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dance-msg - 6/27/09

 

SCA and period dancing. References. Dance tapes. Dance videos.

 

NOTE: See also the files: dance-par-art, 15C-Ital-Dce-art, Ital-Ren-Dce-art, ME-dance-msg, music-bib, music-msg, instruments-msg, Maypole-Dance-art, p-songs-msg, recorders-msg.

 

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NOTICE -

 

This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.

 

This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org

 

I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.

 

The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.

 

Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).

 

Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org

************************************************************************

 

From:    Gretchen Miller

To:      All

Date: 08-Nov-89 04:51pm

Subject: Re: Dance

 

From: grm+ at andrew.cmu.edu (Gretchen Miller)

Date: 7 Nov 89 17:47:33 GMT

Organization: Computing Systems, Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh, PA

Newsgroups: alt.sca

 

Joshua ibm-Eleazar ha-Shalib writes:

 

> Earl of Salisbury, I believe, was written in the 1920's.

 

Nope!  Earl of Salisbury is definately "period", though the dance that

is done was not specifically choreographed to the music. The following

is from Mabel Dolmetsch's "Dances of England and France 1450 to 1600":

 

"We will now consider the two English pavans, of which the steps are

noted in the Rawlinson manuscript before alluded to. [Anon., C. 1570.

Rawlinson Manuscript, says the bibliography].

 

The first of these is a short pavan and therefore combines well with the

music of "The Earl of Salisbury's Pavan", by William Byrd....The

sequence of steps noted in the Raslinson manuscript is as follows : Two

singles and a double forward ; two sideways singles and a reprise (or

retreat) backward."

 

The vast majority of Pavans done in the SCA, however, are modern

creations.  Besides EofS the only two I can think of are Master Newman's

Pavan (which is the other pavan taken from the Rawlinson manuscript) and

The Spanish Pavan (from Arbeau).  

 

Yours,

 

Margaret MacDubhSidhe

(grm+ at andrew.cmu.edu  or grm# at andrew.cmu.edu)

 

 

From:    Tsuki Musume

To:      Yves Fortagne

Date: 15-Nov-89 12:02pm

Subject: montarde

 

Montarde is a bransle from Arbeau, I think, involving a line of four or six

people, alternating gender usually. The steps are eight doubles to the left,

with the person on the left end of the line weaving his/her 8 doubles back

through the line while the line is moving 'towards' him/her. The b part is

each person in line, in turn, does four kicks to turn 360 degrees in place,

with whatever flourishes and whatnot one desires.

Hope this helps.

 

* Origin: >> The Ophiuchi Hotline << Forward! Into the past! (1:109/508)

 

 

From:    Mary Knettel

To:      All

Date: 17-Nov-89 08:35am

Subject: More on dancing

 

From: MKNETTEL%KENTVM.BITNET at MITVMA.MIT.EDU (Mary Knettel)

Date: 16 Nov 89 21:54:00 GMT

Organization: Society for Creative Anachronism

Message-ID: <8911161735.aa07788 at mintaka.lcs.mit.edu>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

 

Someone at the War reported on research into "Road to the Isles" and found

a Scottish dance which choreography closely fits what we call Road to the

Isles

-- called "The Far Northlands" dated 1949. Maybe someone who actually attended

the Dancemasters meeting (Wed or Thurs evening at the War) can more

specifically document this.  Anyway, this was announced for the rest of the

week at the dances at the Barn; and we started referring to the dance as

"The Far Northlands".

 

Also -- "Strip the Willow" is at least a Scottish country dance, but is done

in sets of 4 couples at the ceidlah's -- which is much more enjoyable, actually

especially when the couples actually complete the turns in 4 beats!

 

Just my 2 cents.

 

Genevieve du Vent Argent, Marche of Gwyntarian, Barony Middle Marches,

MidRealm

Mary Knettel, Kent, Ohio  mknettel at kent.vm

 

 

From: grm+ at andrew.cmu.edu (Gretchen Miller)

Date: 17 Nov 89 00:48:43 GMT

Organization: Computing Systems, Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh, PA

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

 

Someone at the War reported on research into "Road to the Isles" and found

a Scottish dance which choreography closely fits what we call Road to the

Isles

-- called "The Far Northlands" dated 1949.

 

I believe that the above information was all that was given at the

Dancemasters meeting.  "Someone" was Lord Richard Tyler of Swiftwater;

he gives the reference in a pamphlet called "The Rhydderich Hael

Measures" as : The Far Northland (Partners All, Places All, 1949)

 

Margaret MacDubhSidhe

 

 

From: haste+ at andrew.cmu.edu (Dani Zweig)

Date: 16 Nov 89 23:44:33 GMT

Organization: Graduate School of Industrial Administration, Carnegie Mellon,

Pittsburgh, PA

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

 

Marguerite de la Souche:

>Also, is there a songbook available of common SCA dances?

 

There are two collections that come to mind.  One is Lord Longwind's

collection.  It's printed by Raymond's Quiet Press.  If you don't want

to wait till Pennsic, find someone who kept their merchant's catalog

from last Pennsic and get his address.  Another is the set of

arrangements put together by Arianna of Wynthrope some years back.  It's

never been formally published, but there are a lot of copies floating

around which can be copied.  Both of these sources tend to concentrate

on four-part arrangements, with the melody line usually being the

familiar one.  In addition, there are *lots* of books containing

arrangements of Playford's dances.  (If you can't find anything else,

try English Country Dance collections.)  I can't think of any good

sources of SCA dances in tabulature.

 

>So far I've figured out Hole in the Wall (there's that dance again... ;-)

 

A nonmodal tune for a modal instrument.  Are you playing most of the

dance with  chords or drones and then just plucking the middle string to

get the accidental?

-----

Dani of the Seven Wells

haste+ at andrew.cmu.edu

 

 

From: caa at midgard.Midgard.MN.ORG (Charles A Anderson)

Date: 3 Apr 90 18:06:10 GMT

Organization: The Midgard Realm, St Paul MN

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

 

I'm sorry I didn't post this earlier but I wanted to verify it first.

Sometime ago, someone requested information on dance manuals and tapes.

Mistress Rosanore has both manuals that she has written, and tapes for

the dances. (by the Jararvellir music guild, where the northshield dance

seminar is being held this weekend.)

 

Her address is:

 

Susan Henry

258 S Griggs

St Paul, MN  55105

(612) 699-0714

 

Write or give her a call during reasonable hours. (before 10pm central)

(she told me I could go ahead and post this)

 

-Dmitri

--

 

From: justin at INMET.INMET.COM (Justin du Coeur MKA Mark Waks)

Date: 18 Apr 90 15:32:21 GMT

Organization: Society for Creative Anachronism

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Cuthbert an Alreton writes (among other things):

>Last night during a meeting devoted to rehearsing the demo

>our "dance mistress," who has lots and lots and lots of experience in

>period dance performance but less SCA dance experience, made some

>stylistic comments.  The comments were along the lines, "Remember

>these are peasant dances so dance like peasants."

Milord, this isn't a flame, of you *or* your dance mistress, but I want

to put some emphasis here...

English Country dances are *not* peasant dances, dammit!

 

This is one of the most common mis-conceptions in the Society about

dance, and leads to vast disagreements about proper dance style. The

confusion appears to arise from the name. As far as I've figured, they

were called "Country Dances" because they were mostly danced outside the

Royal Court, among the landed gentry, *not* because they were being

danced by country bumpkins.

 

If you (using "you" in the sense of all the readers, not Cuthbert (maybe I

should say "y'all"?)) are at all serious about dancing correctly, think

about this. In period, you wouldn't be dancing this in t-tunic and

trousers; rather, both men and ladies are under *tons* of clothing,

and both are probably corsetted to within an inch of their lives. These

dances are the immediate precursors to the Baroque -- think about

dancing them in clothes like those in "Dangerous Liaisons", and you're

getting closer to the right model...

 

The implications of this misconception are wide. The SCA tends to

produce a lot of very fast English Country dance music, because some

recordings are too slow to feel right. Now consider doing the dances

with a lady in a three-foot-wide hoop, and think about how fast you

want that music playing...

 

I don't really expect to get people dancing English Country in a

period fashion; plenty of folks have tried and failed before me.

But I *would* like to kill this notion that it's "correct" and

"period" to dance English Country like modern contra -- it simply

isn't the case...

 

                                -- Justin du Coeur

                                   Editor, The Letter of Dance

                                   and wandering dancemaster

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

Sample listing and review:

 

_Danses_Populaires_Francaises_et_Anglaises_du_XVIc_Siecle_

Broadside Band with Jeremy Barlow - Harmonia Mundi/HMC 901152

 

Danses Populaires is nice collection of dance music, and especially

useful as it contains music for several dances from both Arbeau and

Playford.  The music is arranged nicely, with variations between the

different repeats of the same dance; this makes each dance sound

pretty and interesting without adding so much as to cause confusion.

Lots of albums will take medieval dance music and twiddle it to be

appealing to modern tastes, which often makes it useless for dance;

this album succeeds in presenting interesting but still very

danceable music.  Most of the music is on the sedate, slower side,

including the English country.  

 

In general, we highly recommend this; but there are a few specific

pieces that you might want to use caution with for SCA dance: the

first Tourdion and the second and third Galliard are slow and quiet,

and don't really have the clear syncopated beat that helps keep

dancers in time.  We're used to doing the Scottish branle alternating

between the "first" and "second" branles as described in Arbeau, pp.

148-151; this recording has two repeats of the "first" and two of the

"second", which is confusing if your dancers are used to it the other

way around.  Finally, the version of Washerwomen's bransle is really

nifty, and the "scolding" parts sound wonderful... but Barlow got a

little carried away with them: Arbeau has four "scolding" singles (p.

156), but this version has 8 the first time through, and 16 during

the later repeats!  The changing number of singles here may be

confusing to dancers.  These few problems, though, are quite

outweighed by the rest of the music, which is very usable for SCA

dance.

 

Music included:

 

A. from Arbeau (Branles, etc.)

Double / Simple / Gay / Burgogne // Cassandra / Pinagay / Charlotte

// Jouissance vous Donneray / Tourdion / Tourdion // Pavane "Belle

qui tiens ma vie" / Galliarde "La Traditore my fa moire / G.

"Antionette" / G.  "J'aymerois mieulx dormir seulette" / La Volta //

Poictou / Ecosse / Bretagne // Malte / Lavandieres / Chevaulx //

Jouissance / 3 French Corantos / Basse "La Roque" / Recercada Segunda

// Haye / Official // Moresques / Canaries / Bouffons

 

B.  from Playford 1651

Grimstock // Upon a Summer's Day // The Spanish Gipsy // Rufty Tufty

// Gray's Inn Mask // Bobbing Joe // Heart's Ease

 

// = separate tracks.  

/ = several dances are included in a single CD track. There's a

brief pause between them... if you wanted, for example, to set up a

tape with several versions of branle Charlotte, you _could_ separate

it off when dubbing a copy, but it does take effort.

 

 

- Janelyn et Trahaearn

 

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

 

> Safer to ask; you may be pleasantly surprised.

> The dance we do is a recognizable variation/arrangement of Arbeau's Maltese

> Bransle.  The important differences are that we've simplified the steps and

> compensated by using a suicide tune.

 

I took the time to look up the Maltese Branle in Arbeau's _Orchesography_

before I saw Lord Dani's posting, and also found that what I had learned

as the Maltese was a modification on Arbeau's dance.  I think, however,

that Lord Dani might be underemphasizing the magnitude of the modifica-

tions, just as Lady Elaine was incorrect to say that the dance is not "one

bit period."

 

The dance, as I learned it in the SCA, with dancers in a ring, goes:

        Double left, double right, double left, double right [drop hands]

        3 steps into the centre [raise arms to snap fingers]

        Clap three times

    [turn 180 degrees after clapping, to step away from the centre, snap

    fingers as before]

        3 steps away from the centre

        Kick left, right, left

    [turn 180 degrees as you kick, seize hands to repeat the dance].

I know of several minor variations on this.

 

Arbeau's dance is a "mimed" dance which he describes as having been de-

vised for a Court masquerade by the Knights of Malta in imitation of the

Turks; it was supposedly first danced in France forty years before, i.e.

ca. 1549.  It is supposed to be in slow duple time.  I am not quite up

enough on dance notation to give a perfect transcription of Arbeau's steps

but simply put:

        Double left, single right

        6 steps forward toward the centre, holding foot in air on last step

    [dancers gesticulate and make appropriate faces, releasing hands after

    the 6th step]

        Turn to the left in four steps

        Kick left, right, left; bring feet together

    [take hands, and repeat, varying the gesticulations and faces]

 

There are some problems in interpretting this (eg. Arbeau instructs the

dancers to make six steps towards the centre, but never tells them to

come back, and even if you are supposed to travel away from the centre

while turning to the left, I still have this image of an ever tightening

circle ending up in a hopeless tangle, which I suppose *may* have been the

way the Knights of Malta envisioned the Turks).  I suspect that some of

the first SCA dance teachers, coming across this nifty mimed branle in

Arbeau, tried to sort out the difficulties by making three of the six

steps toward, and three out of the centre, amalgamating the turn to the

left and the three quick kicks to match the livelier music they were using.

This music also required more steps were required before the steps in and

out of the circle, so they substituted the common "DL, DR, DL, DR" pattern

for Arbeau's "DL, SR".

 

I have never found this dance apparently out of period, and I consider

it a good example of creating new dances from within the framework of

the existing ones.  (Although until very recently I had thought that the

version I knew was from Arbeau, and I think my teachers had fallen down

in the assumptions department, nor had I ever bothered to check.)  Any

dancemistress who refuses to dance this dance because it is "not real",

IMHO has rocks in her head.  It is well within the tradition it purports

to represent, and it has a reality within the Society.

 

     Sarra Graeham, Canton of Greyfells    |  Heather Fraser

     Principality of Ealdormere, Midrealm  |  Kingston, Ontario, CANADA

                        c/o dicksnr at qucdn.queensu.ca

 

 

From: flieg at HYDROGEN.CCHEM.BERKELEY.EDU (Frederick Hollander)

Date: 16 May 90 00:03:35 GMT

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

====================================

  *   *   *    Frederick of Holland  

*** *** ***   Old Used Duke                              

_|___|___|_    

|===========|  Subject: Jouyoussance

               Date: 15 May xxv (1990)

The recent posting from Dani of the Seven Wells on the choreography of  

Jouyoussance vous Donneray was interesting to say the least.  As the  

person who generally teaches the dance out here in the Mists, I have to  

say that it is obvious that we have the same music, as the number of  

measures fit.  However, it is equally obvious that at some point in the  

learn-teach-learn cycle the two dances diverged.  (And it *is* much

easier to learn from a teacher, though Dani's instructions are

excellent.)

 

I am not going to repeat Dani's instructions here, go look them up.

The dance as I teach it has the following differences.

 

1) We use standard pavane sets for all forward movement, with no split

doubles or anything like that.  Nobody told us about going straight  

forward or the like.  I'm not sure whether we are doing two or four  

measures to a step since I have no idea what the measures look like.  

(The use of the simple pavane sets does mean that we can make the second  

set of the middle pair go backwards easily to allow the dance to be  

danced in a small room, but I have the suspicion that Dani's  

choreography is closer to "right", since it has that obnoxious ;) lack

of pattern characteristic of basse dances.  The side  to side motion of  

the standard pavane set also reduces the space requirements, but not by  

much.)  

 

2) In the reprise section we reprise right, then left, then catch *left*

hands together on the fourth beat and circle to the *right*,

*completely* around in four steps, ending up "proper" at all times.  We

then do a bransle left, bransle right instead of out/in.

 

3) The center part was looking the same as ours until I got to the bit

where the ladies changed places and the lords did likewise. We instead

have the couples face so that the lord is returning to place and the

ladies continue on in the same direction.  To use up the music we have

the bransle left/right just as at the end of the other reprise sections.

 

What I find most interesting is that we here have two dances with  

major differences between them which are still recognizably the same  

dance!  Makes me wonder just how many variants were lying around at the

time Arbeau wrote a few of them down.

 

In service to Crown and Kingdom

Frederick of Holland, Duke, MSCA,OP

 

From:    Justin du Coeur MKA Mark Waks

To:      All

Date: 17-May-90 12:12pm

Subject: Jargon, Awards, Dance Invention, etc.

Re: Inventing Dances

 

I have mixed feelings on this score. On the one hand, there is no question

in my mind that inventing dances is a Good Thing -- a good dancemaster in period

would have been expected to create new dances on a regular basis. On the

other hand, most of the dances invented in the Society would have been

regarded as kinda weird in period, and some of them are downright

abominations.

 

If you want to invent dances, my advice, in a nutshell, is: know what you

are inventing. This has several corollaries:

 

-- Don't mix 'n' match. Most of the worst inventions in the Society come from

someone trying to take the best of English Country, Bransles, and Allemandes,

and put them all in one dance. Recognize that these were each distinct dance

forms, from different cultures, for different audiences. Choose *one*

particular form.

 

-- Study the form. Each form has a whole bunch of unwritten rules. Look at

the dances that you already know from the form, and try to understand those

rules -- some of them are pretty subtle. For example, one that most inventors

in the Society miss: period dances don't do much with the arms. The *vast*

majority of the pre-1600 dances concentrate on the feet, and pay little or

no attention to what you're doing with your hands. This changes somewhat for

English Country, but footwork is still the focus. (This is why dances that

mandate palming give me little heebie-jeebies; it just wasn't done that

much...)

 

-- Think about garb requirements. Very few people in the SCA dance the

Renaissance dance in the appropriate garb, and it makes a *big* difference.

There's a reason why the dances were written the way they were, after all.

Galliards are appropriate for gentlemen in tights, and things that involve

lots of bending or arm motion are pretty difficult in tight late-period

corsets...

 

-- Don't get over-ambitious. I'd suggest starting with a bransle or three.

They're relatively flexible, and pretty easy to write. Pavans and allemandes

are similar. English Country is both better and worse -- they're considerably

more flexible, but the unwritten rules are far more complex, and evolved

quickly between 1650 and 1700. (Besides, do you really want to be inventing

something that wouldn't have been in period in the first place?)

 

-- Don't perpetuate SCA dance myths. English Country dances were not written

for the peasantry, they were intended for a courtly audience, so bear in mind

the garb that would have been worn. Figured Pavans are not, insofar as I know,

period -- the "line of three couples" concept mostly came in with English

Country. (The only lines of three couples I know of in period are for Italian

Balli, and those are *very* different (and much harder to write) than pavans.)

 

-- Critique yourself hard, and don't fall in love with your work. Talk to

other dance-types around, and see what they have to say about the dance, before

it gets graven in stone. You don't have to take their advice, but you should

seek it out.

 

The final test is what a knowledgable dancemaster says when they see the

dance. If I see an invention, and my first reaction is, "Gee, I must have

overlooked that one -- I'll have to go find the source", then I conclude

that that is a successful invention. If it looks like a period dance, walks

like a period dance, and quacks like a period dance, it's a period dance...

