strathspey Archive: Book 41

Previous thread: Dance on 8th September
Next thread: RSCDS TOKAI Branch Web Site - New

Book 41

Message 22196 · Marjorie McLaughlin · 29 Aug 2000 03:45:49 · Top

I've just returned from the TAC AGM where I had my first opportunity to
learn the dances from Book 41. Personal opinion aside about the quality
of some of the dances, does anyone else find it odd that after a request
for Branches world-wide to submit dances for consideration, 11 of the 12
dances are from UK Branches? Only Pelorus Jack (easily recognized as a
world-wide favorite) is from outside the UK. I realize that selecting
dances is not an easy task, and I presume that the Publications
Committee made the selections without knowing the deviser or location of
the Branch which submitted the dance, but the result still strikes me as
odd. No good dances submitted from overseas? Seems highly unlikely.

Are there fundamental qualities in the character of dances composed
within the UK that would appeal to a committee made up only of dancers
from the UK? I'd always thought we were more universal in style and
character.

As long as I'm fussing - it would take me a lot less than 11 lines to
describe bars 25-32 of Peggy's Strathpsey as "an espagnole with slight
differences", than to use the printed description. Why not call it an
espagnole? Just because the rights and lefts in Argyll's Strathspey are
danced up and down the set and not from the sidelines doesn't mean the
figure isn't still rights and lefts. Just stirring the pot a little . .
.

Marjorie McLaughlin
San Diego, CA

Book 41

Message 22197 · Miriam L. Mueller · 29 Aug 2000 04:54:47 · Top

Can never resist tossing some seasoning into the stirred pot. Isn't the
RSCDS due for a book of dances entirely from OUTSIDE the U.K.? If the
rest of the world is half as prolific as the US west coast, there's good
material out there for books from the Western hemisphere, Europe and
Eastern Europe, and the Pacific.
Miriam Mueller, San Francisco

Book 41

Message 22198 · Valerie L. Hill · 29 Aug 2000 05:25:22 · Top

Marjorie said: "I've just returned from the TAC AGM where I had my first
opportunity to
learn the dances from Book 41. Personal opinion aside about the quality
of some of the dances, does anyone else find it odd that after a request
for Branches world-wide to submit dances for consideration, 11 of the 12
dances are from UK Branches?"

Yes, I noticed that, too. It has me equally puzzled. And I wondered how
they arrived at those choices, as well. Not much of an international
selection.

Valerie L. Hill
Frederick, MD
________________________________________________________________
YOU'RE PAYING TOO MUCH FOR THE INTERNET!
Juno now offers FREE Internet Access!
Try it today - there's no risk! For your FREE software, visit:
http://dl.www.juno.com/get/tagj.

Book 41

Message 22200 · Paula Jacobson · 29 Aug 2000 07:21:33 · Top

Having danced through Book 41 at Summer School, I also wonder about the
choices
for inclusion. Many of the dances require all three couples to dance almost
the entire
time, which in a truely stellar dance is fine... tiring, but exhilarating.
In a few of the
Book 41 dances, I just felt tired. Further, I know of at least one dance
which was sent
in for consideration (not one I devised or was involved with), that seemed
to me superior
to some of those which were included, which was also interesting, unusual,
creative, and not
difficult to teach or learn. I'll bet there were many others. Book 41 has
some real winners
in it, but...they could ALL have been winners.
Regarding the espagnole, technically the original calls for a full turn in
four bars to finish.
The one in Book 41 finishes with a 1 and 1/2 turn, as well as being started
from opposite sides
by the men instead of the women. More importantly, for some reason the RSCDS
doesn't recognise
the espagnole as a figure ( along with La Baratte, and others many of you
surely know of).

Paula Jacobson
San Francisco Branch

Book 41

Message 22206 · Marjorie McLaughlin · 29 Aug 2000 13:35:52 · Top

Anselm Lingnau wrote:

> Besides, the RSCDS does have a bit of a
> tradition of publishing variations of `named' non-RSCDS figures without
> mentioning their names

Ah, yes, the situation which arose with the old figure "lead outsides",
but not called that, in the 75th Anniversary leaflet dance "The Old Way
of Killiecrankie", or even in "Waverley".

Marjorie McLaughlin
San Diego

Book 41

Message 22207 · S.M.D.Phillips · 29 Aug 2000 14:17:33 · Top

One of the members of the Publications Committee which chose the dances for
book 41 was in my class at Summer School. She explained that at the 1999
Summer School, members of the school had been asked to come and dance the
dances which had been sent in, and vote on them. I certainly remember
taking part in such an exercise, although I don't remember which dances we
danced. She also said that other members of the society (probably members
of her branch) were also asked to dance the dances and vote on them. The
ones which were published in book 41 were the ones which got through the
selection process. I think it is probably fortuitous that most of the
dances were from branches in the UK; I certainly didn't notice, although our
teacher always said where the dance had come from.

On a slightly different note, one of the difficulties I have is finding out
about the dances that are not published by the RSCDS - I know there are
indexes available, and yes I know there is a lot of information on the
Internet, but ... people are people - even ex-librarians like me - and we
use what is to hand, and what is easiest to find and for anyone not on the
Internet what is easiest to find is what has been published by the RSCDS and
what has been published locally. Perhaps what we should be asking the
Society to do is to publish a dance bibliography, like the bibliographies of
books that are published annually, so that everyone can find out about these
marvellous dances that have been published all over the world.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+ Stella Phillips
+ sphillips@sol.co.uk
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Book 41

Message 22208 · Anselm Lingnau · 29 Aug 2000 14:43:07 · Top

Stella Phillips <sphillips@sol.co.uk> writes:

> Perhaps what we should be asking the
> Society to do is to publish a dance bibliography, like the bibliographies of
> books that are published annually, so that everyone can find out about these
> marvellous dances that have been published all over the world.

Alan Paterson (who is on this list) has done an amazing job compiling a
huge database of dances which is available for downloading and also on
the WWW (although I must admit the WWW version is lagging behind the
Windows software both in features and in up-to-dateness of the
database).

Theoretically it would be possible to produce a printed version of the
data similar to Napier's Index (I believe this has been done for the
`recordings' aspect -- the new-issue `Ramsay' index effort -- but not
for the dances or tunes aspect of the data). However this would be a
considerable piece of work both as far as the preparation of the book(s)
is concerned and from the point of view of printing (and presumably
selling) the thing. You're talking hundreds and hundreds of pages
depending on how the material is sorted and indexed. Before this is
really worthwhile it would probably also be useful to get the data
proof-read better against the original descriptions etc.

