DUGAN MURPHY

Dugan Murphy is a nationally known contra dance caller, co-organizer of Portland Intown Contra Dance, a Maine Humorist, a voice-artist, a storyteller, and a non-profit consultant.

Dugan is a Contra Dance ChoreograPher

Dugan keeps his cards in here.

Dugan keeps his cards in here.

Note:

  • I use "spiral" here as most callers traditionally have used "gypsy."
  • I use "u-turn" here as most callers traditionally have used "gypsy once."
  • If you call any of these dances, let me know how it goes!

 

ALL HANDS ON DECK  (2015)

A2 of this dance is a variation on the A2 from "Fast Hands" by Diane Silver. B2 is derived from "A Pirate's Life for Me" by Nathaniel Jack. Also see my dance "Hold Fast." The timing in A2 is tight, so I often tell dancers that there is no shame in skipping the balance at the top of B1 if they're late finding their partner.

DUPLE IMPROPER

A1  Neighbor Balance & Swing (16)

A2  Pull by Hey: Gents Pull by Left (2) - Partner Pull by Right (2) - Ladies Pull by Left (2) - Neighbor Pull by Right (2)- Gents Pull by Left (2)- Partner Pull by Right (2)- Ladies Allemande Left Once (4)

B1  Partner Balance & Swing (16)

B2  Ladies Do-si-do 1.5 (8) / Neighbor Right Shoulder Spiral Once (ish) and Turn Away to Face New Neighbor (8)

 

Back of the envelope (2017)

This sequence occurred to me as I was brushing me teeth, so I jotted it down when I was done with that.  After the first time through, dancers in the lady's role may find it helpful in the second half of A1 to be referred to as "new ladies" ("on the other side of your partner," as I may say at the end of the walk through) to clear up any confusion.    

DUPLE IMPROPER

A1  Long Lines Forward and Back (8) / Ladies Left Hand Allemande 1.5 (8)

A2  Partner Balance & Swing (16)

B1  Circle Left 3 Places (8) / Neighbor Di-Si-Do (8)

B2  Neighbor Balance & Swing (16)

 

BOLD COAST  (2016)

This is a partner to another dance I wrote called "Cutler Coast." The names come from a trail in Downeast Maine that bears both monikers.

DUPLE IMPROPER

A1  Short Wave (Ladies left hands in middle; neighbor right hand) Balance Towards Neighbor then Away (4) - Slide Right as in Rory O'More (4) / Short Wave (Gents right hands in middle; neighbor left hand) Balance Towards Neighbor then Away (4) - Slide Left as in Rory O'More (4)

A2  Neighbor Balance & Swing (16)

B1  Gents Left Hand Allemande Once 1/2 (8) / Partner Swing (8)

B2  Ladies Chain (8) / Ring Balance (4) - Cross Trail: Partner Pass Right (Across) (2) - Neighbor Pass Left (Side) to New Neighbors (2)

 

Callie & David Chase Good FeelingS  (2015)

I wrote this dance in honor of Callie & David Chase, as a prize for an incredibly difficult word search puzzle my partner, Dela Taylor, created for the July 2015 issue of DownEast Friends of the Folk Arts newsletter. The A section is taken from "A Good Feeling" by Bill Pope. I revised the half-hey a bit after getting feedback from Will Mentor. 

DUPLE IMPROPER

A1  Neighbor Right Hand Balance & Box the Gnat (8) / Gents Left Hand Allemande 1 1/2 *while* Ladies Orbit Clockwise 1/2 (8)

A2  Neighbor Balance & Swing (16)

B1  Half Hey with Push Off: Gents Push off (to trade places with neighbor on side) - Ladies Pass Left (8) / Partner Swing (8)

B2  Circle L 3 Places (8) / Neighbor Pass Right (Side) - Partner Pass Left (Across) - Neighbor Pass Right (Side) to New Neighbor (8)

 

Concentric Rotation  (2012)

This is a fun choice for family and community dances. If anybody is left out when the concentric circles break for swings, tell them to go to the middle to find other lost-and-founds.

CIRCLE - Mixer

A1  All into Middle & Back (8) / All into Middle & Back (8)

A2 Ladies into Middle & Back (8) / Gents into Middle - Turn, Form Circle with Gents Facing Out (8)

B1  Concentric Circles (Gents' inside circle facing out and ladies' outside circle facing in) Circle Left (16)

B2  Find a New Partner (in front of you in the other circle) to Swing (16)

 

Cutler COast  (2016)

This is a partner to another dance I wrote called "Bold Coast." The names come from a trail in Downeast Maine that bears both monikers.

