Moll Peatley Ther New Way (1701)

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Original Publications:

Modern Interpretations:

  • None known, apart from this one

Comments:

  • This dance replaces a longways for 4 couples dance with same tune but different dance figures which was published 1670-1698
  • The dance is refered to in a letter to the Spectator dated 11 May 1710.
    "At last an impudent young Dog bid the Fidlers play a Dance called Mol Patley ... and after having made two or three Capers, ran to his Partner, locked his Arms in hers, and whisked her round cleverly above Ground in such manner, that I, who sat upon one of the lowest Benches, saw further above her Shoe than I can think fit to acquaint you with. I could no longer endure these Enormities; wherefore just as my Girl was going to be made a Whirligig, I ran in, seized on the Child, and carried her home."
    This suggests that skirts are flying 'up' and an appropriate movement is needed to achieve this
  • There is an illustration of the instruction in Playford to “hit your elbows together” figure in Rowlandson’s satirical painting ‘The Country Dance’, an engraving of which was published in 1789 and a copy of which hangs in Cecil Sharp House. There also used to be a painting in the Victoria and Albert Museum (London) which showed this figure without the arms being interlinked.
  • From looking at very many of these dances it becomes apparent that, sometimes, the publisher includes words which refer to movements that actually happen later in the dance, and not at the point where the words appear. In this case I believe that the 1st appearance of the words "and then your left" really belongs at the place of the 2nd appearance)

Formation:

  • Longways single minor (for modern usage, a circle of improper couples)

Music

Notation:

A1 1-4 Side on one side (right shoulder)
A2 1-4 and then on the other side (left shoulder)
B 1-5 then hit your right elbows together, (and then your left), and turn with your left hands behind and your right hands before, and turn twice round.Stand side-by-side, right shoulders together.  Put right arm in front of the other person and left hand behind your own back.  Take the other persons right hand with your left.  This is like a 'Hullichan' swing hold except that the right arms have the elbows against each other instead of being linked.  Then 'buzz swing' step around each other twice
B 6-10 and then your left elbows together, and turn as before, and so to the next.Stand side-by-side, left shoulders together.  Put left arm in front of the other person and right hand behind your own back.  Take the other persons left hand with your right.  This is like a 'Hullichan' swing hold except that the left arms have the elbows against each other instead of being linked.  Then 'buzz swing' step around each other once and a half and end in each other's place, facing the next person.

Note

The transition from B1-5 to B6-10 can be achieved without letting go, but make sure that you have a 1st aider present before trying it!

[Bold text represents original instructions and light text represents interpretations by Michael Barraclough]
© Michael Barraclough, 2017

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