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Heidenröslein

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Published on Mar 27, 2017

Named, in all likelihood, after a poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, published in 1799, Pat Shaw’s Heidenröslein" ("Rose on the Heath") is a 4-couple square mixer in waltz time. The dance appears in Book 2 of The Pat Shaw Collection, along with the tune he chose for it.

Several aspects of this video raise the dancing to a particularly high level, in my estimation. First, there is the music, played at just the right tempo, with the proper emphasis for a waltz and with a tenderness free of any hint of maudlin excess. The dancers prolong each hand turn and change in the grand chain with a polite look-back that cements the social connections in the dancing. They also are careful that the progressive partner swing back to the man’s home place (a clockwise move) resolves into the right-hand turn in the next round (also clockwise) with no awkward break in the movement. Finally, the women end the left-hands-with-corner at the start of each round with a polite turn.

Pat’s instructions say nothing about falling back to progressed place out of the star-right for the men and star-left for the women, but we followed in the common practice of finishing the hands-across that way, but without “balancing the star” before the fall-back, as is sometimes done. The fall-back does nicely set up the women for the side step in the next portion of the dance.

It was a thrill to dance in a set with so many other fine dancers at CDW’s 2017 Celebration of Spring Ball and a joy—what else?—to dance to the music of A Joyful Noise. Special thanks are due to Orly Krasner for her teaching and for Judi Rivkin for programming a superb selection of Pat’s and Fried’s dances in honor of the 100th anniversary of Pat’s birth and the 90th of Fried’s.—Paul Ross

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