Ca' the Ewes ~ RSCDS

Ca' the Ewes tae the Knowes

Ca' the Ewes ~ Williams Ca' the Ewes ~ RSCDS

Ca' the Ewes ~ RSCDS or Ca' the Ewes tae the Knowes is a Scottish Country Dance. It was devised by Thomas Wilson in 1816 and published in A Companion to the Ball Room, London. It was interpreted by RSCDS in 1951 and published in RSCDS Book 16. It is S8×32 2C/4C, a proper Duple Minor dance. St32.

Wilson writes (page 113):
SINGLE FIGURE (Each strain repeated)
Set & change sides with the 2d. Cu: set & back again
whole poussette
DOUBLE FIGURE (Tune played twice thro' with repeats)
Set & change places with 2d. Cu: allemande
swing corners
set contrary corners
& the double triangle
OR THUS Cast off 2 Cu: & back again
swing with right hands round 2 Cu:
half figure up to the top allemande
lead down the middle up again & right & left with the top Cu:

Wilson usually gives multiple figures for each tune, I am following the second DOUBLE FIGURE.

The music is two 4 bar strains, each repeated, and then the whole tune repeated.

Wilson defines most of his figures in his An Analysis of Country Dancing.
Cast off 2 Cu: (& back again) is defined on pages 8-9 and means: "active couple cast down, go outside the set, passing two other couples, then turn away from each other to face up, and return to places."
swing with right hands round 2 Cu: this is defined on pages 104-105: "Right turn half, using the momentum to loop round your partner's place, then cross the set and loop around the same sex person in the couple below. This leaves you on the same side but having moved down 1 couple. Then you repeat the process, going down one more couple."
half figure up to the top, is, I think, what Wilson calls "Half figure eight on your own sides" on page 67 and means: "weave up through the two couples above, inside the closest, outside the next ending home."
allemande may be found on page 7 and appears to mean a gypsy (or perhaps a back-to-back). This is an unusual meaning for "allemande", but, as best as I can understand, that is what Wilson describes.
lead down the middle up again may be found on pages 10-11 and means: "lead down two couples, turn, lead up to the place of the couple who were below (who move up)" Wilson does not specify a hand hold for the lead, nor whether the 2s take hands.
right and left may be found on pages 39-44 and does not mean what I expect, instead: "2nd corners change by left shoulders, 1st corners right, 2nd corners change back by left, 1st corners by right."

The animation plays at 120 counts per minute normally, but the first time through the set the dance will often be slowed down so people can learn the moves more readily. Men are drawn as rectangles, women as ellipses. Each couple is drawn in its own color, however the border of each dancer indicates what role they currently play so the border color may change each time through the minor set.

An online description of the dance may be found here.

The dance contains the following figures: hand turn (allemande), cast, figure eight, rights and lefts, allemande round (and probably others).

If you find what you believe to be a mistake in this animation, please leave a comment on youtube explaining what you believe to be wrong. If I agree with you I shall do my best to fix it.

If you wish to link to this animation please see my comments on the perils of youtube. You may freely link to this page, of course, and that should have no problems, but use one of my redirects when linking to the youtube video itself:

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The dance itself is out of copyright, and is in the public domain. The interpretation is copyright © 1951 by RSCDS. My visualization of this dance is copyright © 2022 by George W. Williams V and is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

This website is copyright © 2021,2022,2023,2024 by George W. Williams V
Creative Commons License My work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Most of the dances have more restrictive licensing, see my notes on copyright, the individual dance pages should mention when some rights are waived.