Duple Improper

A1  Short Wave (Ladies left hands in middle; neighbor right hand) Balance Toward Neighbor then Away (4) - Slide Right as in Rory O'More (4) / Short Wave (gents right hands in middle; neighbor left hand) Balance Toward Neighbor then Away (4) - Slide Left as in Rory O'More (Ladies slide 2 places past each other across the set to meet partner) (4)

A2  Partner Balance & Swing (16)

B1  Gents Left Hand Allemande Once 1/2 (8) / Neighbor Swing (8)

B2  Ring Balance (4) - Cross Trails: Partner Pass Right (Across) (2) - Neighbor Pass Left (Side) (2) / New Neighbor Do-si-do Once 1/4 (8)

 

Ellerbe's 34 Pages  (2015)

Written in honor of Ellerbe Cole, a pillar of the Maine contra community who died in 2015. This is part of as a suite of three dances I wrote, the others being "Ellerbe's Ride" and "Summer of Ellerbe."  The configuration of the wavy lines and Rory O'More sliding is intentionally reversed in honor of Ellerbe, who didn't always dance every figure exactly how the caller intended.  Thus, callers may emphasize who is is whose hand and which direction to balance the wave.

Clockwise BECKET

A1  Ladies Pass Right to Start Full Hey (Last time gents meet in the middle, catch right hands, turn halfway to give left hand to partner) (16)

A2  Short Wave (Gents right hands in middle; partner left hand) Balance (Toward partner: left, then away) (4) - Slide Left One Place as in Rory O'More (4) / Short Wave (Ladies left hands in middle; partner right hand) Balance (Toward partner: right, then away) (4) - Slide Right (Ladies slide one place while gents slide two places to pass each other across the set)  as in Rory O'More (4)

B1  Neighbor Balance & Swing (16)

B2  Gents Left Hand Allemande 1.5 (8) / Partner Swing and Slide Left to Find New Ladies (8)

 

Ellerbe's Ride  (2015)

Written in honor of Ellerbe Cole, a pillar of the Maine contra community who died in 2015. This is part of as a suite of three dances I wrote, the others being "Ellerbe's 34 Pages" and "Summer of Ellerbe." A1 I first encountered in "The Boys from Urbana" by John Coffman, but have since seen in many other dances.

Clockwise Becket

A1  Circle Left 3 Places (8) / Partners as a Couple Weave Left Past Neighbors (2) - Weave Right (2) - New Gents Left Hand Turn Once(ish) (4)

A2  Short Wave (Gents left hands in middle; neighbor right hand) Balance Toward Neighbor then Away (4) - Slide Right as in Rory O'More (4) / Short Wave (Ladies right hands in middle; neighbor left hand) Balance Toward Neighbor then Away (4) - Slide Left as in Rory O'More (4)

B1  Neighbor Balance & Swing (16)

B2  Give & Take to the Gent's Side (8) / Partner Swing (8)

 

FEWER BANANAS  (2012)

Started as a variation of "Bananas"  by Becky Hill to include a neighbor swing.

Clockwise BECKET

A1  Long Lines Forward & Back (8) / Gents Left Hand Allemande 1.5 (8)

A2  Neighbor Balance & Swing (16)

B1  Left Diagonal Ladies Chain (to Shadow) (8) / Ladies Pass Right to Start Half Hey (8)

B2  (Turn Away from Shadow) Partner Balance & Swing (16)

 

FLYING WIND IN THE TREES  (2016)

This dance was written in honor of John Amneus, whose partner, Anita Gale, sponsored a dance for him as part of the December 2016 fundraiser for Portland Intown Contra Dance. As I wrote the first "...Wind in the Trees" dance, two more came out to make them a suite of three dances. The other two in the suite are "Wind in the Trees" and "Walking Wind in the Trees".

DUPLE IMPROPER

A1  Long Lines Forward & Back (8) / New Neighbor Swing (8)

A2  Circle Left 3 Places (8) / As a Couple with Neighbor Weave Left Past Partner - Weave Right Past Shadow 1 - Weave Left to Shadow 2 (8)

B1  Shadow 2 Right Hand Turn Once (6) - Shadow 1 Left Hand Pull-by (2) / Partner Swing (8)

B2  Gents Left Hand Allemande 1.5 (8) / Neighbor Star Promenade (4) - Neighbor Butterfly Whirl (4)

 

Heartbreak Contra  (2011)

Written in the tradition of simple dances with a Petronella figure into a balance and swing in the A section, like "Heartbeat Contra" by Don Flaherty. This dance started as a variation of a variation of Don's dance, popularized by a video of George Marshall calling in Tacoma, Washington.

