Sunday, February 21, 2016

1820 Polsk in Jerkinn described by Arthur de Capell Brooke

This most fantastic description of the Pols was made by Arthur de Capell Brooke in 1820.
He was traveling North over the Doverfjäll and coming down off the pass
came to Jerkin,  one of the royal "stations" on the pilgrimage from Oslo to Trondheim.

Combined with the 1799 description of Clarke of the polsk in Røros this shows
the Pols was different and older than the Minuet,  the Quadrille,  the Waltz and so forth.

Jerkin is found at the junction of E6 and 29 highways.

https://archive.org/details/4SCSUP14646NOR

At an early hour of the morning we reached Jerkin. The
place was crowded with peasants and their lasses, who had
been dancing the whole of the night to the merry sound of
the fiddle, and though the Sun was rising, they were still
enjoying their favourite Polsk dance. This is the national
dance of Norway, and is performed with a degree of spirit
and enthusiasm I never before witnessed. The manner of
dancing it is this. Each of the men, taking his partner by
the left-hand, runs round the room at a pretty sharp kind
of trot, rather than step. The lady, during this, occasion
ally whirls round by herself, with the same kind of movement
as is practised by our own young ladies in the quadrille,
and her partner does the same. The Polsk dance
then begins, which consists in a very rapid whirl, something
similar to the waltz, but the motion far more violent, and
the time entirely different. It is excessively difficult to
perform, on account of the quickness of the whirl, and the
necessity there is, nevertheless, of keeping the exact time.
It is a highly amusing dance, and the eagerness with
which the Norwegians hasten to join in it, when the Polsk
is played, shows their extreme fondness for it.

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