Montgomerie'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. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2023. It is a proper Triple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars.
Quoted from The Register of Dances at Castle Menzies (as transcribed by Jim Healy):
The 1st pair goes back to back & casts off then back to back again & 2d woman casts up, & the man down, then reels above & below then the 1st pair sets hand in hand to the 2d woman then to the 3d man then to the 3d woman & then to the 2d man; then leads out att the sides.
It may seem presumptuous for me to attempt to interpret this dance from Scotland when the RSCDS has already done so, but their interpretation pretends the dance is a modern Scottish Country Dance, while I see it as a Country Dance of the eighteenth century. I shall attempt to interpret it as I would any other country dance from that period.
The first thing I take issue with is the music. In the Register the dance is named The Montgomerie's Rant a Strathspey Reele so I assume it was originally intended to be done as a strathspey.
I also presume it should be done with a rant step, a step which seems to have vanished from Scottish Country Dancing.
I'm not sure why the RSCDS has converted the two back to backs into crosses. Perhaps simpley because it is hard to do a back to back in 2 bars at reel tempo.
back to back again & 2d woman casts up, & the man down "2d woman" is almost certainly a misprint. These directions are for the 1s. Anyway the 2d woman is currently at the top, it makes no sense for her to cast up.
I suspect that when the 1s are setting to the corners, the corners will not set back. This is a display move for the 1s which the corners should watch rather than copy.
The final figure is lead out at the sides. There seems debate as to what this label refers to and I know of at least four meanings. None of those meanings involves a reel however.
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 this one) are licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike: CC BY-NC-SA license.
|1-4||1s back to back and cast down as 2s lead up|
|5-8||1s back to back and cast left finishing between the end couples|
|9-16||1s pass 1st corners right to start reels of three across at ends, 1s finish in center facing W2|
|17-18||1s set to 2W & turn in to 3M|
|19-20||1s set to 3M & turn CCW to 3W|
|21-22||1s set to 3W & turn in to 2M|
|23-24||1s set to 2M & and face women's wall|
|25-28||1s lead out between women, cast around corners to center and two hand turn half, ending facing men's wall|
|29-32||1s lead out between men, cast back to center and two hand turn a quarter to proper|
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.
The dance itself is out of copyright, and is in the public domain. The interpretation is copyright © 2023 by George Williams. And is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. My visualization of this dance is copyright © 2023 by George W. Williams V and is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
This website is copyright © 2021,2022,2023 by George W. Williams V
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.