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau ......................... lingnau@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
The only possible conclusion that social sciences can draw is: some do, some
don't. -- Ernest Rutherford

Book 41

Message 22278 · Dianna Shipman · 1 Sep 2000 11:22:04 · Top

Having just finished updating my tabulation of dances occuring on balls,
socials, and that people have indicated are particular favorites, I did get
an impression of certain trends.

The areas which have indicated they have a lot of younger dancers have
programs that include a lot of fast dances; other areas I've noticed are
including more and more dances that are less than eight times through -
perhaps a few of us, myself included, are slowing down a bit :-)

There are also some interesting cross-links between some groups - Atlanta
and Houston is an example - with many of the same dances popular in both
places - due I suspect because of our dancers and teachers who have spent
time dancing there.

When one person creates a ball or social program I also notice patterns -
some figures that are over-represented and some that are missing entirely -
I can usually look over the dances and tell who put the program together
even without being told - personally I always think one or two dances with
circle 6 hands round and one or two with pousette are more than sufficient
in a evening's program :-) see slowing down comment above

I've noticed trends with groups/cities - whole groups of dances emphasizing
certain figures repeated often - while another city / group seems fonder of
an entirely different set of figures.

Again, just some general impressions, but I suppose the point being that it
might be good to send a group of dances that are prospects for wider
publication to a variety of groups around the world to try them out over the
course of a year and send back a critique sheet.

Dianna

Dianna L. Shipman
diannashipman@worldnet.att.net
PMB 134, 1436 W. Gray
Houston, TX 77019-4946
Scottish Country Dancing and More
web page: http://home.att.net/~diannashipman
phone: 713-522-1212
----- Original Message -----
From: "Anselm Lingnau" <lingnau@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de>
To: <strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de>
Sent: Tuesday, August 29, 2000 3:30 AM
Subject: Re: Book 41

> Marjorie McLaughlin <marjoriem@home.com> writes:
>
> > Are there fundamental qualities in the character of dances composed
> > within the UK that would appeal to a committee made up only of dancers
> > from the UK? I'd always thought we were more universal in style and
> > character.
>
> Interesting. My class went through Book 41 at lightning speed one
> morning in St. Andrews but it didn't occur to me that most of the dances
> were, in fact, from the UK. I could have suggested one or two from
> Germany, but as there are no German branches to submit them it's a case
> of `close, but no cigar' ...
>
> So the $64.000 question is `Is there a national style in current country
> dancing'? 200 years ago this was easy to answer -- the Scots had just
> managed to smuggle their favourite bit of social dancing into country
> dances in the guise of the `set and turn corners, reels of three'
> figure. Today? I don't think so, but that's mostly a gut feeling (I
> haven't done the statistics). Anyway, one must note that large
> differences are something that the RSCDS has made its mission to fight,
> and with communication between dancers being what it is these days,
> thanks to intercontinental flights, Summer School, e-mail, the Web and
> so on, chances are that interesting new developments (dancewise or
> figurewise) will make the rounds fairly quickly.
>
> Finally, it seems to me that it is much easier to identify the
> `signature' of one of the famous dance devisers (John Drewry or Barry
> Priddey come to mind) in their more involved dances, than it is to
> identify `fundamental qualities' in reasonably straightforward dances
> from a particular region. In the case of Book 41, since we have no way
> of knowing what the dances which didn't make it into the book were like,
> it's probably a lost cause trying to find out whether the ones that did
> get selected managed to do so because they appealed to the committee on
> a `national' subconscious level. Maybe there weren't so many dances
> submitted from elsewhere to begin with?
>
> > As long as I'm fussing - it would take me a lot less than 11 lines to
> > describe bars 25-32 of Peggy's Strathpsey as "an espagnole with slight
> > differences", than to use the printed description. Why not call it an
> > espagnole?
>
> That wouldn't help much because the espagnole is not an RSCDS figure
> (yet, anyway), hence from a technical/legalistic viewpoint there would
> be no use in describing the formation in question as being similar to an
> espagnole. Dancers like us (ahem) who have been round the block a few
> times of course know how an espagnole goes, but the hypothetical person
> whose only exposure to SCD is through RSCDS material wouldn't profit
> from such a cross-reference. Besides, the RSCDS does have a bit of a
> tradition of publishing variations of `named' non-RSCDS figures without
> mentioning their names (e.g., the Bir^H^H^HBourr^H^H^H^H^Hfirst eight
> bars of `My Friend Joe' in book 38). I wonder whether, when the first
> RSCDS dance with a true-blue espagnole comes out, they will point to
> bars 25-32 of Peggy's Strathspey in that description :^)
>
> Anselm
> --
> Anselm Lingnau .........................
lingnau@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
> While Purgatory may be less unpleasant than Hell, it's still not a nice
place
> for a holiday. -- Tom Christiansen, on Java
vs. C++
>
>
>
>

Book 41

Message 22288 · ron.mackey · 2 Sep 2000 00:06:01 · Top

Hi Dianna,

> The areas which have indicated they have a lot of younger dancers have
> programs that include a lot of fast dances; other areas I've noticed are
> including more and more dances that are less than eight times through -
> perhaps a few of us, myself included, are slowing down a bit :-)

This doesn't tally with what happens around here. Usually the four
times through dances are repeated (? - encored then) and as most of
them seem to be all action jobs with the aura of 'He who stands still
is a cissy', one finishes up hoping the next dance will be eight
times through, with time for a rest !
Hands up those who have ever danced MacLeod's Fancy just the once
and no encore ?? :~)
Cheers, Ron :)

< 0 Ron Mackey,(Purveyor of Pat's Party Pieces)
'O> Mottingham,
/#\ London. UK.
l>
Ron.Mackey@btinternet.com

Book 41

Message 22290 · Dianna Shipman · 2 Sep 2000 03:25:34 · Top

Ron - actually I've noticed it especially with strathspeys - more 3x, 4x, 5x
through ones turning up -- and in some 4x thru reels and jigs not everyone
is moving all the time - The Eightsome Reel (and a number of the square set
ones), The Flying Scotsman, Cumberland Reel, The Highlandman's Umbrella, Ian
Powrie's - but I agree that not all dances are less energetic just because
they're 4x through - but I have noticed that programs from one area will
tend toward all more energetic 4x through and another place has more of the
less energetic 4x through :-)

