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Re: Top dances for the Outlands

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  • Sheila McClune
    ... Well, in my opinion, there should be ... A couple of the early Italian dances: 1. Petit Riens (the hot new dance hit here in Caerthe) 2. Gelosia (lots of
    Message 1 of 6 , Dec 31, 1999
      At 11:41 AM 12/31/99 -0700, you wrote:
      >> Which 12 dances should _every_ SCA gentle know?

      Well, in my opinion, there should be ...

      A couple of the early Italian dances:

      1. Petit Riens (the hot "new" dance hit here in Caerthe)
      2. Gelosia (lots of fun flirting)

      At least one Burgundian basse dance

      3. Casulle la Nouelle (very graceful and pretty to watch)

      A few things from Arbeau (because once you know a few, you can learn the
      rest pretty quickly):
      4. Bransle Charlotte
      5. Either Pease or Horses Bransle
      6. Carolingian Pavan (Belle Qui)
      7. Basic Galliards (Cinq Pas)

      A couple of Old Measures:
      8. Quadran Pavan
      9. Black Alman

      And some Playford:
      10. Heartsease (another fun flirting dance)
      11. Black Nag
      12. Gathering Peasecods

      Some late Italian dances would be good, too, but I don't know any that well
      (yet), so I don't know which would be good for the basic "everyone should
      know this" repertoire.

      But I think this list covers a pretty wide range of what's out there, and
      also has dances suitable for folks of different abilities. I think the
      easiest one on there is Quadran Pavan, which almost anyone could learn in
      two minutes or less. Horses Bransle isn't much harder. And while there
      are also some slightly more challenging dances, so folks won't get bored,
      most of these dances can be taught in fifteen minutes or less. I really
      don't think we can expect everyone to know the high-power performance
      pieces -- save those for us dance geeks who really wouldn't mind working on
      just one really complicated dance for a whole practice. :)

      And all of these dances are good building blocks for other dances of their
      type. If you've taught people Black Nag and Gathering Peasecods, they know
      much of what they need for any of the "standard" Playford dances: doubles,
      siding, arming, heys, the verse-chorus structure. If they know Petit Riens
      and Gelosia, they are familiar with many of the steps used in the early
      Italian dances.

      Well, that's my tuppence, anyway .............

    • Mary Morman
      not sure if i can come up with 12, but: hole in the wall sellinger s round gathering peascods black nag single bransle double bransle burgundian bransle
      Message 2 of 6 , Dec 31, 1999
        not sure if i can come up with 12, but:

        hole in the wall
        sellinger's round
        gathering peascods
        black nag
        single bransle
        double bransle
        burgundian bransle
        horse's bransle
        maltese bransle
        belle qui pavanne
        earl of salisbury's pavanne

        yes, i know that the earl of salisbury is modern and hole in the wall is
        very late.


        On Fri, 31 Dec 1999, Swashbuckler wrote:

        > Greetings unto the Outlands Dancing community from Guillaume de Gonzac, part
        > time leader of dance in the fair Barony of Caerthe.
        > A few weeks ago on the SCA-Dance list Lady Ambrosia from Nordskogen
        > asked "which 12 dances should _every_ SCA gentle know?" The context was:
        > > For many (read about 14) years, Northshield has had a Dance event, even
        > > before it was Northshield. Each year as instructors are sought, they are
        > > asked a question which I would pose to the dance community as a whole:
        > >
        > > Which 12 dances should _every_ SCA gentle know?
        > >
        > > Usually, the question is narrowed down to the Middle Kingdom, but for this
        > I
        > > am interested in including the whole SCA.
        > >
        > > I am also curious as to _why_ you would choose those particular dances.
        > I would like to ask what 12 dances do you think every dancer in the
        > Outlands should know and why? After we've seen some of the ideas from other
        > Outlanders, I will post my own list and a summary of the results from the
        > SCA list.
        > Keith / Guillaume
      • Karen Jordan
        Let s see. What dances should every Outlander know and why? I ll try to pick some of each type of dance and the easiest of those. Last year, ECDs were the
        Message 3 of 6 , Jan 2, 2000
          Let's see. What dances should every Outlander know and why? I'll try to pick
          some of each type of dance and the easiest of those. Last year, ECDs were the
          overall favorite in Dragonsspine.

