strathspey Archive: Gypsy turn - definitive definition please!

Previous thread: Spring Fling - Melbourne, Florida
Next thread: website

Gypsy turn - definitive definition please!

Message 29617 · Alan Paterson · 14 Feb 2002 08:27:41 · Top

Sorry to be a bit pedantic about this, but could someone please let me
have a proper definition of the recently oft mentioned "Gypsy Turn".

I have searched the List archives and it gets kind of talked about but
only as a sort of link between figures. If someone writes "Bars 1-4:
Gypsy turn" what does that exactly mean? (In Stefan's dance, it only
takes 2 bars)

Alan (wanting to use such a dance on Friday)

Gypsy turn - definitive definition please!

Message 29618 · Dianna Shipman · 14 Feb 2002 09:36:20 · Top

Alan
I don't know that I can give you a "proper" definition :-)
I first came across the term in contra dances and a definition I saved from
there:
a “gypsy” is like a right (or left) hand turn once round but with no hands
and LOTS of eye contact. Sometimes dances have half a gypsy turn and
sometimes once and a half and usually they're right shoulder around your
partner but sometimes can be left shoulder around - since contra uses a
walking step this is often done quite close and shoulder to shoulder

however, the Scottish Country dance we did tonight with it basically was
like doing in this case a right hand turn with lots of eye contact and no
hands

Dianna
Houston, TX, USA

----- Original Message -----
From: "Alan Paterson" <alanp@paranor.ch>
To: "Strathspey" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Thursday, February 14, 2002 1:27 AM
Subject: Gypsy turn - definitive definition please!

| Sorry to be a bit pedantic about this, but could someone please let me
| have a proper definition of the recently oft mentioned "Gypsy Turn".
|
| I have searched the List archives and it gets kind of talked about but
| only as a sort of link between figures. If someone writes "Bars 1-4:
| Gypsy turn" what does that exactly mean? (In Stefan's dance, it only
| takes 2 bars)
|
| Alan (wanting to use such a dance on Friday)
|

Gypsy turn - definitive definition please!

Message 29620 · Adam Hughes · 14 Feb 2002 12:55:23 · Top

In the 1651 Playford there is a dance called the "Spanish Jeepsie" or a
spelling varient thereof.

The main figure in this dance is described as "go once around your
partner without turning your face". (That's your definitive bit.)

For those of us who have read the rest of the book, it is pretty obvious
that this is a back-to-back, however to Mr Cecil Sharp, that most
ingenious of misunderstanders, it was obvious that one danced around
one's partner, keeping one's face towards one's partners. (This is your
historical/hysterical bit.)

Following Mr Sharp's interpretation, the figure has been lifted and used
in many 20th century dances, and is usually danced as a "hands-free
turn", as has been mentioned by others. (This is your interpretive
bit.)

Definitely very sexy. Definitely very un-scottish (IMHO!). Since
Scottish dancers are supposed to be able to read cribs, we would never
have mistaken a back-to-back for this weird modern creation... Vive la
difference!

(I'm trying to recall a strathspey I danced recently which instead of
having "corners pass and turn", has a figure the other way round - cross
with corners who dance round each other - which is a gypsy (for the
corners in the middle), but not called it... Any ideas?)

Adam
Cambridge, UK.

Gypsy turn - definitive definition please!

Message 29621 · dr.rockets · 14 Feb 2002 13:14:25 · Top

My instructor told our teen class to get as close to touching our
partner's
shoulder as possible without doing it and to turn around that space.
There
is an excellent waltz called "The Wood Duck" that uses two gypsy turns at
at the beginning. If anyone isn't familliar with "The Wood Duck" by all
means get familliar with it! (It can be added to the list of Romantic
dances
we have been making as well.)

Jonathan Elder
Lubbock, TX
________________________________________________________________
GET INTERNET ACCESS FROM JUNO!
Juno offers FREE or PREMIUM Internet access for less!
Join Juno today! For your FREE software, visit:
http://dl.www.juno.com/get/web/.