Dianna

Dianna L. Shipman
diannashipman@worldnet.att.net
PMB 134, 1436 W. Gray
Houston, TX 77019-4946
Scottish Country Dancing and More
web page: http://home.att.net/~diannashipman
phone: 713-522-1212
----- Original Message -----
From: <ron.mackey@mail.btinternet.com>
To: <strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de>
Sent: Friday, September 01, 2000 4:06 PM
Subject: Re: Book 41

> Hi Dianna,
>
> > The areas which have indicated they have a lot of younger dancers have
> > programs that include a lot of fast dances; other areas I've noticed are
> > including more and more dances that are less than eight times through -
> > perhaps a few of us, myself included, are slowing down a bit :-)
>
> This doesn't tally with what happens around here. Usually the four
> times through dances are repeated (? - encored then) and as most of
> them seem to be all action jobs with the aura of 'He who stands still
> is a cissy', one finishes up hoping the next dance will be eight
> times through, with time for a rest !
> Hands up those who have ever danced MacLeod's Fancy just the once
> and no encore ?? :~)
> Cheers, Ron :)
>
> < 0 Ron Mackey,(Purveyor of Pat's Party Pieces)
> 'O> Mottingham,
> /#\ London. UK.
> l>
> Ron.Mackey@btinternet.com
>
>

Book 41

Message 22301 · ron.mackey · 3 Sep 2000 02:47:00 · Top

but I agree that not all dances are less energetic just because
> they're 4x through - but I have noticed that programs from one area will
> tend toward all more energetic 4x through and another place has more of the
> less energetic 4x through :-)
>
> Dianna

Hi, Dianna,
Absolutely. My dancing is done with two clubs. The one think
The Barmkin is a super dance with which to finish an evening but the
other will only do an 8x32 s'pey once thru and think Ian Powrie is
the ideal night-cap. :)
Happy Dancing
Cheers :)

Ron
Ron Mackey. London Branch

Jack O'Carron

Message 24324 · ron.mackey · 10 Jan 2001 02:00:30 · Top

Can anyone help please?
I am due to teach Jack O'Carron on Friday night and I cannot find
Imperial Book 2 so I must have 'lent' it to someone!
The problem in in bars 17-24
I have them as follows:-

17-20 1s & 3s set, 1s set turning Left abt.to Fin 1M facing Dn &
1L facing up.
21-24 1L+2s, 1M+3s 1/2 circle RIGHT to lines facing up & dn & SET

Is this correct?

Cheers, Ron :)

< 0 Ron Mackey,(Purveyor of Pat's Party Pieces)
'O> Mottingham,
/#\ London. UK.
l>
Ron.Mackey@btinternet.com

Book 41

Message 22213 · Pia Walker · 29 Aug 2000 17:13:40 · Top

I think this is because in order to publish world wide in a "language" that
all Scottish Dancers can understand, the publications committee must decide
on explanations which are uniform - therefore variations which you know by
one name, because you perhaps dance other forms of dance, will be described
in the Scottish country dance way so I who do not dance in the same place
also can understand them. i.e. Contra and English etc might be known in the
US as well as in UK, but in Denmark, China and OUter MOngolia peoples'
knowledge of these forms might just be a little lacking - (just put it down
to us being foreigners :>))

I f.eks come from Denmark, and live in Scotland - and do a lot of dancing,
and I wouln't recognise an 'Espagnol' if if jumped up and bit me - however I
can take the book, and read the bars of Peggy's Strathpey and understand
what I have got to do.

By the way the use of you is general in this case, and does not reflect
personally at any one person.

Pia
----- Original Message -----
From: Marjorie McLaughlin <marjoriem@home.com>
To: <strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de>
Sent: Tuesday, August 29, 2000 10:32 AM
Subject: Re: Book 41

> Anselm Lingnau wrote:
>
> > Besides, the RSCDS does have a bit of a
> > tradition of publishing variations of `named' non-RSCDS figures without
> > mentioning their names
>
> Ah, yes, the situation which arose with the old figure "lead outsides",
> but not called that, in the 75th Anniversary leaflet dance "The Old Way
> of Killiecrankie", or even in "Waverley".
>
> Marjorie McLaughlin
> San Diego
>
> --
> Marjorie McLaughlin <marjoriem@home.com>
>

Book 41

Message 22219 · mlbrown · 29 Aug 2000 23:21:37 · Top

Pia wrote justifying the description used in book 41 for bars 25 -32 of
Peggy's Strathspey.

However the original instructions for the dance as published in
the North Ayrshire 50th Anniversary Album it say;

"The first and second couples dance the Espagnol as follows:- "
and then goes on to describe in detail what happens during bars 25-26,
27-28, 29-32.

The naming of common movements by groups of dancers, what we call
formations, is of great assistance when teaching / remembering a dance - if
a movement occurs only in one dance then it is only of limited value, but
even so it can be of help when coaching a group of dancers through a dance.
If a formation does however occur in more than one dance, and a name is
given to the movement, and as such it is recognised by a significant number
of dancers, then surely it should be used - I am thinking of Diagonal Rights
and Lefts, the Bourrel, and the Espagnol to name but three!

Malcolm

Malcolm & Helen Brown
Tir-Nan-Og - York (UK)

Book 41

Message 22221 · RAbend7731 · 29 Aug 2000 23:30:55 · Top

Marjorie -
My first comment about Book 41 when I saw it was that all but one dance
was from the UK. You'd think that when they realized this had happened, they
might have given some dances a second look.
I'm putting together some dance history questions for you. Right now
I'm taking care of my mom who broke her arm in two place two weeks ago. So,
when I get some time.....

Rosemary

Book 41

Message 22222 · alan mair · 29 Aug 2000 23:50:06 · Top

Marjorie McLaughlin wrote

> I've just returned from the TAC AGM where I had my first opportunity to
> learn the dances from Book 41. Personal opinion aside about the quality
> of some of the dances, does anyone else find it odd that after a request
> for Branches world-wide to submit dances for consideration, 11 of the 12
> dances are from UK Branches? Only Pelorus Jack (easily recognized as a
> world-wide favorite) is from outside the UK. I realize that selecting
> dances is not an easy task, and I presume that the Publications
> Committee made the selections without knowing the deviser or location of
> the Branch which submitted the dance, but the result still strikes me as
> odd. No good dances submitted from overseas? Seems highly unlikely.

