Gordian Knot - Saltator

Gordian Knot - Saltator is an American Country Dance. It was published by Saltator in 1802 in A Treatise on Dancing, Boston. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2022. It is a proper Duple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 16 bars.

Saltator writes:

Two couples balance, the ladies give each other right hands, all swing round so as to range on a straight line cross-ways of the room, olivettes and the first couple fall below the second.

Saltator (latin for dancer (or jumper)) uses French terms in ways that I find unexpected. "Olivette" means "hey" (I believe it was the name of a traditional dance in the olive groves. I assume that dance contained a hey).

Saltator says "ladies give each other right hands, all swing round". I presume that swing just means a hand turn here. He says the ladies give hands but that "all swing", so I presume the men give hands too.

Saltator doesn't say whether the hey begins by neighbors changing or the center two changing. I think having the center two interacting makes sense because the neighbors have been interacting and its time for a change.

I think this dance would work well if started with 1s improper.

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.

A1-4Set twice to partner
5-8Neighbor right hand turn three quarters into a line across the set
B1-8Center two pass left to start a hey for four across the set, ending in progressed places

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 © 2022 by George Williams. And is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. 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.