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973Re: [CalontirDance] Digest Number 426

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  • Christopher Mortika
    Apr 23 4:33 AM
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      Hello, Tsire. Well met.

      You related:
      > It baffles me that my opinion and explanation
      > of my choices can seem so much like 'fightin'
      > words' to some. It confuses me further that a
      > bid to do more period things in a history club
      > is seen as such a negative thing.

      Does this really surprise you?

      Tsire, you're the poster child for good behavior in this matter. You
      don't act all huffy at people, you have reasons which you're willing
      to share if people ask. In my experience, this makes you weird.

      The first reason people see it as an attack is that you're acting in a
      fashion *similar* to those people who *do* use it as an attack. There
      are folk, presumably none in Calontir, who actually approach strangers
      and criticise the authenticity of their garb or kit or activities.
      They may have the nicest smiles in their kingdoms as they do this, but
      they are malignant things.

      It is, in most cases, an entirely different matter to update one's own
      garb, kit, and activities; that is wholly commendable.

      But a person leading a ball cannot purge non-period dances from her
      own repertoire without purging them from others'. You're not just
      saying "I won't dance 'Landler'. You're saying 'and I'm going to
      impede you from dancing Landler, too.'"

      I don't know that there's an easy solution. Cooks make decisions
      about what other people eat. Musicians make decisions about what
      other people hear. Et cetera.

      (I recently come from a kingdom where, indeed, the dancing "in-crowd"
      has actually mocked the dances they do not like, calling them 'grossly
      out of period' and acting disrespectfully towards the musicians who
      play them and the gentles who dance them. In doing, they have
      offended some people and driven others to seek alternate evening
      activities.)

      The other reason this is contentious is that it happens on a visceral
      level. Let's say that you really like to dance, oh, "The Parson and
      the Maid". It's one of your favorites. You teach it, so that others
      will dance it with you.

      Then I come along, with my opinion that using Playford, qua Playford,
      is a ridiculous source; the manual is 50 years post-period, and we
      know that dance was changing tremendously in England during those 50
      years. So I refuse to teach Playford dances that weren't independely
      documented as having pre-1600 antecedents, and when I'm running a
      ball, I refuse to allow any of that post-period Playford stuff.

      Or, worse yet, I come along and announce that Playford is bad, and I
      have *no* articulable reasons. (My real reason is that I admire a few
      dance laurels and teachers, and they joke among themselves about
      Playford, and I've never stopped to ask why. I just know that 'people
      who know' don't like it.)

      And it looks like I'm going to do my best to keep you from doing your
      favorite dance. I'm going to try to drive it out of the SCA.

      Is it so hard to see how people would take that as an attack?

      --Christian
      who, really, doesn't mind Playford
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