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Harlem Rosette Mixer called by Larry Edelman

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Harlem Rosette Mixer called by Larry Edelman

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Larry Edelman calls this scatter mixer at the Dare To Be Square weekend held November 18-20, 2011, at the John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC. He introduces the "Harlem Rosette" figure that also appears later in the weekend in the Calico Top square. (See that video elsewhere on this website.) This is an abbreviated version of the dance, which actually ran about 6 minutes in length.

This dance is adapted from the square dance "Harlem Rosette" which was "dreamed up by Lloyd Shaw for his exhibition team and became immediately popular with the callers who came to the summer institutes. Like all good dance patterns, it was a straight "steal" from an old ...Danish four dance called "Little Man In A Fix which was one of Pappy's favorites." (Milly Riley, Western Square Dancing, 1989).

Writing in The American Dance Circle (Volume 3, #2, May, 1982), John Bradford recalled this about the dance from his time at Shaw's summer institute in 1946: "I remembered Pappy coming in to class and saying, 'Tonight we dance at the Broadmoor, and we'll have to work hard on all the new calls because Rae Hope loves to call something you don't know and mix everybody up. But tonight we're going to get him! Last night I had a dream about a new dance. It has a figure I saw some kids doing in Harlem, when we were in New York on our dance tour, so we'll call it the Harlem Rosette.'

"Then he taught us the dance and when we got to the Broadmoor that night, we got Rae Hope right out in the front square where Pappy was calling. When Pappy called the Harlem Rosette, Rae Hope's mouth dropped open as he tried to figure out what was going on. Pappy laughed and laughed as he stopped the dance to explain the new call and ribbed Rae about not keeping up with the latest things."

Neil Barden's Square and Contra Dance Figures (1960) defines the movement in this way:

HARLEM ROSETTE
From a "Travel-on" position with two couples in the line, gents in the center. Gents spread out to hand positions and make an arch. The ladies still hold gents' hands, walk forward, duck under the arch, turn a half turn to the left and join right hands with the other lady. All circle as called, using a buzz step.

'Head two couples go forward and back
Now veer to the right and gents hook on
Make that line and travel on
Now the girls duck under
and face to the left
Join your hands in a Harlem Rosette
Circle left you're doing fine
And those two ladies chain
Turn them around and all face to the middle
Circle eight to the tune of the fiddle."

Musicians are Steve Hickman, fiddle; Jim Morrison, guitar; Claudio Buchwald, piano; Sam Bartlett, banjo. Video footage of the musicians starts about 3:10 into the video. The tune is a John Ashby tune in A.

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November 18, 2011

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4:38

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