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The Dusty Miller

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Published on Mar 25, 2016

The Dusty Miller, a 3 couple set in triple time, comes from the Neal Collection (ca 1726), edited by Rich Jackson and George Fogg. Its enticing tune, played AABB twice for once through the dance, is played with a tender, expressive feel by the musicians at the 2016 Celebration of Spring Ball, Robin Russell, Marnen Laibow-Koser, and Norma Castle of the Flying Romanos. The dancing in this clip is some of the best I’ve seen in any of the videos I’ve taken. The dancers make eye contact throughout in a most engaging, natural way, their timing is spot on in almost every instance, the inactive end dancers step into the contra corner turns rather than waiting for the actives to come to them, good carriage, good arm work, and many other such important refinements. I am so very grateful for this display of dancing well!

Those who know the dance from the Neal collection will recall that it ascribes just 4 bars for the hey and a full 4 bars for the 1s to progress to 3rd place, turning 2 hands,with the 3s casting up. Moreover, it reverses the more common order of the contra corner turns, starting with 2nd corners instead of 1st. In this video, we took the liberty of starting the contra corner figures with 1st corners and using a full 6 bars for the hey, with the progression happening in 2 bars. Notice the lovely cloverleaf turn single up for the 2s at the end of the hey, which leads nicely into the next round of the dance. –Paul Ross

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