Cornish Folk Tradition: Songs Music Dance and Associated Customs
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Cornish Dance: Dons Pluvak - The Cushion Dance

Davies Gilbert notes that the Cushion Dance was popular in Cornwall in the early 19th century and an article from the Looe Old Cornwall Society recorder describes it as being done at the May fairs at West Looe at the beginning of the 19th century. It is included in the 1703 edition of Playfords' Dancing Master. Sharp and Karpeles also record versions of this dance in Staffordshire, Gloucestershire and Newfoundland.

Various versions of this dance have been created to different tunes since it was collected. Below is a version recorded at a troyl following the Cornish Gorseth in 1989, which was created by Cornish group Gwaryoryan

Formation: A gradually extending line.

Description:The dance starts with one person, who dances around the room with a cushion improvising a pattern and step. This dancer selects a member of the opposite sex, lays a cushion down in front of them, kneels on it and kisses them, making this new person part of the dance. The dance is then repeated, with the second dancer leading what becomes a gradually extending line.

Tune: Joan Sanderson (click for midifile)

Joan Sanderson
     
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