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Prince Edward Island - quadrilles

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Bowing Down Home

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Prince Edward Island - quadrilles


Bowing Down Home is a detailed website devoted to the fiddle traditions of Prince Edward Island. The site includes videos, photographs, music files, and interviews (both as audio files and as transcriptions). Much of the website is devoted to fiddle music, of course, and there is also a lot of material on PEI step dancing.

The site includes an overview of PEI square dance traditions, of course, noting "It’s impossible to get a clear picture of traditional fiddling on Prince Edward Island without also having at least some knowledge about traditional dancing." Another page is devoted to "Old-time Dances." Another page looks at Community Dances, including a detailed discussion house parties. The four couple squares in recent years were supplanted by the big circle style of dancing. Here are some items that may be of interest.

VIDEOS - Index

VIDEOS - Goose River Dance
Island Square Set, First Figure or "Lead Up": Goose River Dance, 2006 (band is "Young Peter" Chaisson, fiddle; Bonnie MacDonald Campbell, pno; Lemmy Chaisson; gtr)

Island Square Set, Second Figure or "Swing All 'Round": Goose River Dance, 2006

Island Square Set, Third Figure or "Ladies in the Center": Goose River Dance, 2006

VIDEOS - miscellaneous
Dancers in the Tuning Shed step their way through a square-set: Rollo Bay Scottish Fiddle Festival, 1992 (fiddler not identified)

Festivities in the Tuning Shed, Rollo Bay Scottish Fiddle Festival, 1992 (fiddler is Richard Wood)

Islanders & Cape Bretoners step-dance their way through the figures of a square set; Rollo Bay Scottish Fiddle Festival, 1991 (fiddler is Paul MacDonald)
VIDEOS - Lorne Valley dance
Island Square Set, First Figure or "Lead Up": Lorne Valley Dance, 2006 (musicians:"Young Peter" Chaisson, fiddle; Kevin Chaisson, pno)

Island Square Set, Second Figure or "Swing All 'Round": Lorne Valley Dance, 2006

Island Square Set, Third Figure or "Ladies in the Center": Lorne Valley Dance, 2006

•    Dance parties in the community
Often held at his grandfather's house; the host family would have a keg of beer which was consumed with great relish; sometimes there were old grudges settled, or jealousies flared; some went for the fight; Ivan Day tells about guy who just came back from RCMP who was disorderly and had to be put out; one dance hall near Summerside was known as the Bucket of Blood

Dances around St. Peters Lake
House parties at his house quite often; then in the 1950s they had dances in the schoolhouses: socials and cards then a dance after; also had church picnics

Island dance halls & the Huestis Orchestra
Development of modern dance bands in Island dance halls

West Prince Fiddlers Club - Conflict Over Room on Dance Floor
Fighting at the Old Dances: Fighting over a Place to Dance

Decline in Square Dancing
Old time Lancers died out; description of figures; changed to joining all sets together for the grand chain; became too much for the fiddler

Square dancing dropped in Tignish
People don't want to square dance anymore; it went up for a vote and the crowd voted against it

Stewart, Bud - Hall dances in Montague & South King
The Beaver Club in Montegue and other Dance Halls of Southern Kings County in the 50s

MacInnis, Billy Sr - Dance halls in 1950s Charlottetown
Dance Halls in Charlottetown; sneaking to hear Don Messer


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Item Relations

This Item is related to Item: Newfoundland Square Dance - Fogo Island
This Item is related to Item: Cape Breton - Inverness Country Dance Traditions