Max Headroom


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History

Created by Windham, early in its history, when they only had 4 at practice one day. A 4 person version of Newtowne Oak. Named for the practice space where it was created, Headroom Stages, and its connection to the 1980’s TV character. When Crossing the Moon was created (2019ish), the dance was adapted to include the crossing galley with half-beat clash at the end of the Hey. There is evidence that early in its history, the Max Rounds figure came after doubling up, but that at some point this changed. Another possible evolution of the dance: how do the figures end? Scissors? Galley? Galley which way? Plain capers? Below is the current consensus, but does not necessarily reflect the original.

Videos

Max Headroom at the Puntey General Store (2011)

Max Headroom, dancing with Putney Mountain Morris (c. 2019)

Structure

One stick, usually held in two hands, approximately 45 degrees with right end higher (left hand overhand grip, right hand underhand grip).

Musicians play once to themselves. At end of tune, scissor caper (stick overhead–same for all scissor capers throughout).

Step in Line: Double step in place. At end, scissor caper, with 1 and 3 turning to face their partners. (Turn 90 degrees over right shoulder on each of beats 2 and 3). On last beat, clash with partner.

Chorus

Hey: Double stepping, middles start crossing by right shoulder (while ends do first double step in place, before heading off to their own right (before coming back left to cross right shoulders in the middle). In general, cross right shoulders in the middle, do a big counterclockwise loop on ends.

At end, stop one place from home, and then galley left towards home, crossing left shoulders with partner and doing a small clash R on the half-beat, as in Crossing the Moon, and then another clash on last beat. End facing partner.

Chorus

Max Rounds: Main Idea: Travel in a big circle clockwise, turn around and travel counterclockwise, galley home.

2 double steps and then a galley L in clockwise circle. Ends start moving 90 degrees toward left (as in circle’s tangent), and middle move at about 45 degrees, between forward and left. To do galley, square in, and galley left along the line of the circle. With practice, one can move smoothly into the galley from the double steps so it happens with a leaping/running transition instead of a stop. In general, folks get a little less than halfway around the circle (ends don’t quite make it to the opposite end). Use the capers from the galley to face clockwise.

2 double steps back counterclockwise around circle, then galley home. For this galley, middles square out-ish and then galley L toward their home position, while ends square in and galley R around the circle toward home. Ends with clash on last beat, facing partner.

Chorus

Doubling Up: Like 8-person doubling up, but just one line. Clash at end, facing partner.

Chorus: Last chorus, end facing up (1 and 3 turn 90 degrees over right shoulder on each of beats 2 and 3.)

Chorus

Main Idea: Sticking, 2 Double Steps, Scissor Caper

Sticking: Partners take turns striking each other, each striking twice. Striking person hits like an axe strike, big circular movement starting behind and then up and over. The person being stricken holds the stick overhead (and a bit forward) with 2 hands. Ends strike first. Strikes happen on beats 2 and 4.

2 Double Steps

Scissor Caper: middles turn (90 degrees over right shoulder on each of beats 2 and 3) to face in, since all figures start facing in (except last chorus).

Notes

When transitioning from scissor caper, with stick overhead, to double steps, with stick in front, wait until the double step starts to pull the stick down.

Ending: on last chorus, 1 and 3 turn to face up.

Quick Reference


Lead in: Once to self
Sequence: A 𝄆 AB 𝄇
Song: Donkey Riding (in the key of Em)