Couteraller's Rant ~ Williams

Couteraller's Rant ~ Williams Couteraller's Rant ~ RSCDS

Couteraller's Rant ~ Williams is an old Scottish Country Dance. It was devised by Castle Menzies in 1749 and published in The Register of Dances at Castle Menzies, Scotland. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2024. It is a proper Triple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 12 bars.

Quoted from The Register of Dances at Castle Menzies (as transcribed by Jim Healy):

1st pair joins cross right hands & 1st woman turns under her own right arm, then they join cross left hands & the 1st man turns under his own left arm, then the 1st pair leads down & up between the 2d pair & casts off, then leads down between the 3d pair & casts up, then goes the figure of eight, the man on the womans side & the woman on the man's side, (setting en passant to each other) & then foots it into their own places

The full title is "Couteraller's Rant a Strathspey Reel".

As far as I know the modern method of Strathspey dancing is an invention of the (R)SCDS, so in the following I assume it takes four counts (1 bar of strathspey) to do a setting set, etc.

The Register of Dances provides no music. I assume it consists of four bar phrases, but that leaves the down the middle and up lying across a phrase boundary. Perhaps the turning under section takes more time? (the RSCDS adds some setting which isn't called for in the instruction. But if we do that, then the lead down and cast back doesn't fill out it's phrase either, so throw in a lead up through 2s and cast back? It all seems too much of a stretch.

Since the 1s are casting up before the half figure eight, I assume it will be natural to have the figure of eight go up too. But the original is ambiguous on this point.

Neither the 2s nor 3s do anything in this dance. The 3s are posts, the 2s lead up and then are posts. If I wanted to dance this, I'd first make it a duple minor, and then let the 2s turn under the arms as well. They might also do a double half figure eight and then cross and set just as the 1s do.

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.

The dances of George Williams (including interpretations like this one) are licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike: CC BY-NC-SA license.

1-11s take right hands, and the lady turns under her arm, drop right hands
2-21s take left hands, and the man turns under his arm, drop left hands and fall back to places
3-61s lead down, turn, lead back and cast down as the 2s move up
7-81s lead down between the 3s and cast back to 2nd place
9-101s half figure eight up through the 2s
11-111s set to one another as they change places
12-121s set to partner

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 © 2024 by George Williams. And is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. My visualization of this dance is copyright © 2024 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.