DUPLE IMPROPER

A1  Ring Balance & Slide Right as in Petronella (8) / Ring Balance & Slide Right as in Petronella (8)

A2  Neighbor Balance & Swing (16)

B1  Gents Left Hand Allemande 1.5 (8) / Partner Swing (8)

B2  Circle Left 3 Places (8) / Balance Ring - Pass Through to New Couple (8)

 

Hiking With Sunny Step  (2016)

This dance was written in honor of Anita Gale, who sponsored a dance as part of the December 2016 fundraiser for Portland Intown Contra Dance. In A1, after the ladies chain, it helps to have dancers identify their new neighbor just beyond their current neighbor so they know who to swing after the hey.

Counterclockwise becket

A1  Ladies Chain (8) / Ladies Pass Right to Start Half Hey (8)

A2  New Neighbor Balance & Swing (16)

B1  Hands in a Ring, Balance (4) - Move One Place to the Right as in Petronella (4) / Hands in a Ring, Balance (4) - Move Twos Places to the Right (4)

B2  Partner Balance & Swing (16)

 

Hold Fast  (2015)

A variation of my dance, "All Hands on Deck," written at about the same time.

Duple Improper

A1  Neighbor Balance & Swing (16)

A2  Pull by Hey: Ladies Pull by Right (2) - Partner Pull by Left (2) - Gents Pull by Right (2) - Neighbor Pull by Left (2) - Ladies Pull by Right (2) - Partner Pull by Left (2) - Gents Right Hand Allemande Once (4)

B1  Partner Balance & Swing (16)

B2  Gents See-Saw (Left shoulder do-si-do) 1.5 (8) / Neighbor Left Shoulder Spiral Once(ish) and Turn Away to Face New Neighbor (8)

 

Irritable Inventiveness  (2016)

This dance is essentially a variation of "Cranky Ingenuity" by Bill Olson, written to allow for a longer neighbor swing.

Duple Improper

A1  Partners Do-si-do as a Couple Once (8) / Neighbor Do-si-do Once (8)

A2  Neighbor Balance & Swing (16)

B1  Gents Left Hand Allemande 1.5 (8) / Partner Swing (8)

B2  Circle Left 3 Places (8) / Balance the Ring (4) - Partner California Twirl to Face New Couple (4)

 

Jim's Chance  (2017)

This dance is terribly similar to "Jim's Dance" by Katy Heine,

DUPLE IMPROPER

A1  Neighbor Pass Left (3) - Preview Neighbor Right Shoulder U-Turn (5) / Neighbor Pass Left (3) - Previous Neighbor Right Shoulder U-Turn (5)

A2  Neighbor Balance and Swing (16)

B1  Give and Take to Gent's Side (8) / Partner Swing (8)

B2  Circle Left Three Places (8) / Neighbor Right Hand Allemande 1.5 to Face a New Neighbor (8)

 

Long Travel, Short Stay (2017)

I wrote this dance for Lisa Greenleaf as a thank-you for donating toward the December 2016 fundraiser for Portland Intown Contra Dance. Lisa prefers to call the ladies pull-by as ladies pass left to make for a better transition into the swing.

CLOCKWISE BECKET

A1 Circle Left 3 Places (8) / Short Wave (Ladies left hand in the middle; neighbor in right hand) Balance Right then Left (4) - Neighbor Right Hand Turn Half Way (2) - Gents Left Hand Turn Half Way (2)

A2  Partner Right Hand Balance (4) - Partner Right Hand Pull By (2) - Ladies Left Hand Pull By (2) / Neighbor Swing (8)

B1 Circle Left 3 Places (8) / Short Wave (Ladies left hand in the middle; partner in right hand) Balance Right then Left (4) - Partner Right Hand Turn Half Way (2) - Gents Left Hand Turn Half Way (2)

B2 Neighbor Right Hand Balance (4) - Neighbor Right Hand Pull By (2) - Ladies Left Hand Pull By (2) / Partner Swing (8)  (Find a new couple by sliding left)

 

Martin the Martian  (2016)

A2 is taken from "Venus & Mars" by Martin Sirk. 

