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 the role terms "larks" and "ravens" in place of "gents" and "ladies." You can use whatever role terms work for you and/or is requested by your dance communities.

  • I use "spiral" here as most callers traditionally have used "gypsy." You can use whatever terms work for you.

  • I use "u-turn" here as most callers traditionally have used "gypsy once and return to __." You can use whatever terms work for you.

  • Experienced dancers tend to circle left 3 places in only 6 beats, but I notate the figure as 8 beats anyway.

  • If you call any of these dances, let me know how it goes!

 

Alan’s Dots  (2018)

A2 of this dance is borrowed from “Dipping Dots” by Alan Winston.

Duple Improper

Single Progression

A1 Neighbor Balance and Swing (16)

A2 Dip and Dive Across the Set: #1 Lark and #2 Raven Arches and Other Couple Dives Through to Trade Places Across (4) - Neighbor California Twirl on the Side to Face Back in (4) / #2 Lark and #1 Raven Arches and Other Couple Dives Through to Trade Places Across (4) - Neighbor California Twirl on the Side to Face Back in (4)

B1  Ravens Right Hand Allemande 1.5 (8) / Partner Swing (8)

B2  Circle Left Three Places (6) - Pass Through Up and Down (2) / New Neighbor Do-si-Do (8)

 

ALexander Avery's Articulate Anime Adventure  (2017)

This dance was written for Alexander Avery Gale of Cincinnati, Ohio.  His mother, Anita Gale, sponsored a dance for him as part of the December 2016 fundraiser for Portland Intown Contra Dance.  She requested "one of those dances that makes the engineers in the community chuckle."  Before the walk through, dancers can identify their shadow by looking past their partner up and down the hall.

Clockwise Becket

Single Progression

A1  Left Diagonal (Only if someone is there) Ravens Chain to a New Neighbor (8) / (Shadow is now across the set) Straight Across Ravens Pass Right to Start a Half Hey (8)

A2  Neighbor Balance and Swing (16)

B1  Right and Left Through Across (8) / Ring Balance (4) - Slide One Place to the Right as in Petronella (4)

B2  Long Wavy Lines (Larks facing out; shadow in right hand) Balance Right then Left (4) - Slide Right Past Shadow as in Rory O'More (4) / Partner Swing (8)

 

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

Single Progression

A1  Neighbor Balance & Swing (16)

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

B1  Partner Balance & Swing (16)

B2  Ravens 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 my teeth, so I jotted it down when I was done with that.  After the first time through, dancers in the raven's role may find it helpful in the second half of A1 to be referred to as "new ravens" ("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

Single Progression

A1  Long Lines Forward and Back (8) / Ravens 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)

 

Bob the Surfer  (2017)

This dance was inspired by "Surfing the Set" by Bob Isaacs and Richard Alan Fisher.  The figure in B2 is often referred to as "box circulate."

DUPLE IMPROPER

Single Progression

A1  Neighbor Balance & Swing (16)

A2  Larks Left Hand Allemande 1.5 (8) / Partner Swing (8)

B1  Circle Left Three Places (8) / Neighbor Right Hand Allemande 1.5 (8)

B2  Long Wave on the Side (Larks face in; ravens face out; current neighbor in right hand) Balance Right then Back (4) - Larks Cross the Set While Ravens Turn Right to Take Neighbor's Place (4) / Long Wave on the Side (Larks face out; ravens face in; partner in right hand) Balance Right then Back (4); Ravens Cross the Set While Larks Turn Right to Take Partner's Place and Turn Away on the Side to Face New Neighbor (4)

 

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

Single Progression

A1  Short Wave Across (Ravens left hands in middle; neighbor right hand) Balance Towards Neighbor then Away (4) - Slide Right as in Rory O'More (4) / Short Wave Across (Larks 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  Larks Left Hand Allemande 1.5 (8) / Partner Swing (8)

B2  Ravens Chain Across to Neighbor (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 wife, Dela Murphy, 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

Single Progression

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

A2  Neighbor Balance & Swing (16)

B1  Half Hey with Push Off: Larks Push off (to trade places with neighbor on side) - Ravens 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)

 

Cary's Campaign  (2018)

This dance is essentially a variation of "Judy's Journey" by Cary Ravitz.