Just for the record, many members of RSCDS (in addition to the undersigned)
put a lot of time and effort into choosing the dances for Book 41, including
ALL the devisors, composers and dancers who tried and tested the dances
before they were submitted. All of the 59 dances were presented without
details of devisor or Branch of origin to the committee and after two days
of hard, but enjoyable, work a short -list of 28 was drawn up.

These dances were then taken to groups of dancers at Summer School
(including overseas members). The individual dancers were asked to grade
from 1 - 5 their oponion of the dances taking into account various
characteristics eg sociability, degree of difficulty, music (if available).
The responses were analysed and a further selection made on the basis of the
most frequent highly graded dances.

The number of dances chosen has a bearing on the cost of producing both the
Book and the CD and 10 dances were considered optimal. The final 10 dances
had to have a balance of reels, jigs and strathspeys and the members of the
committee made the final choice for publication. It was then noted that only
one dance from overseas and only two from Scotland had been chosen, but the
committee felt that the procedure used for selection was as fair as possible
and that no adjustment should be made once the origin of the dances was made
known.

We both recognise that, given a free choice, everyone would have made a
different selection but, as with choosing dance programmes we would all fail
to please everyone. Please remember that each dance means a great deal to
some of our members regardless of where they stay!

> As long as I'm fussing - it would take me a lot less than 11 lines to
> describe bars 25-32 of Peggy's Strathpsey as "an espagnole with slight
> differences", than to use the printed description. Why not call it an
> espagnole? Just because the rights and lefts in Argyll's Strathspey are
> danced up and down the set and not from the sidelines doesn't mean the
> figure isn't still rights and lefts. Just stirring the pot a little . .

Others have replied more eloquently than we would to this point but we must
point out that we were not trying to deny the existence of the Espagnole
(which we dance often) but rather avoiding any accusation of
mis-appropriating the formation.

Enjoy stepping into the 21st century............

Irene Bennett
Alan Mair

Book 41

Message 22226 · Marjorie McLaughlin · 30 Aug 2000 01:35:05 · Top

Irene, Alan,

Please don't misunderstand, I was not trying to be critical of the
individuals who gave their time and effort to the selection process. I
appreciate that it was a big task and I really did take for granted that
it was done without knowledge of who devised the dance or which Branch
submitted it (other than Pelorus Jack and Culla Bay which would have
been hard to disguise!). I suppose I was just saddened that there were
no dances from Branches outwith the UK regardless of how that happened.
But it did also raise the question in my mind about regional preferences
and variations and I included that to invite comment from others.

Pia Walker made an interesting comment on the way in which the terms
used for formations become widely known and accepted as shorthand tools.
Earlier books included separate details on "new" formations, e.g. even
Petronella and Rights and Lefts were explained in Book 1, as was Double
Triangles in Book 15. Most dancers would no longer require the details.
Likewise the more modern Rondel, Tournee or Corners Pass and Turn had
detailed descriptions when they first appeared. While the Espagnole has
not appeared in RSCDS publications, it has been danced in other
moderately well known dances such as Glayva and Foxhill Court by John
Drewry. How did the Rondel and Tournee become accepted terms?

Thank you for the information and the details and I do look forward to
enjoying the dances in Book 41.

Marjorie McLaughlin
San Diego, CA

alan mair wrote:
>
> Marjorie McLaughlin wrote
>
> > I've just returned from the TAC AGM where I had my first opportunity to
> > learn the dances from Book 41. Personal opinion aside about the quality
> > of some of the dances, does anyone else find it odd that after a request
> > for Branches world-wide to submit dances for consideration, 11 of the 12
> > dances are from UK Branches? Only Pelorus Jack (easily recognized as a
> > world-wide favorite) is from outside the UK. I realize that selecting
> > dances is not an easy task, and I presume that the Publications
> > Committee made the selections without knowing the deviser or location of
> > the Branch which submitted the dance, but the result still strikes me as
> > odd. No good dances submitted from overseas? Seems highly unlikely.
>
> Just for the record, many members of RSCDS (in addition to the undersigned)
> put a lot of time and effort into choosing the dances for Book 41, including
> ALL the devisors, composers and dancers who tried and tested the dances
> before they were submitted. All of the 59 dances were presented without
> details of devisor or Branch of origin to the committee and after two days
> of hard, but enjoyable, work a short -list of 28 was drawn up.
>
> These dances were then taken to groups of dancers at Summer School
> (including overseas members). The individual dancers were asked to grade
> from 1 - 5 their oponion of the dances taking into account various
> characteristics eg sociability, degree of difficulty, music (if available).
> The responses were analysed and a further selection made on the basis of the
> most frequent highly graded dances.
>
> The number of dances chosen has a bearing on the cost of producing both the
> Book and the CD and 10 dances were considered optimal. The final 10 dances
> had to have a balance of reels, jigs and strathspeys and the members of the
> committee made the final choice for publication. It was then noted that only
> one dance from overseas and only two from Scotland had been chosen, but the
> committee felt that the procedure used for selection was as fair as possible
> and that no adjustment should be made once the origin of the dances was made
> known.
>
> We both recognise that, given a free choice, everyone would have made a
> different selection but, as with choosing dance programmes we would all fail
> to please everyone. Please remember that each dance means a great deal to
> some of our members regardless of where they stay!
>
> > As long as I'm fussing - it would take me a lot less than 11 lines to
> > describe bars 25-32 of Peggy's Strathpsey as "an espagnole with slight
> > differences", than to use the printed description. Why not call it an
> > espagnole? Just because the rights and lefts in Argyll's Strathspey are
> > danced up and down the set and not from the sidelines doesn't mean the
> > figure isn't still rights and lefts. Just stirring the pot a little . .
>
> Others have replied more eloquently than we would to this point but we must
> point out that we were not trying to deny the existence of the Espagnole
> (which we dance often) but rather avoiding any accusation of
> mis-appropriating the formation.
>
> Enjoy stepping into the 21st century............
>
> Irene Bennett
> Alan Mair
>
> --
> "alan mair" <alan@abercorn58.freeserve.co.uk>

Book 41

Message 22230 · Alan Paterson · 30 Aug 2000 11:11:49 · Top

mlbrown wrote:

> The naming of common movements by groups of dancers, what we call
> formations, is of great assistance when teaching / remembering a dance - if
> a movement occurs only in one dance then it is only of limited value, but
> even so it can be of help when coaching a group of dancers through a dance.
> If a formation does however occur in more than one dance, and a name is
> given to the movement, and as such it is recognised by a significant number
> of dancers, then surely it should be used - I am thinking of Diagonal Rights
> and Lefts, the Bourrel, and the Espagnol to name but three!