 

(I can feel an editiorial for the Letter of Dance coming on...)

 

                                -- Justin du Coeur

                                   The perenially long-winded

 

 

From: haste+ at andrew.cmu.edu (Dani Zweig)

Date: 20 Jun 90 04:25:14 GMT

Organization: Graduate School of Industrial Administration, Carnegie Mellon,

Pittsburgh, PA

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

 

A couple of years ago I got an English-Country dancer to send me his

instructions for this dance.  This is the way it's danced today, but

it seems a very reasonable reconstruction to me:

====================

 

From: Jonathan Young <young-jonathan at YALE.ARPA>

 

* Stingo (to Juice of Barley) 1651 Playford

        3 cpl sets

 

        Fall back from ptn a double;

        Fwd a double to ptn;

        Up (the set) a double and back;

 

        3 Men turn right hands round;

        They set to ptn & turn single

 

        3 Women turn left hands round;

        They set to ptn & turn single

 

        Siding:

        Fwd to ptn a double & back (touch right shoulders)

        Fwd to ptn a double & back (touch left shoulders)

 

        All turn L, up a double;

        turn single (in); back to place

        Set & turn single

 

        All turn R, up a double;

        turn single (in); back to place

        Set & turn single

 

        Arming:

        Arm ptn right once round

        Arm ptn left once round

        Set & turn single

 

        B

        1s cross to between 2&3 of opp sex;

        set to 2s above;

        set to 3s below;

        go back to ptn's place, exiting between 2&3;

        turn up single; 2h turn ptn once round;

        cast down to third place while 2s & 3s lead up

 

====================

 

Some notes:

 

The first figure has two lines of dancers falling away from their partners.

This makes sense of "meet again".

 

If I interpret this correctly, the second figure includes a men's r.h. star

and a women's l.h. star.  This makes more sense than having the men

dance with the women, the way it's worded.

 

This was written up (by the person who sent it to me) from memory, not

from a reference.

 

I'm not sure the timing on the arming works.  (One reason I never

taught this dance.)

 

-----

Dani of the Seven Wells

 

From: dani at netcom.COM (Dani Zweig)

Date: 20 Aug 91 22:52:31 GMT

Organization: Netcom - Online Communication Services  (408 241-9760 guest)

 

I don't mean to imply, of course, that there was nothing else doing

at Pennsic.  There were all sorts of other things (I suppose) including

between three and four hundred merchants who'd sworn a solemn oath

to beggar me.  But I'll just comment on these.

 

Dancing was an improvement on many previous years, but it still has a

long way to go.  The perennial problem of beginners' dancing driving

out advanced dancing is still unsolved.  This is exacerbated by the

otherwise laudable fact that most of the music is live: The overlap of

the musicians' repertoire and the dancemistress's repertoire turned out

to be the ten or twenty Standard Dances which half the dancers knew and

the other half could be taught in ten minutes.  I don't know any good

answers to this frustrating situation.

 

-----

Dani of the Seven Wells

dani at netcom.com

 

      And there is more to it than this, for dancing is practised to

reveal whether lovers are in good health and sound of limb, and

after which they are permitted to kiss their mistresses in order that

they may touch and savour one another, thus to ascertain if they

are shapely or emit an unpleasant odour as of bad meat. Therefore,

from this standpoint, quite apart from the many other advantages to

be derived from dancing, it becomes an essential in a well-ordered

society. -- Thoinot Arbeau (1588)

 

From: bnostrand at lynx.northeastern.EDU

Date: 19 Sep 91 16:21:24 GMT

Organization: The Internet

 

Dance Master Justin De Ceour has made a very standard comment about

period vs non-period dancing.  However, it may be easily misunderstood.

What is actually being talked about is not dancing in general but rather

documented dancing.  In order for dancing to be documented, it was

necessary for the professional dance masters to first come into existence.

These dance maters were paid professionals (frequently aquiring a lot

of influence as masters of courtesy and protocol) and as such

choreographed dances for professional entertainers and occasionally

courtiers who wished to demonstrate their proficiency at dancing.

(re. comments by Countess Mara Tudora) (sp)

 

Group dancing existed before all of this, but it is not clear whether

it was social dancing in the 18th and 19th century sense. For example,

a Papal bull banned Caroling (about a thousand years ago ... I am sorry

that I can not provide a date at this time) which had previously been

practiced in church yards.  There is also I believe a fair amount of

iconographic evidence suggesting the existence of group non-performance

dancing.  (The existence of a non-dancing audience does not gaurantee

that the dance in question is a performance dance.  The largely

undocumented festival dancing of Japan for example features both dances

by 1 to 8 or so dancers and other dances in which mobs of people

participate and freely join and leave the dance as it progresses.)

We see similar patterns in documented African and American tribal

dances.  One distinguishing feature of a lot of this pre-modern

dancing is the ritualistic overtones of a lot of it and also that

a lot of it separates the two genders.  In reports of early Italian

dance there are (again I defer to Mara) indications that some

of the oestensibly mixed-sex dances were actually performed by people

of the same sex.  Regardless, the emergence of social couples

dancing may in fact be relatively recent.  And probably grew out of

a desire on the part of court nobles to emulate the refined dances

of the professional dancers.  (Although this of course is purest

speculation.)

 

The ritualistic nature of a lot of Japanese dancing has been extensively

commented upon.  A lot of Japanese dancing corresponds to the Obon

season and in a sense is performance dancing.  The unseen audience is

the assembled unseen spirits of the departed ancestors of the dancers.

Other dances are typically fertility dances and are frequently performed by

smaller groups.  And there are also other dances as well. All of this

is "folk" dancing in that they are performed by non-professional

peasantry.  Their purpose to appease ancestors, cause the crops to grow,

dispell deamons, etc.  And, of course they all make great social events.

Noh dancing on the other hand is strictly professional, typically

narative and strongly associated with institutionalized religion.

(Shinto shires)  One more thread in paleo-dancing, is exhibitionist

dancing.  I would like to suggested that skilled exhibitionist dancers

are possibly the predecessors of the professional dance masters.

For example, the now professionalized tribal dances of Berundi (sp)

have clearly exhibitionist elements.  However, these same elements

are visible in films collected by anthropologists.  (Flame off for now.)

 

                                Solveig Throndardottir

 

 

From: bnostrand at lynx.northeastern.EDU

Date: 19 Sep 91 16:28:45 GMT

Organization: The Internet

 

One more source of proto-dancing in Europe of course is the processionals

of the Catholic church.  These still take place in churches and

monestaries and are designed to move large groups of people into and out

of a bassilica in such a way as to impress (and intimidate) the

peasants.  These of course may be taken from the triumphs of Rome which

searved a similar purpose.  Consequently, it is generally understood

that some of the early dances (e.g., Pavans) were descended from and

may have in fact been processionals.  Others such as some of the

Bransles (sp) may in fact be descendents of fertility dances.

 

                                More Smoke from

                                Solveig Throndardottir

 

 

From: bnostrand at lynx.northeastern.EDU

Date: 20 Sep 91 01:11:52 GMT

Organization: The Internet

 

Recently, (I can not say when I receive the digest and it appears to be

jumbled at the moment) a gentle remarked on the relative unpopularity of

easy period dances when compared to various non-period dances.  It seems

to me that what the easy period dances often lack is:

        1) Flashyness

        2) Large Body Movements

        3) Fast Rythm

That is they are rather subdued.  Even horses which can be executed in

a rather flashy manner (that is if you really enjoy pawing and stomping)

is frequently taught and performed in a rather lack luster manner and is

rather slow.  This is not true of Maltese Bransle and hence its relative

popularity.  This I also think explains the popularity of some of the

English country dances.  (Especially when performed in the style of the

silly school of dancing.)  While Hole in the Wall may be relatively

subdued it is popular (in my opinion) largely becausc of the chaos of

kidnapping.  Also all of the bowing and turning out lends an oportunity

to express panasche!  One attempt at a period dance which shows promise

is Salterello which is relatively simple but is more importantly

energetic and allows a lot of opportunity for flash.  The problem with

this theory is what about Galliards.  Well there are quite a few

galliard enthusiasts but, a flashy galliard is relatively complicated.

One interesting note is the exagerated movements of many of the dancers

at Pensic when performing Pavans and other early Italian processional

dances.  Many people stomped their feet off to the side and the line

had a distinct duck walk quality to it.  (Perhaps I am being too harsh

but this style of dancing is rather new to me and it seems suspiciously

similar to the style of Karobushka and Road to the Isles.) A possible

solution would be for our dance masters to try to find period dances

which satisfy the underlying psychological needs of the dancers.  Now

whether such dances actually exist is another problem.

 

                                Solveig Throndardottir

 

 

From: justin at inmet.camb.inmet.COM (Justin du Coeur MKA Mark Waks)

Date: 20 Sep 91 18:05:40 GMT

Organization: The Internet

 

Re: Social Dance in Period

 

Solveig makes a bunch of points, which boil down to "social and ritual dance

of assorted sorts were done in period". It's a good point, and one to

remember.

 

When we talk about "period dance", we generally mean pretty much exclusively

Renaissance Dance, starting in the early 1400's. That does *not* mean that

people didn't dance before then, nor does it mean that the dances that we

are reconstructing are the only ones that were found in period. It means

that these are the only dances that we are *capable* of reconstructing.

 

We know that there was social dance in the early Renaissance and before.

In the most recent issue of The Letter of Dance (number ten), Leah di Estera

provides some excerpts from a 14th-century poem, which describes what amounts

to an extended Christmas party. The poem mentions a *lot* of what are

apparently social dances, giving very slight descriptions and/or names

for each. Unfortunately, the scant descriptions aren't enough to even

begin reconstructing from.

 

Which is essentially the problem -- until the rise of the professional

dancemaster, no one bothered to write these things down. We have some

paintings here and there, but it's *quite* hard to deduce much about a

dance from a painting; art, especially much of period art, doesn't convey

movement all that well. And even in the Renaissance, there were probably

a lot of social dances being done that never got described in any detail...

 

So, we're left with a good number of dances from late period, and a little

guesswork about the earlier dances. One thing that I'm hoping to see, and

Geoffrey's Saltarello was a movement in this direction, is some discussion

of the fragmentary evidence that we have from earlier in period. We may not

get reconstructions that are quite as reliable as the later-period ones,

but we may, with time, manage to come up with more educated guesses worth

examining and arguing about...

 

                                -- Justin du Coeur

 

 

From: adn at mayo.EDU (Ann Nielsen)

Date: 20 Sep 91 20:35:05 GMT

Organization: The Internet

 

Greetings unto the good gentles of the Rialto!

 

Robyyan (who teasingly speaks of my height and how I must spend my days in

terror...truly, I am not so tall (actually, I'm the shortest in my family),

although I do have terrible nightmares of falling...really, I do!!) wonders

why the kami-kaze version of Strip the Willow is more fun than the original

version. Well, to me it is more fun because it is sillier. We laugh more.

Doing the kami-kaze version also flaunts the 'rules' of doing StW 'straight',

which of course makes it more fun (for the 5 year old in all of us)! When

you aren't the person going down the middle of StW, or the one swinging the

middle person, what is there for you to do? Nothing. <yawn> And when StW is

done around here, the lines are incredibly long, which makes the dance

incredibly boring. Annoying the dance purists is fun only when they've been

obnoxious or when they've left their sense of humor at home. (We combined

Road to the Isles and Karaboushka one time to tease a dance laurel, and we

periodically do it to watch her face. Her reactions are most marvelous!!)

Umm, let's see...the first time I did the k-kStW I was involuntarily brought

into it --- I was sitting along the sidelines, watching the dance, when the

instigator came dashing over, pulled me up and swung me into the line, twirling

me about and tossing me on to the next person. Silliness is about the only

thing that gets me to dance StW.

 

He also asks, if a dance is entertaining already, why spice it up? Silly boy --

you are talking to someone who LOVES late period Tudor/Elizabethan garb. That's

like saying, "Gee, that dress is pretty on its own --- why add jewels??"

'Cause they're there!! They spice up the dress, sparkle, and are enjoyable for

their beauty (gee, can you tell I like jewelry?). Same with the dances. Once

the dance is known, it's fun to 'play' with it, spice it up, change it a wee

bit here and there, and have fun with it.

 

Actually, I don't always like dances that are energy-expendent (sometimes it

gets hard to breathe in a corset!), but MY personal criteria for a dance that

I enjoy is this:

        1) entertaining to do (such as Miller in the Middle, Hole in the

                Wall, Road to the Isles, etc. These may or may not be period

                dances, but they are fairly easily mastered and fun. Note that

                not all are fast and furious)

        2) good music. Actually, I'm surprised that no one has brought this

                up. Why are there top 40 songs on the radio? Because they

                are infectuous. ("Uhh, yeah, Dick, I like the second one

                better 'cause it's got a better, uhh, beat. Yeah, the beat's

                good and I can dance to it. I give it a 70.") The same with

                period dancing. If the music sets your toes a-tapping (or if

                it touches something inside of you that makes you want to

                go out and sway elegantly and flirt circumspectly and show

                attitude), then chances are you will learn the dance and be

                out there.

        3) esthetics. This is a difficult one for me to describe. It's along

                the lines of why I play my harp. I'll never be a concert

                harpist, and I don't play it with that expectation. I play it

                because it's another way to voice what's inside of me, to

                express emotions and thoughts that perhaps can't be expressed

                in words. And sometimes that's why I dance. I dance to express

                a part of me that can't be said. It allows me to flirt outrag-

                eously with someone when I wouldn't if we were speaking face

                to face. It allows me to move elegantly, letting me feel

                refined and perhaps aristocratic, and beautiful. It lets me

                laugh over being silly, and lets me move in three dimesions,

                when often words are only two-dimensional. That is why I love

                the truly elegant choreographed period dances. The 'pattern'

                of those dances are so satisfying.

Those are the three basic things I look for in a dance (now you've got me

analyzing why I do them, Robyyan!). I'm sure there are other reasons, but

they probably fall under one of the headings above.

 

I have an idea to propose. Might it be possible that the longer you are in

the SCA, the more willing you might be to learn new and possibly more compli-

cated dances? This seems to be the case for me. Last spring our Shire hosted

the regional dance seminar, and since I was autocrat I didn't take any classes,

but I did watch some and said, "Hmm, I want to learn that one, and that one,

and that one..." There was one particularly elegant twirly-pointy toed one

that I have got on my list-of-dances-to-learn. (One of the girls in the Shire

took the class and promises to point it out at the next dance semiar.) I find

the longer I'm in the SCA, the more I want to learn, the more I'm willing to

work at learning, and the more fun it becomes (and here I thought I was bad

when I started!!)

 

So, m'lord Robyyan, do you still think there's hope for me yet? ;-v

 

Therica

 

 

From: mjl at rutabaga.Rational.COM (Matthew Larsen)

Date: 21 Sep 91 18:55:25 GMT

 

sbloch at euler.ucsd.edu (Steve Bloch) writes:

 

>MKNETTEL at kentvm.kent.EDU ("Mary Knettel ", Genevieve du Vent Argent) writes:

>>people are requesting

>>"Saltarello" and "Scotch Cap" as often as Trenchmore; and not many have

>>requested "Hole in the Wall" lately.

 

>"Saltarello" isn't, to my knowledge, a specific dance but rather a

>type of dance; the word comes mostly from a 14th-century Italian music

>manuscript (BL addl. ms. 29987, for the librarians in the crowd) that

>contains no dance steps.  Do we actually have period sources for how

>to dance a Saltarello?  (Geoffrey did a "plausible invention" of a

>Saltarello in LoD #7, suggesting that there is no primary source.)

 

>--

>Stephen Bloch

>mar-Joshua ibn-Eleazar ha-Shalib

>>sca>Caid>Calafia>St.Artemas

>sbloch at math.ucsd.edu

 

There is no period choreography with the name "saltarello", although

there are many pieces of music with that title (just as there are many

pieces of music entitled "bransle" or "basse dance", with no specific

choreography extant).  The fifteenth century Italian sources do give us

a step called the saltarello and some also give another step called a

saltarello tedesco (the word saltarello, by the way, is derived from the

italian word "salto" or "to jump", so one would expect the step to

involve some jumping or leaping of some sort).  My guess is that when

one of these non-specific saltarello pieces was played, people would

simply dance the saltarello step to it, probably with variations invented

on the spot, just as bransle and galliards would be danced in the 16th

century.  For those who are interested, Dr. Ingrid Brainard (a mundane

dance scholar who specializes in the 15th century dances) has a

reconstruction of the saltarello step which is done like this: step left,

hop (with the right foot raised in front, knee bent and the foot about

6-8 inches off the floor), step right, step left.

 

 

Geoffrey Mathias (not the Geoffrey who did the saltarello reconstruction

for the Letter of Dance)

mjl at rational.rational.com

 

---------------------------------10/16/91-------------------

From: DRS at UNCVX1.BITNET ("Dennis R. Sherman")

Date: 26 Sep 91 11:54:00 GMT

Organization: The Internet

 

(Justin)

> I'm curious. All of you who have taught galliards, do you teach them as

> "right foot" and "left foot", or as "front foot" and "back foot"? I've

> [...]

> way. Has anyone else come up with this particular twist, and if so,

> have you also found it to help?

 

I use right foot/left foot, but don't teach galliard as staying in one

place.  Generally, I line up students at one end of the room and teach

the basic 5 step travelling forward, calling left, right, left, right,

pause, and switch; right, left, right, left, pause, and switch.  Once

people have understood it going forward, it's pretty easy to shift to

staying in one place.  Another trick I use to help people get the rhythm

is tell them to think of "My Country 'tis of Thee" - it's a galliard

rhythm, at about the right speed.

 

     Robyyan Torr d'Elandris                Dennis R. Sherman

     Kapellenberg, Windmaster's Hill        Chapel Hill, NC

     Atlantia                               drs at uncvx1.bitnet

 

From: KGANDEK at mitvmc.mit.EDU (Kathryn Gandek)

Date: 26 Sep 91 14:31:30 GMT

Organization: The Internet

 

I confess to being of the technique is fun school. However, how I learned

renaissnce dance may have something to do with it.  My first exposure (after

a dozen or so years of ballet) was a college course I took for credit (i.e. we

actually had to study as well as dance).  A few years later I found the SCA and

attended some dance practices and danced at events. Eventually, I started   t

spending more time visiting at events than dancing, although I didn't stop

to think much about why.  Then I joined a renaissance dance troupe run by Dr.

Ingrid Brainard, a scholar and teacher of the subject. All of a sudden I was

among people who were quite serious about _how_ the dances were done.  In

rehearsals we didn't do as many dances as the SCA tries to do, but we worked

on doing them well.  And I loved it.

 

Earlier this month I had to decide whether or not I could presently continue

with that dance troupe.  I had to decide not to, but it was with some regret.

