Rheinlænder polka/Fynbo/Jysk-fynsk

Country of origin: Denmark
Type: couple dance
Formation: any number of couples in open circle. Beginning hold may be either holding inside hands, open waist-shoulder hold, or waltz hold, facing in LOD.
Steps: chassé (change step), polka, totrin (pivot step), walk
Sheet music: any Danish rheinlænder, polka, or fynbo, ie in 2/4-time. Several are given in the references below.

Bars Part Dance progression
1 (a) Promenade: Beginning with ML/WR foot (ie outside foot) dance 1 chassé step in LOD. Ie, M dances L (1:1), R (1:2), L (1:3), lift (1:4) while W dances R (1:1), L (1:2), R (1:3), lift (1:4).
[May be danced holding inside hands, in open waist-shoulder hold, in waltz hold, or turning individually on the spot and finishing with a clap.]
2   Couple dances 2 walking steps in LOD (stepping on 2:1 and 2:3). On last beats, couple may turn towards partner to face in RLOD, holding 'new' inside hands.
3-4   Repeat above with opposite footwork, moving in RLOD. On last beat, couple turns to face in LOD.
[May be danced as above, facing RLOD, or facing LOD.]
5-8 (b) Couple turn: Take waltz hold with partner, and dance four polka steps, turning CW or CCW and moving in LOD.
[May also be danced with 2 chassé steps followed by pivot steps.]
    Repeat from (a) as desired.

See YouTube videos: basic rheinlænder polka, other variations

Called a 'rheinlænder polka' on Fyn, a 'fynbo' on Jylland (Jutland), and a 'jysk-fynsk' on Læsø. It occurs in both Norway and Sweden as 'Wienerkreutzpolka' or Wienerkryss frå Hardanger.
Per Sørensen postulates rheinlænder polka as danced now is a relatively recent phenomenon, since the late 1890s, and that around 1892 it may have been danced somewhat as follows: in waltz hold, 1 chassé or skottish-trin turning CCW (1), 1 chassé or skottish-trin turning CW (2), 4 totrin (pivot steps) moving in LOD (3-4). According to Aabech, the first tunes entitled 'rheinlænder' appear in musicians' notebooks in the second half of the 1800s.
Characteristic of the contemporary Danish rheinlænder polka, also called simply 'rheinlænder' or 'polka', is progression, during the promenade portion, in the LOD for two bars, followed by progression in the RLOD for two bars. The couple turn usually moves in the LOD. Within that basic structure, there are a vast number of variations possible.

-- Rheinlænder-polka in: Aabech, Tage Om traditionel fynsk dansemusik - et bidrag til fælles-repertoiret, 1994. [in Danish]
-- Sørensen, Per 'På loftet sidder Nissen' og Norsk rheinländer fra Randers in Dansens og musikkens rødder nr 11, Dec. 1996, p. 12. [in Danish]
-- "Bohnenpott" in Stahl, Wilhelm/ Niederdeutsche Volkstänze. Reprint 1998. Hamburg: Paul Harting Verlag, 1921. pp. 21-23. [in German]
-- "Bohnenpott" in Stahl, Wilhelm/ Deutsche Volkstänze: Volkstänze von den nordfriesischen Inseln. (Hefte 27) Reprint. s.l.: Bärenreiter-Verlag zu Rassel, [1935]. p.6. [in German]

Description: Laine Ruus, Oakville 2012-11-14, rev. 2022-01-10.

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