Also in Book 41, in the Blackwater Reel, we have the half-turn then cast by the
right movement (known to many from the Argyll Strathspey, but since in many
other dances). I have often seen this under the name "Twirl".

Alan

--
Alan Paterson
Berne, Switzerland
mailto:alan@paterson.ch

Book 41

Message 22231 · Paula Jacobson · 30 Aug 2000 11:33:24 · Top

Alan,
John Drewry refers to this figure as the "half turn and twirl"
in his dance descriptions, and this is the phrase we use in our
area when teaching it.
Paula

Book 41

Message 22232 · Pia Walker · 30 Aug 2000 11:47:40 · Top

Hi Malcolm

I stand corrected - to a certain extent, but with all due respect - is the
North Ayrshire Anniversary Album widely distributed - are you absolutely
certain that this publication will have reached all dancers world-wide? If
so, then of course we should call the formation by its given name.

And what's a Bourrel?

Showing my ignorance? :>)

Pia
----- Original Message -----
From: mlbrown <mlbrown@supanet.com>
To: <strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de>
Sent: Tuesday, August 29, 2000 8:25 PM
Subject: Re: Book 41

> Pia wrote justifying the description used in book 41 for bars 25 -32 of
> Peggy's Strathspey.
>
> However the original instructions for the dance as published in
> the North Ayrshire 50th Anniversary Album it say;
>
> "The first and second couples dance the Espagnol as follows:- "
> and then goes on to describe in detail what happens during bars 25-26,
> 27-28, 29-32.
>
> The naming of common movements by groups of dancers, what we call
> formations, is of great assistance when teaching / remembering a dance -
if
> a movement occurs only in one dance then it is only of limited value, but
> even so it can be of help when coaching a group of dancers through a
dance.
> If a formation does however occur in more than one dance, and a name is
> given to the movement, and as such it is recognised by a significant
number
> of dancers, then surely it should be used - I am thinking of Diagonal
Rights
> and Lefts, the Bourrel, and the Espagnol to name but three!
>
> Malcolm
>
> Malcolm & Helen Brown
> Tir-Nan-Og - York (UK)
>
>
> --
> "mlbrown" <mlbrown@supanet.com>
>

Book 41

Message 22241 · Marjorie McLaughlin · 30 Aug 2000 20:00:08 · Top

Pia Walker wrote:
>
> Hi Malcolm
>
> I stand corrected - to a certain extent, but with all due respect - is the
> North Ayrshire Anniversary Album widely distributed - are you absolutely
> certain that this publication will have reached all dancers world-wide? If
> so, then of course we should call the formation by its given name.
>
> And what's a Bourrel?
>
> Showing my ignorance? :>)
>
> Pia

Pia,

The North Ayrshire Anniversary Album may not have wide distribution, but
John Drewry's books certainly do. The Espagnole appeared in his Canadian
Book, in the dance Glayva and others, as early as 1976, and has been
used by him in other dances since then. In the Canadian Book there is a
detailed explanation of the Espagnole as "a new method of progression".
DanceData shows at least 20 dances which use the figure (it is a great
favorite of Kent Smith's).

What I found interesting about Malcolm's comments is that the devisor
chose to use the term Espagnole but the Publications Committee opted not
to. In the case of the Rondel and the Tournee, the terms became part of
the official language of SCD by virtue of inclusion in a dance published
by the RSCDS (though the dance/figure had been published previously).
The Espagnole is not the most common of figures but would, I think, be
familiar to most teachers. The opportunity to make the term, and a
description, available to dancers world-wide could have been taken in
Book 41. One not insignficant consideration is that in Peggy's
Strathspey the figure is not exactly the same as it appears in other
published dances, i.e. here the dancers begin on opposite sides, not own
sides, and the figure ends with a 4 bar turn one and a half times, not
once round. But the fundamental movements are the same.

Ah well, perhaps the Espagnole will take its place in our canon another
time.

Marjorie McLaughlin
San Diego, CA

Book 41

Message 22249 · alan mair · 31 Aug 2000 01:22:25 · Top

Marjorie,

I have been reading your splendid contributions to "Strathspey" for too long
to have harboured any doubts about your motive in posting your note on Book
41. Some of the replies were threatening to wander into dangerous territory,
however, and Linda and I thought we ought to say something - even if it
meant blowing our cover.

Confidentially, we have been a little concerned over comments about some of
the dances and some of the music from people at Summer School who ought to
know and behave better so we are, perhaps, a little bit hyper-sensitive at
the moment.

I think it is a strength of Book 41 that there are dances and music to suit
different tastes but at the same time they are all modern dances and that
does not suit everyone. I can assure you that not everyone was familiar with
"Pelorus Jack" six weeks ago!!

On the question of formations, it is now our policy to include all
formations in the Manual but until any particular formation is included in
an update it will be explained in full in the book. I presume that, when we
get round to updating the Manual, we will have to refer to this fomation as
Espagnole Mark 2.

To return to your original comment, I cannot explain why we chose so many UK
dances. Certainly we were spoiled for strathspeys and there were more good
ones than we could use in one book but not enough jigs and reels to support
two books. I do not know how many were submitted from different parts.
However, having been fortunate enough to attend Capital Weekend in
Washington this year I am more than ever convinced of the common ground that
unites those with a genuine interest in Scottish Country Dancing regardless
of nationality.

I am sorry this message is somewhat rushed. I had planned to do much more
this evening but the telephone keeps interrupting and the e-mails building
up. I guess thats my own fault for sticking my head above the parapet!!

Regards

Alan

PS I will pass on your reply to Irene.

Half turn and twirl. Was: Book 41

Message 22314 · Patricia Ruggiero · 4 Sep 2000 06:20:09 · Top

Paula wrote:

"John Drewry refers to this figure as the "half turn and twirl" in his dance
descriptions, and this is the phrase we use in our area when teaching it."

I have a recollection of his referring to this figure as a "Rosette" when he
conducted a workshop in the Washington, D.C., area about 5 or 6 years ago.
Can anyone corroborate this?

At that workshop he taught several dances with the figure, some in quick
time, some in strathspey. It may be that after he had explained the figure,
he used the word "rosette" as shorthand notation. Certainly, by itself, the
term does not convey sufficient information to execute the figure.

