‘Big John’ Campbell has his way with “The Haymakers Jig”
Notes for a couple mixer adaptation made in John’s name and which fits any 32 bar tune, including reels, will follow…
Big John Campbell (reel)
Mmm, good tune! Where did you get it?
Hi Nigel, good to hear from you. It has echos of others, of course, but it came as I was dancing around and thinking of a dear friend, John Campbell. Some folks refer to him by the nickname ‘Big John’. We’d hoped to spend time with him this summer but his situation, terminal cancer and heavy chemo, didn’t allow for that. Thinking of John, and enjoying music the way he’s fond of doing it, dancing, in this case while also fixing dinner, a few tunes amongst many that came to mind weren’t quite right, meaning I wasn’t sure where they came from, out of the ether and a long association with and love for music - but this reel, and the idea of a reel, seemed right as a dedication to John. Music often comes to my rescue In situations where hope seems slim to non-existent… Whenever I’m feeling lost of afraid, for myself or for another, music helps.
There’s a dance too, also inspired by and for John, but that needs some work yet. I’ll have to see if our dance class here can help wear away some of the rough edges on the dance floor. That might be one of our tasks tonight. :-D
"lost ‘or’ afraid" - yes, in several ways, and I must be tired too as I’m mixing up two letter words again, those velcro terms like - of, or, an, am, to, on, is, as, pi… :-/ ~ :-D
11/10/2011 ~ John Campbell
Goodbye old friend…
“Sean Mor” - a couple mixer
John’s loves included the music and dance traditions of Northern Europe, sometimes collectively referred to as ‘Scandinavia’. This little dance is inspired by John’s teaching of a couple dance, a short video that was featured online. I’ll chase up that link later. Here I’ve combined those two amorphous influences of Scandinavia and the Celtic nations. We tested this out last night to a 32 bar barndance. John was also fond of the schottische, kissin’ cousin to that family of generally swung melodies.
Music: 32 bars, and it will work with most things, having danced it to reels, waltzes, marches, and last night to a nice relaxed swung barndance.
Formation: Couple-behind-couple all around the hall, man on the left and woman on the right in an over the shoulder hold, R-hand-in-R / L-in-L, facing ACW
Music/bars - - - Dance
A: 1 - 4 - Dance forward and around the hall ACW six walking steps then 123 =
Step - man - L, R, L, R, L, R, LRL / woman = opposite footwork
(can do a heel-step - for example - R-heel, L-step, etc. - and you can batter at the end on the LRL)
5 - 8 - Backing up with opposite footwork
(This first part could also be danced as for the Gei Gordons)
AA: 1 - 8 - the women turn out clockwise and dance around the outside and clockwise individually / while the men continue individually forward with a basic change step (123 or heel/hop123)
- For the craic keep your R-hands up and do a high-5 with each person of the opposite sex you pass as you dance around the hall individually.
B: 1 - 4 - catch someone’s Right-hand and turn around as a couple CW (thumb grasp)
5 - 8 - change to L-hands and turn ACW
(On these two turnings you could also step the usual for many swung dances, meaning hop-123, hop-123, hop-1, hop-2, hop-3, hop-4 - or just hop-123s)
BB: 1- 8 - change back to R-hands and put your L-hand behind your new partner’s upper arm and SWING…
- finish the swing bringing the R-hands over the woman’s head into the promenade position, over the shoulder (also called a ‘Varsovienne hold’) - and start the dance from the beginning…
That’s the basics. As with many simple dances you could walk the whole thing, but it adds a bit more fun to throw in some steps and a little bit of tastefully executed battering… ;-)
“Swede-Finn Mixer” alias “Grosser Atlantik” / “Atlantic Mixer”
- John Campbell teaching the root to the above adaptation…
That root to the dance described above, "Sean Mor", is a ‘mixer’ in more ways than one - Swedish-Finnish and German too… We’ve danced a few variations on it elsewhere too - these isles and also France and North America too…
Here’s more on that root - - -
“Grosser Atlantik” / “Atlantic Mixer” - a few more views of that root…
“Big John’s Mixer”
Somehow it’s the perfect dance for John, messed with a little bit by this old friend of his…
Maybe I should try this melody with with swing and a brandance/schottische slant to it?
A preliminary attempt along that line ~
T: Big John Campbell
R: barndance / schottische / hornpipe
|: (3CDE |\
F>ED>F A2 (3FGA | d2 f>d e>fd>B | A>F (3FFF D>F (3FFF | A>Fd>F E2- E>G |
F>E (3DEF A2 F>A | d2 A>d e>Ad>B | A>F (3FFF d>F^E>F | A>FE>F D2 :|
|: (3FGA |\
d2 A>d e>Ad>g | f>Ae>c d>BA>d | B>e (3eee e>fe>d |
[1 B>e (3eee g>fe>f | d>AA>d e2 A>g | f2 e>c d>BA>F | B2 e>B (3efe e>c | d>B A/G/F/E/ D2 :|
[2 B>e (3eee g2 (3fed | A>dd>c d>Ac>e | f>Ae>A d>A (3GFE | D>EF>e d>Ac>e | d>BA>F (3DED |]
“Sean Mor” - further on the dance
The basic steps given for the dance above, reel or barndance, is the usual skip-change found in reel time for the sets (of quadrilles), heel-123, not really a full ‘hop’, though many dance instructors call it that way.
With the turns, a fun way to do them is to start with a 2-hand turn, for the first two steps, heel-123, heel-123, and then taking both hands crossed for four hop-steps, leaning back, giving weight, akin to a swing, that’s if you choose to take it that way, first by the Rs and then the Ls and then the swing…
That’s not so clear, sorry… I mean this part of the dance ~
B: 1 - 2 - catch someone’s Right-hand and turn around as a couple CW (thumb grasp) for two steps = heel-123, heel-123
3 - 4 - then catch both hands crossed and continue around CW with 4 X hop-step
5 - 6 - change to L-hands and turn ACW (thumb grasp) for two steps = heel-123, heel-123
7 - 8 - then catch both hands crossed and continue around ACW (CCW) with 4 X hop-step
"both hands crossed" = the usual, Rs over Ls, though I tend to still use the thumb-grasp hold and turned in while, from the man’s perspective, also placing the Rs over and behind the Ls.