CAVAN SET - Modern Version

Newcastle Irish Set Dancers was first introduced to this dance by Patrick O'Dea, set dance instructor from the UK. Other published instructions for this dance may differ slightly. Other sources include Pat Murphy's "Toss the Feathers" and Tom Quinn's "Irish Dances".

An older version of the Cavan Set is also danced where there are five separate figures. Instructions are contained in Cavan Set - Traditional Version. This modern version is danced as a two figure dance. In this version Figures 1, 3 and 4 of the Traditional version are combined to make the modern Figure 1, and Figures 2 and 5 of the Traditional Version are combined to make the modern Figure 2.

Joe O'Hara has a version of this set online.

First Sides to the LeftFormation

Square Set of four couples, Gents on the left of their partners. First Top Couple have their backs to the band, with Second Tops opposite them. First Sides Couple are on the left of First Top Couple (when facing into the set) and Second Side Couple are opposite them.


FIGURE 1: REEL (232 BARS)

All Couples

Top Couples advance and retire once with front promenade hold while Side Couples dance in place (front promenade hold) (4 bars), then Side Couples advance and retire while Top Couples dance in place (4 bars); repeat

16 bars

All Couples

Swing in ceili hold

8 bars

Top Couples

Advance and retire right hand in right and cross over - First Top Couple make an arch and Second Top Couple pass under. Second Top Lady turns anti-clockwise twice under partner's right arm crossing in front of him to opposite position. Top Couples cross right shoulder to right into opposite positions - Ladies turning anti-clockwise under partner's right arm

Repeat - Second Top Couple make the arch and First Top Couple pass under

16 bars

Top Couples

Swing in ceili hold

8 bars

Side Couples

Advance and retire right hand in right and cross over - First Side Couple make an arch and Second Side Couple pass under. Side Couples cross right shoulder to right into opposite positions - Ladies turning anti-clockwise under partner's right arm

Repeat - Second Side Couple make the arch and First Side Couple pass under

16 bars

Side Couples

Swing in ceili hold

8 bars

Top Couples

Ladies chain - give right hands in the centre and turn under the opposite Gent's left arm (who faces into the set without turning). Ladies pass behind Gents and back into the centre. Repeat with own partner

8 bars

Top Couples

House around each other

8 bars

Side Couples

Ladies chain + Swing in ceili hold

16 bars

Top Couples

Advance and retire once with Gent's right arm over partner's shoulder (right hand in right). Advance and First Top Gent takes Second Top Lady's left hand as she turns in beside him so First Top Gent has left hand in left over left shoulder of Second Top Lady and right hand in right over the right should of his partner. Second Top Gent takes the Ladies' other hands as all dance to First Top's place

8 bars

Top Couples

Ladies turn to accompany Second Top Gent and dance across to Second Top's place while First Top Gent dances in place (4 bars) + all dance to the centre (2 bars) and form a basket with Ladies hands on the Gents' shoulders

8 bars

Top Couples

Basket (6 bars) + reverse to place (2 bars)

8 bars

Side Couples

Advance and retire once with Gent's right arm over partner's shoulder. Advance and First Side Gent takes Second Side Lady's left hand turning her beside him. Second Side Gent takes the Ladies' other hands as all dance to First Side's place

8 bars

Side Couples Ladies turn to accompany Second Side Gent and dance across to Second Side's place while First Side Gent dances in place (4 bars) + all dance to the centre (2 bars) and form a basket with Ladies hands on the Gents' shoulders
8 bars
Side Couples

Basket (6 bars) + reverse to place (2 bars)

8 bars

Top Couples

Advance and retire once with Gent's right arm over partner's shoulder. Advance and Second Top Gent takes First Top Lady's left hand turning her beside him. First Top Gent takes the Ladies' other hands as all dance to Second Side's place

8 bars

Top Couples

Ladies turn to accompany First Top Gent and dance across to First Side's place while Second Top Gent dances in place (4 bars) + all dance to the centre (2 bars) and form a basket with Ladies hands on the Gents' shoulders

8 bars

Top Couples

Basket (6 bars) + reverse to place (2 bars)

8 bars

Side Couples

Advance and retire once with Gent's right arm over partner's shoulder. Advance and Second Side Gent takes First Side Lady's left hand turning her beside him. First Side Gent takes the Ladies' other hands as all dance to Second Side's place

8 bars

Side Couples Ladies turn to accompany First Side Gent and dance across to First Side's place while Second Side Gent dances in place (4 bars) + all dance to the centre (2 bars) and form a basket with Ladies hands on the Gents' shoulders

8 bars

Side Couples

Basket (6 bars) + reverse to place (2 bars)

8 bars

All Couples

Top Couples advance and retire once with front promenade hold while Side Couples dance in place (front promenade hold) (4 bars), then Side Couples advance and retire while Top Couples dance in place (4 bars) + Repeat

16 bars

All Couples

Swing in ceili hold

8 bars

FIGURE 2: REEL (168 BARS)

All Couples

Advance and retire twice holding hands in a circle + Swing

16 bars

Top Couples

Advance and retire once with Gent's right arm in right over the Lady's shoulder, holding right hands and cross anticlockwise to face into the set from opposite place +
   
Repeat back to place + Swing

24 bars

Side Couples

Advance and retire once with Gent's right arm in right over the Lady's shoulder, holding right hands and cross anticlockwise to face into the set from opposite place +
   
Repeat back to place + Swing

24 bars

Top Couples

First Top Gent and Second Top Lady cross right shoulder to right to opposite place, turn anticlockwise to face back, cross back right shoulder to right, turn anticlockwise around each other in the centre and reverse to place

8 bars

Top Couples

Second Top Gent and First Top Lady cross right shoulder to right to opposite place, turn and cross back turnng around each other in the centre and reverse to place + House around each other

16 bars

Side Couples

First Side Gent and Second Side Lady cross right shoulder to right to opposite place, turn and cross back turnng around each other in the centre and reverse to place

8 bars

Side Couples

First Side Lady and Second Side Gent cross right shoulder to right to opposite place, turn and cross back turnng around each other in the centre and reverse to place + House around each other

16 bars

Top Couples

Pass through Ladies in the middle and all turn clockwise to face back. They pass back with each Gent passing in the middle

8 bars

Side Couples

Pass through Ladies in the middle and all turn clockwise to face back. They pass back with each Gent passing in the middle

8 bars

All Couples

Turn to face corner and dance in place (4 bars), turn to face partner and dance in place (4 bars)

8 bars

All Couples

Swing + Advance and retire twice in a circle + Swing to finish

24 bars

REFERENCES

Murphy, Pat (1995). Toss the Feathers. Mercier Press: Cork. 88-89.

Quinn, Tom (1997). Irish Dancing. HarperCollins: Glasgow. 105-107.

 


Updated: 7 May 2002