SCA dancing isn't as fun anymore -- and perhaps it was already becoming so

before I joined the dance troupe.

 

When the troupe performed, they did so with the intent of recreating the

manners and the motions and the attitudes of the people who would have

performed the dances.  There is a grace and beauty to their performances.

If we got a little less polished doing Gathering Peascods in rehearsal, Ingrid

would chastise us by saying "You're supposed to be in court, not the SCA!"

A few of the troupe members are SCAdian and the rest know what Ingrid thinks of

the style of SCA dancing - namely that we lack it.  The next time I did

Gathering Peascods at an event, I had to agree with her. I'm afraid serious

square dancers will be offended if I say it looked like a hoedown.  Serious

square dancers look much nicer than we did.  It was sort of a free for all.

 

Does that mean that I think the SCA is "doing it wrong" or "ought to be doing

it differently" or that I'm going to lead a movement to change it?  Nahw.

Personally, I think people who are certain that they know how to improve the

SCA and will show other people the true light just offend the populous.  And

who am I to criticize other people's fun?  Goodness knows, my garb or cooking

or something else probably doesn't meet some people's standards.

 

However,...  I do theatre in the SCA (as some of you may have gathered by now),

and I'm planning on putting together a masque that includes dances as

performance pieces.  (See earlier posting on dance as performance)  If I'm

going to ask an audience to watch that dancing, the performers can't just know

the steps.  They've _got_to_do_them_well.  That's one of my criteria for

performing for a public audience - even one as charitable as the SCA.

 

If you (whoever the you's are) want to see dancing done with care as well as

enthusiasm, think of putting together a masque where care is important.

 

Hopefully next spring I'll have the theatrical blueprint for a masque (includin

speeches, appropriate dances to the subject and time, descriptions of scenic

devices and music that is also appropriate).  IF I do this, anyone who wants to

use it is welcome to do so.  If you want to start on something now, I've got

an article I wrote on the development of mummings, disguisings and masques that

will give you a start.  There are sources listed in the bibliography that will

be useful for further research.  Drop me a line if you want a copy.

 

And who knows,...  Maybe some of the people who watch the piece will decide

that they'd like to start dancing with care as well as enthusiasm!

 

Catrin o'r Rhyd For            Kathryn Gandek

Barony of Carolingia           Boston area

East Kingdom                   kgandek%mitvmc.bitnet at mitvma.mit.edu

 

 

From: Pat.McGregor at um.cc.umich.EDU

Date: 25 Sep 91 17:27:50 GMT

Organization: The Internet

 

I forwarded some of the discussion about OOP dances and why some

dances are more interested than others to my local CDSS (Country

Dance and Song Society, formerly the English Folk Society)

representative and dance teacher, and these are her comments back.

The CDSS headquarters in Boston have a LOT of research material

available on early dances. In addition, they sponsor a camp every

summer that has two weeks on early dances, specializing in stuff

pre-1650.

Siobhan Medhbh O'Roarke                   Pat McGregor

Barony Northwoods / Shire Cynnabar        3638 Greenook Blvd

Internet: SMOR at um.cc.umich.edu            Ann Arbor, MI 48103-9143

BITNET: Userw02v at umichum                  (313) 426-3506

 

---(Forwarded from: Erna-Lynne.Bogue at ub.cc.umich.edu, Dated: Mon, 23 Sep 91 16:20:22 EDT)---

Date: Mon, 23 Sep 91 16:20:22 EDT

From: Erna-Lynne.Bogue at ub.cc.umich.edu

To: patmcg at merit.edu

Clearly these folks have never tried to learn Step Stately. It's

an ECD that is *so* tough that my performance group has to practice

it at every session and even then it's only reliable in performance

for about 50% of them.  It's also got one of the best claims of having

been done pre-1600 of any Playford: it's in the 1st Edition, the music

is clearly from an earlier period (and the good tune that is usually

substituted for the original terrible one is also from an earlier period)

and it is designed to end so that the entire set of 3 couples honors

The Presence (ranking nobility) -- marking it as having court dance

origins.  If all SCA groups work at learning dances in about the same

way that the ones I saw, then it's not surprising they think they are

simple: they're only doing things that are simple.  Sigh.

The other thing that is interesting is that whoever these folks are,

they're completely ignoring the question of steps used in ECD. We

do it today the way it was first reconstructed, when no step info was

available. But there's been a lot of research in the last 10 years.

If one wanted to do ECD authentically, the steps are a bear to learn --

I know, I did a few weeks of workshop and finally remembered (luckily!)

that I was into ECD for pleasure and community, not for authenticity.

It was clear that attention to authenticity at that level would make it

not as much fun,and there wouldn't be a community there. But if the

bransles are being taught *with* correct steps while the ECD is being

taught (inauthentically) *without* correct steps, then of course it will

seem easier to folks for whom footwork isn't easy.

elb

 

 

From: justin at inmet.camb.inmet.COM (Justin du Coeur MKA Mark Waks)

Date: 26 Sep 91 21:44:32 GMT

Organization: The Internet

 

Re: English Country Dance

 

Siobhan forwards:

>Clearly these folks have never tried to learn Step Stately. It's

>an ECD that is *so* tough that my performance group has to practice

>it at every session and even then it's only reliable in performance

>for about 50% of them.

 

A fine point, and a dance worth learning if you're into grotesquely

tricky ECD. They've done this one down in the Barony of the Bridge (RI),

which is where I learned it. It's one of the only EC dances I've done

that I wasn't able to teach (or even *start* to teach) after doing it

four or five times.

 

>The other thing that is interesting is that whoever these folks are,

>they're completely ignoring the question of steps used in ECD. We

>do it today the way it was first reconstructed, when no step info was

>available. But there's been a lot of research in the last 10 years.

>If one wanted to do ECD authentically, the steps are a bear to learn --

>I know, I did a few weeks of workshop and finally remembered (luckily!)

>that I was into ECD for pleasure and community, not for authenticity.

>It was clear that attention to authenticity at that level would make it

>not as much fun,and there wouldn't be a community there.  But if the

>bransles are being taught *with* correct steps while the ECD is being

>taught (inauthentically) *without* correct steps, then of course it will

>seem easier to folks for whom footwork isn't easy.

 

Now *this* intrigues the hell out of me. My understanding was that we

still really didn't know the "correct" steps for earlier ECD. (The later

dances are essentially Baroque, but I thought that the current theory

was that the baroque steps evolved in over the course of things.) Do we

have a reasonably good idea of what 1651 ECD steps looked like? If so,

can anyone point me to some sources? This is *definitely* Letter of

Dance fodder...

 

                                -- Justin du Coeur

                                   Eternal Dance Mavin

 

 

From: mjl at rutabaga.Rational.COM (Matthew Larsen)

Date: 21 Sep 91 20:42:54 GMT

 

DRS at UNCVX1.BITNET ("Dennis R. Sherman") writes:

 

>I'm enjoying the discussion of why Out Of Period (OOP) dances are so popular.

>It's a question I've been trying to answer for quite a while, and haven't

>found an answer I'm happy with yet.

 

>The answer I get most often when I ask comparatively uneducated dancers why

>they like particular dances, especially English country, is "They're fun!."

>When I ask why they don't like certain dances, particularly bransles, the

>answer is "They're boring."  Relative complexity doesn't seem to enter into

>consideration.

 

I think part of what most dance teachers don't notice is sort of personal

complexity.  By this I mean roughly that any dance that a person doesn't

know is more complex than one they do know.  I personally don't think that

burgundian basse dances are any more complex than a lot of english country

dances, but they do have a whole different vocabulary of steps and paterns.

So when someone encounters them for the first time they feel as though they

are more complex, when what they really are is different. Most people who

aren't stepjocks (I think that's a great term) don't want to feel as though

they are beginners again and have to start over; they want to do things that

they feel competent in and have some familiarity with.

 

But, I hear you ask, why is that people _everywhere_ consider English Country

the easiest kind of dancing?  I think there are a couple of reasons.  First

of all, many of the dances are easy, and you can build up to the harder ones.

Second (and I think this is very important) most dance instructors teach

English Country first, partly because _they_ think it's easy and partly

because its what they learned first and people like it. But I think the most

important reason that _everyone_ thinks ECD is easy and _everyone_ does it

is that it is the only form of (nearly) period dance that you can learn

from a mundane source in almost any city large enough to support a large

SCA group.  As a result, ECD came into the SCA from a variety of people who

all learned it in the mundane world.  I don't mean to suggest that ECD is in

any way bad because of this, but I do think that it has contributed to people

viewing it as "easy" dance.

 

>So, what makes one dance fun, and another one boring? Well, that's going to

>vary quite a bit for different people, I suspect.  For absolute beginners,

>the dance they can manage successfully with the least learning time is going

>to be what they find fun, I suspect - hence the popularity of the SCA Maltese

>Branle.  For people that know a little more, often interaction with a

>partner will be fun, leading to the popularity of the simpler English country

>dances, and the choreographed pavanes.  And for people that know a lot,

>i.e. the "stepjocks" (I kind of like the term, actually, even if I are one :-)

>dancing *any* dance with historically accurate form and style is fun.

 

Once again, I think for most beginning dancers and even for a lot of

intermediate people, fun is what they already know.  But if you work from

that point, it means that it is possible to get people to think of galliards

and 15th c. Italian dancing as fun: all you have to do is train a new

generation of dancers by teaching them that stuff first ("That's all??!!!" I

hear you cry.  Well, nobody said it would happen overnight).

 

>One thing I've noticed is that 'fun' for the people in the middle group,

>those that know some but not a lot, is often tied to energy expenditure.

>The more active a dance is (or is able to be made) the better they like it.

>Of course, this doesn't explain why Galliards are not generally more popular.

 

If I'm right, all you have to do is teach galliards before you teach

other things.  I'm convinced I can teach people to do a galliard as guickly

as I can teach them to do Strip the Willow or many of the other "bouncy"

dances.  The only thing that might stand in the way of this is that

it takes longer to learn to galliard really well than it does to learn

something like Strip the Willow.  And that means that Lord Beginner will

look at the dance master and may feel that he will never be that good, and

give up trying.  But I hope that most people don't approach dancing as

something they can learn in a day.  If so, we'll never really make any

headway with that kind of person anyway.

 

>     Robyyan Torr d'Elandris                Dennis R. Sherman

>     Kapellenberg, Windmaster's Hill        Chapel Hill, NC

>     Atlantia                               drs at uncvx1.bitnet

 

 

Geoffrey Mathias

mjl at rational.rational.com

 

From: dani at netcom.COM (Dani Zweig)

Date: 21 Sep 91 22:36:09 GMT

Organization: Netcom - Online Communication Services  (408 241-9760 guest)

 

mjl at rutabaga.Rational.COM (Matthew Larsen):

>>Of course, this doesn't explain why Galliards are not generally more popular.

>

>If I'm right, all you have to do is teach galliards before you teach

>other things.  I'm convinced I can teach people to do a galliard as guickly

>as I can teach them...

 

There's another problem with galliards, especially for beginners:  They're

generally taught unchoreographed.  For a beginner -- especially one who

has not done other kinds of dancing mundanely -- it is *very* difficult

to ad-lib even an easy set of steps.  One of the characteristics shared

by the popular dances within the SCA is that every step of the dance is

laid out in advance, so the beginner can in some meaningful way think

"I know that dance."

 

-----

Dani of the Seven Wells

dani at netcom.com

 

 

From: jstone at microsoft.com (Jeff STONE)

Date: 25 Sep 91 19:38:16 GMT

Organization: Microsoft Corp.

 

Tristan here;

 

In article <90e202Bk00Uw01 at JUTS.ccc.amdahl.com> branwen at flipper.ccc.amdahl.com (Karen Williams) writes:

>In article <9109231305.aa13069 at mc.lcs.mit.edu> DRS at UNCVX1.BITNET ("Dennis R. Sherman") writes:

>

>>To take the last part first, I agree, but how many people do *any* dance

>>really well?  Given the total number of people that dance at least a

>>little, I'd say a very, very small proportion dance really well.  I'd

>>even hazard a guess that there are many more really good fighters than

>>there are really good dancers, although there are probably more people

>>that dance than people that fight.

>

>Yes, but there are many, many more fighter practices than there are dance

>practices, and many, many more tourneys than there are balls.

>

>Branwen ferch Emrys

>The Mists, the West

>--

>                                          Karen Williams

>                                          branwen at flipper.ras.amdahl.com

 

I would never suggest that I myself have much skill at dance, but I do

love to do so.  The Barony of Madrone in An Tir holds dance practice every

week, and our Dance Master & Mistress usually try to have dancing at any

event they attend.  Their efforts have certainly bettered my skills at

dance, so I'd suggest that Branwen's observation about more dance practice

leads to better (and more of them!) dancers is a true dictum.  Our practices

generally see two dozen or more frolicsome folk turn out. Strangely, we

very consistently have a noticeable imbalance of the sexes--we have far more

lords in attendance than ladies.  I have no clue as to why this is; when I

roved in other lands than Fair An Tir, 'twas the ladies that were more

inclined to dance than the menfolk.

 

So, should any of you dancers from other Kingdoms ever find yourselves in

this lovely realm, do look us up!  We'll chat, and then perhaps a bransle?

 

Dreaming the Dream,

Tristan

 

SCA                                             Mundanely

Tristan Gryphonroke                             Jeff Stone

Barony of Madrone                               jstone at microsoft.com

Kingdom of An Tir

 

 

From: pears at latcs1.lat.oz.au (Arnold N Pears)

Date: 27 Sep 91 02:32:02 GMT

Organization: Comp Sci, La Trobe Uni, Australia

 

In article <9109261038.aa02541 at mc.lcs.mit.edu> KGANDEK at mitvmc.mit.EDU (Kathryn Gandek) writes:

>I confess to being of the technique is fun school. However, how I learned

>renaissnce dance may have something to do with it.  My first exposure (after

>a dozen or so years of ballet) was a college course I took for credit (i.e. we

>actually had to study as well as dance).  A few years later I found the SCA and

>attended some dance practices and danced at events. Eventually, I started   t

>spending more time visiting at events than dancing, although I didn't stop

>to think much about why.  Then I joined a renaissance dance troupe run by Dr.

>Ingrid Brainard, a scholar and teacher of the subject. All of a sudden I was

>among people who were quite serious about _how_ the dances were done.  In

>rehearsals we didn't do as many dances as the SCA tries to do, but we worked

>on doing them well.  And I loved it.

>

>Earlier this month I had to decide whether or not I could presently continue

>with that dance troupe.  I had to decide not to, but it was with some regret.

>SCA dancing isn't as fun anymore -- and perhaps it was already becoming so

>before I joined the dance troupe.

 

I am very familiar with the type of dancing you describe here,

and have been a member of a performing dance group in Melbourne

Australia run by a lady called Helga Hill, who teaches dance

here and at Dartington in England every year.

 

I remember having a special seminar and dance lesson with Dr. Brainard

when she visited our troup in 1987 or so. While there were some

stylistic differences her attitude was similar to ours.

 

>When the troupe performed, they did so with the intent of recreating the

>manners and the motions and the attitudes of the people who would have

>performed the dances.  There is a grace and beauty to their performances.

>If we got a little less polished doing Gathering Peascods in rehearsal, Ingrid

>would chastise us by saying "You're supposed to be in court, not the SCA!"

>A few of the troupe members are SCAdian and the rest know what Ingrid thinks of

>the style of SCA dancing - namely that we lack it. The next time I did

>Gathering Peascods at an event, I had to agree with her.  I'm afraid serious

>square dancers will be offended if I say it looked like a hoedown.  Serious

>square dancers look much nicer than we did.  It was sort  of a free for all.

 

I find this very apt. The SCA in general teach dances in a loose manner.

Much of the teaching I see is of the now jump right a bit and step left and

right turn over shoulder etc.

The problem I have with this is in the precision in execution, and

knowledge of steps.

 

The precision comes only from practice and almost

everone will get that if they keep at it and practice dances to as close

to perfection as the group can achieve.

 

The knowledge of individual steps is a REAL PROBLEM!!! At least here

in Lochac dances seem to be taught as units. That is the steps are not

presented and divided out and identified, this is particularly true of

the Italian dances, which for me seem to be the ones that really need it.

The result is that it takes a long time to teach a new dance. If everyone

knows the steps and can perform a, saffice, or dopij espangola, etc

then the teaching consists mostly of the interpretation, pattern on

the floor and gesture. Admittedly in very hard dances it can take even

people expert in the steps a long time to remember the sequence of

steps and get them exactly in time, but they do produce a more

defined and graceful product. Well that is my opinion anyway!!

 

>Does that mean that I think the SCA is "doing it wrong" or "ought to be doing

>it differently" or that I'm going to lead a movement to change it?  Nahw.

>Personally, I think people who are certain that they know how to improve the

>SCA and will show other people the true light just offend the populous.  And

>who am I to criticize other people's fun?  Goodness knows, my garb or cooking

>or something else probably doesn't meet some people's standards.

 

Yes I agree, I have run into great hostility trying to teach dance

steps before the dance. People want to be told  to step left etc, without

the work involved in refining the motions. This is sad because it is hard

to dance in a meaningful way and interact with your partner if you are

being wild and uncoordinated, many of the later Italian dances offer

great scope to flirt and sometimes even touch your partner, these

are dances of subtlety and mime, which are rendered much less by

gung ho performance traditions.

 

>However,...  I do theatre in the SCA (as some of you may have gathered by now),

>and I'm planning on putting together a masque that includes dances as

>performance pieces.  (See earlier posting on dance as performance)  If I'm

>going to ask an audience to watch that dancing, the performers can't just know

>the steps.  They've _got_to_do_them_well.  That's one of my criteria for

>performing for a public audience - even one as charitable as the SCA.

 

This is an idea I have had a few times too. I would be interested in

any bibliography you could provide.

 

Arenwald von Hagenburg

--

Arnold Pears.  Computer Sci Dept                ACSNET : pears at latcs1.oz

La Trobe Uni, Bundoora 3083.                    "Well here we all are then."

    Ph (03) 479-1144                                            -ME

 

 

From: donna at envy.kwantlen.bc.ca (Donna Hrynkiw)

Date: 27 Sep 91 22:40:00 GMT

Organization: The Internet

 

Greetings to the Rialto from Elizabeth Braidwod.

 

Catrin o'r Rhyd For <KGANDEK at mitvmc.mit.edu> has some interesting things to

say about Dance in the SCA:

 

> When the troupe performed, they did so with the intent of recreating the

> manners and the motions and the attitudes of the people who would have

> performed the dances.  There is a grace and beauty to their performances.

> If we got a little less polished doing Gathering Peascods in rehearsal,

> Ingrid would chastise us by saying "You're supposed to be in court, not

> the SCA!" A few of the troupe members are SCAdian and the rest know what

> Ingrid thinks of the style of SCA dancing - namely that we lack it.  The

> next time I did Gathering Peascods at an event, I had to agree with her.

