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Texas Square Dances - Rickey Holden

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Texas Square Dances - Rickey Holden


This is a detailed description of three Texas squares, presented by Rickey Holden as an exhibition dance at the fourth annual New England Folk Festival, November 15–16, 1947. Holden based much of his material on Herb's Blue Bonnet Calls (Herb Greggerson, 1946).

Holden had originally wanted to present three dances intact, as they are described in these notes, but then realized that they would take too long and might bore the audience. Instead, these dances "were deliberately designed and arranged to look flashy and very very difficult. Repetition might crack that impression by – uh – explaining the trick. So the first half of B and the short A were lumped as one dance, and C was set up symmetrically by two couples' leading to the right."

A1   Texas Do Si Do
A2   Sides Divide
A3   Allemande left and a right and left that
A4   Thread the needle

B1   Indian style
B2   Ocean wave
B3   Allemande left and stomp on the ground
B4   Same as A4

C1   Quadruple half chain
C2   Wagon wheel
C3   Texas chain (Holden variation of Teacup Chain)
C4   Rip and Snort

Throughout the detailed descriptions, Holden inserts editorial comments, such as these notes on figure A2, Sides Divide: "This is a sumblimely contrapuntal change where the head and side couples are completely independent of each other except that the calls for each are sandwiched into a single run of patter."

Acknowledging that New England and Texas dancers use different terms, Holden includes a chart translating from one region's dance language to another. The dance figures are presented with patter, most of it derived from Greggerson but with modifications made to the timing; alongside the patter are notes about what the dancers are actually doing at each moment through the dance.



Notes distributed by the Harvard Outing Club

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Item Relations

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