Gypsy turn - definitive definition please!

Message 29627 · Lara D. Friedman~Shedlov · 14 Feb 2002 16:45:31 · Top

Quoting Alan Paterson <alanp@paranor.ch>:

> Sorry to be a bit pedantic about this, but could someone please let
> me have a proper definition of the recently oft mentioned "Gypsy
> Turn".

Just like a regular turn in SCD, a gypsy turn is typically 2 bars or 4
bars and may be once, 1.5, or twice around (or whatever, depending on
the needs of the dance).

Basically it is a turn where the dancers come almost shoulder to
shoulder, but do not use hands, just eyes.

One of my favorite dances with a gypsy turn (though I'm not sure if it
is actually described as such in the dance instructions) is Strathcare,
a beautiful strathspey from the Skye Collection. Gypsy Weaver, by
Denise Peet is another nice once. It has gypsy turns flowing into
reels of 4 and then into another gypsy turn.

--Lara Friedman-Shedlov
Minneapolis, MN USA

*******************************
Lara Friedman-Shedlov
ldfs@bigfoot.com
*******************************

Gypsy turn - definitive definition please!

Message 29629 · Norah Link · 14 Feb 2002 17:13:06 · Top

Since I'm the guilty party who used the term in the first place, in
reference to Ron Wallace's dance "Jitka's Dance", perhaps someone who has
the book can verify whether in the published version he uses the term. I
don't believe he does - I was in a hurry and assumed that most people would
know what I meant. In fact, the idea of turning without hands, in SCD at
least, appears to be a fairly modern one and perhaps is borrowed from other
dance styles where we have found it to be quite fun and very flirty. Like
all good things, though, it deserves to be savoured in small quantities.

regards,
Norah Link (Montreal, QC)

Gypsy turn - definitive definition please!

Message 29630 · GlassHall · 14 Feb 2002 17:40:10 · Top

I don't think I like the description of a gypsy turn as almost shoulder to shoulder, or deriving it from a one-handed turn. My preference would be to describe it as a two-hand turn without hands.

For me, the dancer's upper bodies should be facing almost straight on and there should be just enough distance between them that, if they break eye contact, they would no longer be dancing as a unit.

Lara, on 09/06/2001 03:33:05 PM with a subject of "demonstrations/strathspeys", you posted a link to a video of Gypsy Weaver in performance which I remember as having perfect gypsy turns at the beginning. Is it still available? I couldn't get into it this morning.

Terry Glasspool
Upstate NY, USA

Gypsy turn - definitive definition please!

Message 29631 · Lara D. Friedman~Shedlov · 14 Feb 2002 17:47:39 · Top

Quoting GlassHall@aol.com:

> Lara, on 09/06/2001 03:33:05 PM with a subject of
> "demonstrations/strathspeys", you posted a link to a video of Gypsy
> Weaver in performance which I remember as having perfect gypsy turns
> at the beginning. Is it still available? I couldn't get into it this
> morning.

The video is still online. There is a link from our branch web site at
http://www.rscds-twincities.org (scroll down to the lower left-hand
corner of the page).

Unfortunately, it takes quite a while to download. I have been able to
view it from home, where we have a DSL connection, and from work, where
we have a fast network connection, but I'm not sure how feasible it is
to view using a regular modem. Even with our network connection at work
it takes several minutes before the video starts playing.

--Lara Friedman-Shedlov
Minneapolis, MN USA

*******************************
Lara Friedman-Shedlov
ldfs@bigfoot.com
*******************************

Gypsy turn - definitive definition please!

Message 29633 · Adam Hughes · 14 Feb 2002 18:36:04 · Top

GlassHall@aol.com wrote:
> I don't think I like the description of a gypsy turn as almost
> shoulder to shoulder, or deriving it from a one-handed turn.
> My preference would be to describe it as a two-hand turn without hands.

Just so long as people don't try and dance it with a pas de basque
step!!

