Machine without Horses

Lydia Hedge

Message 32644 · 21 Nov 2002 02:22:48 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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Library of Congress URL is

http://www.loc.gov/

Then, following links to find Thomas Wilson, I got to this page:

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/dihtml/dicatlg.html

Then, I used Edit / Find to find Wilson.

Several books appeared.

> Complete System of English Country Dancing

is there. Click on "Page Image Viewer" to get to the book itself.
Then, type in 56 for the page number.

Tada.

Lydia
Halifax, Nova Scotia

> Greetings!
>
> Pat Ruggiero has some questions arising from the Rutherford version of The
> Machine without Horses.
>
> Pity you didn't make it to my talk at Summer School on interpreting old
> dances, Pat. I used exactly this example and now that you have asked for it
> on Strathspey I'll need to find another good example :(
>
> A few comments. The (R)SCDS was never conceived as an academic institution.
> The main function was simply to keep traditional style SCD going. Therefore,
> dances have never been re-created but interpreted and adapted to the style
> which has itself been interpreted and adapted and continues to evolve.
>
> The specifics:
>
> 1. Yes, the instructions were copied accurately.
>
> 2. As Goss has already said, the substitution of set and cast for a four bar
> cast is a relatively standard interpretation from the early era. Who, why,
> where and when may be interesting questions but the fact of the matter is
> that it is what was decided and what we have.
>
> 3. Putting aside the research hat and speaking in a purely personal
> capacity, I was taught, have always danced and still teach that second
> couple "shadow" top couple's cast. I have never found it awkward or prone to
> pivoting into place although I have occasionally wished that the first
> couple in front of me were more aware that there was a couple following them
> - which may have nothing to do with casting.
>
> 4. And, so to the nub of the matter:
> Cross over one couple, right and left. This is not cross and cast. Neither
> is it right and left as we know it, Jim. Country dancing right and left
> involved couples changing places diagonally and then back. If you can access
> it (I haven't been able to today) there is an online copy of Thomas Wilson's
> Complete System of English Country Dancing through the Library of Congress
> web site. (If somebody with a more reliable line can post the URL I would
> appreciate it.) If you look at pages 56 and 57 of Wilson, there is not only
> a complete description of CD rights and lefts but an explanation of where
> _our_ rights and lefts comes from. Wilson states "This figure is very
> different from the 'Quadrille Right and Left' which is the 'Chain Figure of
> four. See the 'Diagram and Quadrille Panorama' a work by the same author".
>
> And so the difficulty in the interpretation becomes clear.
> Wilson was not researched at that time.
> 'The society' was using a definition of Right and Left from a different
> tradition, the quadrilles.
> Therefore, the interpretation of the original dance instructions was made to
> fit that wrong definition.
>
> HTH
>
> Jim Healy
> Perth, Scotland
>
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A Django site.