Duple Improper

A1  Neighbor Spiral & Swing (16)

A2  Circle Left 3 Places - Gents Roll Partner Away while Gents Half Sashay (8) / Gents Left Hand Allemande 1.5 *while* Ladies Orbit Clockwise Half Way (8)

B1  Partner Spiral & Swing (16)

B2  Ladies Chain (8) / Ladies Pass Right to Start Half Hey - Turn Away to New Neighbor (8)

 

Passion Gym  (2016)

This dance is a combination of "Passion Breakdown" by Cary Ravitz and "A Swim at the Gym" by me.

Duple Improper

A1  New Neighbor Spiral & Swing (16)

A2  Ladies Pass Right to Start Half Hey (8) / Mad Robin (Ladies slide left in front of neighbor) (8)

B1  Ladies Pass Left (4) / Partner Swing (12)

B2  Circle Left 3 Places (8) / Neighbor Pass Right (Side)- Partner Pass Left (Across) - Neighbor Pass Right (Side) (8)

 

RAD SPICE  (2016)

B2 and A1 are taken from "Mad Slice" by Rick Mohr.

DUPLE IMPROPER

A1  Ladies Left Hand Allemande Once (5) - Neighbor Swing (11)

A2  Gents Left Hand Allemande 1.5 (8) / Partner Pass Right to Start Half Hey (8)

B1  Partner Spiral and Swing (16)

B2  Circle Left Three Places - Pass Through (8) / Mad Robin (Ladies slide right in front of new neighbors) (8)

 

SATURDAY NIGHT IN INDIANAPOLIS  (2013)

I wrote this in honor of my friends in Indianapolis. Debuted when I called at Gypsy Moon Ball dance weekend in 2013.

Clockwise BECKET

A1  New Ladies Chain (8) / Ladies Pass Right to Start Half Hey (8)

A2  Neighbor Balance & Swing (16)

B1  Long Lines Forward & Back (8) / Gents Pull by Left (2) - Partner Pull by Right (2) - Ladies Allemande Left Once (4)

B2  Partner Balance & Swing (16) (New ladies find each other by sliding left with partner on the side)

 

Stir the punch (2017)

This dance is essentially "Fruit Punch" by Diane Silver with a different way to find new neighbors to swing.  

clockwise becket

A1 Circle Left Three Places (8) / Neighbor Di-Si-So (8)

A2  Neighbor Balance & Swing (16)

B1 Ring of Four Balance (4) - Pass Through to the Ocean Wave (4) / Short Wave Across (Ladies in middle by left hand; neighbor right hand) Balance Right then Left (4) - Neighbor Right Hand Turn Half Way (2) - Gents Left Hand Turn Half Way (2)

B2  Partner Balance & Swing (16) (Slide left to find new couple)

 

Stop, Drop, & Roll  (2012)

This dance started as a variation of "Roll Around" by Cary Ravitz, written so dancers have a different way to find new neighbors.

Duple Improper

A1  Form a Ring and Balance (4) - Gents Roll Partner Away (Across) while Gents Half-Sashay (4) / Ring Balance (4) - Gents Roll Neighbor Away (Side) while Gents Half-Sashay (4)

A2  Ring Balance (4) / Neighbor Swing (12)

B1  Give & Take to Lady's Side (8) / Partner Swing (8)

B2  Circle Left 3 Places (8) / Balance Ring (4) - Ones Arch, Twos Dive to Face New Couple (4)

 

Summer of Ellerbe  (2015)

Written in honor of Ellerbe Cole, a pillar of the Maine contra community who died in 2015. This is part of as a suite of three dances, the others being "Ellerbe's Ride" and "Ellerbe's 34 Pages." 

Clockwise BECKET

A1  Yearn to New Couple (8) / Ladies Pass Right to Start Half Hey (When gents meet they take right hands and turn half way to give left hand to partner) (8)

A2  Short Wave (Gents have right hands in middle; partner left hand) Balance Toward Partner then Away (4) - Slide Left One Place as in Rory O'More (4) / Short Wave (Ladies have left hands in middle; partner right hand) Balance Toward Partner then Away (4) - Slide Right as in Rory O'More (Ladies slide one place while gents slide 2 places past each other to cross set) (4)

B1  Neighbor Balance & Swing (16)

B2  Circle Left 3 Places (8) / Partner Swing (8)

 

A Swim at the Gym  (2016)

This dance was born around the same time as "Passion Gym." It's heavily derivative of "Whim's Gym" by Cary Ravitz.

