18th Century dances - Art's Seat 31&32.

The_Healys

Message 22999 · 1 Oct 2000 20:31:07 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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Mr Goss

> It is interesting that when computing is mentioned, the
> unitiated make such a comment as below<
I went on my first computer programming course (COBOL) in
1968 and have used computers large and small ever since.
I have been Scottish Country Dancing for nearer fifty
years than I care to admit to myself. Since you obviously
misunderstand my comment let me be clearer.

There appears to be a common misconception in parts of
North America and, particularly, some parts (I stress
PARTS) of California that it is possible to produce a
perfect performance of a Scottish Country Dance. The
notion seems almost akin to Plato's concept of Forms in
that there should be some "ideal" of the dance and that
with sufficient analysis and performance one can > find
similar situations from a given data base< and the "ideal"
can be reproduced.

I do not agree with that view. Dancing for me is a social
activity in which I move to music with others. No turn of
any dance will be the same as any other and there will be
times when the whole is less than satisfactory and times
(unfortunately rarely) when it is sublime and I am not
always sure why it is one rather than the other. What will
never, ever work in my opinion is attempting to break
movement down into miniscule chunks such as your reference
to a "pas" isolated from a "de basque" - that is a road to
automation or, worse, automatism (and isn't Petronella a
two bar movement, anyway?).

Anselm's comment on your posting unfortunately crossed
with mine. He points the way I think dancers usually deal
with situations such as that posed by Coletta (Hi!). Get
on a floor with a few friends and try out the permutations
to find what works for you and your partner and provided
it doesn't inconvenience anyone else in a set, carry on
and ENJOY.

Jim Healy
Perth, Scotland

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