DUPLE IMPROPER

Single Progression

A1   Neighbor Balance & Swing (16)

A2 Circle L 3 Places (8) / Neighbor Right Hand Pull By (Across) - Partner Left Hand Pull By (Side) - Neighbor Right Hand Pull By (Across) (8)

B1  Partner Balance and Swing (16)

B2  Ravens Chain Across to Neighbor (8) / Left Hand Star Once (8)

 

Catch These Turrets  (2017)

This dance is something of a simplification of "Abolish Mop Snarl" by Nils Fredland, which itself is a variation of "Banish Moral Slop" by Dan Pearl.  Nils's and Dan's dances are both anagrams for "Spanish Ballroom," the famed dance venue in Glen Echo Park near Washington DC.  Mine is an anagram for "State Street Church," where I help organize a weekly Thursday contra dance in Portland, Maine.  As in a push-off hey, ravens slide left while larks push off in the middle so larks can take their place after the push-off.

Duple Improper

Single Progression

A1  Short Wave (Neighbor in right hand; ravens left hand in the middle) Balance (4) - Dance Forward (4) / New Short Wave (Next neighbor in right hand; new ravens left hand in the middle) Balance (4) - This Neighbor Right Hand Turn .75 (4) 

A2  Original Neighbor Balance and Swing (16)

B1  Larks Push Off - Ravens Pass Left (8) / Partner Swing (8)

B2  Ravens Chain to Neighbor (8) / Left Hand Star Once (8)

 

Change of Heart  (2017)

This dance came out of an exploration of reversing the roles in "Heart of Glass" by Cary Ravitz.

Clockwise Becket

Single Progression

A1  Ravens Right Hand Allemande 1.5 (8) / Ravens Pick Up Neighbor to Star Promenade Across and Butterfly Whirl to Face Across (8)

A2  Larks Pass Left to Start Full Hey (16)

B1  Neighbor Balance and Swing (8)

B2  Give and Take to Raven's Side (8) / Partner Swing - Slide Left to Find New Neighbors (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.  As with any dance, you can also use other role terms to denote dancers in the raven's role and the lark's role.

CIRCLE - Mixer

Random Progression

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

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

B1  Concentric Circles (Larks' inside circle facing out and ravens' 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

Single Progression

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

A2  Partner Balance & Swing (16)

B1  Larks 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)

 

Dancing in Northampton  (2017)

This dance is terribly similar to "Northampton Dancing" by Linda Leslie.  At the end of the walk through, I like to point out to dancers where their new neighbors are so they know to engage them in the star the next time through.

Duple Improper

Single Progression

A1  Partner Right Hand Balance (4) and Box the Gnat (4) / Right Hand Star Once

A2  Larks Turn Right to Face Neighbor to Right Shoulder Spiral and Swing (16)

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

B2  Right & Left Through Across (8) / Ravens Chain Across to Neighbor (8)


David's Romance  (2017)

This dance is terribly similar to "Country Dance Romance" by David Smukler.  Experienced dancers tend to take less than 8 beats for a mad robin, which might mean that they execute A2 a little ahead of schedule and get to the partner swing a little early and that's fine.  At the end of the walk through I like to point out new neighbors for the mad robin the second time around.

