strathspey Archive: Re:Dancing Master, was Naming of formations

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Re:Dancing Master, was Naming of formations

Message 51240 · Rebecca Sager · 21 Feb 2008 16:06:03 · Top

Great dance, but not RSCDS!

Becky

Becky Sager
Marietta GA USA

-- "Ron Mackey" <ron.mackey@talktalk.net> wrote:

----- Original Message -----
From: "Robert James Robertson McArthur" <rjrmcarthur@hotmail.co.uk>
To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Thursday, February 21, 2008 1:34 PM
Subject: RE: Naming of formations

Anselm
I don't have any books so I cannot check but surely The Dancing Master is
published with non-changing reels
-------------------------
R.J.R.McA. beat me to it. I must read all my mail before replying! :~)
Ron

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Re:Dancing Master, was Naming of formations

Message 51244 · GOSS9@telefonica.net · 21 Feb 2008 17:06:04 · Top

Regarding Sager´s "Great dance, but not RSCDS".

Could I have a definition please as I am not sure of the meaning, not
having seen the post leading up to this.

Possibilities for RSCDS as a definition.
1. Dances published by the RSCDS.
2. Dances that appear on dance programs sponsored by the RSCDS, its
branches, or afiliated groups.
3. Dances that, in style and format, do not conflict with some
generally assumed norms of the RSCDS in the past, present, or in the
forseeable future.

Possibilities for "not RSCDS"
1. Dances not published by the RSCDS.
2. Dances that have never appeared on dance programs sponsored by the
RSCDS, its branches, or afiliated groups.
3. Dances that, because of their style and format, conflict with some
generally assumed norms of the RSCDS, or its members, are unlikely
every to be accepted by people considering themselves "Scottish Country
Dancers", or dancers of Scottish country dancing at any time in the
forseeable future.

Dancing Master, was Naming of formations

Message 51246 · Anselm Lingnau · 21 Feb 2008 17:33:38 · Top

GOSS9@telefonica.net wrote:

> Regarding Sager´s "Great dance, but not RSCDS".
>
> Could I have a definition please as I am not sure of the meaning, not
> having seen the post leading up to this.

»The Dancing Master« is not an »RSCDS dance« in the sense that it has not
appeared in an RSCDS publication.

The Manual restricts itself to describing the formations that actually occur
in dances published by the Society. So far no dance containing a »tandem reel
without lead change« has been published by the Society -- the only dance
containing any type of tandem reel whatsoever that the Society has published
is Pelorus Jack (in book 41), which does feature lead changes.

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau, Friedberg, Germany ..................... anselm@strathspey.org
If the truth was too precious to waste on politics for Bush I and a challenge
to overcome for Clinton, for our current George Bush it is simply boring and
uncool. Bush II administration lies are often so laughably obvious that you
wonder why they bother. Until you realize: They haven't bothered.
-- Michael Kinsley, _Lying in Style_

Dancing Master, was Naming of formations

Message 51249 · Andrew Buxton · 21 Feb 2008 20:07:52 · Top

Except that I have a copy of the Reel no. 189 (1989) where I believe it was first published by the London Branch of the RSXXX.

Andrew

-----
Andrew Buxton
Lewes, East Sussex, UK

----- Original Message ----
From: Becky Sager <bsager3@juno.com>
To: strathspey@strathspey.org
Sent: Thursday, 21 February, 2008 3:06:03 PM
Subject: Re:Dancing Master, was Naming of formations

Great dance, but not RSCDS!

Becky

Becky Sager
Marietta GA USA

-- "Ron Mackey" <ron.mackey@talktalk.net> wrote:

----- Original Message -----
From: "Robert James Robertson McArthur" <rjrmcarthur@hotmail.co.uk>
To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Thursday, February 21, 2008 1:34 PM
Subject: RE: Naming of formations

Anselm
I don't have any books so I cannot check but surely The Dancing Master is
published with non-changing reels
-------------------------
R.J.R.McA. beat me to it. I must read all my mail before replying! :~)
Ron

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Dancing Master, was Naming of formations

Message 51253 · ron.mackey · 21 Feb 2008 21:19:31 · Top

Except that I have a copy of the Reel no. 189 (1989) where I believe it was
first published by the London Branch of the RSXXX.

Andrew

-----
Andrew Buxton

So the memory loss is not quite terminal! Phew!
Ron


Dancing Master, was Naming of formations

Message 51250 · S. Keith Graham · 21 Feb 2008 20:16:44 · Top

A friend of mine describes "folk dance" as "whatever the folks do".
Contra dancing, ceilidh dancing, swing dancing, and whatever is
happening in night clubs are examples of "folk dance". People who
catalog folk dance generally do so descriptively. They observe and
describe what is being done, and record it for posterity.

The RSCDS has chosen to take a prescriptive approach. In theory, they
are attempting to preserve a form of dance as performed in Scotland at
some point in history. This led the Society to reject all newly
devised dances for many years as they weren't part of the history.
(In practice, what is being danced today appears to be a unique
creation based on historical folk dancing with some ballet influence
and some evolution over the last 75-100 years.)

