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Extract taken from South Mainland Notebook 23.10.09 Shetland Times 23/10/09

Compliment has Flea reeling

As you would expect, Lerwick Old Time Dance Club tends to stick to old time dances, but a recent session was rather different.

By special dispensation Alistair Gair, who has taught dancing for over four decades and has in the past been chairman of the club, introduced a new piece of choreography. “I’ve made up other dances over the years,” he says, “and the latest challenge was a reel.”

This one lasted for nearly five minutes, during which the dancers cavorted constantly, and it featured in particular the Shetland back step. Could this have anything to do with a certain South Mainland councillor? When asked the name of his creation Mr Gair replied that it was called The Flea’s Mareel.

The announcement was met with laughter and clapping, and although the gentleman there present who received the tribute said Mr Gair was a “bad boy”, he laughed as well and was pleased to be thus immortalised.

Because it is not old time but new, Mr Gair’s latest work will only be performed again if permission is granted, but should that be the case he has pronounced himself prepared to show and teach his reel. Italy has its Tarantella, named after the tarantula spider. Could Shetland’s Flea Mareel likewise enter the repertoire?

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