If Love's a Sweet Passion

If Love’s a Sweet Passion (collaboration with Scott Higgs 1990-3)
Tune: "If Love’s a Sweet Passion", Henry Purcell, 1692; played AABB (last 16 bars played twice).
Directions and music have been printed in Early one morning, available from Scott Higgs, and (with a somewhat different choreography) in Purcell’s Dancing Master, Nicholas Broadbridge and Marjorie Fennessy.

Either 3-couple set or a Duple Minor Longways, Proper

A1       Ones cross, cast below (twos move up);
Ones dance a half figure 8 through second couple above.
A2       Ones turn to the couple on their individual right and star by the right hand once around; ones turn to the couple on their individual left and star left hand once around.

(In the 3-couple version, these are 3-person stars – or ‘teapots’; first gentleman starts with third couple while first lady starts with second couple. In the duple minor longways version, the 4-person stars include someone from both the couple one above and the couple one below; first gentleman starts with couple below while first lady starts with couple above. In both versions, end A2 where it was started.)

B1           All gypsy partners right shoulder – the "inactive" couples do this rather wide, and finish at the sides of the set with some room in the center; the ones gypsying more closely in the center, with the first gentleman taking an extra half-turn right so they finish together in the center, both facing down, first gentleman in the lead.

First couple dancing as a unit heys with the couple below, passing right with the person on the right to begin. As the full hey finishes, first couple moves slightly up, back in the center of the set. First gentleman turns back towards his partner over his left shoulder and the ones gypsy left once around, finishing closely and with the first lady taking an extra half-turn left so they finish both facing up, lady in the lead.

B2           First couple, dancing as a unit, hey with the couple above, passing right with the person on the right to begin. As that hey finishes, ones move slightly down, back into the center of the set, to be side-by side, both facing up (the more usual position). Taking hands briefly, they lead up through the couple above, then cast down, other couples moving up, setting to partner, and turning single.

In the 3-couple version, ones cast to the bottom; in the duple minor version, ones cast below their original second couple and can join in the set and turn single.

Scott and I began working on this together in the early 1990’s, but then each finished it separately - hence the somewhat different versions of the dance. I preferred to use the longer version of this tune as recorded by Bob Pasquarello on "If Love’s a Sweet Passion". I like the narrative structure with each person in the lead couple taking a turn to lead the Shetland heys, and coming equitably alongside each other to lead up together before casting to finish the dance.

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