Many people do dance a gypsy shoulder to shoulder, and for me the
important part is that the two dancers keep their shoulders parallel to
each other. It can be especially flirty to be gazing slightly backwards
at the person you are gypsying with... Maybe that only works if you
have long hair to toss about at the end of the figure... I agree facing
straight on works better for a gypsy meltdown...

Adam
Cambridge, UK.

Gypsy turn - definitive definition please!

Message 29635 · GlassHall · 14 Feb 2002 20:54:49 · Top

On 02/14/2002 12:33:54 PM, Adam Hughes <adamoutside@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:
<<<<
It can be especially flirty to be gazing slightly backwards at the person you are gypsying with...
>>>>

Nyaah. I'm one of those stiff-necked types. For me that would be just painful. :-)

But as long as you bring up the gypsy meltdown, I might as well plug my dance Gypsy Dreams, http://members.aol.com/GlassHall2/GypsyDreams.html . It doesn't end in a swing, but it's close.

Terry Glasspool
Upstate NY, USA

Gypsy turn - definitive definition please!

Message 29637 · FRAN SMITH · 14 Feb 2002 21:49:27 · Top

Hi
I first leaned of Gypsy turns in other than SCD. The description/explanation
given was that the movement dated from an era when holding hands with
someone of the opposite sex was a definite
no-no so the dancers would dance VERY close together and then, if hands were
held low to the sides , no one could actually see if they touched [Back to
flirtatious?]. The description of dancing almost facing partner as in a 2
hand turn but without hands sounds more like "siding".

Fran Smith, Abergavenny/Herefordshire

_________________________________________________________________
Send and receive Hotmail on your mobile device: http://mobile.msn.com

Gypsy turn - definitive definition please!

Message 29640 · Stefan Barthel · 14 Feb 2002 09:54:27 · Top

When I heard someone mentioning a Gypsy turn, it was explained as a "turn without hands", dancing around each other passing by the right shoulder. So have a deep look into your partners eyes (what you can always do, anyway of course) instead of grabbing hands, but dance as close to each other as if you would do in a both hand turn. That's the way I know and like it. 4 bars seem to be a lot of time, but it might be OK if you start from the sidelines and cast off afterwards or something like that. When a both hand turn is possible in 4 bars, a turn without hands is as well.

Stefan

Alan wrote:
> Sorry to be a bit pedantic about this, but could someone please let me
> have a proper definition of the recently oft mentioned "Gypsy Turn".
>
> I have searched the List archives and it gets kind of talked about but
> only as a sort of link between figures. If someone writes "Bars 1-4:
> Gypsy turn" what does that exactly mean? (In Stefan's dance, it only
> takes 2 bars)

------------------------------------------------
Stefan Barthel stefan.barthel@gmx.de
Spardorfer Straße 40a
91054 Erlangen
Germany
______________________________________________________________________________
Darf es ein bisschen mehr sein? Mehr Speicher, mehr Mail, mehr Erlebnis,
mehr Leistung, mehr Prämie unter http://club.web.de/?mc=021102

Gypsy versus Siding. Was: Gypsy turn - definitive definition please!

Message 29649 · Patricia Ruggiero · 15 Feb 2002 05:01:22 · Top

Fran wrote:

>The description of dancing almost facing partner as in a 2 hand turn but
without hands sounds more like "siding".

I assume you're referring to Sharp siding, rather than the historical
"sides." In Sharp siding, dancers don't dance completely around one another
but only make a half-turn (without hands) and then return to place on the
same track. Total music is 4 bars.

(For those of you trying to figure this out: make a L-hand turn 1/2 way,
remain in the center of the set, and then dance back to place with a R-hand
turn 1/2 way. Repeat now, without hands, and you have the "sides" figure as
interpreted by Cecil Sharp and referred to as "siding.")

Pat
Charlottesville, Virginia USA

Gypsy turn - definitive definition please!

