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Published on Apr 2, 2014
Winter Waltz by Fried de Metz Herman is what Fried calls a three-couple triad, that is, a longways set for three couples in which each has a chance to be couple number 1. First couple begins improper and ends in 2nd place with a wide right-shoulder gypsy that flows naturally into the hands-6 at the beginning of the next round. Fried insisted that the gypsy be timed in such a way that there was no stop at the end but rather continuous movement into the hands-6. This requires a) a wide, not tight, gypsy and b) not moving the circle until the downbeat of the opening phrase of round 2.
Well-trained dancers enter the hands-6 by looking in the direction of dance (clockwise) and trusting, without looking back (which breaks the forward flow), that the dancer behind will take their right hand, which is extended backward to form the ring. You will see this good technique employed in this video.
One especially pleasurable moment in Winter Waltz is at the end of the second hands-6 to the left halfway, when the 3s in the middle are brought close to partner to form lines of 3 with hands. If the transition of the circle into lines is done with good timing, the 3s get a rush of energy as they move forward on bar 8 of A2. Moving forward before bar 8 distributes the energy over too much music and the moment's excitement dissipates.
Fried chose two tunes for this dance, "Crossing to Ireland," a traditional Scottish melody, and O'Carolan's "Captain O'Kain." Both are beautifully played here by A Joyful Noise: Barbara Greenberg, violin; Kathy Talvitie, keyboard; and Daniel Beerbohm, clarinet and flute. I wish to thank them, teacher Orly Krasner, and the dancers for making this video possible.