>>> Swashbuckler <swashbuckler@...> 12/28/00 03:19pm >>>
The first edition of Playford, "The English Dancing Master", was
published in 1651. Though out of period by most calculations, this edition
is usually embraced by the SCA for four reasons: it purports to record
old way of doing dances, it is readily available (in any good book store
in English, too), it is one of the few historical records of English
dancing, and we've always had it.
"Where to stop" is a tough line to draw, and everyone seems to draw it
in a different place, for different reasons.
I don't have as much of a problem with Playford - after all, when I joined
the SCA, the cut-off date *was* 1650. (Oops, I think I'm showing my age
.....) And I'd rather have first-edition Playford dances than, say, square
or contra dancing, or no dancing at all. I try really hard to stick to the first
edition, though. I think Black Nag is my biggest exception; though it
doesn't appear until the third edition, I justify it because it is similar to
many first edition dances (and it's really not a lot later).
We have two other period sources for
English dances (the Inns of Court Mss and Gresley). Many other
available, especially through the web.
Interlibrary loan is also your friend. :)
With the web, we have such a huge advantage over dance teachers of
even ten or fifteen years ago. For one thing, discussion groups such as
this are easier to form and use. And there are so many resources out
there - bibliographies, discographies, primary and secondary sources ...
not to mention technological advances like CD burners -- heck, we've got
it easy, by comparison.
I'd prefer to see period
dances, so I usually choose not to participate in Hole in the Head at SCA
events. I'm willing to do my part to teach fun alternatives. I try to lead
by example, never by force.
My feeling is that there are so many fun period dances, who would ever
have time for anything else? But it *is* hard to get started. Peoples'
comfort zones are especially small when it comes to dancing. They'd far
rather do "the fun dances" they know, even though they know that
they're well out of period, rather than risk "looking stupid" by doing "a
scary period dance" they don't know.
But you're right - force doesn't work. I'm not sure how well example
works, either, but that's what we're trying to do. There really are a lot of
fun period dances out there, and many aren't any harder than Hole In The
Wall. We just need to get out and show people how much fun they are!
Good to finally "meet" you, Rebekah. Your reputation certainly precedes
(the "other half" of the Caerthen dance teaching team)