Message 29646 · Priscilla M. Burrage · 15 Feb 2002 03:28:36 · Top

On Thu, 14 Feb 2002 GlassHall@aol.com wrote:

> I don't think I like the description of a gypsy turn as almost shoulder
> to shoulder, or deriving it from a one-handed turn. My preference would
> be to describe it as a two-hand turn without hands.
>
> For me, the dancer's upper bodies should be facing almost straight on
> and there should be just enough distance between them that, if they
> break eye contact, they would no longer be dancing as a unit.

Terry, I agree with you. The gypsy is definitely not danced shoulder to
shoulder. The shoulders should be parallel to each other, of course, with
one shoulder on each person extending beyond slightly.

-----

-----

How's this for a pictorial?

In English and Morris dancing from which it comes, the dancers are facing
each other and circle round each other. The Scottish footwork gets in the
way of executing this exactly.

I found A. Hughes dismissal of "Sharp's interpretation a bit confusing.
What about the Morris that he recorded from watching it? They did
gypsies and half gyps. Did he just make up the name?

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

Gypsy turn - definitive definition please!

Message 29652 · Adam Hughes · 15 Feb 2002 14:56:48 · Top

"Priscilla M. Burrage" wrote:
> I found A. Hughes dismissal of "Sharp's interpretation a bit confusing.
> What about the Morris that he recorded from watching it? They did
> gypsies and half gyps. Did he just make up the name?

Hi Priscilla,

My name is Adam.

You are quite right, of course. I hadn't realised (until I just
checked) that any of the Morris Book dances contained a gypsy.

On the other hand I was saying bad things about the man who changed the
name of "Cuckolds all a-wry" to "Hey boys and up we go". I think you'll
find he did "just make up" that name.

I have a great deal of trouble with the arrogance of a man who dismissed
the stepping of Surrey as "not worth noting" and the whole of
Cambridgeshire dance as "degenerate". I'm sorry if that occasionally
comes out in my posts.

Adam
Cambridge, UK. Born in Surrey, UK.

Gypsy turn - definitive definition please!

Message 29653 · Priscilla M. Burrage · 15 Feb 2002 15:48:46 · Top

On Fri, 15 Feb 2002, Adam Hughes wrote:

> "Priscilla M. Burrage" wrote:
> > I found A. Hughes dismissal of "Sharp's interpretation a bit confusing.
> > What about the Morris that he recorded from watching it? They did
> > gypsies and half gyps. Did he just make up the name?
>
> You are quite right, of course. I hadn't realised (until I just
> checked) that any of the Morris Book dances contained a gypsy.
>
> On the other hand I was saying bad things about the man who changed the
> name of "Cuckolds all a-wry" to "Hey boys and up we go". I think you'll
> find he did "just make up" that name.
>
> I have a great deal of trouble with the arrogance of a man who dismissed
> the stepping of Surrey as "not worth noting" and the whole of
> Cambridgeshire dance as "degenerate". I'm sorry if that occasionally
> comes out in my posts.

I agree, but he fits his time and place. Have you read any article about
another (non-British) culture in the 11th edition of the Encl. Britannica?
Or looked at their conclusions about Stonehenge?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Priscilla Burrage Vermont US
(pburrage@zoo.uvm.edu)

Gypsy turn - definitive definition please!

Message 29655 · Miriam L. Mueller · 15 Feb 2002 17:38:23 · Top

I first learned the gypsy "turn" in English Country dancing. Probably
it's my English Lit (long-ago) background, for during the Elizabethan
period there was an idea that sight was a function of beams from one's
eyes, much like radar, I think. You can find the image of eyebeams
occasionally in poetry. So my mind made the association and there I am,
thinking of it as a turn with joined eyebeams instead of hands. Makes it
VERY flirtatious.
Miriam Mueller, San Francisco

Gypsy turn -

Message 29639 · hways · 14 Feb 2002 22:37:10 · Top

In fact, the idea of turning without hands, in SCD at
> least, appears to be a fairly modern one and perhaps is borrowed from
other
> dance styles where we have found it to be quite fun and very flirty. Like
> all good things, though, it deserves to be savoured in small quantities.
>
> Norah Link (Montreal, QC)

I had never heard the term Gypsy Turn when I used that movement to end
"The Selkirk Colony" in 1974. I suppose it appeared in earlier SCD
offerings,
tho I am not aware of any.