> I'm afraid serious square dancers will be offended if I say it looked

> like a hoedown.  Serious square dancers look much nicer than we did.  It

> was sort  of a free for all.

 

Now, before I comment on Catrin's posting, let me say that I'm not an

expert in dance and that months go by between times I step out on the

dance floor. But there is a subtle criticizm in this posting and it bothers

me. (No offence taken or intended, Catrin.)

 

There are several clues to what I think is wrong with this paragraph and

they are: "performed", "performances", "rehearsal" and "serious". I believe

that most people in the SCA dance for the pure enjoyment of moving in time

to the music and flirting with their partners. There are not performers,

there is no audience, there are only participants. If I was concerned

with the way I looked while I danced, I would slink away in abject shame

and never dance again.

 

When I think of participant dancing in period, I think of it as the medieval

equivalent to a modern country wedding reception. People dancing for the

pure joy of socializing and moving to the music. Those people don't go

to rehearsals or even dance practices. And while it may not appear graceful,

it is certainly fun.

 

Like I said, I'm no dance expert. But I don't think that grace and beauty

are the point of the dance for most SCA folk. Now, if you're talking about

performance dance, that's a different story.

 

> And who knows,...  Maybe some of the people who watch the piece will

> decide that they'd like to start dancing with care as well as enthusiasm!

Implying that we don't dance with care now? Maybe you're right - we don't

care what we look like, only that we're having fun.

 

E.B.

--------------------

Elizabeth "E.B." Braidwood                Donna Hrynkiw

Lions Gate, An Tir                        Kwantlen College

donna at envy.kwantlen.bc.ca                 Surrey, B.C.

 

Per bend sinister Or and vert, two bendlets enhanced above two holly leaves

all counterchanged.

 

 

From: mjl at rutabaga.Rational.COM (Matthew Larsen)

Date: 28 Sep 91 17:46:35 GMT

 

Pat.McGregor at um.cc.umich.EDU writes:

 

>I forwarded some of the discussion about OOP dances and why some

>dances are more interested than others to my local CDSS (Country

>Dance and Song Society, formerly the English Folk Society)

>representative and dance teacher, and these are her comments back.

>

>Siobhan Medhbh O'Roarke                   Pat McGregor

>Barony Northwoods / Shire Cynnabar        3638 Greenook Blvd

>Internet: SMOR at um.cc.umich.edu            Ann Arbor, MI 48103-9143

>BITNET: Userw02v at umichum                  (313) 426-3506

>From: Erna-Lynne.Bogue at ub.cc.umich.edu

>

>Clearly these folks have never tried to learn Step Stately. It's

>an ECD that is *so* tough that my performance group has to practice

>it at every session and even then it's only reliable in performance

>for about 50% of them.  It's also got one of the best claims of having

>been done pre-1600 of any Playford: it's in the 1st Edition, the music

>is clearly from an earlier period (and the good tune that is usually

>substituted for the original terrible one is also from an earlier period)

>and it is designed to end so that the entire set of 3 couples honors

>The Presence (ranking nobility) -- marking it as having court dance

>origins.  If all SCA groups work at learning dances in about the same

>way that the ones I saw, then it's not surprising they think they are

>simple: they're only doing things that are simple. Sigh.

 

This is pretty valid criticism.  It's true that there are much more

complicated dances in First Playford than we are doing, not only

Step Stately, but Fain I Would and a number of others.  On the other

hand, I think that one of the reasons that these aren't taught is that

their complexity lies in their complex pattern, not in step complexity.

This in turn means that if any one of the six people in the Step Stately

set don't know what they're doing, the whole thing falls apart.  Most of

the dances we teach can suffer through having a beginner who knows almost

nothing in them (although when you get too many beginners in, it still

breaks down).  And I'm not talking just English Country dances here.

Even the bransles which do have complex and fast foot work don't break

down just because someone loses their place.  Who cares whether the next

person over can galliard at all?  Most of the dances from Caroso and Negri

have tough patterns, but they require so much step knowledge that no

beginner is ever going to be doing them anyway.  Still, this is a valid

criticism, and maybe we ought to be working toward some of the more

complicated Playford dances.

 

>The other thing that is interesting is that whoever these folks are,

>they're completely ignoring the question of steps used in ECD. We

>do it today the way it was first reconstructed, when no step info was

>available. But there's been a lot of research in the last 10 years.

>If one wanted to do ECD authentically, the steps are a bear to learn --

>I know, I did a few weeks of workshop and finally remembered (luckily!)

>that I was into ECD for pleasure and community, not for authenticity.

>It was clear that attention to authenticity at that level would make it

>not as much fun,and there wouldn't be a community there.  But if the

>bransles are being taught *with* correct steps while the ECD is being

>taught (inauthentically) *without* correct steps, then of course it will

>seem easier to folks for whom footwork isn't easy.

 

Hmmm.  I'm of two minds here.  The first is, if we're going to try to

convince people to do complex steps, I would rather get them to do Italian

renn. stuff, since that's really the period that we're shooting for.  This

isn't meant to denigrate those who are interested in doing ECD with the

baroque steps (I've done some of that myself and it's a great challenge),

but I just don't see it as an area we should be focusing on.

 

But I will admit that one of the reasons I don't like doing some dances from

the ECD repetoir is that they just don't feel right to me _without_ the

steps, now that I've learned something about how they probably were done.

Particularly many dances from after first Playford, like Hole in the Wall

and Female Saylor, are fine dances with the steps, but really lack something

without them.  You know all the bowing and stuff that gets done in Hole in

the Wall to fill all the time that you have for casting and crossing?  Well,

none of that is in the original description.  If the dance is done with

baroque steps, the steps take up that time because they don't allow you to

cover the ground nearly as quickly.

 

But I'm interested in the suggestion that we really know what steps were

being done to ECD dances in 1650.  As far as I know, Loran in the first

source which actualy goes into steps in the context of ECD (or even describes

baroque steps at all), and it dates to sometime in the 1670's (I think.  If

anyone wants an exact date, I will try to dig it up).  For those who aren't

familiar with the source, Loran is a frenchman who traveled to England in

the mid to late 17th century, and then came back to France and wrote a

manual dancing which he presented to Louis XIV (in manuscript form, it was

never published, I believe).  But there is question in dance history circles

as to whether he was describing what was being done in England, or whether

he took the ideas and patterns from English Country dances and modified or

invented the steps which he suggests using.  Certainly by the early 18th

century the english dancing masters are going over to France and learning

steps from the french masters and bringing back french manuals, and what is

in the manuals is clearly an outgrowth of what Loran described.  This at

least suggests that the english were doing steps that were somewhat

different prior to this.

>

>elb

 

Geoffrey Mathias

mjl at rational.rational.com

 

 

From: kleber at husc9.harvard.edu (Galen (Gwydden ap Hafgan))

Date: 29 Sep 91 03:50:22 GMT

Organization: Harvard University Science Center

 

Catrin o'r Rhyd For said:

> When the troupe performed, they did so with the intent of recreating the

> manners and the motions and the attitudes of the people who would have

> performed the dances.  There is a grace and beauty to their performances.

> If we got a little less polished doing Gathering Peascods in rehearsal,

> Ingrid would chastise us by saying "You're supposed to be in court, not

> the SCA!"

 

...which prompted Elizabeth Braidwod to respond:

 

>When I think of participant dancing in period, I think of it as the medieval

>equivalent to a modern country wedding reception. People dancing for the

>pure joy of socializing and moving to the music. Those people don't go

>to rehearsals or even dance practices. And while it may not appear graceful,

>it is certainly fun.

>

>Like I said, I'm no dance expert. But I don't think that grace and beauty

>are the point of the dance for most SCA folk. Now, if you're talking about

>performance dance, that's a different story.

>

 

These two paragraphs really talk about very different things.  The first

is about dancing in period, and while I can't make sweeping generalizations,

to the best of my knowledge, your image of period dancing isn't accurate.

Much of the dancing we do comes from manuscripts specifically describing

court dances, and if you think *that's* not for an audience, I suggest

reading some of the dialogue in Arbeau's _Orchesography_ (sp?)... Arbeau

describes in detail how displaying one's excellence at dancing was an

essential requirement for moving up in the world, at court, and in the good

graces of any member of the opposite sex.  Remember also that many of these

dances were done not en masse, as we do them, but by single sets alone

on the floor... and being watched by large crowds of people all of whom

knew the dances as well, if not better, than you did, and would just *love*

to gossip about the mistakes you made!  Don't dismiss all these comments by

ascribing them to those boring Italian or French dances that we never

do anyway-- English Country dances in Playford include references to

bows to "the Presence", ie the nobility who was clerely being honored

at the court in question.

 

Your next paragraph, however, talks about why people dance *in the SCA*.

This, with all due understatement, is *quite* a different matter.

There are those who would be quick to point out (Arval looks about with

"Who, me?" blazoned across his cheif-- er, forehead) that as the SCA is

dedicated to re-creation, the period motivation is the purest calling.

There are far more who would laugh themselves silly at the thought of

anyine believing that the SCA really works that way.  I think the only

thing we can do is look at the evidence that no one is debating-- that

many, many SCA dancers are *not* concerned with grace and beauty as much

as with "moving to the music," as you put it.  I think it's clear how

little point there is to arguing the two points of view-- they're

fundamentally different outlooks on the SCA as a whole. Catrin has

one remaining telling point, though, when she says:

 

> And who knows,...  Maybe some of the people who watch the piece will

> decide that they'd like to start dancing with care as well as enthusiasm!

 

I wouldn't hesitate to bet that more of the "grace and beauty" dancers

have been exposed to the "boundless energy" style than the other way

around.  Maybe if people saw and/or were taught both, more would want to

work towards both... and the people who already *do* would have more

partners to dance with!  :-)

 

--Galen  (Gwydden ap Hafgan)              I don't have an overactive

  Provost of the Borough of Duncharloch   imagination... I have an

--kleber at husc.harvard.edu                 underactive reality...  --EG

 

 

From: andrew at bransle.ucs.mun.ca (Andrew Draskoy)

Date: 30 Sep 91 02:51:03 GMT

Organization: Memorial University of Newfoundland

 

Hmmm - the Rialto appears to be turning into quite the forum for

discussion on dance.  Let me add an insight to the ongoing discussion,

and then start up a new thread.

 

I'm the local SCA dance instructor, and just today started up the practises

again after the summer's lull.  Keeping in mind the discussion we've been

having here, I paid careful attention to what and how I was teaching, and

took a whole different approach than last year.  My idea was to avoid OOP

dances, and to intersperse basic footwork and dances that used a few complex

steps with dances that are simple, but fun.  I also started teaching some

"hard" dances without telling anyone they were hard.  (Most of the folks

here have not been exposed to SCA dancing anywhere else, since we're very

isolated, so I had something of a "tabula rasa". Thus, we a make a good

test group.)  The result - some beginning and intermediate dancers who

now have a basic grounding in the Renaissance dance of England, France,

and Italy, as well as some historical knowledge and interesting anecdotes

pertaining to the dance and the culture(s) it comes from. I found that

this last was indispensable - knowing as much as possible about the dances

and the context in which they were performed, and some appropriate little

tidbits of stories and trivia, turned some potentially boring dances

into an interesting learning experience.  I have decided that while

secondary and tertiary sources can be useful for seeing what other

people do, reading the primary sources, or good translations if need be,

provides the necessary feel and context for learning, teaching, and

*enjoying* these dances.  That, and knowing some others who have been

doing this and can help you.  (On that note, could some gentles in the

right location please convey my deepest thanks to Baron Patri of Carolingia

Lady Roswitha of L'Isle du Dragon Dormant, and to Guillaume di San Marino

and Gwynedd of Eoforwic, and to Niall and Justin for their teaching at

Pennsics past.)  Also, reading primary sources helps you avoid the Dreaded

Dance Myths of the SCA, of which there are a great number. There is

some reputable discussion of dance out there - Justin's "Letter of Dance"

in particular.  Subscribe, subscribe, subscribe.  (And submit articles!)

 

I will also say this - having a lull of several months since the last

practises allowed me to do a lot of learning, and created some "distance"

from the previous ways of doing the dances in the minds of the dancers.

This allowed us to re-interpret in what I think is a more authentic manner.

Also, declaring that one aim of the group was to cultivate a core group

of performance dancers gave that little bit of leverage that is sadly

often necessary in the SCA when you want to do things authentically.

Some seemed to resolve to learn enough to perform, and others to respect

this goal and not request OOP dances - especially since there are so many

interesting period dances.  (Last year many of the same people were

complaining when I started leaning toward authenticity. Not anymore.

Now they are very enthusiastic.)

 

Thank you to all on the Rialto who have been discussing dancing - your

thoughts have helped create something good.

 

Now for the new thread:  I've often heard in the SCA that "no one knows

how the reprise was done in the basse dance."  Yet Arbeau says;

(translation from Beaumont)

 

"it occupies four bars or drum-rhythms like the other movements, and you

perform it by slightly shaking the knees, or the feet, or the toes only,

as if your feet trembled.  So that it is done with the toes of the right

foot on the first bar, again with the same on the second, then with the

toes of the left foot on the third, and with the right on the fourth."

 

There's some room for interpretation here, but it's fairly clear.

So... how many people do basse dance reprises this way, and how do you

interpret this if you do?

 

Consider all of this to be in the humble and fallable opinion of;

Miklos

------

Sandorfia Miklos (That's "Alexander's son Nicolas" in old Magyar).

andrew at bransle.ucs.mun.ca

 

 

From: ag1v+ at andrew.cmu.edu (Andrea B. Gansley-Ortiz)

Date: 30 Sep 91 16:28:15 GMT

Organization: Engineering Design Research Center, Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh, PA

 

Elizabeth Braidwood writes:

=>And while it may not appear graceful, it is certainly fun....I don't think

=>that grace and beauty are the point of the dance for most SCA folk.

 

And Dani responds (much shortened by me):

- It's fun, yes, but it's not as much fun as it could and should be.

- (break)  And you don't do a dancer a favor if

- you say "Never mind style, you're here to have fun."  Style *is* fun.

 

Exactamento.  Well said.  I have been dancing since I was (at least) 5.

In every dance form the object was not only to learn the dances, but to

learn them correctly, or gracefully.  Or to learn a particular variation

authentically.  So when I was part of a flamenco dance troupe and we

were doing a folk dance, the style of what we were doing changed to fit

with the regional style of the dance.  Doing a dance sloppily or

'galumping' through a dance to me (i.e. imo) is not fun and indeed very

sad.  

 

Dance is the art of trying to be as beautiful and graceful as possible

while performing 'a series of rhythmic and patterned bodily movements

usually performed to music'*.  Webster's also calls dance an art; art

being 'skill aquired by experience, study or observation'.^

 

I think that many gentles do not realize that dance is a skill and some-

thing at which to work.  There is a gentle in my area that had unlearned

rhythm at some point in his life.  Through a year of consistently going

to dance practice the gentle relearned rhythm and now is quite the compe-

tant dancer.  

 

(Watch out, pep talk on.)

Another thing forgotten is that everyone has rhythm.  Many children, most

especially boys (and whites), are taught from an early age that they are

clutzes and have no rhythm.  That's simply untrue.  Every move we make and

word we speak is done with rhythm behind it.  Try walking without rhythm.

It's extremely difficult to do.  When speaking, does one always speak

choppily or is there a flow to the words?

 

One book on the topic is:

_The Silent Pulse; a search for the perfect rhythm that exists in each

of us_, by George Burr Leonard, NY,NY: dutton 1986.

(pep talk off)

 

I think that part of what needs to be emphasized when teaching dance

is that Style is Fun.  Once that becomes a common notion galumping will

take a back seat.  Everyone who wants can learn to dance with rhythm

and style.  Rhythm is a natural part of being human, and style is a

natural part of dance.

 

* (Web 9th ed. p 324)

^ (Ibid. p 104)

 

Su segura servidora,

 

        Esmeralda la Sabia

        Debatable Lands, AEthelmearc, East

*************************************************

It is the wise servant who finds joy in the doing.

                                                Corwin of Darkwater

 

 

From: mjl at rutabaga.Rational.COM (Matthew Larsen)

Date: 30 Sep 91 17:22:57 GMT

 

trifid at agora.uucp (Roadster Racewerks) writes:

>All this talk of early dance, and what is and isn't OOP made me take a look at

>one of our local college libraries, where I found a type of dance I'd never

>seen on the Rialto, the Estampie (stantipes, estampida, stampita, istanpita)

>which it says is a dance of the 13th and 14thc, and "one of the oldest forms of

>instrumental music". The particular example given it dates to the 13th century.

 

>Since the name derives from the same sources as the English verb "stamp", it

>sounds like it ought to have *some* life to it...

 

>NicMaoilan, who hates to dance, but is curious about everything...

>trifid at agora.rain.com

 

While there are a number of very interesting pieces of music with the title

"estampie", there are unfortunately no sources which give us even a hint of

what kind of steps were done to this music.  The source in which estampies

are found are, as you note, all 13th and 14th century, and the first real

dance manual which we have is "De Arte Saltandi & Choreas Ducendi" by

Domenico da Piacenza, which dates to about 1450, or at least 50 - 100 years

after estampies were popular.  Sigh.  Well, maybe someday someone will

discover an old manuscript from the 13th century which is just such a source.

Until then, pictures and the occasional discription of a ball is about all

we have to go on, which isn't really enough for an authoritative

reconstruction.

 

Geoffrey Mathias

mjl at rational.rational.com

 

 

From: DRS at UNCVX1.BITNET ("Dennis R. Sherman")

Date: 30 Sep 91 18:52:00 GMT

Organization: The Internet

 

I'm going to be a dance snob.  Before I get jumped on, please realize that

I do understand that most of the SCA are not stepjocks and are dancing for

the social activity, rather than because they are interested in historical

practice.

 

Elizabeth Braidwod quotes Catrin o'r Rhyd For's posting on dancing

Renaissance dance outside the SCA and objects to it, finding a criticism

that bothers her.

 

> There are several clues to what I think is wrong with this paragraph and

> they are: "performed", "performances", "rehearsal" and "serious". I believe

> that most people in the SCA dance for the pure enjoyment of moving in time

> to the music and flirting with their partners. There are not performers,

> there is no audience, there are only participants.

 

Everyone dancing is performing, for their own enjoyment, the enjoyment of

their partners, and the enjoyment of the people standing around the room

watching.  Just because a dance is not announced as "Oyez, everyone pay

attention now, we're going to perform a dance" doesn't mean it isn't a

performance.

 

> When I think of participant dancing in period, I think of it as the medieval

> equivalent to a modern country wedding reception. People dancing for the

> pure joy of socializing and moving to the music. Those people don't go

> to rehearsals or even dance practices. And while it may not appear graceful,

> it is certainly fun.