Duple Improper

Single Progression

A1  Long Lines Forward and Back (8) / Ravens Front and Right to Start Mad Robin (8)

A2  .75 Pousette with Ravens Forward to Start Until Larks are Back to Back (8) / Partner Pass Right to Start Half Hey (8) 

B1  Partner Spiral and Swing (16)

B2  Circle Left Three Places (8) / Neighbor Swing (8)

 

Dela Says Yippee  (2017)

Dela, my partner in life, really likes "Beneficial Tradition" by Dan Pearl. She asked me to write a dance that cut the zipper figure (B2 of "Beneficial Tradition")  in half and put it in a more choreographically spacious environment.  As in "Beneficial Tradition," if there's no one there to pull by, turn around and stay put.

Clockwise Becket

Single Progression

A1  Long Lines Forward and Back (8) / Neighbor Left Hand Pull by Across the Set (hopping and shouting recommended on the fourth beat) (4) - New Same-Role Dancer Across the Set Right Hand Pull by Across the Set (hopping and shouting recommended on the fourth beat) (4)

A2  New Ravens (not the one just pulled by) Left Hand Allemande 1.5 (8) / Neighbor Swing

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

B2  Partner Balance & Swing (16)

 

Diane's Been THere  (2017)

This dance is essentially a combination of "Fruit Punch" by Diane Silver and "Haven't Been There Yet" by Katy Heine, hence the title.  

Duple improper

Single Progression

A1  Neighbor Balance & Swing (16)

A2  Ring of Four Balance (4) - Pass Through to the Ocean Wave (4) / Short Wave Across (Ravens in middle by left hand; neighbor right hand) Balance Right then Left (4) - Neighbor Right Hand Turn Half Way (2) - Larks Left Hand Turn Half Way (2)

B1  Partner Balance & Swing (16)

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

 

Don's Pet Llama  (2017)

This dance is terribly similar to "Llama Llama Ding Dong" by Don Flaherty.

DUPLE IMPROPER

Single Progression

A1  Short Wave Across (Ravens left hands in middle; neighbor right hand) Balance Towards Neighbor then Away (4) - Neighbor Right Hand Turn .75 (4) / Long Wave on the Side (Larks face out; neighbor right hand) Balance Towards Neighbor then Back (4) - Ravens Pass Right to Cross (4)

A2  Partner Balance & Swing (16)

B1  Larks Left Hand Allemande 1.5 (8) / Neighbor Swing (8)

B2  Right & Left Through Across (8) / Left Hand Star Once to Form a Short Wave with a New Couple (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 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 in whose hand and which direction to balance the wave.

Clockwise BECKET

Single Progression

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

A2  Short Wave Across (Larks 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 Across (Ravens left hands in middle; partner right hand) Balance (Toward partner: right, then away) (4) - Slide Right (Ravens slide one place while larks slide two places to pass each other across the set)  as in Rory O'More (4)

B1  Neighbor Balance & Swing (16)

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

Single Progression

A1  Circle Left 3 Places (8) / Partners as a Couple Weave Left Past Neighbors (2) - Weave Right (2) - New Larks Left Hand Turn Half Way or so (to give a right hand to the new neighbor) (4)

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

Single Progression

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

A2  Neighbor Balance & Swing (16)

B1  Left Diagonal Ravens Chain to Shadow (8) / Ravens 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

Single Progression

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

 

Hanging Out in Portland  (2017)

This dance is sort of like "Valerie's Trip to Portland" by Erik Weberg meets "Leave them Hanging" by Luke Donforth.

Duple Improper

Double Progression

A1  Neighbor Right Shoulder Spiral and Swing (16)

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

B1  Partner Right Shoulder Spiral and Swing (16)

B2  Circle Left 3 Places (7) - Partners as a Couple Weave Left Past Neighbors (3) - Weave Right Past Couple 2 (3) - Weave Left to Face Neighbor 3 on the Side (3)

 

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

Single Progression

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

A2  Neighbor Balance & Swing (16)

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

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

 

The Heron Has Landed  (2017)

This dance is basically a variation of "Little Green Heron" by Joseph Pimentel.  

