A Barn Dance Repertoire
by Thomas Green
Download this dance

The New Parliament House Jig

Also known as  The Prime Minister
Author:  John Colville
Formation: 
Difficulty:  3
Style:  English
3 rows all facing up, each with (ideally, but not essential) a man in the middle and a woman at each end.  The person in the middle is the Prime Minister.  Often given a symbolic hat (which is passed on to the next PM).  Terminology: rows run left and right across the set, files run up and down.

A1: Keep in with your right wing: centre file, each with their right hand partner, promenade round left hand file, using skater's hold.
A2: Keep in with the left wing: centre file promenade with left hand partner round the right hand file.
B1: Moderates run rings round the Prime Minister: middle four of each side of the whole set circle left and right (these are the two people at the ends of the middle row, and the two at the ends of the middle file).
B2: Extremists run rings round the Prime Minister: the four corner people circle left and right.
C1: Prime Minister exerts his authority: star right with top right (NE) corner; star left with top left (NW) corner; C2: star right with bottom left (SW) corner, star left with bottom right (SE) corner.
D1: Descend into usual Parliamentary chaos: reels of 3 in each line .
D2: Change the Government: front right person lead his row behind middle one (which steps forward to become new front) and round behind back row (which becomes new middle row).  There isn't much time for this bit, so move smartly.
If you're using a hat for the PM, someone in the front row picks the hat off the PM's head as they pass behind, and puts it on the new PM's head.

"The dance represents the system of Government in Australia ...  the man in the middle representing the new Parliament House, the six women representing the Australian States and the other two men the Territories.  The various movements of the dance represent the interaction of the central Government, the State Governments, and the Territory Authorities, finishing with a change of Government."
(John Colville)

Many thanks to Hugh Stewart and to Peter Giles.

Colin says   In C1, note that one person in addition to the PM goes from one star to the next.  I've heard that D1 represents "the election".  It doesn't matter which way the middle person faces for the reel provided they do it with conviction!

Music:  64-bar reels or jigs