 

Dancing is fun.  BUT:  we are all assumed to be nobles in the SCA, so the

dance we should be doing is the dance of the nobles in period.  The nobles

in period *did* attend dance classes and rehearsals. Dancing well was one

of the skills nobles were expected to acquire.

 

The dances we do in the SCA are dances of the nobility. (Except for some

of the OOP dances, but that's a different can of worms.) We know about

them because some noble or dance master (who made his living teaching dance

classes) wrote them down.  Of course the non-nobility danced - we've got

iconography that illustrates it.  But we don't know *what* they danced or

how.  The point is that the dances we have were danced historically by

people that *did* attend dance classes and rehearsals, and they knew what

they were doing.

 

> Like I said, I'm no dance expert. But I don't think that grace and beauty

> are the point of the dance for most SCA folk. Now, if you're talking about

 

I agree - grace and beauty are not the point of dance for most SCA folk.

Historical accuracy in *anything* is not the point for most SCA folk.  Should

we relegate all attempts at doing anything in an historically informed and

correct manner only to explicit performances and competitions - which is

what you seem to be suggesting?

 

> > And who knows,...  Maybe some of the people who watch the piece will

> > decide that they'd like to start dancing with care as well as enthusiasm!

> Implying that we don't dance with care now? Maybe you're right - we don't

> care what we look like, only that we're having fun.

 

And to carry your (Elizabeth's) implication further:

   calligraphy done with a ballpoint pen doesn't matter, because it's kind of

   neat to write in that strange handwriting, and you can read and understand

   it anyway

 

   poorly fitting garb made with nylon and polyester cloth doesn't matter,

   because the clothes are pretty and warm

 

   hot dogs and pizza are OK at feasts, because they taste good and we need

   to eat something

 

As we've said before - there are lots of things that are fun, but they don't

belong in the context of an SCA event.  Just because dancing badly is fun

doesn't excuse it - anyone can learn to dance reasonably well, if they work

at it.

 

     Robyyan Torr d'Elandris                Dennis R. Sherman

     Kapellenberg, Windmaster's Hill        Chapel Hill, NC

     Atlantia                               drs at uncvx1.bitnet

 

 

From: Pat.McGregor at um.cc.umich.EDU

Date: 2 Oct 91 17:52:30 GMT

Organization: The Internet

 

Several of you have asked where to get the book of early playford

dances that my friend here mentioned. Here's a message from her

about how to get the book (and, coincidentally, to access the hundreds

of resources available from the Country Dance and Song Society).

> Aha! One more success for CDSS.  BTW, if folks want to (gasp!) buy one,

> they can get it  from CDSS at

>    17 New South Street

>   Northampton MA 01060

>   (413) 584-9913

> Yes I'm an unabashed pusher.

>

> =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

>                Erna-Lynne Bogue, Center for Nursing Research

>               University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MI 48109-0482

> =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Siobhan Medhbh O'Roarke                   Pat McGregor

Barony Northwoods / Shire Cynnabar        3638 Greenook Blvd

Internet: SMOR at um.cc.umich.edu            Ann Arbor, MI 48103-9143

BITNET: Userw02v at umichum                  (313) 426-3506

 

 

From: branwen at flipper.ccc.amdahl.com (Karen Williams)

Date: 9 Dec 91 22:59:42 GMT

Organization: Amdahl Corporation, Sunnyvale CA

 

In article <9112062132.AA23982 at inmet.camb.inmet.com> justin at inmet.camb.inmet.COM (Justin du Coeur MKA Mark Waks) writes:

 

>Folks, the point is long since moot --

>people are *already* recreating the 20th century. There are plenty

>of small groups around that do small-scale recreation of, say, the

>Roaring 20's.

 

I went to a dance class last month at which the dance teacher was teaching

the swing, the Charleston, etc. As he taught, he told us where he got the

steps he was teaching. One of the dances started in Harlem in the twenties,

and he explained that even though he knew where it started, and when it

started, he didn't know how they did the dance when it started. He had some

good guesses, but he couldn't honestly say exactly how the dance was done

the first couple of years it was danced. (I guess no one took pictures of

black dancers in Harlem at the time.) This dance started sixty years ago

in our country, and there are people still alive who were alive then, and

no one knows how the dance was done. Compare this to our dance research,

and I'm amazed we have even a clue as to what dances were done at all.

 

Branwen ferch Emrys

The Mists, the West

--

                                          Karen Williams

                                          branwen at flipper.ras.amdahl.com

 

 

Date: 22 Jan 92

From: justin at inmet.camb.inmet.COM (Justin du Coeur MKA Mark Waks)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Organization: The Internet

 

Re: The Carolingian Pavan

 

Deirdre asks:

>        What are the origins of the Carolingian Pavan? How long has it been

>in existence?  I first encoutered it about three years ago...

>        Whose work is it?  Is it always done to the music of Belle Qui Tien?

 

As I understand it:

 

The Carolingian Pavan was choreographed (in Carolingia, natch) some

15-20 years ago by Master (and now Baron) Patri du Chat Gris. I don't

know for sure that it's older than 1976, although I suspect that it

goes back a year or two before then...

 

While it is not *necessarily* done to the tune of Belle Qui, it is

usually done that way in practice. This is mainly because Belle Qui

is far and away the easiest-to-obtain pavan music. The dance can be

done to any pavan tune that scans similarly, and I've danced it to

a couple...

 

                              -- Justin du Coeur, SSS

                                Dancemaster-at-Large, Carolingia

 

 

Re: 15c basse dance recordings

Date: 6 Feb 92

From: mjl at rutabaga.Rational.COM (Matthew Larsen)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

 

andrew at bransle.ucs.mun.ca (Andrew Draskoy) writes:

 

>Does anyone know of any good recordings of 15th century basse dances?

 

As Dani points out, basse dance music was improvised, so it is hard to find

recordings of specific dances.  But not impossible, since some modern

musicians are able to improvise (or at least write music as it would have

been improvised) in the appropriate style.  Unfortunately, there isn't

much, and most of what you do find is a rendition of a specific Ballo,

not a Basse dance, and the value of that music depends on whether your

reconstruction of the Ballo in question matches the guesses that the

musicians have made.  But given those caveats, I've found a few CDs over

the years, and here they are:

 

        La Cour du Roi Rene               Ensemble Perceval

        ARN 68104

 

        Music From the Time of Richard III     The York Waits

        CD-SDL 364

 

        Music in the Age of Leonardo da Vinci  Ensemble Claude-Gervaise

        MVCD 1022

 

        Le Moyen Age Catalan                      Ars Musice de Barcelone

        HMA 190051

 

All of these disks have ~ twenty pieces, of which only four or five

are dance music (I think they all include a version of Spagna in one of

its many forms, but you probably already have that).  And of course,

the musicians almost invariably have a different idea about how fast

the music should be played than I do, so it helps to have a variable

speed tape recorder, so you can fix that if you want to use the music.

Oh and the last disk actualy does have a basse dance which isn't some

version of Spagne - it's a dance called Barcelone, from the Brussels

manuscript, and it's even at a reasonable tempo (of course, your idea

of reasonable and mine may differ, but...).  Since it's from one of

the Burgundian sources, it isn't exactly the most exciting dance, but

it's at least a nice change from Cassoule.

 

If anyone has any other disks that have 15th century dance music, I

would love to hear about them too, so please summarize anything you

get via email and post it (or at least send copies to me). If anyone

would like a more detailed description of what's on these disks, let

me know and I'll be happy to provide it.

 

Geoffrey Mathias

Matt Larsen

mjl at rational.rational.com

 

 

Re: 15c basse dance recordings

Date: 6 Feb 92

From: andrew at bransle.ucs.mun.ca (Andrew Draskoy)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Organization: Memorial University of Newfoundland

 

In article <1992Feb06.015418.25130dani at netcom.COM> dani at netcom.COM (Dani Zweig) writes:

>andrew at bransle.ucs.mun.ca (Andrew Draskoy):

>>Does anyone know of any good recordings of 15th century basse dances?

>

>Since this was, musically, an improvisational form, you've got a problem.

>People weren't writing these dances down.  (The music, that is.)

>

 

Well, not exactly.  There are 65 15th century basse dances with written

music, and nine more written musical pieces that are presumed to be

(15c) basse dances.  (They are all given in Frederick Crane's "Materials

for the Study of the Fifteenth Century Basse Dance") Most of these are

are simply a series of long (four beat) equal valued notes, and obviously

require improvisation in an appropriate style.  While this is challenging,

it is certainly not impossible.  Timothy McGee discusses the technique

adequately in "Medieval and Renaissance Music - A Performers Guide"

(which is worth it's weight in gold, by the way.)  So surely someone

out there must have recorded a reasonable reconstruction of some basse

dance music...

 

Andrew

 

 

Re: 15c basse dance recordings_

Date: 6 Feb 92

From: mjl at rutabaga.Rational.COM (Matthew Larsen)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

 

andrew at bransle.ucs.mun.ca (Andrew Draskoy) writes:

 

>In article <1992Feb06.015418.25130dani at netcom.COM> dani at netcom.COM (Dani Zweig) writes:

>>andrew at bransle.ucs.mun.ca (Andrew Draskoy):

>>>Does anyone know of any good recordings of 15th century basse dances?

>>

>>Since this was, musically, an improvisational form, you've got a problem.

>>People weren't writing these dances down.  (The music, that is.)

>>

 

>Well, not exactly.  There are 65 15th century basse dances with written

>music, and nine more written musical pieces that are presumed to be

>(15c) basse dances.  (They are all given in Frederick Crane's "Materials

>for the Study of the Fifteenth Century Basse Dance")  Most of these are

>are simply a series of long (four beat) equal valued notes, and obviously

>require improvisation in an appropriate style.  While this is challenging,

>it is certainly not impossible.  Timothy McGee discusses the technique

>adequately in "Medieval and Renaissance Music - A Performers Guide"

>(which is worth it's weight in gold, by the way.)  

 

McGee bases most of his discussion of 15th century improvisation on a

dissertation by (I think) Keith Polk entitled "Flemish Wind Bands in the

Fifteenth Century".  While McGee's discussion is pretty good (and he

covers a lot of other very useful stuff), if you are really interested

in the theory behind the 15th century style Polk goes into _much_ more

detail.  If anyone wants a better citation, I can dig out my copy and

post it.

 

>So surely someone

>out there must have recorded a reasonable reconstruction of some basse

>dance music...

 

It would be nice, but there doesn't seem to be much.  A lot more ballo

music has been recorded, but even that is pretty scarce.

 

>Andrew

 

Geoffrey Mathias

Matt Larsen

mjl at rational.rational.com

 

 

Re: Matachin / Les Buffons (sp?) dance_

Date: 8 Feb 92

From: mjl at rutabaga.Rational.COM (Matthew Larsen)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

 

andrew at bransle.ucs.mun.ca (Andrew Draskoy) writes:

 

>Does anyone out there dance the Matachin (aka Les Buffons (sp?)) as

>described in Arbeau?  I think I've got it mostly figured out, but there

>is one passage that I can't quite make work - the one in which two

>of the dancers are "back-to-back".  Has anyone worked this out?  I'd

>be interested in hearing from anyone else who does this dance, in any

>case.

 

I am assuming the figure you are interested in is fifth passage, that is,

the bastion passage.  I agree that this figure is the least well

described, most confusing and most open to different interpretations in

the dance.  Fortunately, that's what makes dance research interesting :-).

After all, if everything about historical dance were obvious, it wouldn't

be long before it was all cast in concrete, and we wouldn't have anything

to argue about.  Arbeau, in his generosity, is one of many authors who

saves us from this fate :-).

 

Anyway, a few years ago Patri du Chat Gris and I worked out a reconstruction

of Buffens, and then came back to it after six months or a year, and the

only thing that we changed substantialy was the bastion passage.  In our

first reconstruction, we made the observation that the description is

basicly the same as the description for the third figure, the 15 cuts

passage, except that in the bastion passage you change after every three

blows rather than after every 15 blows as you do in the 15 cuts passage.

The only difference is that the changes go the other way around the set,

that is, A changes with D and C with B in the first change of the bastion

passage, while A changes with B and C with D in the 15 cuts passage.  

This isn't a real difference since it has to do with the number of cuts,

and you just change with whoever you swing at last.  Since B and D are

told to face outward in the 15 cuts passage, they are already to some

extent "back to back" and we considered this sufficient.

 

But we (like you) were somewhat bothered by the "back to back" passage,

and considered it a little unlikely that figure five was so similar to

figure three, and the next time we looked at the dance we decided to

try to come up with some other interpretation.  We tried a couple of

different things.  We felt we had to have some figure that would look

like

             C                       D     C

          D            rather than

           B

        A                             A     B

 

Our first attempt was based on the observation that when Arbeau says

that the dancers should change places, he doesn't really say who changes

with who.  So we tried changing A and C and B and D, which goes to the

following formation

        B

           A

          C

             D

This works, and seemed a little better than our first reconstruction,

but it involved a little too much leaping for us to be happy with, and

it also meant that we were interpreting change places differently in

different parts of the dance, which made us uncomfortable. We tried a

few more things, but eventualy we came back to our original reconstruction

but using the new formation.  So when it's time to change places, the

figure goes to

             B

          A

           C

        D

And so on.  It is still a little too similar to the 15 cuts passage, but

it is enough better that we were willing to live with it. I hope this

helps, and if anything in my description isn't clear, feel free to ask

for a clarification.  Also if you (or anyone else out there) has other

interpretations that you think are interesting, please present them.  As

I said, I'm not entirely happy with this, and I'm open to any suggestions

that might make it a better reconstruction.

 

Also, I should add, in the interests of honesty, that we never did perform

either the 15 cuts passage or the bastions passage with the step that

Arbeau gives.  We did it a few times in practice, and convinced ourselves

that we could work up to it with a little time, but the event that we were

doing it at came up too soon, and we didn't feel confident enough to

perform it that way.  Too many sticks flying around and all that.  Anyway,

good luck, and have fun with your reconstruction.

 

Geoffrey Mathias

Matt Larsen

mjl at rational.rational.com

 

 

Re: Matachin / Les Buffons (sp?) dance

Date: 10 Feb 92

From: andrew at bransle.ucs.mun.ca (Andrew Draskoy)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Organization: Memorial University of Newfoundland

 

In response to my query about the bastion (fifth) passage in Les Bouffons,

Geoffrey Mathias writes:

 

>Our first attempt was based on the observation that when Arbeau says

>that the dancers should change places, he doesn't really say who changes

>with who.  So we tried changing A and C and B and D, which goes to the

>following formation

>      B

>         A

>        C

>           D

>This works, and seemed a little better than our first reconstruction,

>but it involved a little too much leaping for us to be happy with, and

>it also meant that we were interpreting change places differently in

>different parts of the dance, which made us uncomfortable.  We tried a

>few more things, but eventualy we came back to our original reconstruction

>but using the new formation.  So when it's time to change places, the

>figure goes to

>           B

>        A

>         C

>      D

>And so on.

 

We tried out a couple of variants of the Bastion passage at our Sunday

practice.  The first was based on a reconstruction from the London Pro

Musica Renaissance Dance Book, as suggested to me by Dafydd y Peireannydd.

This works according to the literal instructions, but B&D always end up

back to back, which doesn't seem to me to be as symmetrical as the rest

of the dance.

 

  D  C   >>>   A  B     >>>     B  A   >>>   C  D     >>>     D  C

A  B     >>>     D  C   >>>   C  D     >>>     B  A   >>>   A  B

 

 

We also tried it out such that A&C alternately ended up back to back.

To do this and still have A fighting mainly D, and then mainly A vs. B,

etc, as in the description, we had to add a sort of half turn after

changing places into the centre.  E.g. for the first change, A&D

 

  D  C   >>>     C  B   >>>     B  A   >>>     A  D   >>>     D  C

A  B     >>>   D  A     >>>   C  D     >>>   B  C     >>>   A  B

 

This involves more work, but seems truer to the spirit of the dance.

The dancers all decided that they liked this version better, in any case.

 

This at first seems to have the same problems as Geoffrey Mathias

& Patri du Chat Gris's second reconstruction, in that place changes

are interterpreted a bit differently than usual, and that there's

"a little too much leaping".  However, the way we did it was:

(after the cuts) A&D + B&C change, and A&C continue their motion

with a half turn to end up back-to-back, so A is facing the opposite

direction from that in which D had been facing.  This seems unusual

compared to the rest of the dance, but isn't really. Almost all the

place switches in the dance involve passing the opponent and then

turning 90 degrees to get into the new position.  Of the two

interpretations, the dancers unanimously preferred the second,

event though the first one is easier to do.

 

Anyway, I hope someone else can use this information. BTW, does

anyone do this dance with the costumes as described in Arbeau?

I bought a whole-lot of bells during the after-christmas sales,

so we're going to try it in authentic costume.  The hard part of

this dance is building up the stamina to do it the whole way through

without stopping.

 

Now that that's done, I'll put a couple of more interpretational

questions out, in relation to this dance.  Judging by the response,

to my last article, there's actually a lot of interest in it.

 

In two respects, Arbeau's instructions on the steps conflict with

the description of the parts of the dance in which the steps are

actually performed.  In particular (note; this is from my (fallable)

memory of the Beaumont translation.)

 

1) The estocade is described essentially as pulling back the sword

   arm and thrusting the points of the swords together. The description

   of the estocade passge, on the other hand, describes pulling back the

   sword arm, and then clashing *bucklers* together.  We do it with

   A&D and C&B clashing bucklers, not everyone together as it could

   be interpreted, because it's easier to pass afterwards if you do

   it this way.

 

2) Arbeau describes the kick-hop-hop (sort-of) step as continuing

   unvaried throughout.  However, when describing the feint, he says

   something to the effect that you leap with both feet simultaneously,

   which would break the pattern.  Does anyone do the feint this way?

   My dance troupe hasn't yet built up the dexterity and familiarity

   with the dance that would be necessary to try this. (But stay

   tuned...)

 

Anyone want to talk about strategies for recruiting dancers?  In our

shire, everyone wants to dance at events, and yet the number who actually

show up to practices to learn the dances is relatively small.

 

Sandorfia Lord Miklos

Residing at Ar n-Eilean-ne in the East

<andrew at bransle.ucs.mun.ca>

 

 

Re: Baroque dance

Date: 19 Feb 92

From: rhutchin at pilot.njin.net (Roland Hutchinson)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Organization: Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick, N.J.

 

In <1992Feb19.033633.20984 at kakwa.ucs.ualberta.ca> userisra at mts.ucs.ualberta.ca (Mark Israel) writes:

 

>In article <EARLYM-L%92021516240315 at AEARN.BITNET>, dak at messua.informatik.rwth-aachen.de writes:

 

>> Does anyone know how to come across descriptions of the baroque dances

>> (Allemagne, Gigue, Menuet etc.)?

 

>   I'm sure someone does.  I'm cross-posting this to a couple of Usenet

>newsgroups (rec.arts.dance and rec.org.sca) where the experts reside.

