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Re: "Baddies"

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  • Christopher Mortika
    ... People will probably list their favorite examples of out-of-period dances. And it s a good thing, I think, to *know* what s out-of-period, as well as to
    Message 1 of 4 , Apr 22, 2008
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      Merry was kind enough to write:
      > Would anyone be kind enough to contribute to a thread detailing (and
      > later aggregating), past and present which songs are faux pas, to what
      > degree, and some idea of why and how the populace (and the Laurels) have
      > handled it.

      People will probably list their favorite examples of out-of-period
      dances. And it's a good thing, I think, to *know* what's
      out-of-period, as well as to know what dances and dance styles are
      in-period, and from where, and from what century. All well and good.

      (My list? I'm just a musician. If the dancers request Postie's Jig
      or Troika or whatever, I'll see what I can do.)

      But. m'lord, please. I don't think it's profitable to make people
      contentious or defensive. I've seen, too often, some people take up
      some sort of authenticity crusade in dance. It has, without fail,
      gotten people riled up, and hurt feelings.

      The best solutions have been to : (a) teach period dances
      enthusiastically, and (b) just not mention the dances you don't like.
      (I mentioned Troika above. Most newer SCA folk have never heard of
      Troika. That's not because people went after it with sticks, calling
      it "grossly out of period". It's because people just ... stopped
      teaching it.)

      Last month, Baron Midair was the MC at the "Terpsichory at the Tower"
      ball in Cynnabar. He's always a hoot. I'm reminded of something he
      posted to the midrealm list years ago:

      Sometime in the future, the Enterprise is exploring an area of space
      near the Playford Nebula.


      Sulu: Captain, sensors are picking up something strange, coming at us
      at warp speed.

      Kirk: Mr. Spock?

      Spock: Scanning Captain.

      Kirk: Sulu, how long until impact.

      Sulu: Less than five minutes, Sir.

      Chekov: Deflector shields up, Keptain. Object within wisual range
      ...how odd.

      Spock: Captain, I believe what we are seeing is a Usenet mailing
      list, one specifically geared towards dance in the middle ages.

      Kirk: Towards dance? What would such a group be used for.

      Spock: Unknown Captain.

      Kirk: Uhura, can you open a channel and get some information.

      Uhura: Aye aye, Sir.

      Sulu: Three minutes to impact.

      Uhura: Sir, there are many messages being sent, some of them becoming
      very volatile. They are discussing ... this is confusing, they are
      discussing which is more important, only doing period dances, or
      allowing non-period yet equally fun dances. It is very confusing.

      Spock: Ah yes, such arguments appear on this mailing list every six
      months or so, with no productive results.

      Kirk: Send a universal greeting, Lieutenant.

      Uhura: Message was received, but unacknowledged. I believe it got
      lost in the noise. They keep repeating the same points over and over.


      [The ship shudders, and the Bridge crew lurches left and right.]


      Chekov: Keptain! The mailing list has focused some sort of tractor
      beam on us. We are being sucked into the discussion!

      Kirk: Red Alert. Shields up. Evasive action, Mr. Sulu. Try to get
      them to talk about proper floors to dance on.

      McCoy [entering the bridge]: What the blazes is going on, Jim! I have
      people leaving the rec room and taking their musical instruments with
      them, refusing to play!

      Chekov: Shields up Keptain.

      Kirk: Not now, Bones, we have a situation.

      Uhura: Sir, they are ignoring the dance floor and are getting more hostile.

      Sulu: Evasive actions ineffective, Captain. Impact imminent!

      Spock: Attempting to jam them filk music.

      Kirk: Brace yourselves, here it comes!!


      [The ship rocks hard. Sulu and Chekov fly out of their chairs. Kirk
      spins around in his. Uhura rakes her hands across her panel but stays
      seated. McCoy hits the floor, and Spock helps him up.]


      Scotty [over intercom]: Engineering to Captain Kirk. What is going on
      up there! The matter and antimatter are becoming unbalanced, and
      I've been told that I can nae longer dance my native Scottish pieces!

      Kirk: Hang in there Scotty. Analysis, Mr. Spock.

