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(La) Bastringue

Other Bastringue documents

a dance and song

From: Ron Houston. Folk Dance Problem Solver (1987). Austin, Texas: Society of Folk Dance Historians, 1987.

(luh bu-STRANG)

OTHER NAMES:

La Bistringue. Les Confitures.

BACKGROUND:

One of our few, true folk dances, La Bastringue is still danced by "folk" in Quebec, Canada as part of a longer dance suite. Some say "la bastringue" means "the hoedown". Some say it means "the honkey-tonk". If you ever find out for sure, let me know. Like most folk material, it has evolved into several similar but different dances in the traditional/country/contra dance movement, in the clog dance movement, and in the folk dance movement. These notes are for the original dance as collected by Jean Trudel and presented by Yves Moreau in 1975.

FORMATION:

Circle of couples, woman to partner's L, not R. Hands joined and held up at shoulder height.


BARS  ACTION
2/4Introduction.
1-10Stand there and listen to the fiddler (Jean Carignan) do his special fiddlers' clog if we're using the short tape. If we're using the long tape, you'd better start dancing 'cause there was no introduction.
  
 Forward and back (twice).
1-2Walk forward into circle 3 steps: R ft, L ft, R ft (cts 1,2,1), touch L toe beside R ft, no weight (ct 2).
3-4Walk backward out of circle 3 steps: L ft, R ft, L ft (cts 1,2,1), touch R toe beside L ft (ct 2).
5-8= 1-4

Note: Quebec folk don't clog here or execute high kicks. They just dance politely. This seems to pleasure them, maybe we could try it.

 2-step to L and to R.
1-4Face somewhat to L and dance 4 linear 2-steps to L, starting onto R ft.
 Linear 2-steps: step forward onto R ft (ct 1), step beside R ft onto L ft (ct &), step forward onto R ft (ct 2), hop slightly on R ft (ct &). Repeat with opposite feet.
5-8 = 1-4, but no R.

You'll note that this is not the western North Carolina clogging 2-step, or any other clogging step. Instead, this is the way the Canadians do this dance.

 Turn and swing. (W) (M)
1The W drops hands with her corner and turns once and a half CW under her partner's L arm to end in front of him, facing out.
2-8 Take ballroom position and dance 14 buzz step swings. In Quebec style, the R feet are still together, but with insteps together instead of little toes.
  
 Promenade. Take open shoulder-waist position and both face CCW around circle.
1-8Dance 16 linear 2-steps forward around circle. Resume starting position with a new W to man's L and his former partner to his R.
  
 Repeat the dance for a total of 5 1/2 or 11 times, depending on which tape we're using. Don't re-form your big circle after the last time.
Here's the words on the long tape: And here's what they mean:
  
Mademoiselle, voulez-vous danser La Bastringue, La Bastringue?  Miss, would you like to dance La Bastringue, La Bastringue?
" est commencee. It's starting.
  
Oui monsieur, je voudrais danser La Bastringue, La Bastringue. Yes sir, I'd like to dance La Bastringue, La Bastringue.
" m'a presente. It presents itself to me (it suits me).
  
Mademoiselle, je vais arreter La Bastringue, La Bastringue. Miss, I'd like to stop La Bastringue, La Bastringue.
" m'a fatigue. It fatigues me.

On the long tape, the words are followed by the name tune, which I think might also be called Madame Bonaparte, but I'm not sure, and Mason's Apron and Staten Island Hornpipe.

End of LA BASTRINGUE.