Here are my two cents worth on the issue. First let me say that I am relatively new to dance. I have danced at about a dozen or so balls, but it really was not until about a year ago that I realized I was beginning to pick up on some of its parts (other's are still eluding me). That being said, it took one year for me to learn Korobushka was not period. It took another two years to learn Hole in the Wall was not period. The reason? No one told me. Now I LOVE korobushka. It is my intent to dance it at my wedding. But I also know that it is not period and thus might not be appropriate for certain venues. That was a decision I made.
The SCA is full of adults. Sure we act childish at times (myself more than others I am sure), but we are still able to make our own decisions when given the right information. I cannot stop someone from wearing rayon to an event. I can give them a period alternative of fabric choice, but in the end I cannot stop them. The same is with dancing. I can let people know, gently, what is period and what isn't. I can teach what I want to teach and dance what I want to dance. What we have to allow is for people to make their own choice.
] On Behalf Of Christopher Mortika
Sent: Wednesday, April 23, 2008 6:33 AM
Subject: Re: [CalontirDance] Digest Number 426
Hello, Tsire. Well met.
> 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
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?
who, really, doesn't mind Playford
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