MEALAGH VALLEY JIG SET

The Mealagh Valley Jig Set has been demonstrated by Timmy McCarthy and his group on the video series "Come Dance with Me In Ireland". At a Willie Clancy Summer School workshop in Miltown Malbay in 2007 Arthur & Julia learned some more detail from Timmy including footwork and hand movements. Other written instructions for this set have been published in Pat Murphy's "The Flowing Tide" and Tom Quinn's "Irish Dancing". Joe O'Hara has an online version as do the Crooked River Set Dancers.

FORMATION

First Sides to the LeftSquare Set of four couples, Gents on the left of their partners. 1st Top Couple have their backs to the band. 1st Side Couple are on their left of 1st Top Couple (when facing into the set), 2nd Top Couple opposite and 2nd Side Couple on the right of 1st Tops. The progression of the active couple is 1st Tops, 1st Sides, 2nd Tops, 2nd Sides.

This set uses easy jig/slide/polka steps - low to the ground. In the last figure the step more commonly known from the Borlig Polka - the "kick polka" step is used.


FIGURE 1: SLIDES (72 BARS)

Top Couples Kerry hold (Open waltz hold) - Advance & retire twice + Swing (waltz hold) 16 bars
Top Couples Ladies Chain - Right hands in the centre + Left arm hook with Opposite Gent both turning + Right hands passing back + Dance to Partner 8 bars
Top Couples Swing 8 bars
Side Couples Advance & retire twice + Swing + Ladies chain + Swing 32 bars

FIGURE 2: SLIDES (56 BARS)

All Couples Kerry hold - Advance & retire once + House to Opposite place + Repeat to home 16 bars
All Couples Swing 8 bars
All Couples Repeat: Advance & retire & house half way + Advance & retire & house half way + Swing  

FIGURE 3: SLIDES (136 BARS)

1st Top Gent + 2nd Top Lady Advance + Swing in the Centre + Reverse to place 8 bars
Top Couples Upper Promenade hold - Dance across slowly + Turn the Lady under two hands half a turn clockwise on the last four bars 8 bars
1st Top Gent + 2nd Top Lady Advance + Swing in the Centre + Reverse to place 8 bars
Top Couples Upper Promenade hold - Dance across slowly + Turn the Lady under two hands half a turn clockwise on the last four bars 8 bars
2nd Top Gent + 1st Top Lady +
Top Couples

2nd Top Gent + 1st Top Lady - Swing
Top Couples - Dance across + Turn the Lady
2nd Top Gent + 1st Top Lady - Swing
Top Couples - Dance across + Turn the Lady

32 bars
Side Couples Repeat led by 1st Side Gent + 2nd Side Lady and finally 2nd Side Gent + 1st Side Lady 32 bars
x 2

FIGURE 4: SLIDES (200 BARS)

Top Couples Ladies Chain + Swing 16 bars
Top Couples Slide in & back (1-2-3-lift back-2-123) [4 bars] + Turn in place (2nd Couple Advancing) [2 bars] + 2nd Lady Cross turning half a turn anti-clockwise to beside 1st Gent giving left hand to left over her left shoulder, while 1st Gent changes hands (right hand to right) turning his Partner half a turn clockwiseending with hand over her right shoulder [2 bars] + 2nd Top Gent takes Ladies spare hands in front 8 bars
Tops Line of 3 Advance to 2nd Tops position + Dance in place + Retire to 1st Tops + Dance in place Ladies also turning to join 2nd Top Gent 8 bars
Tops Line of 3 Retire to 2nd Tops place + Dance in place + Advance to centre + 1st Top gent pull Ladies to turn them out & around for a Basket (hands at waist level) 8 bars
Top Couples Basket left 8 bars
Top Couples Repeat: Chain + Swing + Slide in & back + 1st Lady cross over + Lines of three with both Gents + Basket left breaking back to place for Side Couples 48 bars
Side Couples Repeat with 1st Side Gent taking the ladies first, then repeat with 2nd Side Gent leading 96 bars

FIGURE 5: SLIDES (96 BARS)

All Couples Kerry hold - Lead around 8 bars
All Couples Advance & retire once + House across + Advance & retire + House across 16 bars
All Couples Four Ladies Chain across + Left arm hook turning with Opposite Gent + Chain back + Swing Partner 16 bars
Repeat Lead around + Advance, retire & half house + Advance, retire & half house + Four Ladies Chain across & back + Swing 40 bars
All Couples Lead around 8 bars

FIGURE 6: POLKAS (264 BARS)

All Couples Repeat until back in place 16 bars
All Couples Hornpipe Body + House the Set + Ladies move on to Original Partner

32 bars

All Couples Hornpipe Body + House the Set

24 bars

REFERENCES

Murphy, Pat (2000). The Flowing Tide. Cork: Mercier Press. ???.

Quinn, Tom (1977). Irish Dancing. Glasgow: Harper Collins. 277-286.


Created: December 8, 2007 / Updated: --