Pat Ruggiero

Book 41

Message 22250 · Bryan McAlister · 31 Aug 2000 11:51:28 · Top

In article <42.a0c3d6b.26dd694b@aol.com>, RAbend7731@aol.com writes
>Marjorie -
> My first comment about Book 41 when I saw it was that all but one dance
>was from the UK. You'd think that when they realized this had happened, they
>might have given some dances a second look.
>

But How many dances are from Scotland?

Bryan McAlister B Arch RIBA ARIAS
Web page www.bryanmac.demon.co.uk
Mobile phone 07801 793849
Please note new FAX number - UK 0870 052 7625 International 44 870 052 7625

Book 41

Message 22263 · Coletta Busse · 31 Aug 2000 19:41:03 · Top

In reading Alan Mair's posting a thought occurred to me. He mentioned that
there was an abundance of good strathspeys, but not enough reels and Jigs to
support a second book.
My question is this. Why can't a book of only strathspeys be published? Or
for that matter a book of Jigs? Or a book of Reels?
I know that when I go looking to put together a class or a program, my
thoughts are "I need a strathspey" or "I need a reel". Then I go searching
my books looking for s or r or j depending on what I'm looking for.
If there is an abudance of strathspeys. Why hide them? Publish them in their
own special edition.
just a thought
Coletta Busse
Milpitas CA. USA

_________________________________________________________________________
Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com.

Share information about yourself, create your own public profile at
http://profiles.msn.com.

Book 41

Message 22270 · Simon Scott · 31 Aug 2000 23:25:52 · Top

It doesn't matter what organization or group we belong to, when decisions
are made some members will be upset, disappointed or questioning. May I
say that I have the highest regard for Marjorie McLaughlin (who started this
discussion) and her dedication to, and knowledge of SCD and our society.
I'm sure her comment was curiosity rather than criticism. I also think
that Alan Mair has given us a kind, thoughtful and informative explanation
of the obviously careful, considerate and fair way by which the book dances
were
selected.

I have not had a chance to dance them all yet but most certainly Culla Bay
and Pelorus Jack are favorites of mine.

Simon Scott
Vancouver

Book 41

Message 22271 · TimToddW · 31 Aug 2000 23:37:41 · Top

I'm also looking forward to the dances in Book 41, as I'm only familiar with Pelorus Jack. However, I have been chuckling to myself over the idea of a book combining Marjorie's and Coletta's responses which could be titled "Outlandish Strathspeys." The mind fairly reels.

Tim Wilson
San Francisco, CA

Book 41

Message 22279 · Dianna Shipman · 1 Sep 2000 11:22:06 · Top

I've been behind on reading my email and a few days back I'd asked for
comments about Book 41 and it's CD - and didn't realize how much information
would be forthcoming - I very much enjoyed the discussion and look forward
to trying out the new dances - and I will probably go ahead and order the CD
as well.

Dianna

Dianna L. Shipman
diannashipman@worldnet.att.net
PMB 134, 1436 W. Gray
Houston, TX 77019-4946
Scottish Country Dancing and More
web page: http://home.att.net/~diannashipman
phone: 713-522-1212

Book 41

Message 22281 · Ian Brockbank · 1 Sep 2000 12:03:42 · Top

> ... "Outlandish Strathspeys." The mind fairly reels.

Or jigs.

Ian
--
IndigoVision Ltd http://www.indigovision.com/
The Edinburgh Technopole, Bush Loan, Edinburgh, EH26 0PJ
Tel: [+44] (0)131 475 7200 Fax: [+44] (0)131 475 7201
Personal: ian@scottishdance.net http://www.scottishdance.net
Feed the world: http://www.thehungersite.com/

Book 41

Message 22284 · Simon Scott · 1 Sep 2000 20:39:23 · Top

It doesn't matter what organization or group we belong to, when decisions
are made some members will be upset, disappointed or questioning. May I
say that I have the highest regard for Marjorie McLaughlin (who started this
discussion) and her dedication to, and knowledge of SCD and our society.
I'm sure her comment was curiosity rather than criticism. I also think
that Alan Mair has given us a kind, thoughtful and informative explanation
of the
obviously careful and considerate way by which the book dances were
selected.

I have not had a chance to dance them all yet but most certainly Culla Bay
and Pelorus Jack are favorites of mine.

Simon Scott
Vancouver

Book 41

Message 22526 · Jan Wilson · 11 Sep 2000 05:00:29 · Top

This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

------=_NextPart_000_00E7_01C01BE7.CE468FA0
Content-Type: text/plain;
charset="iso-8859-1"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

Has anyone in the Southern hemisphere reveived their copy of Book 41 =
yet? It's a bit maddening to read Strathspey and not know the dances =
that people are talking about - with the exception of Pelorus Jack which =
we have been dancing here for a long time.

Jan Wilson
Alexandria, Sydney
Australia

------=_NextPart_000_00E7_01C01BE7.CE468FA0
Content-Type: text/html;
charset="iso-8859-1"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD W3 HTML//EN">
<HTML>
<HEAD>

<META content=3Dtext/html;charset=3Diso-8859-1 =
http-equiv=3DContent-Type>
<META content=3D'"MSHTML 4.72.3110.7"' name=3DGENERATOR>
</HEAD>
<BODY bgColor=3D#ffffff>
<DIV><FONT size=3D2>Has anyone in the Southern hemisphere reveived their =
copy of=20
Book 41 yet?&nbsp; It's a bit maddening to read Strathspey and not know =
the=20
dances that people are talking about - with the exception of Pelorus =
Jack which=20
we have been dancing here for a long time.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2>Jan Wilson<BR>Alexandria,=20
Sydney<BR>Australia</FONT></DIV></BODY></HTML>

------=_NextPart_000_00E7_01C01BE7.CE468FA0--

Book 41

Message 22541 · John Bell · 11 Sep 2000 08:44:21 · Top

This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

------=_NextPart_000_0054_01C01BFD.8B235BC0
Content-Type: text/plain;
charset="iso-8859-1"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

Yes Jan, About 4 days ago. This was forwarded to me at Cairns by our =
Branch people at Brisbane. One of our group is a member of the RSCDS HQ =
branch and received hers direct some 2 weeks earlier. I suspect you will =
have your copy any day now........

