Getting to the bottom of the set

Trans Vector Technologies, Inc

Message 15062 · 12 Dec 1998 10:25:36 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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>>[Kent:]What this thread is also underscoring is that devisers should
>>think about
>>the transitions from the end of the dance to the beginning of the next
>>round, both for the first time and second repeats (or the even and odd times
>>through the dance). Now that we are doing SCD in sets rather than longways
>>for as many as will, part of the challenge for devisers is to work within
>>that framework and to try to make their dances "work" or at least to have
>>satisfactory "work arounds" during the transitions between repetitions.
>>
>[Stefan:]Well, otherwise the dancers would have to think... ;-)

And the implication is that it should be reasonable to expect the dancers
to think and work out the final progression for themselves.

Well....my experience is that most dancers are mediocre choreographers, and
most on-the-fly choreographies I have seen for progressing to 4th place are
pretty ragged.

I have detected in this thread a strong feeling for having couples in
position for a clean start for each repetition of a dance. I believe that
in most dances, it is equally important to have a clean finish. Imagine
what it would be like if our musicians played exquisitely for 28 bars and
then played random notes and rhythms for the final 4 bars, or just stopped
playing altogether! The final 4 bars of the Peat Fire Flame (all three
couples turning once by the right hand in 4 bars) is a wonderful resolution
for the dance, and it irritates me greatly to see people throw it away in
their haste to get to the bottom.

It is for the reason of completing a dance well that I strongly prefer that
both repetitions be danced the same when there is no overriding reason for
the dancing couple to be progressed to 4th place by the end of the 2nd
repetition. It is my opinion that blindly progressing to 4th place by the
end of the 2nd repetition, as so often occurs, is not desirable. Finish the
dance well.

I am still on the fence about Jim's suggestion of having dancing couple
progress to 4th place before a final circle. On the one hand, it neatly
solves the progression problem assuming the prior figure allows a simple,
clean progression. On the other it also means institutionalizing an
alternate form for the second repetition. It appears that something like
that has occurred in GB/Europe for Muirland Willie (substituting a 3-couple
poussette for the as-written 2-couple poussette in the 2nd repetition).
Luckily for me, that one is not a world-wide defacto standard.

Also, along the lines of Kent's thinking, some newer dances _have_
addressed the issue of the dancing couple's final progression to 4th place
and specify how it should be done. Many of these are good, common-sense
progressions. Having the original dance deviser present a well-reasoned
choreography for the progression to 4th place is far preferrable to
seat-of-the-pants choreography by the dancers. In any case, such
progressions should be taught and practiced as well as the rest of the
dance.

Cheers, Oberdan.

Trans Vector Technologies, Inc, 184 Estaban Drive, Camarillo, CA 93010-1611
Phone: (805)484-2775, FAX: (805)484-2718, EMail: xxxxx@xxx.xxx

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