Harry

Gypsy turn - definitive definition please!

Message 29647 · Patricia Ruggiero · 15 Feb 2002 05:01:18 · Top

Norah wrote, about the gypsy turn:

"Like all good things, though, it deserves to be savoured in small
quantities."

Having seen this figure "done to death" in both contra and ECD, and being
thoroughly tired of it myself, I can only urge folks to pay attention to
Norah's caution.

Pat
Charlottesville, Virginia USA

Gypsy turn - definitive definition please!

Message 29642 · ron.mackey · 14 Feb 2002 23:04:12 · Top

> Just like a regular turn in SCD, a gypsy turn is typically 2 bars or 4
> bars and may be once, 1.5, or twice around (or whatever, depending on
> the needs of the dance).
>
> Basically it is a turn where the dancers come almost shoulder to
> shoulder, but do not use hands, just eyes.

Hi,
From this one supposes that the long left shoulder pass in
MacDonald of the Isles between the two diagonal reels can be termed
'Gypsy Turns' ?
Or the passes in the centre of The Courage Reel?

Cheers, Ron :)

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

Gypsy turn - definitive definition please!

Message 29645 · SMiskoe · 15 Feb 2002 01:08:59 · Top

Now that the gypsy turn has been discussed and described, how about just
dancing it without dissecting the movement. You move around your partner, or
another person. You give eye contact and flirt a bit. Do we need any more
instruction? I think not. It will take all the fun out of the figure if we
worry about where the shoulders are, do we assume eye contact on bar 2 or bar
3, does flirtation occur only on bars 3-4. Is there anything in the manual
about how to flirt?
In contra dancing, which embraced the figure in the mid-70's, under the
influence of Ted Sannella, a gypsy is usually followed by a swing. The 2
movements take 8 bars so part of the fun is the variation one can bring to
the transition. Gypsy for 2 bars and then into 6 of swing, gypsy for 5 or 6
to tantalize your partner and then a quick swing, ignore the gypsy and have a
nice 8 bar swing, etc.
I've not yet encountered the gypsy in SCD, but when I dance it I never think
of where my shoulders, hands are and if I am using all 4 bars to do the
figure.
|Cheers,
Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH USA

Gypsy turn - definitive definition please!

Message 29650 · Pia Walker · 15 Feb 2002 10:31:28 · Top

I thought you smouldered :>) at your partner. You know the deep,
meaningful. pouty look - upper body - slightly thrust forward towards the
chosen one - while the turn instead of being up up and up is into the floor,
gliding and circling - and your personal space definitely invaded.

Pia
----- Original Message -----
From: <SMiskoe@aol.com>
To: <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Friday, February 15, 2002 12:08 AM
Subject: Re: Gypsy turn - definitive definition please!

> Now that the gypsy turn has been discussed and described, how about just
> dancing it without dissecting the movement. You move around your partner,
or
> another person. You give eye contact and flirt a bit. Do we need any
more
> instruction? I think not. It will take all the fun out of the figure if
we
> worry about where the shoulders are, do we assume eye contact on bar 2 or
bar
> 3, does flirtation occur only on bars 3-4. Is there anything in the
manual
> about how to flirt?
> In contra dancing, which embraced the figure in the mid-70's, under the
> influence of Ted Sannella, a gypsy is usually followed by a swing. The 2
> movements take 8 bars so part of the fun is the variation one can bring to
> the transition. Gypsy for 2 bars and then into 6 of swing, gypsy for 5 or
6
> to tantalize your partner and then a quick swing, ignore the gypsy and
have a
> nice 8 bar swing, etc.
> I've not yet encountered the gypsy in SCD, but when I dance it I never
think
> of where my shoulders, hands are and if I am using all 4 bars to do the
> figure.
> |Cheers,
> Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH USA

Gypsy turn - definitive definition please!