Rgds John Bell=20
----- Original Message -----=20
From: Jan Wilson=20
To: Strathspey=20
Sent: Monday, September 11, 2000 11:59 AM
Subject: Book 41

Has anyone in the Southern hemisphere reveived their copy of Book 41 =
yet? It's a bit maddening to read Strathspey and not know the dances =
that people are talking about - with the exception of Pelorus Jack which =
we have been dancing here for a long time.
=20
Jan Wilson
Alexandria, Sydney
Australia

------=_NextPart_000_0054_01C01BFD.8B235BC0
Content-Type: text/html;
charset="iso-8859-1"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN">
<HTML><HEAD>
<META content=3Dtext/html;charset=3Diso-8859-1 =
http-equiv=3DContent-Type>
<META content=3D"MSHTML 5.00.2919.6307" name=3DGENERATOR>
<STYLE></STYLE>
</HEAD>
<BODY bgColor=3D#ffffff>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>Yes Jan, About 4 days ago. This was =
forwarded to me=20
at Cairns by our Branch people at Brisbane. One of our group is a member =
of the=20
RSCDS HQ branch and received hers direct some 2 weeks earlier. I suspect =
you=20
will have your copy any day now........</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>Rgds John Bell </FONT></DIV>
<BLOCKQUOTE=20
style=3D"BORDER-LEFT: #000000 2px solid; MARGIN-LEFT: 5px; MARGIN-RIGHT: =
0px; PADDING-LEFT: 5px; PADDING-RIGHT: 0px">
<DIV style=3D"FONT: 10pt arial">----- Original Message ----- </DIV>
<DIV=20
style=3D"BACKGROUND: #e4e4e4; FONT: 10pt arial; font-color: =
black"><B>From:</B>=20
<A href=3D"mailto:jmwrcw@ozemail.com.au" =
title=3Djmwrcw@ozemail.com.au>Jan=20
Wilson</A> </DIV>
<DIV style=3D"FONT: 10pt arial"><B>To:</B> <A=20
href=3D"mailto:strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de"=20
title=3Dstrathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de>Strathspey</A> =
</DIV>
<DIV style=3D"FONT: 10pt arial"><B>Sent:</B> Monday, September 11, =
2000 11:59=20
AM</DIV>
<DIV style=3D"FONT: 10pt arial"><B>Subject:</B> Book 41</DIV>
<DIV><BR></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=3D2>Has anyone in the Southern hemisphere reveived =
their copy of=20
Book 41 yet?&nbsp; It's a bit maddening to read Strathspey and not =
know the=20
dances that people are talking about - with the exception of Pelorus =
Jack=20
which we have been dancing here for a long time.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2>Jan Wilson<BR>Alexandria,=20
Sydney<BR>Australia</FONT></DIV></BLOCKQUOTE></BODY></HTML>

------=_NextPart_000_0054_01C01BFD.8B235BC0--

Book 41

Message 22553 · Melanie Pratt · 11 Sep 2000 16:52:45 · Top

It's not just the southern hemisphere, some of us in the northern climes
haven't received it either. I'm
becoming quite anxious to see what's in it!

Slainte,
Melanie the Seanachie
(Who really likes Pelorus Jack)

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jan Wilson [SMTP:jmwrcw@ozemail.com.au]
> Sent: Sunday, September 10, 2000 9:01 PM
> To: Strathspey
> Subject: Book 41
>
> Has anyone in the Southern hemisphere reveived their copy of Book 41 yet?
> It's a bit maddening to read Strathspey and not know the dances that
> people are talking about - with the exception of Pelorus Jack which we
> have been dancing here for a long time.
>
> Jan Wilson
> Alexandria, Sydney
> Australia

Book 41

Message 22586 · Dianna Shipman · 12 Sep 2000 05:27:58 · Top

We got ours in Houston quite early this year - I'm not sure why but a nice
surprise.

Dianna

Dianna L. Shipman
diannashipman@worldnet.att.net
PMB 134, 1436 W. Gray
Houston, TX 77019-4946
Scottish Country Dancing and More
web page: http://home.att.net/~diannashipman
phone: 713-522-1212
----- Original Message -----
From: "Melanie Pratt" <mpratt@ohiohistory.org>
To: <strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de>
Sent: Monday, September 11, 2000 7:53 AM
Subject: RE: Book 41

> It's not just the southern hemisphere, some of us in the northern climes
> haven't received it either. I'm
> becoming quite anxious to see what's in it!
>
> Slainte,
> Melanie the Seanachie
> (Who really likes Pelorus Jack)
>
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Jan Wilson [SMTP:jmwrcw@ozemail.com.au]
> > Sent: Sunday, September 10, 2000 9:01 PM
> > To: Strathspey
> > Subject: Book 41
> >
> > Has anyone in the Southern hemisphere reveived their copy of Book 41
yet?
> > It's a bit maddening to read Strathspey and not know the dances that
> > people are talking about - with the exception of Pelorus Jack which we
> > have been dancing here for a long time.
> >
> > Jan Wilson
> > Alexandria, Sydney
> > Australia
>
> --
> Melanie Pratt <mpratt@ohiohistory.org>
>

Book 41

Message 22617 · ron.mackey · 13 Sep 2000 02:22:42 · Top

> We got ours in Houston quite early this year - I'm not sure why but a nice
> surprise.
>
> Dianna

Hi,
It just might have something to do with our new Secretary (or
whatever the new title is).
I didn't have the felicity of meeting her at StA but understand
from others that we have a real asset here. :)
Cheers, Ron :)

< 0 Ron Mackey,(Purveyor of Pat's Party Pieces)
'O> Mottingham,
/#\ London. UK.
l>
Ron.Mackey@btinternet.com

Book 41

Message 22619 · ron.mackey · 13 Sep 2000 02:23:08 · Top

> We got ours in Houston quite early this year - I'm not sure why but a nice
> surprise.
>
> Dianna

Hi,
It just might have something to do with our new Secretary (or
whatever the new title is).
I didn't have the felicity of meeting her at StA but understand
from others that we have a real asset here. :)
Cheers, Ron :)

< 0 Ron Mackey,(Purveyor of Pat's Party Pieces)
'O> Mottingham,
/#\ London. UK.
l>
Ron.Mackey@btinternet.com

Book 41

Message 22640 · Roswitha Betsche · 13 Sep 2000 20:00:32 · Top

> It just might have something to do with our new Secretary (or
> whatever the new title is).
> I didn't have the felicity of meeting her at StA but understand
> from others that we have a real asset here. :)
> Cheers, Ron :)

Absolutely, Ron. I have met her.
Rosi

Book 41

Message 22597 · Angus Henry · 12 Sep 2000 13:06:14 · Top

--============_-1243372958==_ma============
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" ; format="flowed"

Our parcel of (NT Branch) subscription copies was in the mail box
when we returned home from St Andrews and TAC SS in the last week of
August, Jan. They have all been issued to members who are in town.