Duple Improper

Double Progression

A1  With Partner and Current Neighbor Couple Right Hand Star Once (8) / With Partner and Previous Neighbor Couple Left Hand Star Once (8)

A2  Current Neighbor Balance and Swing (16)

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

B2  Circle Left 3 Places (7) - Partners as a Couple Weave Left Past Neighbors (3) - Weave Right Past Couple 2 (3) - Weave Left to Face Neighbor 3 on the Side (3)

 

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 ravens 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

Single Progression

A1  Ravens Chain Across to Neighbor (8) / Ravens 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

Single Progression

A1  Neighbor Balance & Swing (16)

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

B1  Partner Balance & Swing (16)

B2  Larks 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

Single Progression

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

A2  Neighbor Balance & Swing (16)

B1  Larks 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

Single Progression

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 Lark's Side (8) / Partner Swing (8)

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

 

John's Bees  (2017)

This dance is terribly similar to "The Bee Whisperer" by John Coffman.  It is also terribly similar to "Whispering Bees," also written by me.

Duple Improper

Single Progression

A1  Neighbor Right Hand Balance (4) - Neighbor Box the Gnat (4) / Right Hand Star Once (8)

A2  Larks Turn Right to Neighbor Spiral and Swing (16)

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

B2  Circle Left Three Places (6) - Pass Through Up and Down the Set (2) / New Neighbor Di-si-do (8)

 

Keep it Simple  (2017)

This dance was inspired by Ron Blechner's exploration into choreography including larks chaining across by the right hand.  The dance ended up looking a lot like "Simplicity Swing" by Becky Hill.  At the start of the dance, shadow is on left diagonal.  I find it helpful at the end of the walk through to point out the new larks for the second time around.

DUPLE IMPROPER

Single Progression

A1  Long Lines Forward and Back (8) / Larks Right Hand Chain Across to Partner (Courtesy turn so raven is on right and lark on left) (8)

A2  Left Hand Star Once (8) / Turn Away from Star to Shadow Do-si-do Once and Return to Partner (8)

B1  Partner Balance and Swing (16)

B2  Larks Left Hand Allemande 1.5 (8) / Neighbor Swing (8)

 

Legends of the Hidden Temple  (2018)

The title comes from a children's game show that was popular in the mid 1990s. A1 is intuitive, but can cause breakdowns if only a few people are not doing it right because the multiple progression occurs so quickly. Dancers have the rest of the dance to catch up if they messed up in A1. On the ends, dancers treat their partner as one of their neighbors during the figures in A1.

Duple Improper

Sextuple Progression

A1 Long Waves on the Sides (Larks face out; Ravens face in; Neighbor 1 in right hand; Neighbor 0 in left hand) Balance Right then Left (4) - Neighbor 1 Right Hand Turn Half Way (2) - Neighbor 2 Left Hand Turn Half Way (2) / Long Waves on the Sides (Larks face out; Ravens face in; Neighbor 3 in right hand; Neighbor 2 in left hand) Balance Right then Left (4) - Neighbor 3 Right Hand Turn Half Way (2) - Neighbor 4 Left Hand Turn Half Way (2)

A2  Neighbor 5 Balance and Swing (16)

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

B2 Ravens Chain Across to Neighbor (8) / Ravens Pass Right to Start Half Hey (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 ravens pull-by as ravens pass left to make for a better transition into the swing.

CLOCKWISE BECKET

Single Progression

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

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

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

B2 Neighbor Right Hand Balance (4) - Neighbor Right Hand Pull By (2) - Ravens 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

Single Progression

A1  Neighbor Spiral & Swing (16)

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

B1  Partner Spiral & Swing (16)

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

 

Once Lost; Now Found  (2017)

This dance is terribly similar to "Lost and Found" by Tom Hinds.  I find that the end of the walk through is a good spot to notify the dancers that this dance is double progression and that their new neighbors for the circle are straight across - larks can identify the lerk from the last .75 right hand turn in that couple.