 

(Donning flame-proof imitation chain mail...)

 

No! Not the SCA!! Thank goodness Baroque dance is too late for them

anyway.

 

(...Imitation chain mail off. Phew, it was hot in there.)

 

The standard work in English--in any language, come to think of it--is

Wendy Hilton's.  List price is something like $49.95.

 

I can probably come up with the author's address if someone wants to

write to her directly. She (and other experts) do at least a couple of

workshops each year that accept beginners.

 

There are, by the way, no surviving choreographies for Baroque

allemands as far as I know.  (It was no longer a social dance by the

time choreographies started to be written down.)  There are lots of

choreographies for gigues and minuets.

 

Disclaimer: I'm no dancer, but I have flunked Basic Minuet several

times under the most eminent instructors.  Even a complete klutz like

myself should get out there and try to learn the steps for this music

if he/she has any pretentions at all to playing it with understanding.

 

At any rate, here's the citation for Hilton's book:

 

AUTHOR:   Hilton, Wendy.

TITLE:    Dance of court & theater : the French noble style, 1690-1725 / Wendy

            Hilton ; edited by Caroline Gaynor ; Labanotation by Mireille

            Backer.

IMPRINT:  [Princeton, N.J.] : Princeton Book Co., c1981.

          viii, 356 p. : ill., diagrs., facsims., music, ports. ; 29 cm.

 

It basically covers the French court style, which set the standard for

most of Europe.  Carol Marsh has done some very interesting work on

these dances as they were received in German-speaking lands.

(Citations elude me for the moment on these.)  Elizebeth Aldrich is

the expert on late 18th- and 19th-century social dance.

 

--

Roland Hutchinson                       Visiting Specialist/Early Music

Internet: rhutchin at pilot.njin.net      Department of Music

Bitnet: rhutchin at NJIN                  Montclair State College

                                        Upper Montclair, NJ 07043

 

 

From: dgreen at athena (David Greenebaum)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: a fictional tale (but really cloved lemons)

Date: 9 Apr 1993 17:29:57 GMT

 

Greetings from Bjalfi!

 

Quoth Genevieve:

>On the other hand, can someone post some alternative flirtatious

>games that can be played?  That don't involve getting amorously

>involved with persons unknown?  Or are less un-hygenic?

>

>Perhaps more dancing is the answer.  :-)

 

More dancing indeed!  I am in complete agreement.  A few of what I

consider the most "flirtable" dances:

--Geloxia.  Ask any Carolingian about the story of Baron Patri and

   this dance.

--Jenny Pluck Pears.  Looong pauses where you can stare into your

   partner's eyes, plus chances to flirt with the other people in the

   set.

--Mannschaft Pavane.  I think this is an SCA invention, but it allows

   for both close-up flirting and lond-distance flirting.

--Bransle Official.  Not actually "flirting," usually--it's a bit too

   quick and energetic--but it is hands-on and fun, so I include it

   here.

--Galliards, if you're the show-offy type of flirt.

--Ballo del fiore.  Flirting is this dance's _raison_d'etre_.

 

---------------------  Bjalfi Thordharson/College of St. Katherine/Province of

|\  | |\  |\  |// |       the Mists/Principality of the Mists/West Kingdom

| > | |\\ | \ |/  |   David Greenebaum/University of California/Berkeley, CA

|<  | | \ |   |   |   dgreen at athena.berkeley.edu, dgreen at garnet.berkeley.edu

| > | |   |   |   |

|/  | |   |   |   |   "I make mistakes, but I am on the side of good -- by

---------------------  accident and happenchance." -- the Golux

 

 

From: sbloch at silver.cs.umanitoba.ca (Stephen Bloch)

Subject: Re: Once more into the Dance....

Organization: Computer Science, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada

Date: Sun, 21 Mar 1993 23:50:00 GMT

 

abenton at acenet.auburn.edu (Andrea Benton (Lady Leona)) writes:

>Can some kind soul point me in direction as to where I

>can locate some source material on what is commonly refered to as

>English Country Dances?...such as "Hole in the Wall"..or "Strip

>the Willow"...

 

Well, since nobody else has answered this yet...

 

The standard primary source for historical ECD (as opposed to

"traditional" ECD, which is largely based on Cecil Sharpe's

collections in the early 20th century) is John Playford's "The

English Dancing Master", which was first published in 1651 and became

so popular it went through something like twenty editions in the next

fifty years.  It includes a lot of English country dances, with steps

and music.  The edition number matters: even between the first and

second editions there were significant changes to the music and some

of the dances to conform to rapidly-changing preferences in musical

modes and dance sets.

 

I have a reprint of the first edition, re-edited by Hugh Mellor and

Leslie Bridgewater and published by Dance Books Ltd., 9 Cecil Court,

London WC2 (England, of course).  I found it in a music store in

Maryland that specialized in folk stuff, priced at $10 about seven

years ago.

 

The first edition contains neither "Hole in the Wall" nor "Strip the

Willow"; I believe "Hole in the Wall" showed up in a later edition

around 1680 and "Strip the Willow" dates to two hundred years later,

but I'm not certain of either of those.

 

                              mar-Joshua ibn-Eleazar ha-Shalib

--

                                      Stephen Bloch

                                 sbloch at cs.umanitoba.ca

 

 

From: andrew at bransle.ucs.mun.ca (Andrew Draskoy)

Subject: Re: Early Italian Dances

Organization: Memorial University of Newfoundland

Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1993 17:24:06 GMT

 

> Greetings from Genevieve du Vent Argent.

> Yes, please get a good recording and start teaching this one around!

> Like at Pennsic?  Will you be teaching dances from

> the early Italian repertoire?

 

   There is going to be a *lot* of dance teaching at Pennsic this year,

if all goes according to plan.  Here's a tentative list of dances that

are currently on the list to be taught and/or done at the balls.  I'm

sure there will be more dances taught.  If you'd like to volunteer to

teach dances, those listed or others, or if you've written a copyable-

in-the-SCA arrangement of the music for any of these, please contact me.

 

   For those unfamiliar with the sources, here's a quick guide to those

used here:

        15c Italian: Ambrosio, Domenico, Ebreo

        16c Italian: Caroso, Negri

        16c French:  Arbeau

        17c English: Playford, Inns of Court

 

Dance                        Source

-----                        ------

Allegrezza d'Amore         Caroso

Ballo del Fiore                    Caroso

Bizzaria d'Amore           Negri

Black Almain                Inns of Court

Black Nag                    Playford

Branle Aridan                      Arbeau

Branle Cassandra           Arbeau

Branle Charlotte           Arbeau

Branle Pinagay                     Arbeau

Branle War                  Arbeau

Branle de Laundrieres             Arbeau

Branle de Malte                    Arbeau

Branle de la Haye          Arbeau

Branle des Cheveaux        Arbeau

Carolingian Pavan

Chiaranzana                 Caroso

Colonesse                    Ebreo

Corente                             Negri

Courante                     Arbeau

Earl of Salisbury Pavan

Female Sailor                      Playford

Galliards                    Arbeau,Negri,Caroso

Goddesses                    Playford

Hearts Ease                 Playford

Hole in the Wall           Playford

Hyde Park                    Playford

Il Canario                  Caroso

Jenny Pluck Pears          Playford

Les Bouffons                Arbeau

Madame Sosilia's Almain           Inns of Court

Pease Branle                Arbeau

Petit Vriens                Ambrosio

Picking up Sticks          Playford

Rosina                       Ambrosio

Rostibuli Gioioso          Domenico

Rufty Tufty                 Playford

SCA Maltese Branle

The Boatman                 Playford

Trenchmore                  Playford

Upon a Summers Day         Playford

Whirlygig                    Playford

--

Miklos Sandorfia

dance music coordinator for Pennsic XXII

andrew at bransle.ucs.mun.ca

 

 

From: andrew at bransle.ucs.mun.ca (Andrew Draskoy)

Subject: Recordings of Italian Dance Music

Organization: Memorial University of Newfoundland

Date: Mon, 19 Apr 1993 20:04:01 GMT

 

   I just got two wonderful CDs of Italian dance music, which seem to be

suitable for dancing to as well as listening to.  Here's the information

for anyone who wants to order them:

 

---

Accademia Viscontea i Musicanti: "Mesura et Arte del Danzare", Ducale CDL 002

Contents:

        Leoncello - Domenico

        Marchesana - Domenico

        Anello - Domenico

        Colonnese - Ebreo

        Vercepe - Domenico

        Petit Riense - Ambrosio

        Voltate in ca Rosina - Ambrosio

        Margaritum - anonymous

        Poi che'l ciel e la Fortuna - anonymous

        Rostiboli Gioioso - Domenico

        Grazioso - Ebreo

        La fia Guglielmina - Domenico

        A Florence la joyose cite/Helas la fille guillemin - anonymous

        Gelosia - Domenico

        Mercanzia - Domenico

        Sobria - Domenico

---

"Balli e balletti da ballare" ADDA (or LOR-DISC), AD 184

        Laura Suave - Caroso

        Furioso All'Italania

        Barriera Nuova

        Passo e mezzo - Caroso

        Bizzarria d'Amore - Negri (also Playford's "Parson's Farewell")

        Bassa Pompilia - Caroso

        So ben mi chi ha bon tempo - Negri

        Pavana e gagliarda

        Il Canario - Caroso, Negri

        Ruota di Fortuna

        Contrapasso nuovo - Caroso

        Chiranzana - Caroso

 

Miklos Sandorfia

andrew at bransle.ucs.mun.ca

 

 

From: gray at ibis.cs.umass.edu (Lyle FitzWilliam)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Morris Dancers  at  Pennsic

Date: 15 Sep 1993 20:14:04 GMT

Organization: Bergental, East Kingdom

 

In article <748002038.AA01927 at blkcat.UUCP> Syr.Bennen.Mactire at p12.f1066.n374.z1.fidonet.org (Syr Bennen Mactire) writes:

]>One night during Pennsic,Rosabel and I were up in the merchant area when

]>we heard a recorder playing a methodic little tune. What came into view

]>almost brought a tear to my eye. Here was this wonderfully enacted hunt

]>scene complete with deer, a huntsmen, what looked like a demon, and a lady

]>all followed by a fool. They would stop and the deer would do an almost

]>precisioned choregraphed maneuver. They would then move on and entertain

]>another group, never staying in one area too long but providing for all

]>a little bit of that medieaval atmosphere and spirit that we all look for

]>and see all too rarely. This is that little bit of magic that makes all the

]>hassle and heartache worth it.

 

The dance is the Horn Dance from Abbott's Bromley, a village in England.  The

original has six deer and four characters, whereas we had only four deer,

because we couldn't get all of our people there (the "deer" are regulars for a

morris team called "That Long Tall Sword").  The "demon" is a man-woman, a

traditional character.

 

We danced on two separate nights, entertaining at a dinner for the landed

Barons and Baronesses of the East Kingdom, as well as various places near the

merchants.

 

The antlers used in Abbott's Bromley have been carbon-dated to the 12th

century.

 

]>My only disapointment was to hear someone reply that the whole thing looked

]>rather silly and seemed a waste of effort. When I looked to the author of the

]>comment I could see that pearls had been thrown before swine. My only comment

]>to the person was "your mom drove you here didn't she cause you missed the

]>clue bus."

 

We heard many comments of, "Look, here comes Santa and his reindeer!"  Not

just from hecklers, but from one woman who was explaining what was going on to

her child.  And other like comments...

 

We had one unforeseen problem:  A number of people were taking flash pictures

of us as we danced.  We appreciated the desire of some people to record the

dance and show friends back home, but one of the dancers developed a migraine

headache from the flashes and collapsed almost immediately after we left the

Merchants' area on Battle Road.

 

]>To those folk who provided the entertainment our heartfelt thanks go to you.

]>You offered for us that one little moment when everything is just right, the

]>feel was there, the smells, the look, the sound. That's the magic we should

]>be concerned with. The magic of trying and succeeding.

 

It is wonderful to hear that our efforts were appreciated.

 

Lyle FitzWilliam

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lyle H. Gray                       Internet (personal): gray at cs.umass.edu

Quodata Corporation            Phone: (203) 728-6777, FAX: (203) 247-0249

--(My opinions are my own, and do not represent my employer's opinions)--

 

 

From: sherman at trln.lib.unc.edu (dennis r. sherman)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Morris Dancers  at  Pensic

Date: 17 Sep 1993 12:48:46 GMT

Organization: Triangle Research Libraries Network

 

Greetings to the Rialto from Robyyan.

 

Strykar quotes Geoff Stewart:

>>     I am an apprentice in Drama, and am trying to get together as much

>> info on medeival drama as possible.  Could you please e-mail me a list of

>> books that would give me as much info on Morris Dances as possible?

 

and then says:

>No! No! Post It Here!  There is so much p***ing and m***ing otherwise, it

>would be refreshing to see something positive.

 

Here are a few excerpts from the annotated bibliography I maintain for

the Renaissance dance mailing list (rendance at morgan.cs.mun.ca,

subscription requests to listserver at morgan.cs.mun.ca, one line

message, SUBSCRIBE RENDANCE "Your Name") which is available for FTP

access at bransle.cs.mun.ca.  A new version is coming out sometime

soon, I'm hoping early next week -- these excerpts are in that

version, may not be in the version currently available.

 

--------------------

1.  "Comments on John Forrest's "Here We Come a Fossiling"." Dance

Research Journal 17, no. 1 (1985): 34.

 

        Ian Engle (SCA: Sion Andreas):  Replies concerning Morris

dance article.

 

134.  Forrest, John. Morris and Matachin: A Study in Comparative

Choreography. Centre For English Cultural Tradition and Language, no.

4. University of Sheffield, 1984.

 

        John Forrest <jforrest at zeppo.hm.uc.edu>:  The first version of

this work was written before the microcomputer revolution and was an

attempt to show how using a paper and pencil equivalent of a computer

database one could use snippets of information on dances from primary

sources to build up a "profile" of the dances for reconstructive or

comparative purposes.  The immediate point of this exercise was to

demonstrate that morris dancing owed its chorographic character to

courtly dances such as the matachin and not to some mythic ritual

ancestor.

 

147.  Heaney, Michael and John Forrest. Annals of Early Morris. Centre

For English Cultural Tradition and Language Publications,

Bibliographical and Special Series, no. 6. University of Sheffield,

1991.

 

        John Forrest <jforrest at zeppo.hm.uc.edu>:  An indexed and

annotated bibliography of all primary references to morris dancing in

England from 1458 to 1750. Contains approximately 900 entries.

 

274.  Sharp, Cecil J. and Herbert C. Macilwaine. The Morris Book With

a Description of Dances As Performed By the Morris Men of England.

Second ed. Vol. 2, 1912; reprint, Yorkshire, England: EP Publishing,

Limited, 1974.  ISBN: 0 85409 965  4.

 

        John Forrest <jforrest at zeppo.hm.uc.edu>:  The first systematic

notation of English morris dances based on fieldwork with traditional

dancers primarily in the South Midlands at the beginning of the

twentieth century.  Sharp put forward the notion that these dances

represented a continuous tradition from the Middle Ages and beyond,

but more recent analysis of the primary data indicates that morris

dances have undergone radical changes throughout their documented

history (starting in 1458).  Thus the dances Sharp collected are a

(reasonably) reliable index of nineteenth century traditions only.

 

------------------------

 

Particularly note the cautions on the use of Sharp -- many people take

Sharp as authoritative, which is probably a mistake.

 

Enjoy!

--

  Robyyan Torr d'Elandris  Kapellenberg, Windmaster's Hill Atlantia

  Dennis R. Sherman                Triangle Research Libraries Network

  dennis_sherman at unc.edu       Univ. of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

 

 

From: afk at ElSegundoCA.NCR.COM (Art Kaufmann)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Morris Dancers  at  Pensic

Date: 20 Sep 93 18:56:11 GMT

Organization: NCR/Teradata

 

For information about Morris (not the Cat!), try:

       The MORRIS-L mailing list, subscribe by sending a message to:

           listserv at suvm.acs.syr.edu

       with the text

           SUBSCRIBE MORRIS ..your name.. (..your team..)

 

       The FAQ that I just got today listed a whole lot of organizations, but

       some of the more useful are:

 

       The Country Dance & Song Society (CDSS), who can be reached for

       *short* questions at 71231.2526 at Compuserve.com

 

       The English Folk Dance & Song Society:

               EFDSS

               Cecil Sharp House

               2 Regents Park Road

               London NW1 7A1

               ENGLAND

 

 

       The FAQ also lists *lots* of newsletters and magazines.

---

Colin Graham                   | Art Kaufmann

Caid                           | afk at ElSegundoCA.NCR.COM

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: mikes at nickel.ucs.indiana.edu (michael squires)

Subject: Re: Palming in Pavans

Summary: Mannschafte is Not Period...

Keywords: dance

Organization: Indiana University

Date: Wed, 11 May 1994 15:24:54 GMT

 

In article <2qos5b$kvv at cmcl2.NYU.EDU> silbrmnd at acf4.nyu.edu (The Dark Mage) writes:

>

>>Funny story of the weekend: at a dance event, I heard someone tell

>>someone else about how Mannshafte reads in Arbeau. I asked about

>>the edition of Arbeau involved :-)

>

>I don't get it.

 

The dance was written by a committee in the Barony of Northwoods, Middle

Kingdom, in 1971.  However, it has made its way into the canon and I've

seen a professional (very professional) early music group perform the

dance under the mistaken assumption that it was Period.

 

Mistress Signy and Mistress Ellen the Fair were two of the authors; Mistress

Ellen described working out the pattern on a bedspread using pins at the

MidRealm's XXV celebration.

 

--

Michael L. Squires, Ph.D   Manager of Instructional Computing, Freshman Office,

Chemistry Department, IU Bloomington, IN 47405 812-855-0852 (o) 81-333-6564 (h)

mikes at indiana.edu, mikes at ucs.indiana.edu, or mikes at nickel.ucs.indiana.edu

 

 

From: justin at dsd.camb.inmet.COM (Mark Waks)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: DANCE: Some info on Korobushka

Date: 6 Feb 1995 15:08:11 -0500

 

This just appeared in the Dance-L mailing list, and I thought people

might be interested. I've reformatted it to make it more readable,

but otherwise left it alone...

 

                                -- Justin du Coeur

 

Some notes on the dance Korobushka

From: Leo van der Heijden xyz at rcl.wau.nl

 

In reponse to a question of Gordon Holcomb (holcomg at CSOS.ORST.EDU) in

DANCE-L Digest 11, I found some information on the Russian dance

Korobushka.

 

The Russian 19th century poet Nekrasov wrote a poem on a hawker. Later

the tune "Korobushka" was written to this poem. This tune became very

popular in the late 19th century Russian cities and country side. Soon

a dance "Korobotschka" developed. In the beginning of the 20th century

Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine brought the dance to the USA. The

Ukrainian Micheal Herman learned the dance from his teacher Abramenko.