Message 29666 · Priscilla M. Burrage · 16 Feb 2002 16:22:50 · Top

nOn Fri, 15 Feb 2002, Pia Walker wrote:

> I thought you smouldered :>) at your partner. You know the deep,
> meaningful. pouty look - upper body - slightly thrust forward towards the
> chosen one - while the turn instead of being up up and up is into the floor,
> gliding and circling - and your personal space definitely invaded.

A perfect definition. If you left out the skip change, the body positions
would be right also. How about a low, gliding slip step?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Priscilla Burrage Vermont US
(pburrage@zoo.uvm.edu)

Gypsy turn - definitive definition please!

Message 29674 · Pia Walker · 17 Feb 2002 18:05:06 · Top

You could still do in with a skip change of step, but you would have to aim
it a slightly after the beat - what my old ball room teacher called: use
ALL of the music

Pia
----- Original Message -----
From: Priscilla M. Burrage <pburrage@zoo.uvm.edu>
To: <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Saturday, February 16, 2002 3:22 PM
Subject: Re: Gypsy turn - definitive definition please!

> nOn Fri, 15 Feb 2002, Pia Walker wrote:
>
> > I thought you smouldered :>) at your partner. You know the deep,
> > meaningful. pouty look - upper body - slightly thrust forward towards
the
> > chosen one - while the turn instead of being up up and up is into the
floor,
> > gliding and circling - and your personal space definitely invaded.
>
> A perfect definition. If you left out the skip change, the body positions
> would be right also. How about a low, gliding slip step?
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> Priscilla Burrage Vermont US
> (pburrage@zoo.uvm.edu)
>
>

Gypsy turn - definitive definition please!

Message 29704 · SallenNic · 22 Feb 2002 03:02:05 · Top

In a message dated 15/2/02 1:57:44 pm, adamoutside@yahoo.co.uk writes:

>On the other hand I was saying bad things about the man who changed the
>name of "Cuckolds all a-wry" to "Hey boys and up we go". I think you'll
>find he did "just make up" that name.
>
>I have a great deal of trouble with the arrogance of a man who dismissed
>the stepping of Surrey as "not worth noting" and the whole of
>Cambridgeshire dance as "degenerate". I'm sorry if that occasionally
>comes out in my posts.
>
>Adam
>Cambridge, UK. Born in Surrey, UK.

Sadly, it is now fashionable to knock Cecil Sharp instead of celebrate
the fact that he is the reason we all do a large repertoire of ECD, Sword and
Morris today.
Pat Shaw. who is probably to date the only person to equal Sharp's
country dance research, always said that he admired Sharp for the amount he
got right, and found it almost incredible how little he got wrong.
In 1904, or thereabouts, a dance called 'Cuckolds all a row' (sic) would
hardly have been acceptable in society.
What about the three dances from Surrey which Sharp published?
When you consider the amount of material Sharp collected (and
transcribed), bearing in mind that he suffered indifferent health for many
years, eventually dying in his middle sixties, is it really surprising that
he chose to limit his fields in some respects?

Nicolas B., Lanark, Scotland.

Gypsy turn - definitive definition please!

Message 29648 · Patricia Ruggiero · 15 Feb 2002 05:01:21 · Top

Ron asked:

>From this one supposes that the long left shoulder pass in MacDonald of the
Isles between the two diagonal reels can be termed 'Gypsy Turns' ?

The way some English dancers execute the L-shoulder pass between two
diagonal reels of 4, in this and any other Scottish dance, can definitely be
described as a "gypsy."

Incidentally, in contra and ECD the figure is called "gypsy," rather than
"gypsy turn."

Pat
Charlottesville, Virginia USA

Previous thread: Spring Fling - Melbourne, Florida
Next thread: website
A Django site.