strathspey Archive: Waverley

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Waverley

Message 14925 · Richard L. Walker · 6 Dec 1998 08:16:01 · Top

How should couple 1, the woman in particular, dance bars 41 to 48
of Waverley's second repetition?

Waverley

Message 14926 · Trans Vector Technologies, Inc · 6 Dec 1998 10:09:09 · Top

Richard Asks...

>How should couple 1, the woman in particular, dance bars 41 to 48
>of Waverley's second repetition?

Correct answer: Not specified. However, if you followed SOP (standard
operating procedures) then the couple would dance it the same in both
repetitions (then step unobtrusively to 4th place). That would create only
a small problem for 4th lady to join in the ladies chase, but there are
many dances with problems like that. Also this is the way it should be
danced for the last (8th) repetition, since there is no reason for dancing
couple to go to 4th place.

In our area: During the last 4 bars, the couple joins in promenade hold to
face out the men's side and the man takes her with him as he casts to 4th
place. He somehow indicates to the woman that she should continue to her
own side which is done with varying skill and varying results. I don't
think I have ever seen this done well. I don't think I have ever done it
well.

I have never liked this ending because it is awkward and inelegant. There
really isn't time for the man to take the lady over to her side and return
to his own as gallantry would recommend.

I would prefer for the dancing couple to follow their normal tracks
(basically dancing mirror figures of 8 across the dance, giving nearer
hands when they meet), but end in 4th place instead of 3rd. But no one
around here does it like that unless they forget that it is their 2nd
repetition!

Cheers, Oberdan.

Trans Vector Technologies, Inc, 184 Estaban Drive, Camarillo, CA 93010-1611
Phone: (805)484-2775, FAX: (805)484-2718, EMail: ootto@tvt.com

Getting to the bottom of the set.

Message 14952 · Trans Vector Technologies, Inc · 7 Dec 1998 09:53:46 · Top

>How should couple 1, the woman in particular, dance bars 41 to 48
>of Waverley's second repetition?

Richard's question is one that applies generally to 3-couple dances done in
4-couple sets. For some dances, it is a question over which one either
yawns or gets very upset. The basic problem is that the progression for the
standard 3-couple dance is designed to progress the couple ONE place. But
in a four-couple set at the end of the 2nd repetition, the couple really
needs to progress TWO places. This is a fundamental conflict for most three
couple dances. Changing to a three-couple set does not solve the problem,
it just makes it appear EVERY repetition rather than every other.

Generally, I prefer that 3-couple dances be danced the same for both
repetitions with 2nd couple stepping unobtrusively to 4th place after they
have finished. This avoids various unfortunate distortions during the last
4 bars of the dance. The method I described in a separate email for how the
2nd repetition of Waverley is danced in our area is and example of an
unfortunate distortion of an otherwise very nice figure.

In situations where the former 4th couple is not needed right away to begin
the next repetition, there is no need to do "something special". In a lot
of dances where 4th couple IS needed right away, there is still no need to
do "something special"--4th couple just starts their movement from 4th
place instead of 3rd. Some folks really panic over this possibility when it
is actually often easy for 4th couple to start from 4th place.

For example, Muirland Willie starts with a 3-couple fugue. When you are
learning the dance it feels like a scramble, but once you have it worked
out you see that there is really plenty of time for everyone to do their
parts (provided they start doing the correct part!). The bottom couple in
the fugue casts to top place and crosses the dance (4 bars). It is really
no more difficult to start this movement from 4th place than from 3rd.

There are some dances where starting from 4th place would create problems.
For these dances it is good to have a solution for the dancing couple to
end in 4th place at the end of the 2nd repetition. Dances beginning with
some form of reels of 3 on the sides are a good example. Getting reels of 3
to work right is a struggle for a lot of dancers. Having the former dancing
couple in the middle of the reel (stepping unobtrusively to the bottom...)
is a bit of confusion that is best avoided.

So I believe there are a number of 3-couple dances where it is good to have
a method to progress the dancing couple to 4th place. However, I always try
to find a solution that works for the FINAL TWO BARS. I prefer also that
the solution be subtle, i.e. the casual observer might not notice that
something special happened. I strongly dislike solutions that take 4 bars
or some solutions that progress the dancing couple to 4th place at the
beginning of the final 8 bars!

The Cuillins of Skye is an example of a dance that requires all 3 couples
to begin and for which the beginning is a bit tricky. In this case it make
sense for all 3 couples to be in position as each repetition begins. On the
other hand, the final 8 bars is a three-couple knot. As designed, the
middle couple (in this case, the dancing couple) in the knot does not
progress. It is highly desirable to progress the dancing couple to the
bottom of the set before the next repetition begins. It turns out that this
progression can be accomplished simply and elegantly in the last two bars.
At this point the three men have already released the ladies from the
allemande position facing up the set and have sent them across the set with
left hands still joined, ready to cross to own sides. Now, if the middle
and the bottom couples place their handholds together making a left hands
across and dance it half way, they will have accomplished the objective--no
fuss, no bother. This is far better than some other treatments I have had
the misfortune to witness.

Another elegant progress-to-the-bottom solution involves dances which end
with (6-bar) reels of 3 with corners and cross to place (right hand). The
reels of 3 are danced normally. Then the dancing couple crosses down to 4th
place with the left hand as the couple that started in 4th place dances and
extra half loop in the reel to end above the dancing couple in 3rd place.

Cheers, Oberdan.

Trans Vector Technologies, Inc, 184 Estaban Drive, Camarillo, CA 93010-1611
Phone: (805)484-2775, FAX: (805)484-2718, EMail: ootto@tvt.com

Getting to the bottom of the set.

Message 14967 · Priscilla M. Burrage · 7 Dec 1998 17:01:46 · Top

On Sun, 6 Dec 1998, Oberdan Otto wrote:
{snip}
> Richard's question is one that applies generally to 3-couple dances done in
> 4-couple sets. For some dances, it is a question over which one either
> yawns or gets very upset. The basic problem is that the progression for the
> standard 3-couple dance is designed to progress the couple ONE place.
{snip}
> Generally, I prefer that 3-couple dances be danced the same for both
> repetitions with 2nd couple stepping unobtrusively to 4th place after they
> have finished.

I agree.

> In situations where the former 4th couple is not needed right away to begin
> the next repetition, there is no need to do "something special". In a lot
> of dances where 4th couple IS needed right away, there is still no need to
> do "something special"

Again, I agree.

> Muirland Willie starts with a 3-couple fugue... The bottom couple in
> the fugue casts to top place and crosses the dance (4 bars). It is really
> no more difficult to start this movement from 4th place than from 3rd.

Unless the first couple decide to drop to the bottom OUTSIDE and collide
with the fourth couple cassting up. I would classify this dance in the
next category unless the dancers are trained to lead down as first couple.

> There are some dances where starting from 4th place would create problems.
{snip}
> So I believe there are a number of 3-couple dances where it is good to have
> a method to progress the dancing couple to 4th place. However, I always try
> to find a solution that works for the FINAL TWO BARS. I prefer also that
> the solution be subtle, i.e. the casual observer might not notice that
> something special happened.

I have two techniques for working out this problem: 1) I teach
thoughtfulness in finishing the second round. and teach various
techniques. 2) In my cheat sheets for socials, I add asterisks to the end
of certain dance descriptions. The footnote reads "Second time through,
first couple ensure that the fourth couple can enter the next round
immediately as third couple."

There is really no reason to assume that Scootish dancers can't think, and
there is every reason to give them the tools with which to think.

happy dancing,
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Priscilla Burrage Vermont US
(pburrage@zoo.uvm.edu)

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