Mad Robin is a chimera: it has
the squared off shape of a Grand Square, with its deliberate
the general foot path of a dosido, in which you and another dancer
negotiate around each other - without touching - while sharing a common
the "charged space" and framework of a poussette, in which the space
between the dancers is alive, electrified, consistently maintained
the storyline of a gypsy -- "I know there's other stuff going on around us
but I'm ignoring it and focussing on you"
If a group already understands these ideas, either verbally or physically
(either one will work), they will get a Mad Robin easily.
Mad Robin is also a move that gets much of its power by commenting
on/tweaking established tradition.
Usually, if a when a couple promenades down the center they focus on EACH
OTHER, and then when they start a dosido with the neighbors below, they
each shift their focus to the new person -- "I've left that other guy
behind, I'm dancing with you now."
In many English Mad Robin situations, the couple starts off moving as a
pair, focussing on each other, then transitions into the dosido with the
new neighbors but REFUSES TO GIVE EACH OTHER UP -- "I've moved on to you,
but I'm still hanging on to the old guy." It directly flouts the unspoken
rule of "focus on the person you're dancing with."
If a group already has the ability to transition easily from one partner
to another, and understands the power of focus, then Mad Robin's dichotomy
(is that the right word?) will make sense, will have a strong payoff.
Otherwise, they'll follow your directions, and they may get it, but they
won't Get It. It won't have the juice.
It's sort of like when the caller says "Join hands and circle.... to the
RIGHT!" and all the experienced dancers go "WOOOAH, COOOL!" and all the
neophytes go "so what?" Unless you've started a circle to the left a
thousand times, you don't get the joke.
I'd be rrreeeally careful when/where I called Mad Robin.