historical accuracy (was 6-bar reels/ladies' chain and the rest)

Anselm Lingnau

Message 39452 · 3 Oct 2004 12:14:00 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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Bob McMurtry wrote:

> If that is correct, then we are evolving by dances
> influenced from the outside.

Yes, and there's nothing wrong with that. A big part of the RSCDS's job is
basically to be a standards body, like ISO or, if you're into the Internet,
the IETF. Standards bodys should inherently be conservative rather than
innovative -- the way these institutions are supposed to operate is by taking
up things that demonstrably work and documenting them for everyone to follow,
rather than by pulling out of the air some new official way of putting square
pegs into round holes, and leaving the world to figure out how to actually do
it. (In the real world of standards bodies, things don't always work out this
way, but that's the theory, anyway.)

If anything then the RSCDS should open itself up more to outside influences as
far as the standard dance repertoire goes. To a certain extent this is
already happening (see, for example, the re-publication of dances like The
Duke & Duchess of Edinburgh as part of the official RSCDS canon, or the
rubberstamping of »dolphin« reels with the RSCDS publication of Pelorus
Jack). On the other hand, modern »concepts« like five-couple dances with
couples 1 and 3 starting, as pioneered by Hugh Foss, have been around long
enough, IMHO, to be recognised by putting such a dance in an RSCDS
publication. After all, 30 years of popularity is vastly more than many of
the dances from old manuscripts ever had! This does not mean that the RSCDS
should start by re-publishing Polharrow Burn; but if a five-couple dance were
submitted to an RSCDS »call-for-dances« the reaction should not be »there are
no five-couple dances« -- I think it should be given the same consideration
as any other submission. (Obligatory disclaimer: I don't know whether this is
already being done and the 5-couple submissions were just too bad to bear
publication).

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau, Frankfurt, Germany ..................... xxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxx.xxx
I think that's how Chicago got started. A bunch of people in New York said,
`Gee, I'm enjoying the crime and the poverty, but it just isn't cold enough.
Let's go west.' -- Richard Jeni

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