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dance in period or not

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  • Morris Schaefer
    What is period? Are you early or late within the SCA time definition? We seem to accept the Cavalier types with their light weapons, why not accept dances of
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 23, 2003
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      What is period? Are you early or late within the SCA time definition? We
      seem to accept the Cavalier types with their light weapons, why not accept
      dances of the same time frame?

      As far a s Hole in the Wall; don't the good gentles get up and dance when
      that dance is used? I've seen the floor full of dancers that then stayed to
      learn truly period dances. They would have just sat around the sides of the
      dance hall drinking and making noise if they hadn't been encouraged to get
      up and shuffle their feet and flirt a bit. Is that so bad? Its just like
      the bardic circle with more modern sounding "folk songs" that least get the
      performers started. They do learn period songs and poems as time goes by.
      Maybe its like going off to war the first time in a nylon tent and nylon
      sleeping bag. Eventually you get a periond looking or truly period
      pavillion, a nice bed(feather of course), rugs, cook over a fire(is that
      really safe in period?) and make every effort to be "period".

      Please don't stomp on the newly interested gentles because they don't have
      all the details worked out, or those of us that try to encourage the newbies
      to learn and get involved. I have a blast doing Hole-in-the -Wall and at
      our Yule revel, we even say a stick jock actually dance and get it. That
      was a moment I will cherish for a long time. The stick jock has been
      playing for a long time by the way!

      Now you have my opinion, see you on the dance floor o around a bardic
      somewhere and enjoying every bit.
      Sean MacLeod

      ps.the link to Eric Praetzel's site contains soo much info. Eric is great
      at gathering music for dancers to use and musicians to learn and has the
      copywrite info available for SCA use. SM

      Snip-----
      I know that Horses Branle dates to the 1580's, which certainly makes
      it period for the SCA. New Alman comes from a manuscript dated to
      1570; Black Alman is first described in a 1594 ms. These should also
      count.

      The others are all post-period; there are lots of arguments on both
      sides as to why they should or should not be done in the SCA. (And
      that's a whole 'nother can of worms ...)

      Sorry I was unclear ... :)

      And by the way, the SCA Renaissance Dance Page
      http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/dance.html has lots of good links. Also,
      one of the sites Gwydion posted
      (http://sca.uwaterloo.ca/~praetzel/sca-music.html) is a great place
      to go to download dance music.

      Arwen





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    • skmcclune <smcclune@earthlink.net>
      ... definition? We ... accept ...
      Message 2 of 2 , Jan 24, 2003
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        --- In outlands@yahoogroups.com, "Morris Schaefer" <mtnsounds@h...>
        wrote:
        > What is period? Are you early or late within the SCA time
        definition? We
        > seem to accept the Cavalier types with their light weapons, why not
        accept
        > dances of the same time frame?
        <<<

        Actually (speaking for myself and what is done at Caerthe's dance
        practice), we do. Our dance repertoire includes Playford's English
        Country Dances from 1651 -- and one or two dances from the third
        edition of the same book, such as Black Nag.

        Though I do feel obliged to point out that light weapons were widely
        in use at least a century prior to the Cavalier period ... <grin>

        >>>>
        As far a s Hole in the Wall; don't the good gentles get up and
        dance when
        > that dance is used?
        <<<

        I have a theory about that:

        I've observed that people are happier and have more fun when they're
        in their "comfort zone" -- doing familiar things in familiar
        settings. Hole In The Wall is in many peoples' "comfort zone",
        because it's one of the first dances they learned in the SCA, and
        because everybody else knows it, and they've seen other people doing
        it.

        It's the first dance they learn because the people who are teaching
        it are also in their "comfort zone" when they teach it -- they know
        it really well, they've taught it before, etc.

        Which, in turn, is because they learned it from people who were in
        their "comfort zone". And so on. I don't know for sure, but my
        theory is that the first people to teach HITW in the SCA did so
        because they were familiar with the dance from some other folk or
        contra dance group, so it was in their "comfort zone".

        Now, there's no inherent reason why HITW is the only dance for which
        this can work. It is, in fact, not really that easy to teach. It
        only seems that way because when it is taught in the SCA, the group
        usually includes a large number of people who have done it before,
        and they all help pull the new people through. I have, however, seen
        a very experienced teacher of historical dance struggle desperately
        in trying to teach HITW to a room full of people where only a handful
        of the dancers had ever done it before. Let's just say it *wasn't*
        pretty. <grin>

        I would submit that if the first dance people had ever learned in the
        SCA was ... oh, I dunno, let's say Petit Riens (a 15th century
        Italian dance) ... they'd enjoy that just as much, and would in fact
        think that a dance where you pretty much stand around in a line was
        awfully boring. :)

        Be that as it may ... I understand that for most folks out there,
        expanding their "comfort zone" is not something they do readily.
        There are people out there who will never want to do any dance except
        HITW. That's fine; I certainly can't force anybody to do any dance
        they don't want to do, and even if I could, I wouldn't. They
        wouldn't have any fun, and neither would I.

        On the other hand, I can and do try to create a new "comfort zone"
        for people by teaching fun dances that just happen to be period. I
        also happen to derive a great deal of enjoyment from doing so. And
        after all, the SCA is supposed to be about having fun, isn't it? If
        I'm having fun, and the people I'm dancing with are having fun, then
        we've all achieved our goal!

        What it comes down to, I guess, is a matter of choices. With the
        wonder of the Internet, downloading music and instructions for dances
        is as easy as a few clicks of a mouse. So it takes no more effort to
        get everything you need to learn and/or teach a period dance than it
        does for a non-period dance. The choice is yours.

        I've chosen to focus on dances that are period or at least "near"
        period; I think they're great fun, and I think other folks can and do
        enjoy them too. Other people are free to make other choices; I only
        ask in return that I not be taken to task for making the choices I
        have made. Fair enough?

        >>>
        > Its just like
        > the bardic circle with more modern sounding "folk songs" that least
        get the
        > performers started. They do learn period songs and poems as time
        goes by.
        > Maybe its like going off to war the first time in a nylon tent and
        nylon
        > sleeping bag. Eventually you get a periond looking or truly period
        > pavillion, a nice bed(feather of course), rugs, cook over a fire(is
        that
        > really safe in period?) and make every effort to be "period".
        <<<

        Yep, I've been there and done that, too. And there's nothing wrong
        with that; learning as we go along is part of the fun of the SCA.
        The joy of discovery is one that can't be duplicated.

        I just want to help make information available so that when people
        are ready to take that next step, they don't have to completely re-
        invent the wheel. That's also one of the joys of the SCA -- people
        helping other people, sharing what they've learned, and learning
        together.

        >>>
        > Please don't stomp on the newly interested gentles because they
        don't have
        > all the details worked out, or those of us that try to encourage
        the newbies
        > to learn and get involved.
        <<<<

        If I have "stomped" on anyone, I apologize. My comments about period
        vs. non-period dances were made simply because someone asked which
        dances were period and which ones weren't. Since I happened to have
        that information available, I provided it. That's all I meant to do,
        really! :)

        >>>
        > Now you have my opinion, see you on the dance floor o around a
        bardic
        > somewhere and enjoying every bit.
        <<<

        I look forward to it!

        Arwen Southernwood
        Barony of Caerthe, Outlands
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