Counter Clockwise Becket

Double Progression

A1  Circle Left Three Places (8) / Neighbor Swing (8)

A2  Long Lines Forward and Back (8) / Left Diagonal Ravens Chain to a New Neighbor (8)

B1  Larks Forward into the Middle (4) - Long Wavy Line of Larks Balance (4) / Larks Right Hand Turn .5 (2) - Next Larks Left Hand Turn .5 (2) - Next Larks Right Hand Turn .75 (4)

B2  Partner Balance and Swing (16)

 

Passion Gym  (2016)

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

Duple Improper

Single Progression

A1  New Neighbor Spiral & Swing (16)

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

B1  Ravens 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)

 

Patch's Night Out  (2017)

Written for a cat by this name.  Also see "Tanner's Night Out."

Clockwise Becket

Single Progression

A1  Long Lines Forward and Back (8) / Ravens Chain Across to Neighbor (8)

A2  Ring of Four Balance (4) - Pass the Ocean (4) / Short Wave Across (Ravens left hand in the middle; neighbor right hand) Balance (4) - Dance Forward Up & Down the Set (4)

B1  New Neighbor Spiral and Swing (16)

B2  Larks Left Hand Allemande 1.5 (8) / Partner Swing (8)

 

punch West  (2017)

This dance is essentially a combination of "Fruit Punch" by Diane Silver and "West by Midwest" by Carol Ormand, hence the title.  

Duple improper

Single Progression

A1  Neighbor Balance & Swing (16)

A2  Ring of Four Balance (4) - Pass Through to the Ocean Wave (4) / Short Wave Across (Ravens in middle by left hand; neighbor right hand) Balance Right then Left (4) - Neighbor Right Hand Turn Half Way (2) - Larks Left Hand Turn Half Way (2)

B1  Partner Balance & Swing (16)

B2  Circle Left Three Places (6) - Pass Through Up and Down the Set (2) / New Neighbor Do-si-do (8)

 

RAD SPICE  (2016)

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

DUPLE IMPROPER

Single Progression

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

A2  Larks 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 (6) - Pass Through Up and Down the Set (2) / Mad Robin (Ravens slide right in front of new neighbors) (8)

 

Ribbons for Shoe Laces  (2017)

This dance is essentially a variation of "Wrinkled Ribbon" by Melanie Axel-Lute.

DUPLE IMPROPER

Single Progression

A1  Neighbor Left Hand Allemande 1.5 (8) / Ravens Pass Right to Start Half Hey (8)

A2  Neighbor Balance and Swing (16)

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

B2  Partner Promenade Across and Shift Right Along the Side (8) / New Couple Circle Right 3 Places (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

Single Progression

A1  New Ravens Chain Across to Neighbor (8) / Ravens Pass Right to Start Half Hey (8)

A2  Neighbor Balance & Swing (16)

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

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


Sliding Star  (2017)

This dance was inspired by "Solar Nebula" by Cary Ravitz and Janet Bertog, in which dancers in the raven role are active in the revolving door figure.  In the original published version of this dance, the revolving door figure continued from the second half of A1 into the first four beats of A2.  I found so many dancers getting the neighbor swing as early at the top of A2 that I updated the choreography in April 2018.

Duple Improper

Single Progression

A1  New Neighbor Right Hand Allemande 1.5 (8) / Larks Left Hand Turn .5 (2) - Partner Star Promenade Across (4) - Larks Left Hand Turn .5 (2)

A2  Neighbor Spiral and Swing (16)

B1  Larks Pass Left - Partner Pass Right - Ravens Push Off (8) / Partner Swing (8)

B2  Ravens Chain Across to Neighbor (8) / Left Hand Star Once to Face New Neighbor (8)

 

Sparkler  (2017)

This dance is inspired by "Shining Sparkle" by Don Veino.