          Heart's Ease (2 couple) A very popular dance because of the heavy flirting.
          Some people show up only for this dance and grab anyone in the room for a
          partner - so you should know this if you're going to be in the room. Rufty
          Tufty is not nearly as popular - too fast for the flirting.

          Black Nag (3 couple) A good mix of complexity and repetition. It's impressive
          with alternating sets, but often leads to "combat black nag". Jenny Pluck
          Pears just isn't as well known. I like Beggar Boy, but I think it's complex
          for a "need to know".

          Oranges and Lemons (4 couple) A very slow and elegant dance. Great demo
          piece. I like it better than Hyde Park, especially when people have long
          sleeves for tossing oranges and lemons.

          Dargason (4 couple) It's nice for newcomers who can watch for a while as 4th
          couple and pick up the steps � unless you're in An Tir where there were a heck
          of a lot more steps than we have and I did NOT catch all that as a newcomer.

          Sellinger's Round (as many) A nice intro to ECDs and harder to mess up than
          Gathering Peascods. It's a nice "grab and go" dance for demos - you can
          usually grab people from the audience and get them up to speed in decent

          Female Sailor (as many) A long, active dance. If you don't know it when the
          music starts, you'll get it by the time the music ends. I think Juice of
          Barley is easier, but I've heard people scream when Female Sailor is

          Belle Qui (as many) The basic pavane steps. You can use it for a
          processional. Earl of Salisbury is much more interesting, but if you know the
          pavane steps, you can pick it up.

          Maltese/Official/Horse's Bransle (as many) Yes, 3 bransles, but they're
          popular ones. Look how many ECD's I've got up there. I think these are good
          because they have short stories/descriptions for the dances. These are also
          "grab and go" dances for demos � well, maybe not Official �

          Gelosia (3 couple) I like Casuelle better, but more people know Gelosia.
          Casuelle feels like water. Gelosia's easier on the girls than on the guys.
          Good demo piece.

          Hole in the Wall (as many) Oh, the ever-popular, never-ending, non-period
          dance. I think this is supposed to be the #1 need-to-know dance for the
          entire SCA.

          Shouldn't be included in the list above, but I like them:
          Whirligig and Verceppi - It's fun when everyone knows what they're doing! We
          almost had a demo set going �

          Cetharyne (Karen Jordan)
          Dragonsspine/Tygre's Keep, Outlands

          P.S. No, I didn't pick Black Alman!

          Get free email and a permanent address at http://www.amexmail.com/?A=1
        • Swashbuckler
          Still hoping for more input from others (maybe the holidays were a bad time), here s my list of twelve dances everyone should know: Petit Riens - lots of fun,
          Message 4 of 6 , Jan 11, 2000
            Still hoping for more input from others (maybe the holidays were a bad
            time), here's my list of twelve dances everyone should know:

            Petit Riens - lots of fun, 15th century Italian chasing dance. Easy to
            and still fun for the experienced dancer, and a fun introduction to
            Italian dances. Did I mention that its fun, too?

            Rostiboli Gioioso - A basic 15th century Italian Ballo. Do one, others will
            easier to learn. A slower chasing dance, this is sexy and fun.

            Il Piantone - A very easy, fun 16th century Italian dance. Any other 16c's?

            Galliards (cinq pas & a variation or two) - THE dance for all of Renaissance

            Europe. Period aerobics, the galliard looks great, leads to
            like La Volta, and makes everything else seem easy. Besides, they're

            "Carolingian" Pavan (Belle Qui Tiens Ma Vie) - OK, its a modern
            but its more fun than the basic Pavan in Arbeau and the music is

            Casuelle la Novelle (or Lauro, Joyoussance, or any bassa danse) - There are
            500 bassa danses extant from our period (music and/or steps), how
            could we
            not do one? Besides, they are pretty, easy, and fun. Again: learn
            and your ready for them all.

