The Shepherd's Crook

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Message 60238 · 20 Jan 2011 17:36:42 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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The McNab dances are demonstration dances and not meant for the ballroom or social dancing.
There is some question as to their authenticity, since no one as ever seen any source material on them
or evidence that they had ever been performed prior to Mary Isdale´s use in demos. C Stewart Smith
told me that he felt that she simply made them of of bits and pieces, including dances from other
countries she had observed as a judge at international folk dance festivals.

As a demo, Sheperd´s Crook, is meant to be performed facing an audience, not the music. In the early 70´s,
when I was country dance director of the Scottish Dance Ensemble (Los Angeles, an afiliated group at the
time), on the stage, we had a treesome facing the audience, if in a ball room, we had three threesomes, facing
front, and sides, with our backs to the music.

The concept of the "top" being the music, is an RSCDS invention, as is evidenced by several ball rooms
where the musicians had a box or gallery at the back or at the side (Blair Atoll and the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh).
As in English counry dancing, the "top" was the presence, a raised platform upon which the relivant VIP and associates sat.
Illustrations, such as are found in Playford, Rutherford, etc. often indicate the musicians as playing in a corner of the room.

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