ceilidh vs SCD

Richard Goss

Message 36472 · 6 Sep 2003 19:51:43 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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Sorry for butting in late but in the process of catching up on over 1000 postings, I have separated all but 250 that parcitularly interest me this being one of them. I am commenting in a separate file organized as per original post.

June 3 [Brian]

1. This topic should be celeidh vs RSCDS as there are still country dances danced in Scotland that started there and never left, in addition to country dances that became Scottish when the RSCDS coined the term. When one says SCD it suggests that thos dances danced in longways formation have less right to be SCD than those of the RSCDS. SCD by our definition did not exist before WWII.

2. By not Scottish enough, really means not fitting the definition of the [R]SCDS.

June 4 [Oliver]

Celeidh dancing <is> more traditional since the present "SCD" is ...

a. only since WWII, and

b. if old, based on reconstructed texts, or

c. if new, composed by contemps.

June 4 [Pia]

I agree, too many people who see difference have to qualify that difference as good or bad. I happen to like the structure and predictablility of RSCDS dances. At the same time, if I went to a wedding in Scotland where the majority of the guests were not RSCDS trained dancers, I would prefer that the majority, if not all, of the dances were of the celeidh type. So good or bad is a matter of time and place and not an absolute definition that would hold in all situations.

June 4 [Anselm]

While I agree with partially, again this discussion is confusing two types of dances with the same word, as a result...

a. I agree with you regarding the "round the room", twosomes dancing polkas and schottisches.

b. I disagree with the longways duple minors common to both sides of the border which fit into the UK longways dance tradition, long before the [R]SCDS.

c. Foursome reel fits into both pockets. Yes, it is the oldest of those mentioned by far. At the same time, it has had its "gene splice" in that modern Highland dancing was really invented/standardized in 1953, long after the RSCDS had al ready published its "Foursome" reel. Here I further disagree, in that in the late 70´s to early 80´s I was filming dancing at village celeidhs around Scotland (tapes in the School of Scottish Studies, Edinburgh). The trend, as I will explain below, was that those with name bands usually did not have a foursome reel, while those with ad hoc bands often did. The difference was often the size of the event, as in one case members of the Jimmy Shand family were among the musicians in both cases (In Gifferton [Fife] they did a foursome in civies, in Letham (Shand charity event for Down Syndrome kids), I saw one one time (of several visits) done in highland dress.

June 4 [Jim]

Good point. Actually both types are dangerous to the uninitiated outsider.

June 4 [Becky]

One could turn this around and say that "tea" is the curse of the dancing class. Why is it that in my day at St Andrews, so many dancers went to a hotel dance in Pitlochery where there was drink in the bar while the "wee Mairis and Alastairs felt they had to dance at University Hall. There are not many bars near Younger Hall, but in my day, the "Castle" and even the "Crit" had an SCD population during the dances over which others had to fight for tickets.

June 4 [Oliver]

The only strathspey one commonly hears at celeidhs is in foursome. Longways strathspeys were pretty much invented by the RSCDS at the present speed. Moneymusk at border and English celdidhs is done in a very fast 4:4 time, closer to reel than our strathspey.

June 4 [Bryan]

Ceilidh recruits easier than RSCDS because of the amount of training necessary to get through a ball. At the same time, this is a current RSCDS problem in that often ball programs are designed for those who see an RSCDS dance as a strictly dancing event with very little sociability except by the numbers.

R Goss

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