Is the following plausible? I collected it some years ago, but can't
remember whether the source was oral or written:
"Scottish and Irish dances are relatives, but Irish developed in a
different way because of the social constraints which they were
forced to undergo. The greatly mobile Scottish dance was a group
affair, with arms raised high, leaping into the air and much
geographical movement in the spacious halls of the clan leaders. Due
to the curfews and laws prohibiting the Irish from meeting in groups,
the people, ignoring (defying) these laws, were compelled to meet in
their low-roofed cottages, with many people crammed into a limited
space. Hence, the dance had to modify, with more solo dances and
small groups, with arms down by the sides, with no leaping and little
movement through space."
I have also heard that it was the Church which, unable entirely to
prohibit dancing, at least prohibited "sexual imagery" in the dance.
All comments welcome.
Andy (fat and undancing!)
Andrew C Rouse
Department of English
School of Arts
Janus Pannonius University
Ifjusag utja 6
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