Also from ECTA's definition:
"Contra Dance is mainly danced in two long, facing lines of couples, the
longways. There are different setups relating to the position of the
partner in the formation (e. g. Proper, Improper and Becket) and relating
to the number of couples dancing together (Duple, Triple, Triplet). A
different formation is the Sicilian Circle. Facing couples create a ring in
which in each group one couple is dancing counter clockwise and the other
Contra Dances are mostly danced to reels and jigs, but also to hornpipes.
The music consists of the melodies A and B, which each contain 16 bats and
are repeated so that a melodic structure of AABB is created. The set of
figures is danced to this AA BB structure of 64 beats. There also are
deviant structures like AB BA.
The Prompter explains each dance and calls the figures to the music a
little ahead of time. Like this it is possible for both experienced and new
dancers to dance. Through the repetition of the set of figures the dancers
learn the dance and the Prompter can shorten his calls or reduce them bit
by bit. The set of figures is written so that after dancing through it once
a new group of dancers meet. This is called the progression. In formations
with a fixed group of couples the position within the formation changes.
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