None So Pretty - Wilson ~ RSCDS

None So Pretty - Wilson None So Pretty - Wilson ~ RSCDS

None So Pretty - Wilson ~ RSCDS 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 1957 and published in RSCDS Book 19. It is R8×40 3C/4C, a proper Triple Minor dance. R40.

Wilson writes:

SINGLE FIGURE1st. strain repeat 2d. played straight thro & D.C.
Set & half right & left with 2d.; set & back again lead don the middle up again & half poussette with top Cu:

OR THUSHands 3 round on the ladies side hand 3 round on the gent: side lead down the middle up again & set to the top Cu:

DOUBLE FIGURE Tune played twice thro' as marked
Swing with right hands round 2d. Cu: then with left set 3 across set 3 in your places whole figure contrary corners chain figure four round with top Cu: & allemande

Wilson has a different figure for this tune in his earlier book Treasures of Terpsichore, 1809. Preston has yet another figure in 1796. Cahusac gives two figures in 1795. Campbell has a figure in Campbell's 9th Book of New and Favorite Country Dances & Strathspey Reels from about 1794. While Rutherford, 1756 and Johnson, 1742 give the same figure (Rutherford's compleat Collection of 200 of the most celebrated Country Dances both Old and New, Vol. 1) — but the music they give is a different tune (for one thing it is a jig, not a reel).

The following is an attempt to understand Wilson's DOUBLE FIGURE which is the basis of the Scottish Country Dance.

In An Analysis of Country Dancing Wilson defines some of the terms he uses. A "whole figure" is just a "full figure eight" (as you might expect, Playford uses the same phrase). Wilson does not explicitly define "whole figure contrary corners" in his first edition, but he does in his second on page 104 of the 2nd edition of the Analysis (1811). Rather awkwardly, Wilson provides two different (contradictory) directions. In the first "the 1s cross down, W1 in front of M1, W1 around M3, M1 around W3, then cross up, W1 around W2, M1 around M2, and return home". In the second the "1s cross up, W1 around M2, M1 around W2, then cross down W1 around W3, M1 around M3, and return home.

Chain figure for four is also defined in the second edition, on page 76 and it is what anyone else would call rights and lefts.

Wilson gives a very unclear definition of "allemande" it might be a modern gypsy, or a back to back (he defines neigther of these figures). He says the two people doing the allemande walk in circles around one another, he does not mention taking hands, he does not say how their faces are oriented.

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), set, cast, hey, hey for four, allemande round, petronella (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 © 1957 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.