The fast Herman version became very popular in the 40's in the

USA. The steps of the original Korobushka were much smaller and slower

than of the fast form. Also, the first part (arm movements, turn,

clap, Hungarian-like closing-step) is absent in the original version.

 

Source: H. Konings (1994), Hoe heet die dans/2: Korobushka. In:

Barinya Brief '94, nr. 5, p. 5.

 

(This is a newsletter in Dutch on Russian Dance. Published by Barinya

Foundation, P.O. Box 27097, 3003 LB Rotterdam, the Netherlands)

 

 

From: chronique at aol.com (Chronique)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: FORTHCOMING DANCE BOOK & CD

Date: 1 Aug 1995 12:29:29 -0400

 

THE CHIVALRY BOOKSHELF

 

Presents "The Western Dancing Master," now in final typeset. Contains an

extensive section on courtesy and comportment, written in the style of

surviving 16th century mss..  Contains approximately 96 dances, with steps

and music.

 

The companion CD is being rehearsed even as we speak, should contain more

than 30 new recordings--and maybe a couple of surprises.

 

Ann Marie Price, AKA SCA Mistress Anne of Alanwyck, West Kingdom, has

worked on this piece for many years. Now it will be available in November

1995.

 

For more information, contact us at:

 

The Chivalry Bookshelf

316 Escuela Avenue #38

Mountain View, CA 94040

415.961.2187

Chronique at aol.com

After Aug. 25: http://www.chronique.com

 

 

From: ansteorra at eden.com (10/23/95)

To: ansteorra at eden.com

RE>Very Early Dance ?

 

Here's a second response.

 

Estrill

______________________________ Forward Header __________________________________

Subject: Re: Very Early Dance ?

Author:  Mark Waks <justin at dsd.camb.inmet.com> at SMTP

Date:    10/20/95 2:28 PM

 

Estrill posts a request for info from Bran:

 

>It's the Dark Ages (go watch the movie "The Warlord").  We've just

>beaten off an attack by Frisian Raiders (or someone, pick your favorite

>scourge of civilization).  We return to the keep to celebrate!  We do

>the biggest feast we can manage, and have a revel to remember.  To

>entertain the court, we have singers, jugglers, story tellers, mimes,

>musicians, and . . . . dancers.

>

>When I mention the first five groups of entertainers, I think we all can

>share a common visualization. Not so with the dancers. This is

>Northwestern Europe, the full weight of the collapse of civilization is

>upon us (Middle Eastern "belly-dance" is most certainly unknown here).  

>What kind of dance will we see if we hire a "professional dance troupe?"

 

Okay, some grounding first.

 

We know damned little about the subject, frankly. We have a fair amount

of information about dance in the Renaissance, enough to reconstruct

a lot of dances with fairly high confidence. We know a *lot* less about

the High Middle Ages -- we have some dance music, and some iconographic

evidence, from which we can make some guesses. We know even less about

the Dark Ages, so anything said here is going to be at least partly

speculative.

 

I *strongly* doubt that you would go hiring a "professional dance

troupe". I haven't heard of anything of the sort from that period (and

indeed, little like that even in period in general), and I'm skeptical

about whether the concept really existed. Most references we have to

dance in period tend to be at least partly social -- the notion of

dance-as-an-entertainment, which you just watch and don't participate

in, appears to be mostly post-period.  We have references to dance

being involved with some fancy spectacles in the Renaissance. (And

things were a little complicated in the Italian Renaissance, with

everyone acting as both "audience" and "performers".) But dancing was

something you did, not something you watched, for the most part.

 

Possibly the best we can do here is make some guesses based on the

mid-period evidence, and hope that things were similar further

back. There seemed to be a good deal of line and circle dancing;

there is also some evidence of dances in couples, but they appear

to be less prevalent than they became in later periods. Pavans

probably aren't appropriate, so don't worry about them. Based on

the iconography I've seen, the best analogy seems to be the

styles in Arbeau -- medium-simple dances in lines and circles,

with a modest step vocabulary.

 

That's most of what I've seen on the subject; it's admittedly

meager, but beyond that I'm guessing. I'd happily defer to anyone

with *any* hard information about dancing in the Dark Ages; I've

seen almost nothing on it, not even references...

 

                              -- Justin

 

 

From: ansteorra at eden.com (10/23/95)

To: ansteorra at eden.com

RE>Very Early Dance ?

 

And number 3.

 

Estrill

______________________________ Forward Header __________________________________

Subject: Re: Very Early Dance ?

Author:  Ian Engle <ianengle at freenet.columbus.oh.us> at SMTP

Date:    10/21/95 12:45 AM

 

> Estrill posts a request for info from Bran:

>

> >It's the Dark Ages (go watch the movie "The Warlord").  We've just

> >beaten off an attack by Frisian Raiders (or someone, pick your favorite

> >scourge of civilization).  We return to the keep to celebrate!  We do

> >the biggest feast we can manage, and have a revel to remember.  To

> >entertain the court, we have singers, jugglers, story tellers, mimes,

> >musicians, and . . . . dancers.

> >

> >When I mention the first five groups of entertainers, I think we all can

> >share a common visualization. Not so with the dancers. This is

> >Northwestern Europe, the full weight of the collapse of civilization is

> >upon us (Middle Eastern "belly-dance" is most certainly unknown here).  

> >What kind of dance will we see if we hire a "professional dance troupe?"

 

        OK, Dark Ages-- where?

 

        If you are looking north, see what the sagas say (as I recall they

make absolutely no mention of dance in the form of social dance at all.)

 

        England?  Check through the AngloSaxon texts.  As I recall, all

the biblical references to dance are acrobatic terms: leap, spring, etc.

 

        In the south, well, if you're Vandal or Goth or one of those

lovely guest-tribes, your view on dance is likely the same as your

northern cousins.  If you are still Romanized, you might recall something

of the old dance spectacles that are told of.

 

        I also believe that there are examples of dancers in Andalusian

(Moorish) illuminations, but that's Arabic style dance.

 

 

        All in all, though, Justin and mara are right.  There are no

professional dance troupes running around.  Most early representations of

people dancing are biblical.  Most often (God I hate mental blocking

things-- she who danced and demanded the head of John the Baptist--

Salome!  That's it!)  Salome is always depicted as an acrobat, not a

dancer in our sense of the word.  Even if you get "dancers" they won't be

what moderns think of as dancers.

 

        As Justin noted, this is a very open field for research.  Go to it

young SCA and fill our minds with accumulated knowledge!

 

                                      Sion Andreas o Wynedd

 

 

From: Frances Grimble <lavolta at best.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: New Historic and Vintage Dance Web Site

Date: Sun, 14 Jul 1996 10:40:18 -0700

Organization: Lavolta Press

 

We just set up a new web site for historic and vintage dance in the San

Francisco Bay Area.  It includes Renaissance dance.  The URL is

http://www.best.com/~lavolta/index.htm

 

Fran Grimble & Allan Terry

 

 

Date: Mon, 29 Dec 1997 14:51:10 -0800

From: Oriana <oriana at pacbell.net>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Maypoles

 

> Hello!  I have a maypole that I want to encourage our local dancers to

> use at events and demos.  Unfortunately I have no music or historical

> references for this idea (as well as sell them on the idea).  Can anyone

> point me in the correct direction for research? (Yes, my lurking

 

A quick Altavista search turned up the following info at

http://homepages.tcp.co.uk/~hmitchell/may

 

*********************************************************************

 

Maypole Dancing

 

The Maypole Dances (as now danced in England) were first described by

A. C. Cowley (Ed) in "The Maypole Dance (London: Curwen,1891) and then

by Walter Shaw in "Maypole Dances with Instructions, Songs and

Accompaniments (London: Curwen, 1910).

 

A more modern publication "Maypole Dancing by Sandy Mason" which describes

the dances in the earlier books and adds somes modern variants is now

available.

 

Roy Judge says "Whiteland College has has often been thought responsible

for introducing plaiting and May Queens into English schools. For a

discussion of this matter, with the conclusion that the College was

probably assisting an existing development, see 'Tradition and the

Plaited Maypole Dance, Traditional Dance, Vol. 2: Historical

Perspectives, Crewe and Alsager College of Higher Education, 1983)'"

 

Sandy Mason says "There is some discussion in fokelore circles as to

the exact development of these dances that made intricate plaiting

patterns, but it is now generally agreed that this kind of dancing

began in the pleasure gardens and theatres of London. After becoming

part of the ballet-master's repertoire, it was taken up by some

villages who added ribbons to their long-established maypoles on the

village green. Maypole dancing was further encouraged in the 1890's by

the interest of John Ruskin, the art critic and writer, who became

associated with Whitelands Teacher Training College for Women. His

influence resulted in fledgling teachers spreading the custom and

making making maypole dancing part of the school calendar".

 

The dance is done with a pole up to 9 feet tall with ribbons attached

in multiples of 4 and being one and a half times times the height of

the pole in length. Half of the dancers dance in an inner circle

(nearer the pole) and the other half in an outer circle.

 

There are basically two kinds of dance, the closed plait where the

pattern is wound around the pole and the open plait where the pattern

is made by the outer ribbons winding round the inner ones.

 

The Barber's Pole - This forms a striped pattern, spiralling down the

pole like the traditional barber's sign.

 

The Single Trace - The inner ribbons are held vertically against the

pole whilst the outer ribbons weave a pattern over them.

 

The Double Trace - Inners and Outers work as pairs and make a

basket-weave pattern down the pole.

 

Outside Trace - A basket-weave using both inners and outers.

 

The Spider's Web - A conical open plait

 

The Gypsy's Tent - A complicated open plait.

 

Plait the Rope - Dancers work in groups of four. The two outers plait the

pattern don the two inners to form a rope.

 

Sandy Mason's book and the cassette "Maypole by Mosaic" are available from

Hobgoblin Music.

 

                Maintained by Howard Mitchell +44 (0)161 486 1942

                               Howard Mitchell

 

 

From: dssweet at okway.okstate.edu

Date: Tue, 18 Nov 97 12:22:29 -0600

To: <ansteorra at Ansteorra.ORG>

Subject: Re: ANST - Dance Videos

 

Jovian wrote:

>I know I would love to dance at events. Unfortunately I live a fair

>distance from most of my shire and my freetime is rare (surprise,

>surprise) Are there videos out there to learn dances from. Maybe

>they're not the best teachers, but I know I have "learned" several

>dances only to forget a few days later. Maybe videos could refresh

>what is taught at events. I for one would like to see a few more dance

>symposia.

 

Yes, there are three videos available that I know of.

 

#1 - You can get one of them from Chivalry Sports. It's on English

Country Dancing by Master Giles Hill of Sweetwater.

 

#2 - The next tape available is on Italian Renaissance Dancing. It's by

Julia Sutton and through Princeton Book Co., at $44.95.  The title is

"Il Ballarino," and the steps and dances are from Caroso and Negri.  

There are three dances, step illustrations, iconography from the period,

and her comments.

 

#3 - Also English Country Dancing, but it's children dancing. I'm not

sure where it's from.

 

Estrill

 

 

Date: Mon, 29 Dec 1997 14:57:10 -0800

From: Oriana <oriana at pacbell.net>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Maypoles 2

 

> Hello!  I have a maypole that I want to encourage our local dancers to

> use at events and demos.  Unfortunately I have no music or historical

 

I also found this paragraph (part of a longer article) at:

http://weber.u.washington.edu/~sfpse/widdershins/vol2iss1/b9604.htm

 

In general, the May Tree or Maypole represents the Young God, Spirit

of Summer, and all the new growth of crops and trees. It is also the

thyrsus, the priapus, proud and upright, the strong staff of Herne as

he walks through the land and the scepter, symbol of a divine kingship.

In its physical form, its variations included, of course, the Maypole

brought from the forest with its bark removed up to a brash crown of

greenery at the top and hung with decorations, flowers, eggs and

ribbons;

great swaths of green boughs; or the May Bush, a small tree. The Maypole

and the green boughs or bushes were paraded through town in the early

morning, after the young couples had "gone a-maying" and the women had

washed their faces in the morning dew to assure their loveliness. Each

home was visited and the occupants roused with song, after which, if

the parading troupe was paid in gifts of food, drink or money, the

hosts were blessed by the spirit of the tree and given boughs to hang

over their doorways and stables to assure much milk and the fertility

of the wives and livestock, according to Frazer. As representatives of

the Maiden, the parading women would be crowned with hawthorn flowers

and wear something white; they carried baskets of flowers from which to

strew.  The men were often crowned in greenery. The parade resolved at

the village green or square, where the Maypole was sunk into the ground

and a day of dancing and other serious fun ensued.

 

 

Subject: ANST - Dance (was-dead traditions)

Date: Wed, 28 Jan 98 22:27:36 MST

From: Evelyn Alden <katriana at chanute-ks.com>

To: ansteorra at Ansteorra.ORG

 

At 11:19 AM 1/28/98 -0600, Joanna wrote:

>OK, your point is well taken.  We have a bunch of new people here in

>Mendersham wanting to learn to dance, but we only know the old dances.

>You folks out there with the "new, improved, truly period" (easy to

>do/teach) dances, please tell us where we in the hinterlands can order

>music and instructions (and, if possible, videos) for these. Thanks!

 

As far as I know, one of the best SCA dance manuals is still the Rose &

Nefr, which is available from several SCA merchants, as well as directly

from the publisher (they usually have an ad in TI).  The good things about

Rose & Nefr:  Music supplied for each dance (melody line and tape); dances

are dated; most extreme SCA variations are labeled.  Poor aspects of Rose &

Nefr:  Tape is a 'little' fast on some dances; original steps are not

present for comparison; no discussion.

 

The thing to keep in mind (and the Rose & Nefr doesn't bring this out) is

that of the forms of dance commonly done in the SCA, there are a limited

number of steps and step combinations, learn them, and all these period

dances are available to you.  When you bring in out-of-period and folk

dance, you introduce so many variables that it is no wonder that many of our

people think of dance as very difficult.  To put it in another field,

imagine if needlework classes included all the modern stitches, tossed in

randomly with the period ones, or if costuming taught Elizabethan corsets in

a class with Civil War dresses.

 

The basic reference books in this field are: (listing only primary resources

(or translations thereof) that are easily available)

 

French Renaissance: Orchesography, by Thoinot Arbea.  Dover has the Mary

Stuart Evans translation (with notes by Julia Sutton)

 

Italian Renaissance: Nobilita de Dame, by Caruso.  Dover has a translation

with notes by Sutton.

 

English Renaissance: English Dancing Master, John Playford.  Currently out

of print (as far as I know), but was in print recently enough that many

libraries have copies.  (yes, this was printed out of period, there are some

reasonable arguements for keeping some of these, and as long as we do HitW I

really don't think eliminating dances that _might_ be Elizabethan is

practical)

 

There are a few more, most not as easily available or as easy to read, there

are also many secondary sources (some excellent.)

 

I am writing this from memory, late at night, so I apologize for

misspellings and lack of ISBN numbers.  If anyone needs them, email me

privately.  I do realize that this is an incredibly brief overview, but I am

indeed a rabid dance authenticity person (just stuck in an area with no

dance)    Sorry I won't be at wInterkingdom this weekend, mundane

resonsibilities will keep me from showing up to play dance music all day : (

 

katriana

Shire of Bois d'Arc

Kingdom of Calontir

sometimes clerk at Tomes and Tunes

 

BTW, my current favorite dance is New Bo Peep (1st edition Playford) Anyone

needing details, please email me privately.

 

 

Subject: Re: ANST - Dance (was-dead traditions)

Date: Thu, 29 Jan 98 10:05:56 MST

From: dssweet at okway.okstate.edu

To: <ansteorra at Ansteorra.ORG>

 

Joanna wrote:

>>OK, your point is well taken.  We have a bunch of new people here in

>>Mendersham wanting to learn to dance, but we only know the old dances.

>>You folks out there with the "new, improved, truly period" (easy to

>>do/teach) dances, please tell us where we in the hinterlands can order

>>music and instructions (and, if possible, videos) for these. Thanks!

 

katriana wrote:

>As far as I know, one of the best SCA dance manuals is still the Rose &

>Nefr, which is available from several SCA merchants, as well as directly

>from the publisher (they usually have an ad in TI).

<and snipped good primary sources - Arbeau, Caruso, Playford>

 

     Here's some further sources on music that is commercially

available. This is taken from several posts on the most useful CDs for

dancing masters on the SCA-Dance list.

 

***1. Arbeau's Orchesographie, by The New York Renaissance Band

          Just what it says, danceable music! Must have!

   2. English Country Dances, by The Broadside Band

***3. Country Capers, by The New York Renaissance Band

          #1 English Country Dance CD! All 1st Edition Playford.

***4. Mesura et Arte del Danzare, by Accademia Viscontea i Musicanti

          Must have for Italian Dance.

   5. Il Ballarino, by The Broadside Band

***6. Dance From the Inns of Court, by Jouissance

          Almans by SCA-folk! see below for ordering information.

   7. Balli e Balletti da Ballare, by Fonti Musicali

   8. Dances, by Calliope

**9. Silence is Deadly, by The Waits of Southwark

          "Rowdy" music! It's loud!

  10. La cour du Roi Rene, by Ensemble Perceval

**11. Danses Populaires Francaises, by The Broadside Band

          Alternative Arbeau and some Playford dances.

  12. Forse Che Si, Forse Che No, by the Ferrara Ensemble

  13. Popular Tunes in 17th Century England - Broadside Band

  14. dance!, by Renaissonics.

  15. A la Via!, by Medievales de Quebec (Strada/Ensemble Anonymous)

  16. Between the Lines, by On The Mark

 

      The rest of the above cds are useful, but only certain tracks, not

like the ones marked *** which are useful in the entirety. If anyone

wants any further information on these cds, I'll see what I can send

you. About half of my stuff I've gotten from Pegasus Music and the other

half from local stores. However, my accomplice in dancing, Guillaume,

has ordered most of the above cds over the internet. So the pre-recorded

music is out there to be had, now that everyone knows what to look for.

 

     If you want local musicians to play for dancing, I recommend that

they get Master Avatar's Music book. It is what almost all the musicians

in the kingdom use. I'm sure someone else on the list could provide

contact info on that.

 

     You wouldn't think I was a dancing fanatic, now, would you?

 

     Estrill

 

PS - Contact information on the Dances From the Inns of Court:

>     Now available: a CD of music for Dances from the Inns of Court,

>and a companion booklet with historical data, reconstruction notes, and

>dance reconstructions. The music is played on recorders, vielle, shawm,

>harp, and hurdy gurdy, and it's all been extensively play-tested by our

>local dancers. It's got a nice enjoyable sound, and, even better, it's

>all workable to dance to! These items can be ordered from us for $15.00

>(includes CD, booklet, and postage). Our physical address is: Peter and

>Janelle Durham, 16217 NE 44th Ct., Redmond, WA 98052.

