strathspey Archive: Maberly pas de basque

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Maberly pas de basque

Message 14472 · Freeman/Pavey · 11 Nov 1998 20:28:02 · Top

I have been dancing for over two years now and have only recently
learned how to do the pas de basque correctly. The pas de basque I have
been doing for the last two years has been dubbed the "Maberly pas de
basque" by a local teacher since she saw three of us from Maberly doing
it. It is going to take me a month or so to purge the Maberly pas de
basque from my soul, so that I no longer revert back to it in the
pressure of a dance.

The Maberly pas de basque is a much more intricate and sophisticated
step than the RSCDS pas de basque. Let me explain. The RSCDS "Blue
Book" manual states that on the second beat of the first bar one brings,
"the left foot to third position in front of the right foot, with a
transfer of weight onto the left foot bring the right foot off the
floor." This will result in a smooth rise and fall of the head on the
second beat.

For the Maberly pas de basque one brings the left foot to third position
in front of the right foot. And here Maberly and the RSCDS part
company. In Maberly you lift slightly with the right foot then transfer
one's weight to the left foot and lift with the left. The result is
that the head rises slightly as the right foot lifts, drops slightly, or
remains stationary, during the weight transfer, then rises again as the
left foot lift takes over. The Maberly pas de basque elicits either one
of the following comments from teachers trying to figure out what in the
blazes is wrong:
a) "You're not emphasising the second beat enough."
b) "You seem to have an extra beat in there somewhere." This is, of
course a result of the up down up down motion of the head during the
second beat.

So, why am I nattering on about my pas de basque problems .... Because
for me, at least, I think the problem has been all those "spring, beat,
beat" exercises I have done in classes and workshops over the past two
years. I don't know if "spring, beat, beat" is the norm for teaching
the pas de basque elsewhere, but it sure is around here. To my mind
there is an implication of a lift with the right foot on the second beat
(the one after the spring) of "spring, beat, beat". People who know how
to do a correct pas de basque tranfer very smoothly into a pas de basque
from "spring, beat, beat". But I, and I think quite a few others, have
retained that slight right foot lift prior to the left foot lift on the
second beat. For an observer the source of the error is very difficult
to detect. It took an SCD teacher who also teaches ballet and is an
acknowledged expert on technique to see exactly what I was doing wrong.

In conclusion, the bio mechanical pattern of "spring, beat, beat" is NOT
exactly the same as the pattern for pas de basque and the use of this
exercise is counter productive to learning the pas de basque. (Boy! Is
that damn beginner mouthy or what!)

Cole
--
http://www.peterboro.net/~tay/
Scottish Country Dancing in Eastern Ontario

Maberly pas de basque

Message 14488 · Malcolm and Helen Brown · 11 Nov 1998 23:56:24 · Top

Cole writes:

I don't know if "spring, beat, beat" is the norm for teaching
> the pas de basque elsewhere, but it sure is around here. To my mind
> there is an implication of a lift with the right foot on the second beat
> (the one after the spring) of "spring, beat, beat". People who know how
> to do a correct pas de basque tranfer very smoothly into a pas de basque
> from "spring, beat, beat".

The trouble is that you cannot walk what really happens in a
pas de basque - ususally it doesn't matter, because most dancers
adjust what they are taught into something which works - usually
we start with Step, mark- time, when we walk it -
(step onto right foot, step onto left foot, step onto right foot)

For those who have a problem, as we speed up and try and change it,
they still continue to believe what the teacher tells them and
really lift themselves off the floor using the left foot, transferring
their weight onto it - so it becomes a running-on-the-spot step!

To try and eliminate/prevent this the step, mark-time is changed as
quickly as possible into spring, beat-beat in most cases the
dancers then learn that by pushing up with the foot they have landed
on at the same time as they push the other one onto the floor, it
is less effort - from this it but a short step into a pas de basque;

However this often continues to morph into the dreaded 2 beat pdb,
where either the dancer lands simultaneously on both feet, or is
obviously taking no weight on the front foot - so when you go to
workshops that is what the teacher is trying to correct!

Malcolm
--
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Maberly pas de basque

Message 14491 · Andrew Patterson · 12 Nov 1998 00:44:06 · Top

In-Reply-To: <3649D7EC.703@rideau.net>
Cole

> In conclusion, the bio mechanical pattern of "spring, beat, beat" is
NOT
> exactly the same as the pattern for pas de basque and the use of
this
> exercise is counter productive to learning the pas de basque.

Try the Bill Ireland mantra for pas de basque "up, down, down".

Andrew Patterson

Maberly pas de basque

Message 14499 · Freeman/Pavey · 12 Nov 1998 03:07:11 · Top

Andrew Patterson wrote:
>
> Try the Bill Ireland mantra for pas de basque "up, down, down".
>
I'd need that explained. Don't understand the second down. My current
thinking is "hop, lift, drop". I suspect that anything will do if it is
duplicating the correct action in the dancer's mind.

Cole
--
http://www.peterboro.net/~tay/
Scottish Country Dancing in Eastern Ontario

Maberly pas de basque

Message 14534 · Ron.Mackey · 12 Nov 1998 22:55:36 · Top

> Andrew Patterson wrote:
> >
> > Try the Bill Ireland mantra for pas de basque "up, down, down".
> >
> I'd need that explained. Don't understand the second down. My current
> thinking is "hop, lift, drop". I suspect that anything will do if it is
> duplicating the correct action in the dancer's mind.
>
> Cole

I always take the initial rythm from Jean Milligan's
'STEP, mark time.' If there was a line on the floor to straddle it
was ' JUMP, mark time.'
As an improver to which it is impossible not to change weight (!)
the seven beat p-de-b is my favourite and it also gets the weight
well on to the back foot. Start slowly, gradually speeding up.
The other great advantage. having seen some 'funnies' recently, is
that it cannot be done high on the toes.
Cheers, Ron :)

< 0 Ron Mackey,
'O> Mottingham,
/#\ London. UK.
l>
Ron.Mackey@btinternet.com

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