      Spock: Shields were ineffective and we are at zero velocity. Also, it
      is quite obvious that Mr. Scott should not be dancing Road to the Isles
      or any other 19th century piece in a middle ages recreation group.
      That is not what the group is there for.

      McCoy: Not what they are there for?? Why you inhuman, pointed-eared
      hobgoblin, the group is there to have fun, and dancing such out of
      period pieces *is* fun. What is wrong with that!

      Spock: Doctor, please, once again you are letting your emotions
      interfere with a logical evaluation of the situation. The group is
      created to recreate the middle ages. There are other groups in the
      universe where such non-period dances can be learned and danced.

      McCoy: But not everybody can do that, Spock! And besides, not
      everything has to do with logic. Many people in this group enjoy
      these dances, and they see it as part of their current middles ages
      atmosphere. They don't have time or the ability to join these other
      groups, and they and their friends want to dance these dances. What
      is wrong with that?

      Spock: Nothing, Doctor, but they do not have to do it at my event.

      McCoy: You unemotional, computer brained...

      Kirk: Gentlemen!! Get...a hold....of...yourselves! Can't you see what
      is happening! The mailing list is drawing us in, making us argue over
      this side issue, instead of doing what is important - researching
      period dances, finding period music [music swells here], and teaching
      such period dances to all who wish to learn. We must....find a
      ...defense.

      Chekov: We could teach them Amoroso...it was inwented in Russia.

      Uhura: Searching the archives for original copies of Arbeau.

      Sulu: Don't look at me, no one does Japanese dance in the SCA.

      McCoy: I'm a Doctor, not a dance master!

      Spock: Perhaps I could teach the group some calming Vulcan meditation
      techniques.

      Kirk: There is no time...wait, we have one chance. Uhura, open a
      channel.

      Uhura: Hailing frequencies open, Captain.

      Kirk: Back me up everyone. [Sort of singing, but really talking.]
      Picture yourself...in a boat...on a ... river ... with ... TANgerine
      dreams, and ... MAAARmalaide skies...

      Spock: The mailing list has halted its assault, and the message count
      has decreased. It seams to be working.

      Kirk: Somebody caalls you, yooooooou answer quite....slowly.

      Spock: People are unsubscribing from the mailing list.

      Kirk: The GIRL ... with ka...li...de...scope eyes. Cellophane
      flowers...of yellow...and green....towering OVER your Heeeeaaaaad!
      Look for the girl...with sun...in her eyes????? And she's gone (gone
      (gone (gone)))!!!!!

      The Bridge Crew singing backup: Lucy in the Sky, with Diamonds...Lucy
      in the Sky, with Diamonds...Lucy in the Sky, with Diamonds....ahhhhhhhhhh!

      Spock: Everyone has unsubscribed. The mailing list is dead. There is
      no traffic. You may stop your attack, Captain.

      McCoy: For the love of humanity Jim, please stop singing.


      [Kirk leans back in his chair, drained.]


      Kirk: To be honest, I kind of enjoyed that. Maybe I'll make a record
      or something.


      [Sulu and Chekov roll their eyes.]


      McCoy: The world just isn't ready for that, Jim.

      Kirk: No, probably not. Mr. Sulu, ahead warp factor 2

      ==Christian
    • 'Merry' Toirdhealbhach Mirywoder Lutre
      ... Okay, so these are on the list. Why? I ask because, for my example of Hole in the Wall, I didn t realize that it was mainly the dance that was out of
      Message 2 of 4 , Apr 22, 2008
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        Christopher Mortika wrote:
        > Merry was kind enough to write:
        >
        >> Would anyone be kind enough to contribute to a thread detailing (and
        >> later aggregating), past and present which songs are faux pas, to what
        >> degree, and some idea of why and how the populace (and the Laurels) have
        >> handled it.
        >>
        >
        > People will probably list their favorite examples of out-of-period
        > dances. And it's a good thing, I think, to *know* what's
        > out-of-period, as well as to know what dances and dance styles are
        > in-period, and from where, and from what century. All well and good.
        >
        > (My list? I'm just a musician. If the dancers request Postie's Jig
        > or Troika or whatever, I'll see what I can do.)
        >
        Okay, so these are on the list. Why? I ask because, for my example of
        Hole in the Wall, I didn't realize that it was mainly the dance that was
        out of period and that the music (Playford, The Dancing Master 1651-1728
        yr 1695/1697) was less the issue, though still an issue none the less.
        I thought it was the music that was the big issue but only learned now
        years later at supper after Bellewode that it was the choreography that
        was the main offender. I'd like to be able to discuss legitimate
        reasons when someone asks me why we do or don't do a particular dance
        any more. I realize I'll never be an expert, but I will at least be
        able to say that, 'I heard that it was because this and that, and that
        many Laurels have tried to replace it with this and that which doesn't
        suffer from those problems.'