            Bransle Montarde - Half of Arbeau is bransles. We need a mixed bransle, and
            interesting and fun.

            Bransle des Pois (Pease) - A cute mimed bransle, easy and fun.

            Black Almain - Have to have an Old Measure. This is as difficult as they
            and its still a good, fun beginner's dance.

            Gathering Peascods - A rousing, fun English country dance for as many as

            Rufty Tufty - A fun English country dance for two couples.

            Black Nag - Ever popular basic English country dance. This one is fun too.

            These are basic dances taken from 15th and 16th century Italian, 16th
            century Burgundian, French, and English (Old Measures), and early English
            Country (1651) sources. Black Nag is 3rd edition Playford, but is
            archtypical of three couple English County Dances. Substitute Upon A
            Summer's Day or the more challenging Picking Up Sticks and you stay with
            first edition Playford. The "Carolingian" pavan is a modern interpretation
            of period pavans done to beautiful period pavan music (because the period
            pavans seem exceedingly boring when your references are Arbeau and the
            Quadran Pavan). Remove the ornamentation and you have a period pavan.

            All of these dances are fun. All are period or very like period
            dances. Once a dancer has accomplished any of these, many dances in the
            same genre will be easier and less intimidating. These dances cover every
            major area of readily available historical dance. If all are known, a
            dancer will be well positioned to learn almost any new dance.

            I would like another 16th century Italian for the list, and will
            eventualy want one from the Gresley manuscript (which is too cutting edge
            for us just now). Meanwhile, the Outlands can do well with the dances
            listed above.

            Note that these are good dances for everyone to know because they are
            fun, cover a broad range of styles, and are not difficult. That said, there
            are a couple that I have only done a few of times - and my new addition, Il
            Piantone, I've only done once (but it's sooooo easy). I think this is a
            good (basic) list of what 'everyone' 'should' know. Also, there can be no
            final, ultimate list - this is just a starting place for thought and is
            subject to constant review.

            This short list is for the casual dancer. Those of us especially
            interested in dancing will want to learn many more dances, particularly in
            our favorite styles. The list above can still serve as a reminder of the
            range of historical dance embraced by the SCA.

            Up next: some excerpts from the sca-dance list top 12 discussion.

            Keith / Guillaume

            -----Original Message-----
            From: Swashbuckler [mailto:swashbuckler@...]

            I would like to ask what 12 dances do you think every dancer in the
            Outlands should know and why? After we've seen some of the ideas from other
            Outlanders, I will post my own list and a summary of the results from the
            SCA list.

            Keith / Guillaume
          • Swashbuckler
            Hi there: About three weeks ago, I asked what 12 dances do you think every dancer in the Outlands should know and why? The question was posted on the
            Message 5 of 6 , Jan 21, 2000
              Hi there:

              About three weeks ago, I asked "what 12 dances do you think every
              dancer in the Outlands should know and why?" The question was posted on the
              sca-dance list last year and I was curious what the results would be here in
              the Outlands.

              Also, while preparing for Caerthen Twelfth Night, The Honorable Lady
              Caelainn (leader of our fine musicians) asked me to list the top 20 dances
              in the Outlands. She wanted to prepare sheet music to take with her to
              every event so she would always have our most requested pieces. Not quite
              the same question, but similar. As it happens, Caelainn ended up with more
              than 20 and is willing to add more if needed.

              So what dances should everyone know? No definitive answer is possible.

              This is an exercise to evaluate and share where we are, where we want to
              go, and how we view dance in the SCA. I know my list has changed just in
              the last year, and I expect it will in the future.

              I counted eleven people who responded on the sca-dance list. Between
              them, they named 65 dances. One did responded with only eight: galliard,
              the sink-a-pace, the gagliarda, the cinque-pas, the tourdion, the gagliard,
              tordglione, and tordion with the comment "If you can do these, you can fake
              your way through anything :-)". Yes, these are all essentially the same and
              I counted them as one dance. Most, however, responded with a variety of
              dances. They reasoned that everyone "should" know a basic dance in each of
              the styles appropriate to the SCA's period. Then it would be easier to
              learn any new dances that are encountered. It was noted that "should" does
              not mean "does". This is more like an ideal to be sought even if never
              fully achieved.