Angus

>Has anyone in the Southern hemisphere reveived their copy of Book 41
>yet? It's a bit maddening to read Strathspey and not know the
>dances that people are talking about - with the exception of Pelorus
>Jack which we have been dancing here for a long time.
>
>Jan Wilson
>Alexandria, Sydney
>Australia

--

* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Angus & Puka Henry:- 4 Eagle Court, WULAGI, NT 0812, AUSTRALIA
PHONE: (International) + 61 (0)8 8927 9203
FAX: as phone, but phone FIRST to arrange for it to be switched on!
Website: <http://www.octa4.net.au/ahenry/>
--============_-1243372958==_ma============
Content-Type: text/html; charset="us-ascii"

<!doctype html public "-//W3C//DTD W3 HTML//EN">
<html><head><style type="text/css"><!--
blockquote, dl, ul, ol, li { margin-top: 0 ; margin-bottom: 0 }
--></style><title>Re: Book 41</title></head><body>
<div>Our parcel of (NT Branch) subscription copies was in the mail box
when we returned home from St Andrews and TAC SS in the last week of
August, Jan.&nbsp; They have all been issued to members who are in
town.</div>
<div><br></div>
<div>Angus</div>
<div><br></div>
<blockquote type="cite" cite><font size="-1">Has anyone in the
Southern hemisphere reveived their copy of Book 41 yet?&nbsp; It's a
bit maddening to read Strathspey and not know the dances that people
are talking about - with the exception of Pelorus Jack which we have
been dancing here for a long time.</font></blockquote>
<blockquote type="cite" cite>&nbsp;</blockquote>
<blockquote type="cite" cite><font size="-1" color="#000000">Jan
Wilson<br>
Alexandria, Sydney<br>
Australia</font></blockquote>
<div><br></div>

<div>-- <br>
<br>
*&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; *&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;
*&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; *&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;
*&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; *&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;
*&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; *&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;
*&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; *&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;
*&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; *&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; *<br>
&nbsp; Angus &amp; Puka Henry:- 4 Eagle Court, WULAGI, NT 0812,
AUSTRALIA<br>
PHONE: (International) + 61 (0)8 8927 9203<br>
FAX: as phone, but phone FIRST to arrange for it to be switched
on!<br>
Website: &lt;http://www.octa4.net.au/ahenry/&gt;</div>
</body>
</html>
--============_-1243372958==_ma============--

Book 41 again

Message 22225 · ron.mackey · 30 Aug 2000 01:24:07 · Top

> I f.eks come from Denmark, and live in Scotland - and do a lot of dancing,
> and I wouldn't recognise an 'Espagnol' if if jumped up and bit me - however I
> can take the book, and read the bars of Peggy's Strathspey and understand
> what I have got to do.
>

Hi, Pia
I can appreciate that the RSCDS cannot abbreviate the
description of movements by using titles but it could be appended in
a footnote; that is, if the publications committee were aware that
the movement had a previous name ?
The short solution is for the teachers to translate the instructions
for their class based on the dance vocabulary they know. My class
can do the Espagnole so I will abbreviate that part of the dance
when I teach it.

Cheers, Ron :)

< 0 Ron Mackey,(Purveyor of Pat's Party Pieces)
'O> Mottingham,
/#\ London. UK.
l>
Ron.Mackey@btinternet.com

Book 41

Message 22205 · Anselm Lingnau · 29 Aug 2000 12:30:04 · Top

Marjorie McLaughlin <marjoriem@home.com> writes:

> Are there fundamental qualities in the character of dances composed
> within the UK that would appeal to a committee made up only of dancers
> from the UK? I'd always thought we were more universal in style and
> character.

Interesting. My class went through Book 41 at lightning speed one
morning in St. Andrews but it didn't occur to me that most of the dances
were, in fact, from the UK. I could have suggested one or two from
Germany, but as there are no German branches to submit them it's a case
of `close, but no cigar' ...

So the $64.000 question is `Is there a national style in current country
dancing'? 200 years ago this was easy to answer -- the Scots had just
managed to smuggle their favourite bit of social dancing into country
dances in the guise of the `set and turn corners, reels of three'
figure. Today? I don't think so, but that's mostly a gut feeling (I
haven't done the statistics). Anyway, one must note that large
differences are something that the RSCDS has made its mission to fight,
and with communication between dancers being what it is these days,
thanks to intercontinental flights, Summer School, e-mail, the Web and
so on, chances are that interesting new developments (dancewise or
figurewise) will make the rounds fairly quickly.

Finally, it seems to me that it is much easier to identify the
`signature' of one of the famous dance devisers (John Drewry or Barry
Priddey come to mind) in their more involved dances, than it is to
identify `fundamental qualities' in reasonably straightforward dances
from a particular region. In the case of Book 41, since we have no way
of knowing what the dances which didn't make it into the book were like,
it's probably a lost cause trying to find out whether the ones that did
get selected managed to do so because they appealed to the committee on
a `national' subconscious level. Maybe there weren't so many dances
submitted from elsewhere to begin with?

> As long as I'm fussing - it would take me a lot less than 11 lines to
> describe bars 25-32 of Peggy's Strathpsey as "an espagnole with slight
> differences", than to use the printed description. Why not call it an
> espagnole?

That wouldn't help much because the espagnole is not an RSCDS figure
(yet, anyway), hence from a technical/legalistic viewpoint there would
be no use in describing the formation in question as being similar to an
espagnole. Dancers like us (ahem) who have been round the block a few
times of course know how an espagnole goes, but the hypothetical person
whose only exposure to SCD is through RSCDS material wouldn't profit
from such a cross-reference. Besides, the RSCDS does have a bit of a
tradition of publishing variations of `named' non-RSCDS figures without
mentioning their names (e.g., the Bir^H^H^HBourr^H^H^H^H^Hfirst eight
bars of `My Friend Joe' in book 38). I wonder whether, when the first
RSCDS dance with a true-blue espagnole comes out, they will point to
bars 25-32 of Peggy's Strathspey in that description :^)

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau ......................... lingnau@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
While Purgatory may be less unpleasant than Hell, it's still not a nice place
for a holiday. -- Tom Christiansen, on Java vs. C++

Previous thread: Dance on 8th September
Next thread: RSCDS TOKAI Branch Web Site - New
A Django site.