        > But. m'lord, please. I don't think it's profitable to make people
        > contentious or defensive. I've seen, too often, some people take up
        > some sort of authenticity crusade in dance. It has, without fail,
        > gotten people riled up, and hurt feelings.
        >
        Ah, but you see, I don't wish this to be contentious. Indeed quite the
        opposite. I am trying to avoid situations whereby Merry must open his
        mouth and insert his foot after having set off some person or another on
        some subject that I didn't know was a touchy subject. A list of dos and
        don'ts if you will. This is an surgical attempt to rectify a
        cranial-rectal inversion that Merry has suffered from for some years.

        As to the rest. Good grief. Not only was it spot-on in-character for
        each person, but probably the best and most humorous attempt I've seen
        someone make. I can only guess at how much time it took to compose all
        that, even if it was work put in many years ago.

        // Merry alt.who.misses.usenet.die.die.die.sigh.its.dead


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Catherine Dean
        A voice from Calontir past rears her ugly (cute?) head. (For those of you who don t know me, I got my start dancing in Calontir about 10 years ago, and have
        Message 3 of 4 , Apr 22, 2008
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          A voice from Calontir past rears her ugly (cute?) head.

          (For those of you who don't know me, I got my start dancing in Calontir
          about 10 years ago, and have since moved on to Atlantia and am closely
          connected with the Cynnabar group in the Midrealm, who put on Terpsichore at
          the Tower, the event mentioned earlier. I've also edited the Letter of
          Dance for the past 6 years, although I'm about to pass the torch on to a new
          editor. I'm mostly inactive in the SCA now, but am closely involved with
          the historical dance field in general and can still be found teaching at
          Terps and at Pennsic on a more-or-less yearly basis.)

          Quoth Merry: "Okay, so these are on the list. Why? I ask because, for my
          example of
          Hole in the Wall, I didn't realize that it was mainly the dance that was
          out of period and that the music (Playford, The Dancing Master 1651-1728
          yr 1695/1697) was less the issue, though still an issue none the less.
          I thought it was the music that was the big issue but only learned now
          years later at supper after Bellewode that it was the choreography that
          was the main offender. I'd like to be able to discuss legitimate
          reasons when someone asks me why we do or don't do a particular dance
          any more. "

          Actually, it's really both. Feel free to contact me off list and I'd be
          happy to go into more detail.

          In general, though, the dances which generally cause the most controvercy
          are those that are either a) historical, but not to the SCA period (defined
          here as pre-1600) or b) modern with little to no resemblence to period
          dances. Rarely have I heard it argued that we should do dances like Road to
          the Isles, Postie's Jig, Hole in the Wall, Troika, Korobushka, etc. because
          they are a reasonable attempt at pre-17th century dance. Anyone who uses
          that type of argument could be quickly dispelled by cold hard facts (the do
          not, in fact, bear much resemblance at all to known types of pre-17th
          century dance).