Duple Improper

Single Progression

A1  Neighbor Balance and Swing (16)

A2  Give and Take to Lark's Side (8) / Partner Swing (8)

B1  Circle Left Three Places (8) / Neighbor Right Hand Allemande 1.5 (8)

B2  Long Wavy Lines (Larks facing in; current neighbor in right hand; next neighbor in left hand) Balance Right then Left (4) - Slide Right Past Neighbor as in Rory O'More (4) / Long Wavy Lines (Larks facing in; current neighbor in left hand; previous neighbor in right hand) Balance Left then Right (4) - Slide Left Past Neighbor as in Rory O'More and Turn Away to Next Neighbor (4)

 

Spring Flurry  (2017)

Suspiciously similar to "Spring Snow" by Bill Olson.

Duple Improper

Single Progression

A1  New Couple Left Hand Star Once (8) / Neighbor Left Hand Allemande 1.5 (8)

A2  Ravens Pass Right to Start Half Hey (8) / Neighbor Swing (8)

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

B2  Larks Left Hand Chain Across to Neighbor (8) / Right Hand Star Once to Find New Neighbors (8)

 

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

Single Progression

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 (Ravens in middle by left hand; neighbor right hand) Balance Right then Left (4) - Neighbor Right Hand Turn Half Way (2) - Larks 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.  I found later that it is also very similar to "Marshmallows in Flight" by Rich Goss.

Duple Improper

Single Progression

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

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

B1  Give & Take to Raven'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 a suite of three dances, the others being "Ellerbe's Ride" and "Ellerbe's 34 Pages." 

Clockwise BECKET

Single Progression

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

A2  Short Wave Across (Larks 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 Across (Ravens have left hands in middle; partner right hand) Balance Toward Partner then Away (4) - Slide Right as in Rory O'More (Ravens slide one place while larks 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

Single Progression

A1  New Neighbor Spiral & Swing (16)

A2  Right & Left Through Across (8) / Ravens Right Hand Allemande 1.5 (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)

 

Tanner and Patch  (2017)

Written for two cats by these names.  

Clockwise Becket

Single Progression

A1  Right & Left Through Across (8) / Ravens Right Hand Allemande 1.5 (8)

A2  Short Wave Across (Ravens right hand in the middle; neighbor left hand) Balance (4) - Dance Forward Up & Down the Set (4) / New Neighbor Swing (8)

B1  Right & Left Through Across (8) / Ravens Right Hand Allemande 1.5 (8)

B2  Partner Balance and Swing (16)

 

Tanner's Night Out  (2017)

Written for a cat by this name.  Also see "Patch's Night Out."

Clockwise Becket

Single Progression

A1  Right & Left Through Across (8) / Ravens Chain Across to Neighbor (8)

A2  Ring of Four Balance (4) - Pass the Ocean (4) / Short Wave Across (Ravens left hand in the middle; neighbor right hand) Balance (4) - Dance Forward Up & Down the Set (4)

B1  New Neighbor Balance and Swing (16)

B2  Give and Take to Lark's Side (8) / Partner Swing (8)

 

Thank You for Your Patience  (2016)

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

Duple Improper

Single Progression

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

A2  Partner Balance & Swing (16)

B1  Right & Left Through Across (8) / Ravens Chain Across to Neighbor (8)

B2  Ravens Right Shoulder U-Turn (8) / Neighbor Swing (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 raven's role to lead their partners into the circle while coming out of the courtesy turn in B2.

DUPLE IMPROPER

Single Progression

A1  Balance the Ring (4) - Pass Through Up and Down the Set (2) - New Neighbor Swing (10)

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

B1  Partner Balance and Swing (16)

B2  Right & Left Through Across (8) / Circle Right Three Places (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.  I originally published this dance with the star in A1, the neighbor swing in A2, the partner swing in B1, and the yearn in B2, which made the dance progress counterclockwise and also seemed to be more confusing for the dancers.  In March 2018, I reordered the choreography and have found the dance to be more intuitive as a result.

clockwise becket

Single Progression

A1 Left Diagonal Yearn to New Couple and Back up Straight Across (8) / Right & Left Through Across (8)

A2 Hands Across Left Hand Start Once Around (8) / Larks Drop Out and Ravens Left Hand Allemande 1.5 (8)

B1 Neighbor Balance and Swing (16)

B2 Larks Left Hand Allemande 1.5 (8) / Partner Swing (8)

 

Tony's Talent  (2018)

This dance started as a variation of "Ben's Brilliance" by Tony Parkes and ended up a new composition.