>Trahaearn and Janelyn / Peter and Janelle

 

 

Subject: *WH* new book

Date: Wed, 01 Apr 1998 15:19:23 -0500

To: Windmasters at trinet.com

Poster: Marybeth Lavrakas <lavrakas at email.unc.edu>

 

Thought some of you might be interested in a new book from the U. of Toronto

Press--THE HISTORY OF MORRIS DANCING (1438-1750) by John Forrest. This book

claims that Morris Dancing does not have either pagan or ancient origins (but

obviously it is still a period dance form!).  $65, available in June (so most of

us will end up waiting longer before it shows up in any college libraries!).

 

Kathryn Rous

 

 

Date: Sat, 14 Nov 1998 05:38:18 -0800

From: Edwin Hewitt <brogoose at pe.net>

To: "sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu" <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: [Fwd: Historical Dance Manuals on the Internet]

 

I received this and thought it good enough to cross post:

 

Walter & Sheila wrote:

> This mailing list is generally used only for announcements of upcoming

> events.  However, I have come across a resource on the internet that is

> too valuable to those interested in the history of dance or manners not

> to share.  It is maintained by the Library of Congress and is called "An

> American Ballroom Companion: 1490-1920".  It contains the full text,

> both in HTML and in TIFF (images of the actual pages) of over a hundred

> dancing manuals, books of etiquette and tirades against the evils of

> dance, from the 15th to the 20th Century.

>

> The URL is: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/dihtml/dihome.html

>

> I would especially recommend "From the Ballroom to Hell!" for those who

> might think that the Social Daunce Irregulars and Lively Arts History

> Association are staging nice, wholesome, family entertainments.

>

> Walter Nelson

 

 

Date: Wed, 16 Dec 1998 14:51:28 +0100

From: Barbara Sparti <md3671 at MCLINK.IT

Subject: FWD: "AN AMERICAN BALLROOM COMPANION" WEB SITE GOES ON-LINE (fwd)

To: RENDANCE at morgan.ucs.mun.ca

 

Received from the AMS (American Musicology Society) news list:

 

"AN AMERICAN BALLROOM COMPANION" WEB SITE GOES ON-LINE

 

The complete release of a multimedia collection of dance materials

covering more than 400 years is now on-line at the Library of Congress'

American Memory Web site

(http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/dihtml/dihome.html).

 

"An American Ballroom Companion: Dance Instruction Manuals, ca. 1490 - 1920" was

produced by the National Digital Library Program, in conjunction with he

Music Division, and is the most recent performing arts collection to be

released by the Library.

 

The centerpiece of this site consists of more than 200 books relating to

instruction of social dance during the 400 years that are represented in

the collection.  Complete page images are available for all books, and

many are text converted (in SGML as well as HTML) to enable comprehensive

searching.   In addition to dance instruction itself, the books cover

other related topics such as etiquette, dance history, anti-dance

treatises, and notation.

 

The newest feature of "An American Ballroom Companion" is the addition of

75 video demonstrations of many of these historic dances, enabling users

to compare directly the written texts with the movements themselves. These

short videos consist of excerpts from a performance in full costume, as

well as close-up video "tutorials" of specific steps.  The videos are

linked extensively throughout the site, and are provided in four different

formats to allow for variations in user equipment.

 

This site is the first of the performing arts electronic collections to

feature complete books on-line, along with video clips.  This collection

provides a way for scholars, dancers, and students of all levels to

research and replicate the steps to historic dances from their nearest

computer terminal.  These materials represent a comprehensive look at the

history of social dance within the context of specific eras, from the

Renaissance pavane and galliard, to the group dances of the late 18th

century, the popular 19th century waltz and the more adventurous dances

(such as the Tango) of the ragtime era.

 

Other features of this site include a narrative overview of the collection

in a historical context, and a special section on "How to Use a Dance

Manual".  Both of these were written by noted dance historian and

choreographer, Elizabeth Aldrich, who served as special consultant on this

project.

 

"An American Ballroom Companion" is an electronic collection only; the

books themselves are located in several different Library divisions

including Music and Rare Book, as well as the general collections.

 

American Memory is a project of the National Digital Library Program,

which, in collaboration with other major repositories, is making available

on-line materials relating to American history by the year 2000, the

bicentennial of the Library of Congress.  More than 40 collections and 1

million items are now available in media ranging from photographs,

manuscripts and maps to motion pictures, sound recordings and presidential

papers.

 

*       *       *       *       *

Barbara Sparti <md3671 at mclink.it>

 

 

Subject: ANST - On Documenting Dance

Date: Tue, 16 Feb 99 12:49:25 MST

From: Gunnora Hallakarva <gunnora at bga.com>

To: ansteorra at Ansteorra.ORG

 

This is a slightly different view of documentation.  As the Ansteorran Laurels

discovered in trying to develop judging forms, static arts and performance

arts need separate judging forms.  Here are some thoughts by Master Sion on

Documenting Dance:

 

-------------------------------

sca-laurels V1 #25

Date: Mon, 26 Oct 1998 08:15:01 -0500 (EST)

Master Sion, Ian Engle <ianengle at freenet.columbus.oh.us>

Subject: Re: SL - Documentation Notes

 

I've only done documentation for dance, so this may be of limited

use.  What I like to see is:

 

2-3 pages summary and/or overview, especially noting anything out

of the ordinary in the performance.

 

A series of appendices including:

 

* The original text,

* A translation of the original text (preferably the reconstructor's,)

* The music in modern notation (not everyone can read tablatures,)

* A reconstruction relating steps and figure to the music,

* A short directory of the step reconstructions used for the performance.

-------------------------------

 

 

Date: Tue, 25 May 1999 17:44:59 -0400 (EDT)

From: Greg Lindahl <lindahl at pbm.com>

To: cleireac at juno.com

Cc: atlantia at atlantia.sca.org, sca-arts at UKANS.EDU

Subject: Re: Period Dances

 

> I have in my possession two different recordings of a piece of music

> called "Saltarello."

 

All of the dance music from that era (14th century) is contained in

the book _Medieval Instrumental Dances_ by Timothy McGee. There are

actually a bunch of dances named Saltarello. In the 15th century the

Saltarello becomes a musical tempo and a dance step instead of an

entire dance and musical form.

 

-- Gregory Blount

 

 

Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 09:44:09 MST

From: rmhowe <magnusm at ncsu.edu>

Subject: Dancing with your horns on

To: Merryrose <atlantia at atlantia.sca.org>

 

I received this deheadered from a GDH Brother out west. I don't

know the origin, but they thought I might know dance folks who would

be interested. Twinkletoes 'Vard with horns for instance. ;=DE Magnus

 

> THE HISTORY OF MORRIS DANCING (1458-1750) by John Forrest is a

> narrative analysis of all the primary materials concerning morris

> dancing in England and Scotland from the first Medieval records

> in the mid-fifteenth century down to the mid-eighteenth century.

>

> The bulk of the work is taken up with describing morris in different

> contexts:

>

> 1.Royal Courts: examines the record books of the Tudors who regularly

>   sponsored morris dances as elements in grand courtly displays.

> 2.Urban Streets: concerns processional morrises sponsored by trade

>   guilds, and performed as part of large civic processions.

> 3.Church Property: looks at the sponsorship of morris by the

>   established church, particularly in the context of ales, May games,

>   and the like.

> 4.Church Proscription: deals with the legal actions the church took,

>   starting in the late sixteenth century, against morris dancing.

> 5.Public Stage: collects together all the stage plays that have

>   directions for a morris dance in them (mostly from the early

>   seventeenth century).

> 6.Rural settings: considers morris as a village phenomenon independent

>   of the church, and as it developed subsequent to the loss of church

>   sponsorship.

> 7.Assemblies: examines all country dances that have "morris" in their

>   titles.

> 8.Private Premises: deals mostly with tours of rural morris sides to

>   manor houses, and country seats of the gentry.

>

> The book contains hundreds of direct quotations from primary

> materials, and is a virtually endless source for those interested in

> the historical context of the dances.  Some reconstruction's of

> historical dances are also provided.  Given the present state of

> knowledge of the history of morris the book is definitive and

> exhaustive.

>

> THE HISTORY OF MORRIS DANCING (1458-1750) is published in England by

> James Clarke and in North America by University of Toronto Press.

> They may be contacted at:

 

> James Clarke and Co.

> PO Box 60, Cambridge, CB1 2NT, England

> Tel: +44 (0) 1223 350865

> Fax: +44 (0) 1223 368822

> http://www.lutterworth.com/jamesclarke/

>

> University of Toronto Press

> call 1-800-667-0892, fax 1-800-665-8810

> http://www.utpress.utoronto.ca/index.html

 

 

Subject: Re: Candlestick Bransle

Date: Fri, 28 Apr 2000 16:37:24 -0400 (EDT)

From: "Greg Lindahl" <lindahl at pbm.com>

To: ThatUrsula at aol.com

CC: atlantia at atlantia.sca.org

 

> I'm hoping to find someone out there who has had experience dancing

> Candlestick Bransle with real candles.

 

This dance is done occasionally in Atlantia, and was done quite

memorably at the Ball at Amalric and Caia's Coronation.

 

> 1)  The arrangement presented on the tape is not as interesting as I

> would like.

 

There are quite a few recordings of appropriate music. You can use

anything labeled "Ballo del Fiori", for example. Several of the CDs of

dance music that I sell have it, the CD accompaning the Compleat

Anachronist on dance has it, and there's a quite nice version on the

CD accompanying the book "Celeste Giglio: Flowers of 16th Century

Dance".

 

http://web.inter.nl.net/users/D.Horringa/Folia/folianew.htm

 

> 2)  The steps are a bit vague.  The dancers are directed to "wander

> randomly around the hall"  ("Hey - I can do that!").

 

It's an improvised dance. Man chases woman, they dance together, they

split up and dance with others.

 

If you'd like a more complicated dance, you can use Ballo del Fiori,

which is a 16th century Italian dance with similar music and only

slightly more complicated instructions.

 

You can find information about this dance at:

http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/sca_dance_steps.html

 

-- Gregory Blount

 

 

Subject: Re: *WH* Candlestick Bransle

Date: Sat, 29 Apr 2000 17:42:34 PDT

From: "Miriam Robinson Gould" <madame_sosostris at hotmail.com>

To: keep at windmastershill.org

 

>The purpose of this post, in summary, is to find more interesting

>choreography and music to use with the dance.

 

Okay, it's important to know what you are trying to do with this dance.  Are

you doing a demo or fair or something else where it is important to be

demonstrating period dance, or are you putting on a dance at a party or

wedding or something else where the emphasis is on a pretty dance?

 

Assuming the first (*grin* because that's what I'm more qualified to give

advice on, also if it's the latter, the sky is the limit and you can really

do whatever looks prettiest to you), Candlestick Bransle is Candlestick

Bransle.  It comes to us from Arbeau and it's chereographed the way he

recorded it and the steps are the steps.  With that said, never

underestimate the importance of pattern.  While the actual steps are very

simple, (*smile* and that's probably a good thing when holding lit candles

in your hand) you can do amazing things by having people interact with each

other when moving around the floor.  When we did Ballo del Fiore (a dance

which is also a pick-your-partner dance), we started out with one couple and

then as they seperated and picked other people, expanded the amount of

people on the floor.  This would work for Candlestick as well.  The best way

that I know of to choreograph patterns, is to have the dancers dance,

experimenting with different ways of moving (e.g. in a curve, in a

flower-pattern, in a straight line) while someone who is not dancing

watches to see what ends up looking interesting.

 

Another thing you can do, but which would probably not be a terribly good

idea with candles in your hand, is play around with the double steps.  There

are many double variations and I don't believe Arbeau specifies any doubles

for use in Candlestick (I can't find my copy of Orchesographie though, so

that may be wrong).  However, I think the ordinary walking double is

probably the best one for avoiding splattering candlewax over the place.

 

I haven't seen the Robin Hood episode you're talking about, but I have never

seen a TV show in which a Renaissance/medieval dance bore much resemblance

to actual period dancing, so my guess is that you are unlikely to find

anything which is actually like what they did in that show.

 

Sayidda Tahira bint Ibrahim al-Ixbilyi

 

 

Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2001 08:38:47 +1000

From: "Gwynydd of Culloden" <gwynydd_of_culloden at yahoo.com.au>

Subject: Re: SC - special needs

 

I am reminded of a close friend dancing with his blind girlfriend - it

was one of the simpler dances (or so I am told - I don't dance; my two

left feet are a major handicap!) and, in the bits where she had to go

back and forth, he clapped his hands so that she could find him easily.  

It seemed to work well and she enjoyed herself mightily!

 

Gwynydd

 

 

Subject: Re: ANST - Need dance info for a girlscout function

Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2001 22:02:24 -0500

From: Charlene Charette <charlene at flash.net>

To: ansteorra at ansteorra.org, laverne at tctelco.net

 

> hello,  my name is laverne burton. i am looking for dance steps for our

> girlscout camp this year we are doing a rennaisance theme.  i found a site

> a while ago that had dance steps you could print out but now i cant find

> it.

 

Renaissance Dance homepage:

http://www.ucs.mun.ca/~andrew/rendance/

 

--Perronnelle

 

 

Date: Wed, 06 Apr 2005 18:05:19 -0400

From: wildecelery at aol.com

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: Spain and Dance

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

>>>>

> 2. Dance, with a focus on the difference

> between the Celtic-influenced

> jota and the Middle-Eastern influenced flamenco

> (Which also has some celtic-like elements)

 

Middle-Eastern influenced flamenco?  The flamenco

is a modern decendent of the Renaissance dance

called the Canario.  I know of no Middle-Eastern

dances that are stamping related.  Perhaps you

could tell me where you found this information?

<<<<

 

As a beginning Spanish teacher, I had the priviledge of watching the

Renaldo Rincon dance company perform.  They did several versions of the

Jota...noting that its roots are in the northern regions of Spain

(heavily influenced by the celts and the celtiberos [there may be

another word for this in English, but it's stuck in my head in Spanish

at the moment])

 

   The also performed several Flamenco pieces.  As the school was in the

immigrant magnate city for the state, I had a particular student in my

class who was of Kurdish, Turkish, and Iraqi descent.  As we discussed

the dance presentation in class, she got very excited, yet quiet.

After class, she came up to talk to me, knowing that I was a beginning

student of Middle Eastern dance at the time... though the "stamp" if

not found in often in Middle Eastern (though it is found in some Gypsy

or Romani dance), some of the hip motions are very similar (for

instance what is called in modern Middle Eastern the Maya{aka make the

Mc Donald's sign with your hips} )  Also...the castanets are very

similar to zils or finger symbols.  {side note, there are some Stamp

-like moves found in Turkish dance...though not used in the purcussive

style found in flamenco}

 

It's not information that I have written anywhere specific...perhaps

something that I should look into more in depth...

 

-Ardenia

 

 

Date: Wed, 06 Apr 2005 15:46:53 -0700

From: "Laura C. Minnick" <lcm at jeffnet.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re: Spain and Dance

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

>> 2. Dance, with a focus on the difference

>> between the Celtic-influenced

>> jota and the Middle-Eastern influenced flamenco

>> (Which also has some celtic-like elements)

>

> Middle-Eastern influenced flamenco?  The flamenco

> is a modern decendent of the Renaissance dance

> called the Canario.  I know of no Middle-Eastern

> dances that are stamping related.  Perhaps you

> could tell me where you found this information?

 

I wonder if she is referring to the 'estampie'? I've been reading about it

fairly extensively (though not very productively) lately in research for

the  at $%#& at  book. When the word shows up in the late 12th-early 13th c,  it

seems to describe a 'stomping' dance, done by men. When it shows up in

later tabulations, it is a couples dance that is much like a pavane, with

no stomping. (How the progression works is beyond me- the later forms

simply look nothing like what the word would seem to suggest.)

 

Most easily accessible (though not entirely satisfactory) source with info

on the estampie is:

 

Title: Medieval instrumental dances /

Author(s):

<http://newfirstsearch.oclc.org/WebZ/FSQUERY?searchtype=hotauthors:

format=BI:numrecs=10:dbname=WorldCat::termh1=McGee%5C%2C+Timothy+J.:

indexh1=pn%3D:termh2=1936-:indexh2=pn%3D:operatorh1=AND:

sessionid=sp07sw05-46521-e783uopt-5lkxcn:entitypagenum=41:0:next=html/

records.html:bad=error/badsearch.html>McGee,

Timothy J.; 1936- ; (Timothy James),

Publication: Bloomington :; Indiana University Press,

Year: 1989

Description: x p., 177 p. of music :; ill. ;; 26 cm.

Language: French, Old [ca. 842-1400]

Series: Music--scholarship and performance;

Music Type: Dance forms

Standard No: ISBN: 0253333539; LCCN: 88-45498

 

Or take a look at: http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/dance.html

 

A veritable fount of information!

 

'Lainie

 

 

Date: Wed, 6 Apr 2005 16:44:18 -0700 (PDT)

From: Huette von Ahrens <ahrenshav at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re: Spain and Dance

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

When I first joined the SCA in 1974, the Baroness

of Angels was Mistress Ximena Aubel de Cambria.

She and her sister, Viscountess Arabella Lyon de

Rohese had SCA personas from Spain, but,

mundanely, were of Castillian Spanish heritage.

[Their parents fled Spain in the 1930's.]

When they were young ladies, they had been

professional flamenco dancers in Jose Greco's

dance troup.  They were very thoroughly

knowledgeable in the history and lore of

flamanco dancing.  They told me that the

two major roots of flamenco dance were Spanish

court dances, like the Canario, and gypsy or

Rom dancing.  If a move or two has similarities

to a move or two in Middle Eastern dancing, it

is because it may have been picked up in the

many travels of the Rom.  While there is a

thread-like link between the two, I would

not call it a root.  And I definitely would

not call flamenco dancing "Middle-Eastern

influenced".

 

As for castanets being related to zills or

finger cymbals, again you are not entirely

correct.  Both can be traced to pre-historic

times all over the world. Similar sound makers

can be found in Ancient Egypt, Greece, China,

the Ukraine, and Spain, this does not mean that

they influenced one to the other.  The only

relationship they have is that they are rhythmic

noise makers held with one in each hand.  With

zills, you have a [usually] metal cymbol attached

to a finger and another to the thumb.  With

castanets, you have wooden, stone or shell

clappers attached together with a cord and

held between the fingers and the palm.

 

Huette

 

 

Date: Thu, 07 Apr 2005 10:51:36 -0400

From: wildecelery at aol.com

Subject: Sca-cooks] Spanish Lessons

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

I did some checking around  and found a few websites with some more

information on the history of flamenco and some discussion of the

Moorish and Gypsy influences.

 

www.classicalguitarmidi.com

www.flamencodance.com

www.spanish-fiestas.com

www.bbc.co.uk

www.3.telus.net.OScarNieto

 

-Ardenia

 

<the end>



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