish, Tops immediately start the next Figure.
- in the 5th figure, all four couples join in for the Swing and the Slide and the sides start the 5th figure from the opposite place. - at the end of the 5th figure, all four couples finish off the set with a house around.

Variations:
The way the set is described above is how it is danced throughout most of Ireland today.
The late Timmy McCarthy, who was better known as "Timmy The Brit", said that the original Ballybourney Jig Set was slightly different:
- at the start of each figure, instead of dancing two bars in place, the first two bars were danced with the lady reversing up and the gent dancing forward, like the West Kerry.
- in the 2nd figure, when the gents are coming back to swing their own partners, the four dancers "gather up", making as if to form a swing in 4, but then break off again and continue home to swing their own partners.


In class, the set is taught as it danced today and Timmy's "variations" are described. Dancers are then free to dance it as they wish.

 

This summary is intended as a memory aid for people attending my classes, it is not intended as stand-alone instructional material

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The Ballyvourney Jig Set from Ballyvourney, Co. Cork, Ireland