DUPLE IMPROPER

Single Progression

A1 Neighbor Balance and Swing (16)

A2 Neighbor Promenade Up/Down the Set (Counterclockwise with larks on the inside and ravens on the outside, continuing around the ends of the set) (6) - Turn as Couples (2) / Neighbor Promenade the Other Way Back (8)

B1 Rubies Right Hand Allemande 1.5 (8) / Partner Swing (8)

B2 Circle Left Three Places (6) - Pass Through Up and Down the Set (2) / New Neighbor Di-si-do (8)

 

Trip Up the Stairs  (2017)

This dance has similarities to "Trip to Lambertville" by Steve Zakon-Anderson as well as "Rock Creek" by David Harris.

DUPLE IMPROPER

Single Progression

A1  Ravens Forward into the Center (4) - Long Wavy Line of Ravens in Center Balance (4) / Ravens Back Up While Larks Dance Forward into the Center (4) - Long Wavy Line of Larks in Center Balance (4)

A2  Larks Left Hand Turn Once (6) - Partner Swing (10)

B1  Right and Left Through Across (8) / Ravens Right Hand Allemande 1.5 (8)

B2  Neighbor Balance and Swing (16)

 

Tumbler  (2017)

This dance is essentially a variation of "Rollin' and Tumblin'" by Cis Hinkle.

Duple Improper

Single Progression

A1  Neighbor Balance and Swing (16)

A2 Long Lines Forward and on the Way Back Larks Roll Neighbor Away while Larks Half-Sashay (8) / Long Lines Forward and on the Way Back Ravens Roll Neighbor Away while Ravens Half-Sashay (8)

B1  Ravens Right Hand Allemande 1.5 (8) / Partner Swing (8)

B2  Circle Left 3 Places (6) - Pass Through Up/Down (2) / New Neighbor Do-Si-Do (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

Single Progression

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  Larks Left Hand Allemande 1.5 (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 wife, Dela Murphy.  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

Single Progression

A1  Neighbor Balance and Swing (16)

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

B1  Partner Balance & Swing (16)

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

 

Whispering Bees  (2017)

This dance is terribly similar to "The Bee Whisperer" by John Coffman.  It is also terribly similar to "John's Bees," also written by me.

Duple Improper

Single Progression

A1  Neighbor Right Hand Balance (4) - Neighbor Box the Gnat (4) / Right Hand Star Once (8)

A2  Larks Turn Right to Neighbor Spiral and Swing (16)

B1  Circle Left Three Places (8) / Partner Swing (8)

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

Single Progression

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

 

Woosh (2017)

This dance is terribly similar to "Swoosh" by Lynn Ackerson.

DUPLE IMPROPER

Single Progression

A1  Neighbor One Right Hand Pull by (2) - Neighbor Two Left Hand Pull by (2) Neighbor Three Left Hand Pull by (2) - Neighbor Four Left Hand Allemande Once (6) - Neighbor Three Right Hand Pull by (2) - Neighbor Two Left Hand Turn .5 (2) 

A2  Long Wave (Neighbor one right hand; neighbor two left hand; larks face in; ravens face out) Balance (4) - Larks Cross (4) / Partner Swing (8)

B1  Circle Left Three Places (8) / Neighbor Swing (8)

B2  Right & Left Through Across (8) / Left Hand Star Once to New Neighbor One (8)

 


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