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The Mary Isdale MacNab Collection

Collected by her niece Elizabeth Sutorius for the benefit of all teachers and dancers.

Below are links to all published and previously unpublished Mary Isdale MacNab Collected/ Arranged/ Choreographed dances.


The collection is presented in series:

  • References

  • History

  • Nine Sets of dances

  • Eleven dances

  • Festival dances

  • Typed dances by Thurston et al

  • Handwritten dances, fragmented

  • Dances mentioned in correspondence.

Mrs MacNab with her Braemar group in 1963.

Living Archive: Any person – dancer/ deviser/ teacher wishing to create a best guess at resurrecting the originally intended dance by Mrs MacNab by interpreting her handwritten notes should email us stating which dance(s) in the list they would like to tackle and the handwritten information that is known will be sent to you as a foundation.

Errata: Should any errors, discrepancies or improvements be found in this archive please email with the details

Videos: You are also invited/encouraged to dance these dances and should any new video result send it to us to have it added to this archive.

This archive has been made possible by the work of Stephen Webb in collating the dances, Peter Knight in providing several videos and Meryl Thomson in placing the data on the website in May 2021.

Remember to set the filters you are not using back to All.

A00

The Missing MacNabberies

Background article, The Reel 295 page 8, 2016

A01

List

By referring to the introductory List (which is an updated version of page 14 of Reel 313) it can be seen which Sets the individual dances were originally published in. This information can also be seen in Angus Henry’s diagrams

A02

The Reel 313 article and acknowledgements

The Reel 313, page 14. Note that the reference list in the article has been superceded by the A01 List shown above,

A03

Angus Henry's diagrams

Angus Henry’s diagrams show the Nine Sets in which dances were originally published. RSCDS London Branch are most grateful to Angus for granting permission for these to be reproduced here.

B00

History

A life and work remembered

B01

Mary Isdale MacNab Biography

B02

The Thistle 033 October 1967

(Tribute by Hugh Thurston)

B03

A History of SCD in Vancouver

by Rosemary Coupe

B04

Mrs MacNab's legacy and Mrs Sutorius' pledge

B05

Elizabeth Sutorius (1915 - 2009) obituary

B06

Extra information

The button will take you to the SCDDB, people section, then click the - Extra info - tab.

S00

Nine Sets

Nine Sets of dances in their original form as published by RSCDS from 1948 to 1966 and as were taught mainly by Mrs Mary Isdale MacNab and Miss Jean Milligan at St Andrews Summer School between those dates.

S01

Because he was a Bonnie Lad

S02

Bonnie Anne

S03

The Braes of Balquhidder

S04

Brig o' Doon

S05

The Duke of Gordon's Welcome to Aberdeen

S06

The Earl of Errol's Reel

S07

Hebridean Weaving-Lilt

S08

Jeannie o' the Witchin' E'e

S09

Kelvingrove

S10

Laird o' Dochart's Reel

S11

Lamont of Inveryne

S12

The Lerwick Reel

S13

Lochanside

S14

MacDonald of Sleat

S15

MacNeil of Barra

S16

McLaine of Lochbuie

S17

Macleod of Dunvegan

S18

MacLeod of Harris

S19

McNichol of the Black Isle

S20

Miss Fiona MacRea of Conchra

S21

Moulin Dhu

S22

Over the Dee and Over the Don

S23

Rothesay at the Fair

S24

Rouken Glen

S25

The Royal Salute

S26

St Andrew's Cross

S27

St Andrew's Nicht

S28

The Shepherd's Crook

S29

Tir nan Og

No video

L00

Eleven dances

Eleven individual Highland, Country and Set dances some previously privately published by Elizabeth Sutorius at her Aunt's request or by RSCDS

L01

The Broadswords of Lochiel

L02

The Caller Herrin

L03

The Deeside Lilt

L04

The Huntly Reel

L05

The Jacobite Sword Dance

L06

Lady Louisa MacDonald of Sleat

L07

MacLeod of Lewis

L08

McKenzie of Seaforth

L09

Perth Assembly

L10

The Rose of Benbecula

L11

A Salute to Mac Nab

F00

Festival dances

Twelve dances not known to have been collected by Mary Isdale MacNab but included by her in Festival exhibitions of Highland and Country Dancing

F01

Bonnie Breist Knot

F02

The Eight Men of Moidart

(from Mingarry)

F03

The First Day of August

F04

Flora MacDonald's Fancy

F05

The Graces

F06

The Highland Fling

F07

Highland Laddie

F08

Over the Water to Charlie

F09

The Reel of the Blackcocks

F10

Scotch Measure

F11

Scottish Lilt or Jig

F12

The Village Maid

T00

Typed dances

Sixteen, generally unseen MacNab dances in typed form set down by Dr Hugh Thurston, The Fletts, inter alia.

