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Breakin up Christmas

GUEST,Jeff Long 13 Dec 16 - 01:14 AM
BobL 13 Dec 16 - 03:49 AM
Sean Belt 14 Dec 16 - 12:06 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 15 Dec 16 - 06:34 AM
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Subject: Breakin up Christmas
From: GUEST,Jeff Long
Date: 13 Dec 16 - 01:14 AM

Does anybody know the traditional Breakin up Christmas Dance? I've heard it was a cross between the Virginia Reel and an old European Dance? We're planning a Breakin up Christmas Celebration and would like to do the traditional dance if anyone knows the movements to it?

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Subject: RE: Breakin up Christmas
From: BobL
Date: 13 Dec 16 - 03:49 AM

In Victorian times, the party traditionally finished with "Sir Roger de Coverley", a dance which more or less went viral across Europe at a time when ECD was at the height of its popularity. Virginia Reel was one spin-off, another was named something like "Zarucha".

Some years ago, at a conference jointly run by EFDSS and the Dolmetsch Society, a paper was presented on this very topic. I'll have to see if I can dig it out.

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Subject: RE: Breakin up Christmas
From: Sean Belt
Date: 14 Dec 16 - 12:06 PM

I didn't know there was a specific dance for Breakin' Up Christmas. I know a few dance callers and will check with them to see if I can dig up the figures for you. So far, all I've found from a Google search is that the dance is done with men and women facing each other in lines (like a contra, I guess) and the steps are like the Virginia Reel mixed with a minuet.

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Subject: RE: Breakin up Christmas
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 15 Dec 16 - 06:34 AM

Breaking up Christmas is a tradition from south west Virginia / North Carolina area and I guess that this is the tradition referred to in the OP.
Paul Brown did a one hour radio show on it which was released on a CD "Blue Ridge Mountain Holiday" County CO-CD.-2722.
There doesn't seem to be a specific dance but there is a specific tune and believe it or not it is called "Breaking up Christmas".

The CD will tell you all you wish to know told by Paul and various musicians that still carry it on, These include Tommy Jarrell's son the late Wayne Jarrell who was one of the most popular dance callers on these occasions.

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