Queen Victoria's Quadrilles

Priscilla M. Burrage

Message 3531 · 5 Feb 1996 10:06:50 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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On Mon, 29 Jan 1996 XxxxXxxx@xxx.xxx wrote:

> >>
> (Courtney Cartwright writes)...
> I run against a great deal of resisistance to the older dances because they
> don't flow as nicely as modern dances, or because the size of steps must
> constantly be modified to make the dance work.
> >>
>
> Interesting. Just yesterday, the Book-A-Month class reviewed the the first
> part of the _Eighteenth Century Book_ and it was quite well received!
> . . . . . . all the dances were rated in the GREAT! to Good category
> and no stinkers!

"Scottish Country Dances of the Eighteenth Century" was derived from a ms
dated 1740 in the Bodleian library, Oxford by Jack McConachie, Fellow of
the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing Inc. (Scottish Country Dance
Branch). The first edition of his eighteenth century book was published in
1960.

In his foreword he says, "In some instances it had been necessary
for me to adapt the phrasing of the Dances in this book to take into account
the change in musical outlook since their publication in 1740, and in
order to conform with the present day trends in Scottish Country Dancing.

In some cases the repeats of movements had been reduced, but at all times
the original character and style of the Dances has been carefully studied
and retained, to enable the Dances to be performed as closely to their
origianl conception as the change in period will permit."

He does not point out that in 1740 the dances were done in a long set
with only the top couple starting and the others talking to their partner
while waiting their turn to join in the dance. Nor does he point out
that figures of eight were changed to reels because even in the 1950's
the second and third couples wanted to dance more than called for in the
original eighteenth century version. But then we can talk to other
people even when we are not their dancing partner.

I believe that the eighteenth century book rates high because Jack
McConachie was a suberb dancer, excellent choreographer, and thoughtful
researcher.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Priscilla Burrage (xxxxxxxxx.xxxxxxx@xxx.xxx)
Vermont USA (xxxxxxxx@xxxxx.xxx.xxx)

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