As one of the few people in Scotland to have learned the Highland Dirk Dance, I am researching it's origins, particularily it's connection with MacLennan champion pipers & dancers.
Murdoch and Alex MacLennan, two of eight sons, all pipers and dancers, learned the Dirk Dance sometime in the mid-1800's, Logan in his book 'Scottish Gael' (revised ed. Vol. 1,1876,) records that 'the Dirk Dance was last performed in London in 1850 by two brothers of the name of MacLennan, who were almost the only individuals who could execute it'
Murdoch taught his grandnephew, William, a champion piper & Dancer,who died at the age of 35 in Montreal General Hospital, in October1892, so this lineage of the dance may have died with him?
A colleague of William, champion piper and Highland dance teacher David Charles Mather, also taught a version of the dirk dance. He was known to have been in his company when William practiced a dual and asolo version, so it is not known whether Mr Mather knew a Dirk Dance,learned a version from William or created one from what he saw.
Mr Mather later taught Isabel McNab the dance in Canada between 1907-1914, she in turn taught it to dance researcher Tom Flett who before his death taught John Wesencraft who is my teacher.
The dance itself is unlike any other Highland sword dance with actual combative techniques/guards etc,. I would be grateful for any information that may exist on the MacLennan's version of the Dirk Dance.