Naming of dances

Anselm Lingnau

Message 17597 · 10 Jun 1999 11:09:44 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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Xxxx_Xxxx@XXX.xxxxxxxxxxxxx.xxx writes:

> The naming of dances is an aspect of our dance form that has concerned me
> for some time. I believe the RSCDS was right when it laid down guidelines
> for the naming of dances a few years ago.

Did they? Where can I read up on that?

> Unfortunately, it broke one of its own 'rules' when it subsequently
> published a dance from Europe with a German place name in the title.

At the risk of spawning off another one of those `monster' threads, I
don't see why that should be frowned upon. There are literally hundreds
of dances (both modern and traditional) that have Scottish place names
in the title. Since Scottish dancing is now an `international' pastime
-- something that the Society professes to encourage -- what is there to
say against the occasional dance with a German (or other) place name? If
anything it serves to emphasize the international aspect.

> Call me pedantic and/or old fashioned (and even prudish) but I prefer
> neutral titles or translations or allusions rather than the direct use of
> names - especially names in foreign languages.

I, too, prefer neutral titles or allusions to names; as a some-time
dance deviser in Germany I try to find titles that non-Germans can
pronounce! Also, a descriptive title is often a lot more pleasing to the
dedicatees than yet another `John Doe's Strathspey'. But there are cases
when it is difficult to come up with a `sophisticated' title that does
not sound contrived.

Also note that many, many Scottish *tunes* are named for people. If you
want to follow the traditional way of devising a dance to go with a
particular tune (rather than making up a dance and trying to find or
create music to suit), one of the more obvious titles to pick for the
dance is that of the tune. It is not usually the most inventive kind of
title one could come up with, but there is ample historical precedent.

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau ......................... xxxxxxx@xx.xxxxxxxxxx.xxx-xxxxxxxxx.xx
No one gossips about other people's secret virtues. -- Bertrand Russell

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