Thank you! I am delighted that you took the time to pursue this at Estrella.
Barbara Krege (Lady Barbara) wrote:
> ... I spoke with Mistress Julian of Atenveldt, Master Nicolo (spelling?), and
> Lady Seonaid ...
That would probably be M. Niccolo, former baron of Loch Salann (Artemesia).
Mistress Julian was the dance coordinator for Estrella and also for Known World
Rapier in Atenveldt last fall. I don't think I know Lady Seonaid.
> ... Here were their collective recommendations:
> 1. *Petite Vriens (everyone likes)
I identify this as the most popular dance in the SCA.
> 2. *Amoroso (slow and flirty)
This is a nice introduction to "chasing and catching" dances. It comes to us
from Italian sources, but they call it a French dance (Petit Riens - little
> 3. Belle Qui Pavan (aka Carolingian Pavan)
> 4. Ruffty Tuffty
Well, these are on my list. I did not include Heart's Ease because it is
similar to Rufty Tufty and a little more difficult for beginners. I think
variety is important in this list. I do like HE, though, and it seems popular
wherever it is done.
Note that there are also two common versions of Heart's Ease. Dragonsspine and
Caerthe do not do the same version (the second half of the first verse is
> 5. Hearts Ease
> 6. Official Bransle
Branle Official is popular with the more energetic dancers, but the SCA
traveling variation intimidates many older, more sedentary, or 'sizable'
dancers. I like Peas Branle (Branle Des Pois) for casual or new dancers because
it is still fun, but allows each dancer to control their own speed and energy.
Branles really should be included, but there are so many to choose from!
> 7. Black Alman
> 8. Madam Cecilia Alman or Lorraine Alman
These are fun dances. Because of the limit of 12 dances, I only included Black
Alman, the most complex Old Measure (an still not too hard). We like Lorraine
Alman in Caerthe (easier, but still interesting), but haven't done Madam Cecilia
yet. It is on my "to do" list, but I chose to do other dances first because we
must use a modern composition for the music (there is no extant music for this
dance). Among other things, this makes it harder for people to find the music.
> 9. Ballo del Fiore
This is a good mixer. I know it's been done in al-Barran for at least a few
years, and we now do it in Caerthe, as well. We actually do two and three
person versions (and there are other variation in Caroso that we may get to
someday), but the two person version seems to be best known in the SCA.
> 10. Upon a Summer's Day
One of my favorites, partly for personal reasons. It is also an easy, but
pleasing exemplar of ECDs.
> 11. Pinwheel (okay--their comment) (I like it)
The Pinwheel is fun, and we've learned a more authentic version which is not
hard (basically using Italian steps instead of walking steps). Using the
correct steps keeps it dance game, instead of just a game.
Alejandra de Miera taught us two "cacce di farsi" dance games that are so easy
they can be learned in a walk through - no more than 5 minutes. These are so
easy they don't need to be on the list - you can just do them.
> 12. Gathering Peasecods
> 13. Jenny Pluck Pears
Two other fine, fun ECDs. For the purpose of this list, I'd probably choose
one, since they are both circle dances (Gathering Peascods - today - since JPP
is a set dance, as is Upon a Summers Day).
> 14. Rusti Boli Joyeoso (spelling?) (a good one for those interested in dance)
There are lots of spellings (standardized spelling hadn't been invented yet). I
think yours should be Rosti Boli Joyeoso (roasting boiling joyously). We use
Rostiboli Gioioso (same thing). This dance is a little more involved than
Amoroso, but is a wonderful flirting dance. (There is a three person version
using the same music, but I've always seen it identified as 'Gioioso in tre' -
> 15. Gelosia
One of my favorites, this is a good example of the 15th c. Italian ballo that is
fun but not too hard. (Verceppe is my favorite, but definitely too involved for
> 16. Lauro (bassa) or casulle la Nouvelle (bassa)
Two traditional dances that have been done in the SCA for at least 25 years.
Lauro is 15th c. Italian (c. 1455), Casulle is Burgundian (c. 1500). I should
have included one of these in my own list. Casulle may be a better intro dance,
since it is an archtypical bassa. Once you know this, literally one to two
hundred other bassa dances will be easy (although you still need to find music
> 17. Anello (Italian) (means ring)
Another popular ballo, but I'd rather have Geolosia for my short list (strictly
a personal preference).
Well, they named 19 dances (17 plus to 'or's). They are all good dances, but
the challenge is to limit it to 12. Of course we don't have to do that, but I
think 12 is an easier number to deal with once you are teaching them. As in
Northshield, we can always modify the list in the future (which actually
increases the number of dances known, since the old ones don't just disappear).
> I will teach whatever group of 12 you come up with.
How do others on the list feel? Any other ideas, suggestions, preferences? I
think a set of common or shared dances would be useful, but only if they are
done in common. If only two groups (of at least five that dance) do them, then
travelers will not be helped much.
> ... My hopes are 1) that they be
> fun to dance,
Everything we've looked at is fun (I think), and easy enough.
> and 2) that the music needed for these dances be on just 2 or 3 cds,
> so as to keep the cost down for anyone starting to teach these dances in the
A good point. There are some very inexpensive SCA cds available, so we could
tap these. In fact, some of the SCA recordings are freely available for SCA
use, so I can look into making a compilation cd. Off the top of my head, I
don't know how these fit with the lists we've been looking at, but it sounds
like a good place to start.
> Also, how are we going to have the dance instructions for each dance
> available--my suggestion would be a website where they could download each of the
> 12 dances.
That sounds like an excellent idea. Arwen and I have a web site, and have a
dance manual in the works. Perhaps we can get some of the dances on-line. I
can also ask the Kingdom Web minister about space, or at least links, on the
kingdom web site.
Keith / Guillaume S:}>