Duple Improper

A1  New Neighbor Spiral & Swing (16)

A2  Right & Left Through (8) / Ladies Right-hand Allemande Once 1/2 (8)

B1  Partner Spiral & Swing (16)

B2  Circle Left 3 Places (8) / Neighbor Pass Right (Side) - Partner Pass Left (Across) - Neighbor Pass Right (Side) (8)

 

Thank You for Your Patience  (2016)

A combination of "Thanks to the Gene" by Tom Hinds and "Patience" by Chris Page.

Duple Improper

A1  Long Lines Forward & Back (8) / New Gents Right Hand Allemande 1.5 (8)

A2  Partner Balance & Swing (16)

B1  Right & Left Through (8) / Ladies Chain (8)

B2  Ladies Right Shoulder U-Turn (8) / Neighbor Swing (8)

 

tickets to Lakewood (2016)

I wrote this dance as a single-progression alternative to "The Lakewood Six" by Becky Hill.  I don't know which Lakewood Becky had in mind when she wrote her dance, but the title of mine pays homage to Lakewood Theatre in Madison, Maine, which is the oldest summer theatre in the United States in continuous operation.

Counterclockwise becket

A1 Hands Across Left Hand Start Once Around (8) / Gents Drop Out and Ladies Left Hand Allemande 1.5 (8)

A2 Neighbor Balance and Swing (16)

B1 Gents Left Hand Allemande 1.5 (8); Partner Swing (8)

B2 Left Diagonal Yearn to New Couple and Back up Straight Across (8) / Right and Left Through Across (8)

 

Walking WIND IN THE TREES  (2016)

This dance was written in honor of John Amneus, whose partner, Anita Gale, sponsored a dance for him as part of the December 2016 fundraiser for Portland Intown Contra Dance. As I wrote the first "...Wind in the Trees" dance, two more came out to make them a suite of dances. The other two in the suite are "Wind in the Trees" and "Flying Wind in the Trees".

DUPLE IMPROPER

A1  Long Lines Forward & Back (8) / New Neighbor Swing (8)

A2  Circle Left 3 Places (6) - As a Couple with Neighbor Weave Left Past Partner (2) / Weave Right (2) - Shadow Left-hand Turn Once (6)

B1  Partner Balance & Swing (16)

B2  Gents Left Hand Allemande Once 1/2 (8) / Neighbor Star Promenade (4) - Neighbor Butterfly Whirl (4)

 

the wild woman from chicagoland (2016)

This dance is a variation of "The Wild Woman from North Carolina" by Bill Olson that I developed as a tribute to my partner, Dela Taylor.  It is also similar to "Wild Women of Northern Massachusetts" by Ron Blechner.   In all three dances,the circle-rollaway-circle-rollaway figure in A2 is danced as one flowing movement.

Duple Improper

A1 Neighbor Balance and Swing (16)

A2 Circle Left Three Places (6) - Gents Rollaway Partner Away While Gents Half Sashay on the Side (2) / Circle Left Two Places (5) - Gents Rollaway Neighbor Away While Gents Half Sashay Across (3)

B1 Partner Balance & Swing (16)

B2 Ladies Chain (8) / Left Hand Star Once Around to New Neighbor (8)

 

This One Works, Right? (2017)

I wrote this dance for Lisa Greenleaf as a thank-you for donating toward the December 2016 fundraiser for Portland Intown Contra Dance.  Callers may find it helpful to encourage dancers in the lady's role to lead their partners into the circle while coming out of the courtesy turn in B2.

DUPLE IMPROPER

A1  Balance the Ring (4) - Pass Through on the Side (2) - New Neighbor Swing (10)

A2  Long Lines Forward and Back (8) / Ladies Right Hand Allemande 1.5 (8)

B1  Partner Balance and Swing (16)

B2  Right and Left Through Across (8) / Circle Right Three Places (8)

 

WIND IN THE TREES  (2016)

This dance was written in honor of John Amneus, whose partner, Anita Gale, sponsered a dance for him as part of the December 2016 fundraiser for Portland Intown Contra Dance. As I wrote the first "...Wind in the Trees" dance, two more came out to make them a suite of dances. The other two in the suite are "Walking Wind in the Trees" and "Flying Wind in the Trees".

DUPLE IMPROPER

A1  Long Lines Forward & Back (8) / New Neighbor Swing (8)

A2  Circle Left 3 Places (8) / Partner Do-si-do (8)

B1  Partner Balance & Swing (16)

B2  Gents Left Hand Allemande 1.5 (8) / Neighbor Star Promenade (4) - Neighbor Butterfly Whirl (4)

 


DUGAN MURPHY  |  DUGAN -at- DUGANMURPHY.COM  |  207.956.0207