Solo step dance recorded from oral on South Uist. Originally taught by Ewan MacLachlan in the mid-nineteenth century
The most complete notation for the dance was obtained from John MacLeod who had learned the dance from Archie MacPherson and was able to demonstrate 10 steps – see from an interview by Tom Flett with John MacLeod on 12/4/1953 and a notation by Tom Flett marked “1st of August. John MacLeod”
Further steps were collected from:
Roderick MacLean – see an interview by Frank Rhodes with him on 28/4/1955.
Donald Walker who had learned from Donald (Roidein) MacDonald – 5 steps – see an interview by Frank Rhodes with Donald Walker on 29/4/1955.
A full history of the dance and notations has been published in the Newcastle Series which also contains a complete list of references and an analysis of the various manuscript sources: C. Metherell, The First of August, Newcastle: Newcastle Series, (1982).
A further description is published in Flett, J.F. & T.M., Traditional Step Dancing in Scotland, Edinburgh: Scottish Cultural Press. 1996, 102-108.
Further information derives from an interview by Tom Flett with Peter MacKay 12/4/1953.
Below is an interesting interpretation of the dance, performed in clogs by Ian Dunmur of the Reading Step and Traditional Dance Team.