              17 of the dances named were Italian, 16 English Country from Playford,
              13 French from Arbeau (although two were suites of four, which totals 18
              French [one duplicate] - not counting the pavan or basse dance), 6 were
              Basse Dances, 5 Old Measures, and 3 Pavans (plus 5 others, if you're
              counting, including a wish for a Gresley dance). 29 dances were mentioned
              more than once. I tallied the "votes", allowing one vote for each dance in
              each list, but counting only half a vote for each dance that shared a spot
              (i.e. "Grimstock (or Black Nag)" each got 1/2). So, from the sca-dance
              list, "what 12 dances should every SCA gentle know?":

              Petit Vriens (8 votes)
              Rostibolli Gioioso (6.5)
              Galliards & La Volta, Tourdion (6.5)
              Gathering Peascods (5 plus two 1/2's)
              Ballo del Fiore (6)
              Black Alman (6)
              Branles Official (5.5)
              Black Nag (3 plus two 1/2's)
              Rufty Tufty (4)
              Horses Bransle (4)
              Gelosia (3.5)
              Sellingers Round (3.5)

              That's three 15th c. Italians, Galliards (everyone did them), four
              English Country dances, one 16th c. Italian, one Old Measure, and two
              Bransles. Except for Basse Dances and/or Pavans (no single favorite tops
              the list), a pretty decent sampling of period dance styles. Note that the
              top seven dances were all mentioned by at least half of the respondents.

              I've done eleven of these and we've taught ten of them at Caerthen
              practice. Not bad. I've also done nine (and we've taught eighth) of the
              next twelve (plus Charlotte from "A bransle suite (cassandra, pinagay,
              charlotte, and aridan...)"). Of course these are well known, and I've been
              around some, so I "should" have seen them before. In fact, as I go down the
              list, I've never even heard of some of the less mentioned dances. That's
              regional variation for you.

              Few out of period dances were mentioned. "Hole in the Head...er..umm..
              Wall" got one vote plus a "just seeing if you're paying attention" that was
              changed to Earl of Salisbury Pavan (a modern ornamentation of Quadran
              Pavan). That doesn't mean that nobody in the Known World does out of period
              dances, just that the respondents to this question wish everyone also knew
              these period dances.

              We are, of course, under no obligation to follow anyone's lists, but I
              think its good to see what people in other kingdoms consider important. We
              can keep this in mind when practicing dances for inter kingdom events like
              Estrella, Gulf Wars, or Pennsic.

              Moving on to the Outlands-dance list, we only had four responses to my
              question (including my own). Proportionally, I think that's better than the
              SCA-dance list. But we came up with 30 dances plus two non-beginners
              favorites (Whirligig and Verceppe - I agree that they are great dances, once
              you know them). Our top dances:

              Black Nag (4 votes)
              "Belle Qui" (Carolingian) pavan (4)
              Gathering Peascods (3)
              Horses Bransle (2.5)
              Petit Riens (2)
              Gelosia (2)
              Galliards/Cinq Pas (2)
              Black Alman (2)
              Heart's Ease (2)
              Maltese Bransle (2)
              Hole in the Wall (2)
              Sellinger's Round (2)

              Casulle la Nouelle (1.5)
              Pease Bransle (1.5)

              With only four data points, I am not comfortable giving much authority
              to this list. Only Caerthe and Dragonsspine are represented, and I know
              there are important dance leaders (not to mention active dancers) in Caer
              Galen and Unser Hafen. Al-Barran also has a fledgling but enthusiastic
              dance group. Unfortunately, I am not sure if these groups are represented
              on the outlands-dance list.

              Hopefully, this will give everyone something to think about. Maybe we
              can try the exercise again sometime.

              Keith / Guillaume
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