          Rather, the arguments are more emotional, based on what is fun and what is
          tradition and, at the heart of it all, what the SCA is all about.
          Ultimately the two sides of this debate are arguing right straight past each
          other ("but it's fun, and we're here to have fun" or "we're an organization
          with our own history, and this is traditional for us" vs. "but it's not
          period, and we're here to reconstruct a specific period in the past")


          --
          Catherine E. Dean
          Historically Inspired Designs
          Handmade Jewelry and Accessories for History Lovers
          http://www.historicallyinspired.com


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Catherine Dean
          OOps, sorry, didn t mean to hit send so quickly. Here is the full response: A voice from Calontir past rears her ugly (cute?) head. (For those of you who
          Message 4 of 4 , Apr 22, 2008
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            OOps, sorry, didn't mean to hit "send" so quickly.

            Here is the full response:

            A voice from Calontir past rears her ugly (cute?) head.

            (For those of you who don't know me, I got my start dancing in Calontir
            about 10 years ago, and have since moved on to Atlantia. I am closely
            connected with the Cynnabar group in the Midrealm, who put on Terpsichore at
            the Tower, the event mentioned earlier. I've also edited the Letter of
            Dance for the past 6 years, although I'm about to pass the torch on to a new
            editor. I'm mostly inactive in the SCA now, but am closely involved with
            the historical dance field in general and can still be found teaching at
            Terps and at Pennsic on a more-or-less yearly basis.)

            Quoth Merry: "Okay, so these are on the list. Why? I ask because, for my
            example of
            Hole in the Wall, I didn't realize that it was mainly the dance that was
            out of period and that the music (Playford, The Dancing Master 1651-1728
            yr 1695/1697) was less the issue, though still an issue none the less.
            I thought it was the music that was the big issue but only learned now
            years later at supper after Bellewode that it was the choreography that
            was the main offender. I'd like to be able to discuss legitimate
            reasons when someone asks me why we do or don't do a particular dance
            any more. "

            Actually, it's really both. Feel free to contact me off list and I'd be
            happy to go into more detail on Hole in the Wall or any other dance you're
            curious about.

            Since you asked, Postie's Jig is a modern Irish Country-type
            dance choreographed by Roy Clowes around 1970. In general, even the
            historical Irish Country Dances (Moneymusk, etc.) are really too late to be
            considered pre-1700 in style. The form in general seems to have taken shape
            in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, and is stylistically very very
            similar to English Regency-era country dances.

            Troika is a a Russian folk dance, but with no real stylistic ties pre-19th
            century. I believe the version done in the SCA was adopted from the
            International Folk Dance circuit in the 1970s, and may have been modified
            since then by us.

            In general, the dances which generally cause the most controvercy are those
            that are either a) historical, but not to the SCA period (defined here as
            pre-1600), like Troika or b) modern with little to no resemblence to period
            dances, like Postie's. Rarely have I heard it argued that we should do
            dances like Road to the Isles, Postie's Jig, Hole in the Wall, Troika,
            Korobushka, etc. because they are a reasonable attempt at pre-17th century
            dance. Anyone who uses that type of argument could be quickly dispelled by
            cold hard facts (they do not, in fact, bear much resemblance at all to known
            types of pre-17th century dance).

            Rather, the arguments are more emotional, based on what is fun and what is
            tradition and, at the heart of it all, what the SCA is all about.
            Ultimately the two sides of this debate are arguing right straight past each
            other ("but it's fun, and we're here to have fun" or "we're an organization
            with our own history, and this is traditional for us" vs. "but it's not
            period, and we're here to reconstruct a specific period in the past"). In
            that kind of situation *not* to have miscommunication and hurt feelings
            would be amazing.

            To get to Tsire's question about how to answer questions about the decision
            to not teach post-period dances or modern choreographies in an SCA-setting,
            it's definitely a challenge. Atlantia is, in many ways, similar to
            Calontir. We have our "all period dance, all the time" contingent and then
            another group of folks who believe that all dancing has its place in the
            SCA. We've had nasty politics, hurt feelings, pointless discussions
            aplenty!

