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The Red Poppy

posted Jun 5, 2019, 3:45 PM by Richmond branch RSCDS   [ updated Jun 5, 2019, 4:17 PM ]
The Red Poppy, November 2018

The recent issue of RSCDS members’ magazine, Scottish Country Dancer, Issue 27, carries an interesting item under Letters to the Editor, entitled ‘The Red Poppy Project’. South Western Scottish Dancers have created their own tribute to the 2018 commemorations marking the 100th Anniversary of Armistice Day by reviving and dancing ‘The Red Poppy’, a dance first performed before the Queen in The Royal Albert Hall in November 1986 and broadcast by the BBC.

The dance is a Medley of Strathspey and Reel devised by the late Stanley Wilkie of Edinburgh and originally danced to commemorate the 70th anniversary of The Battle of the Somme. The article linked to two excellent videos by members of SWS:- Team Tamar and Team Taw – performing the dance.

This unique SCD contribution to the Armistice Day commemorations is very inspirational and, as one of the teaching team for Richmond Branch, and with the availability of the detailed instructions and the video on YouTube, I felt that the class members would enjoy sharing the dancing experience for this unique occasion. 

Our regular weekly classes are held in The Booth Hall, Catterick Village and we found that other users of the Hall also had plans of their own to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armistice. The Hall, in which hang two Rolls of Honour, had been wonderfully decorated with hand crafted poppies and, in that setting our dancers were able to feel that we had made our own appropriate contribution to a significant. event. 

Thank you to South Western Scottish for inspiring us. The Red Poppy is a very interesting dance for 12 dancers with a challenging, but not too overwhelming, set of figures. The dance will stay with us and we look forward to the release of the recorded music in 2019. 

Joy Bradshaw
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