1316Substituting Dances (was: Resource Guide)
- Sep 22, 2009Master Conrad was kind enough to ask:
>OK so in a effort to improve the peridocity of the fun,same time to the same music.
>what dances could we substitute for the ones listed?
>By substitute I mean a bunch of dancers doing an >alternate dance at the
I'm not sure you realize what message this sends to the gentles in charge of
I have *not* spoken to the good people of Shattered Crystal, and they *may*
be a specific exemption, but I have seen dance mavens do this in both the
Midrealm and Northshield, and as the lead musician, I have been privy to the
astonishment and sense of insult felt by the people who assembled the ball
and taught the dances. Substituting dances comes across as disdainful.
The practice "we don't think your dances are authentic enough, so we're
going to assemble in your presence and dance something we like better" goes
over about as well as a bunch of cooks sitting feast and asserting "we don't
think the pork dish you brought out in this remove is period enough, so
we're going to eat this substitute pork dish that we brought, instead."
The people who taught the out-of-period dances felt like they've been
undermined. The new people at the event were confused, thinking they'd
learned something wrong. Observers saw the action as a public protest.
(And, I suppose, that the dance mavens might have admitted, 'Yes, we are
protesting. Yes, you were taught something wrong. And yes, we are trying to
undermine the spread of grossly-out-of-period dances.')
If the people who had objected to an anachronistic dance at those balls had
simply sat out and perhaps chatted during its performance, no insult would
have been given. If the entire ball held so many out-of-period dances that
sitting out would have limited the fun, I'm sure that a private note to the
dance coordinator, or simply choosing more authentic balls to attend, would
have been more effective.
I'm sure that the people coordinating Crystal Ball are experienced enough to
have encountered objections to their dance choices. I'm sure they've grown
a thick enough skin that they won't let this change the kind of balls they
want to host. I'm sure they are gracious enough not to let a sense of
offense show on their faces or in their manner. But in these things they
are exceptions. Master Conrad, there are groups in other kingdoms, and
perhaps even here, where an enthusiasm for dance has been stifled by people
doing things like this, and I would hate for others to follow your example
at other balls, spreading insult or a sense that dance mavens are disdainful
With all respect and admiration,
(who used to claim that he didn't know the music to Korobushka, but who has
grown up since then)
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