            I have solved that situation for myself by carefully controlling when and
            how I teach dance. I have actively purged my folders of cds of dances that
            I don't care to teach (and I should say that my no-teach list is highly
            personal and non-necessarily limited to out of period things); when I teach
            a class, I always set the agenda and choose which dances to teach myself; I
            never run pickup dance (rather, if I'm asked to run dance, I specifically
            schedule the dances to be taught); when I run a ball I very carefully craft
            it to be fun, well balanced, and filled with crowd pleasing dances that I
            feel comfortable teaching; if there is time at the end for requests, I take
            them all, but I'm not necessarily egalitarian in choosing which ones to
            present to the musicians (what is the point of recreating the Renaissance,
            if we don't get to behave a bit autocratic sometimes). In general I try to
            focus on what I *will* teach rather than what I *won't*, keeping the
            discussion positive and focused. No teacher teaches every dance--we all
            have our own subset that we know and are comfortable enough with to teach,
            or like enough to include in a ball list or class set.

            When I'm in a situation where a dance is being danced that I don't care to
            participate in, I generally try to sit it out quietly. That is the choice
            of the organizer of that event, and I would expect him/her to respect me if
            I were in his/her place, too. I've often found that leading by example
            works wonders. Eventually if the charismatic, talented dancers are seen to
            always sit out a particular dance, it has an effect.

            Ultimately, if pressed (and this has happened--ironically from musicians
            rather than dancers) about why I'm not including certain dances in an
            evening event, I say that it was my choice to determine what was to be
            danced (having been asked by the organizers of the event to do so) and that
            that was just how it was going to be that day. I'm always happy to discuss
            the reasons behind my choices, but prefer to do that privately rather than
            in public, on the dance floor.

            Katherine
            On Tue, Apr 22, 2008 at 2:24 PM, Catherine Dean <catherinedean@...>
            wrote:

            > A voice from Calontir past rears her ugly (cute?) head.
            >
            > (For those of you who don't know me, I got my start dancing in Calontir
            > about 10 years ago, and have since moved on to Atlantia and am closely
            > connected with the Cynnabar group in the Midrealm, who put on Terpsichore at
            > the Tower, the event mentioned earlier. I've also edited the Letter of
            > Dance for the past 6 years, although I'm about to pass the torch on to a new
            > editor. I'm mostly inactive in the SCA now, but am closely involved with
            > the historical dance field in general and can still be found teaching at
            > Terps and at Pennsic on a more-or-less yearly basis.)
            >
            > Quoth Merry: "Okay, so these are on the list. Why? I ask because, for my
            > example of
            > Hole in the Wall, I didn't realize that it was mainly the dance that was
            > out of period and that the music (Playford, The Dancing Master 1651-1728
            > yr 1695/1697) was less the issue, though still an issue none the less.
            > I thought it was the music that was the big issue but only learned now
            > years later at supper after Bellewode that it was the choreography that
            > was the main offender. I'd like to be able to discuss legitimate
            > reasons when someone asks me why we do or don't do a particular dance
            > any more. "
            >
            > Actually, it's really both. Feel free to contact me off list and I'd be
            > happy to go into more detail.
            >
            > In general, though, the dances which generally cause the most controvercy
            > are those that are either a) historical, but not to the SCA period (defined
            > here as pre-1600) or b) modern with little to no resemblence to period
            > dances. Rarely have I heard it argued that we should do dances like Road to
            > the Isles, Postie's Jig, Hole in the Wall, Troika, Korobushka, etc. because
            > they are a reasonable attempt at pre-17th century dance. Anyone who uses
            > that type of argument could be quickly dispelled by cold hard facts (the do
            > not, in fact, bear much resemblance at all to known types of pre-17th
            > century dance).
            >
            > Rather, the arguments are more emotional, based on what is fun and what is
            > tradition and, at the heart of it all, what the SCA is all about.
            > Ultimately the two sides of this debate are arguing right straight past each
            > other ("but it's fun, and we're here to have fun" or "we're an organization
            > with our own history, and this is traditional for us" vs. "but it's not
            > period, and we're here to reconstruct a specific period in the past")
            >
            >
            > --
            > Catherine E. Dean
            > Historically Inspired Designs
            > Handmade Jewelry and Accessories for History Lovers
            > http://www.historicallyinspired.com
            >



            --
            Catherine E. Dean
            Historically Inspired Designs
            Handmade Jewelry and Accessories for History Lovers
            http://www.historicallyinspired.com


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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