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Nils Fredland - Bouquet Waltz

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Nils Fredland - Bouquet Waltz


Nils Fredland calls a traditional square dance figure to the tune of Kitchen Girl with music provided by Notorious (Larry Unger and Eden MacAdam Somer) and Old New England (Bob McQuillen, Jane Orzechowski, and Deanna Stiles). Recorded at the final session of the annual Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend, Durham, NH, January 19, 2013.

The "Bouquet Waltz" figure appears in regional square dance traditions under many different names: Pokey O, Pokey Eight, Circle Round the Circle, Six to the Wall with a Whiskey Swing, Three around Three with a Waltz, Double Chassee, Three by Three with a Double Chassé, and more.

Ralph Sweet writes, "The first appearance in print of the “Bouquet Waltz” (or in a different source, the “Waltz Bouquet”), was collected by Cecil Sharp in the Mountains of Kentucky in 1917, and was published as Vol. 5 of his Country Dance Book. Now it’s in the “Parts 5 and 6” of the 1985 reissue of The Country Dance Book, available from the Country Dance Society. I’ve been told that the young people in Canada sometimes refer to it as the “Tilt-a-Whirl” after the amusement park ride. It’s extremely popular in Quebec."

Sweet continues, "It has little to do with the dance we call "Waltz," except that the DANCE was names from the German word "walzen," which means "to turn." When waltzers do that rapid TURNING, to one of the Strauss Waltzes played at the usual good clip, it feels almost like a good "Swing" in Square or Contra dancing today. So those two circles of 3 (or 4) rotating themselves, and around each other at the same time, looked to someone like two bouquets of flowers rotating around each other. It makes sense!"

You can see the same basic figure being danced in Allisonville, Ontario, with Dave Snedden calling, in this 2009 video posted on YouTube.


Date Created

January 19, 2013


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