Grand Chain

Trans Vector Technologies, Inc

Message 20567 · 29 Feb 2000 20:49:08 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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>[Oberdan:]
><< The right hand change across the set should be performed
> the same as crossing the set with the right hand (symmetrical). >>
>
>[Cece:]
>are you saying that in a grand chain the dancers should both curve
>symmetrically away from each other when crossing the set, but do it
>shallow/deep when going up or down the sides?

Exactly, but with a VERY BIG caveat as explained below.

Remember that the rationale for a shallow/deep hand pass is to keep
the outside dancer from going too far beyond the set lines,
presumably to avoid collisions with dancers in other sets.

The decision for when to apply shallow/deep arcs for the changes of
hands in Rights and Lefts (a very special chain) is easy because it
almost always the same--the left hand change on the sides. If I
remember correctly, Mel suggested that shallow/deep should apply to
hand changes on the sides of the set in Grand Chain. I further
suggested that _perhaps_ it should apply to all hand changes on the
sides of the set.

But then, why should it be restricted to changes of place only with
hands given? Why not passings in reels of 3 and 4? I'm not so sure I
like where this is going. It is hard enough for most dancers to keep
everything else going right in reels let alone adding a shallow/deep
rule. I don't think I would like the effect it would have on the
shapes of the reels. Perhaps one can rationalize that dancers
actually pass more closely when hands are not given, so the arcs tend
to be shallower anyway. But even if the arcs are deep, since hands
are not being given one could actually intrude into an adjacent set,
maybe even interlocking the formations in the sets without a
collision...hmmm... :))

Another thought I have is that in 2-bar hand changes, the dancers
have the TIME to use a long, semi-rigid hand pass. I think 1-bar hand
changes tend to be shallower arcs for both dancers with more flexing
of the arms (rubber-banding) than 2-bar hand changes.

So, maybe it is only 2-bar hand changes on the sides of the set where
shallow/deep would apply. Now recall the original query of this
thread having to do with the phrasing of the Grand Chain (i.e. which
hand changes were 1-bar and which were 2-bar or something in-between)
and recall the many variations that were reported in practice. It
could be confusing to try to apply a shallow/deep rule.

The whole issue of shallow/deep is one of avoiding collisions with
dancers in other sets. Its use is NOT part of the definition of the
formations! Use of shallow/deep is not, if you will, "the way to
dance". It is a social/spatial accommodation for limited space
situations. Amazingly, dancers normally dance in a way to avoid
collisions with each other and are mostly successful, without urging
from the teacher! However, an interesting aspect of shallow/deep, is
that the dancer who makes the deep arc, creating extra space for the
shallow arc dancer, is NOT the dancer at risk of having a collision!

Practice of the shallow/deep method in R&L shows the assisting dancer
(the inside, deep arc dancer) a way of relieving space problems for
the other dancer. A dancer practiced with the method in R&L could
carry it to other formations (Grand Chain?) when it was appropriate.

Cheers, Oberdan.

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