Casting at the start of a dance

Trans Vector Technologies, Inc

Message 4382 · 8 Jul 1996 23:31:46 · Variable-width font · Whole thread

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Irene van Maarseveen writes about ending facing out to begin a cast at the
start of a new repetition. She cited 3 examples:

1. Finishing by turning with skip change--I would end facing out into
casting because I already have momentum from the turn. Socially, I don't
need to continue facing my partner as we have had ample time to interact
during the turn.
2. Finishing double triangles--I would end facing in and then cast, but I
could be swayed otherwise. I like DT ending facing partner since we have
been out of visual contact for the entire formation. I think another
difference here is the use of PDB in the petronella turn. It does not give
me any impetus into a subsequent cast.
3. Finishing with Rights and Lefts--I would end with the man facing out
into casting. Rights and Lefts naturally ends with two (diagonal) people
facing out. We normally ADD the courtesy (or "polite") turn to pivot to
face across the set. If the next action is to face out, there is not a good
reason to add a courtesy turn. This is also an example of why we should do
our own courtesy turns and not be forced by the other person to doing one.

In her reply, Loren Wright suggests a "rule" (=finish the prior figure
unless the instructions tell you to otherwise). I am pretty sure there is
not such a rule, nor do I believe there is a generally accepted practice. I
think common sense must apply (although common sense does always seem to be
that common). We could certainly try to construct a guideline, but I am not
sure what purpose it would serve. The problem with Loren's suggested rule
is that we could disagree on what is meant by "finishing" a figure (take
Rights and Lefts for example).

Normally I try to end one figure ready to do the next. We call this
transitioning. If the end of one figure and the beginning of the next are
not an exact match, we must make an adjustment. Sometimes the instructions
are explicit about what to do, but usually they are not.

There is a lot of room for interpretation in transitions. We are usually
aiming for a smooth flow from one formation to the next without
significantly modifying either formation. Figuring out how to achieve that
is where your experience as a dancer comes into play. You and I won't
necessarily come up with the same answers, partly because we think
differently and partly because we dance differently.

For the examples cited above, it really doesn't matter to the rest of the
set (except maybe your partner who may want/need some attention from you)
whether you start the cast by facing in or by facing out. Whatever you do,
you are doing it to yourself. If what you did felt strange, try it another
way next time--your body does not lie to you, regardless of what a rule may
say.

Cheers, Oberdan Otto.

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