by Mats Melin
This book is being launched in Daliburgh, South UIst on 11 June 2019
Brief outline of book content:
The dance material discussed and described in this book analyses the legacies of a group of individuals who passed on a number of solo dances known in the islands of South Uist and Barra from the teaching of dance master Ewen MacLachlan (c. 1799–1879) between about 1840 and the mid-1860s. This particular group of dances are quite diverse in the way they are executed as they have been handed down to us by many different individuals, who as part of the traditional way they learned had their own natural and individual take on performing the dances. These variations were in turn noted down by several individuals, either exactly as they found them (Flett, Rhodes, 1985, 1996; and Melin, current) or noted down and published in a modified way (MacLennan, 1950; McConachie, 1972; and others).
This book outlines the passing on of the dance material from one generation to the next by those who learned from Ewen MacLachlan and in each subsequent generation since then. An overview of what we know of MacLachlan himself and the conditions and context he taught them in the mid-1800s.
The dance descriptions provided are based on the steps as passed on by Fearchar MacNeil (barra), John MacLeod (South Uist) and Donald ‘Roidein’ MacDonald (South Uist). Detailed descriptions of versions of the dances plus information about each dance and their associated music and lore is also given.
Online video content is also planned in relation to this publication. More information on this in due course.