In the suggestion of tunes for my dance "Foggy River Reel" I listed the
tunes that David Knight arranged and played with Liz for the debut of the
dance because those were PERFECT for the dance. When asking Liz about it
she told me "any good driving reel will do"...so that is what I passed on as
a suggestion. I was later asked by Richard Walker what at "driving reel"
was.(?) In response I confessed that I was not sure if it was a specific
kind of reel with particular characteristics
that musicians would know but most of us would just "feel" or if it was
simply the "character" of the music. So I told Richard I would get back to
him (which regretfully I have not - sorry Richard - but explanation will
follow) and decided to ask Liz the next time I saw her. And I did. And
promptly forgot her explanation as well as my promise to get back to
Richard. But the next time I saw Liz happened to be the afternoon of my
"Prelim" exam about 15 minutes prior to the dancing and teaching exam. I
asked Liz and dutifully listened to her explanation which made good sense.
But I couldn't for the life of me tell you what she said. So sorry....I was
a little distracted that afternoon.
Later, Terry asked suggestions of a recorded set of tunes to use (I think
this means you need to record these tunes, Liz and David!) and I mentioned
that I had used the RSCDS Book 26 recording of "The Ladies of Dunse" in
class while learning the dance and it worked fine. I am not certain that
these tunes are considered "driving reels" (since I don't remember Liz's
explanation) and they pale in comparison to the live music that Liz and
David played, but I chose the recording because it was one of the only
recordings I could readily find of a 40 bar reel that was not familiar to
me. (I didn't want to use a tune that was associated and easily recognized
for another dance.)
So as a thought to Terry's question as to how "Foggy River Reel" should be
danced.(?) Well....one of my examiners, George Lawson, commented to me at
my "debriefing" (regarding a question on the exam) that, among other things,
"it depends on the dancers". Please dance "Foggy River Reel" as best you
see fit and use a recording (if that is all you have available) that works
for your dance group and gives them the impetus to ENJOY the dance. After
all, that is what is ALL about!!
Happy dancing to all!
Richmond, VA 23226
(P.S. - I passed!)
A h-uile là sona dhuibh 's gun là idir dona dhuibh.
(May all your days be happy ones.)