T01

Bonnie Prince Charlie

T02

Bronach

T03

The Cameronian Rant

T04

The Dirk Dance

T05

Double Sword Dance

T06

Flowers of Edinburgh

T07

The Glengarry Waltz

T08

Lewis Bridal Dance

T09

Maid of Islay

T10

The Meeting of the Waters

T11

The Portree Lassies

T12

The Sailors' Knot

T13

The Sword Dance of Culloden

T14

Waltz Cotillion

T15

A Weaving Lilt

T16

Whirlygig

H00

Hand written

In addition, there are sixteen mainly handwritten dances in fragmented form awaiting development and only listed in the below list. A list of dances with incomplete descriptions mainly in Mrs MacNab's handwriting no links except H02 The Brooch of Lorne.

H01

Aberdeen Lassies

Believed 6x8b Jig Ladies' Hebridean dance for 8 dancers

H02

The Brooch of Lorne (incl.The Dirk Dance)

Reel-time dance spectacular for many dancers depicting The Cairngorm Brooch of Robert the Bruce - for full description see RSCDS Bulletin Issue 82 Dated November 2004 excellent article by Rosemary Coupe (and Mary Murray) on Mary Isdale MacNab.

H03

The Clansmen

Believed Reel for 11 dancers and 10 swords

H04

Duke of Gordon's Fairhaired Lassies

Believed 64b 4-couple Reel in a square set

H05

Four Marys

Believed 16b Strathspey and 48b Reel for 4 ladies in a square

H06

Honor the Piper

Large display dance Waltz/March/Strathspey/Reel. Piper in the centre of six dancer spokes

H07

Hopping Dance

Believed 48b Irish Jig for 4 couples

H08

Indian Stick Dance

Believed solo ladies' sword dance (believed 64b Strathspey)

H09

McKenzie of Kintail

Believed 7x8b Strathspey for 4 couples in a square set

H10

Mrs Pringle

Highland dance. Reel-time. Description difficult to understand/follow

H11

Sadie Simpson

Possibly hornpipe. Description difficult to understand/follow

H12

Sailors of Harris

Believed 6x8b Hornpipe Hebridean dance 8 dancers in costume

H13

Shandy Heather Waltzing Medley

208b Waltz for 4 couples in a square set

H14

Star of Robbie Burns

Believed Strathspey and Reel for 5 dancers

H15

The Three Swords

Believed Strathspey and Reel for 3 dancers

H16

Wee Waltz

Believed 8x32b Waltz for 4 couples

M00

Mentioned dances

Dances Mentioned in correspondence from 1950s & 60s or in compiled lists as existing (54) any information and originals sought

M01

An Cailin Cuairt

(The girl visited), (woman's solo)

M02

Argyle Sword Dance

M03

Brachan Mhairi Visne

(Mary Hughes' Tartan Dress) (woman's solo in red tartan)

M04

The Braes of Tulliemet (not Book 7)

M05

The Bride's Dance

(Bridal Dance), (woman's solo)

M06

The Bride of Iona

M07

Blackcocks and Ducks

M08

Black Swan

M09

The Cockle Gatherers

M10

The Cross of St Andrew

(sword dance for 8 dancers)

M11

Clan Ronald Sword

M12

Death Dance

(solo dance) - miming dance

M13

Dundee (or Leith) Reel

M14

The Earl of Ross

(man's solo sword-dance)

M15

Elspeth Campbell

M16

Fetlar Isle

M17

The Fiery Cross

(two men and a boy) - miming dance

M18

Flower of Benbecula

(one woman) miming dance

M19

Friockheim

(The House on the Heather)

M20

Green Hills

M21

Hebridean Jig

M22

Highland Wedding

M23

The House of Fraser

(for 8 men)

M24

Iona Courting-Dance

(for 2 men & 1 woman)

M25

Island Herd Maid

M26

Lady Betty's Favourite

(The Highland Chief), (solo dance)

M27

Lady Charlotte Murray's Reel

M28

Lady Menzies

M29

The Laird of Dochart

(man's solo dance)

M30

Lochaber Broadswords

M31

Lord of the Isles

(first listed, only in Napier's Index)

M32

The Lovat Star

M33

Mari Ban's Bridal

(duet)

M34

Mharies Wedding (1952)

M35

The Men of Moussa

M36

Miss Jessie MacLean of Ardgour

(hist.17C)

M37

Morag's Dance

M38

Nellie Gray

M39

Old Highland Waltz

M40

The Old Maid

M41

Orcadian Wedding-Dance

M42

Piper's Polka

M43

The Queen Maries

M44

Road to the Isles

(partner dance) not by James Cosh

M45

The Royal Archers

(solo dance)

M46

St Magnus Bay

M47

Scottish Medley

M48

Sheena's Dance

(Sheena McGillivray)

M49

Sword Dance of the Clansmen

(dance for 11 dancers and 10 swords)

M51

The Village Flirt

M52

The Village Maidens

M53

The Wee Sailor

M54

Yellow Haired Laddie

(woman's solo)

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