Competitive ballroom dancing, highland dancing, and many other sports
use the prescriptive approach.

Both approaches have advantages and disadvantages.

But in this context, "RSCDS" means "prescribed by the RSCDS". The
RSCDS does not, at the present time, make any general effort to
describe the activity going on in the "Scottish Country Dance"
community and to catalog the ongoing evolution of the form of folk
dancing derived from the "official" version except by occasional
inclusion of newly created dances in future publications.

As I understand it, official RSCDS events (such as Summer and Winter
Schools) will only use dances published by the RSCDS headquarters.

Keith Graham
skg@sadr.com

Dancing Master, was Naming of formations

Message 51258 · Martin Sheffield · 21 Feb 2008 23:45:34 · Top

Le 21 févr. 08 à 20h16, S. K. Graham a écrit :

> People who catalog folk dance generally do so descriptively. They
> observe and
> describe what is being done, and record it for posterity.

Which, of course is fully in line with 20th c thinking in the realms
of linguistics, anthropology, sociology.

Grammar came of age ; it was henceforth a description of what is, not
what ought to be.

Prescriptive grammar was at last seen to be the dead horse that 19th
c school ma'ams had been flogging, and it went out of the window.
>
> The RSCDS has chosen to take a prescriptive approach.

Did someone miss the boat?
What a pity!

Martin,
Grenoble, France.

Dancing Master, was Naming of formations

Message 51264 · Ian Brockbank · 22 Feb 2008 11:52:17 · Top

Hi Martin,

> Prescriptive grammar was at last seen to be the dead horse that 19th
> c school ma'ams had been flogging, and it went out of the window.

So that now huge swathes of the population have difficulty expressing
themselves clearly. It was easy for the teachers who knew grammer not
to teach it. It's not so easy for the teachers who now don't have the
solid grounding to start to reintroduce it (now that the social
experiment has discovered there are actually some benefits in
understanding grammar, and that we've lost them).

Ian Brockbank
Edinburgh, Scotland
ian@scottishdance.net
http://www.scottishdance.net/

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Dancing Master, was Naming of formations

Message 51259 · Andrew Smith · 22 Feb 2008 08:44:01 · Top

Keith Graham wrote:
> As I understand it, official RSCDS events (such as Summer and Winter
> Schools) will only use dances published by the RSCDS headquarters.

I cannot quote chapter and verse, as I no longer keep past programmes, but I
am absolutely certain that in the very recent past this has not applied,
because I do remember my partner expressing surprise on finding at least one
non-RSCDS dance on a programme for a Society event.
Believe it or not, but I think that the Society is trying to become less
prescriptive and more inclusive. I am inclined to the 'traditionalist', but
do recognise the need for evolution.
Andrew Smith,
Bristol, UK.
----- Original Message -----
From: "S. K. Graham" <skg@sadr.com>
To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Thursday, February 21, 2008 7:16 PM
Subject: Re: Dancing Master, was Naming of formations

>A friend of mine describes "folk dance" as "whatever the folks do".
> Contra dancing, ceilidh dancing, swing dancing, and whatever is
> happening in night clubs are examples of "folk dance". People who
> catalog folk dance generally do so descriptively. They observe and
> describe what is being done, and record it for posterity.
>
> The RSCDS has chosen to take a prescriptive approach. In theory, they
> are attempting to preserve a form of dance as performed in Scotland at
> some point in history. This led the Society to reject all newly
> devised dances for many years as they weren't part of the history.
> (In practice, what is being danced today appears to be a unique
> creation based on historical folk dancing with some ballet influence
> and some evolution over the last 75-100 years.)
>
> Competitive ballroom dancing, highland dancing, and many other sports
> use the prescriptive approach.
>
> Both approaches have advantages and disadvantages.
>
> But in this context, "RSCDS" means "prescribed by the RSCDS". The
> RSCDS does not, at the present time, make any general effort to
> describe the activity going on in the "Scottish Country Dance"
> community and to catalog the ongoing evolution of the form of folk
> dancing derived from the "official" version except by occasional
> inclusion of newly created dances in future publications.
>
> As I understand it, official RSCDS events (such as Summer and Winter
> Schools) will only use dances published by the RSCDS headquarters.
>
> Keith Graham
> skg@sadr.com
>

Dancing Master, was Naming of formations

Message 51261 · Bob McArthur · 22 Feb 2008 09:15:46 · Top

In an email I have just received from our dance teacher Joan Donald she says that the RSCDS ST ANDREWS BRANCH PLATINUM CD insert has the follwing instructions for the dances.

No4 St Andrews Welcomes Prince William

Point.1 The females are called Women not ladies

Point.2 This dance has Tandem Reels.
Explanation given as:- NOTE: "IN TANDEM" - the man remains behind his partner throughout the reel and the dancing couple dances as a unit.

Does this add any clarity to the Naming of Formations issue?

Bob McArthur
Scosha, Bournemouth UK

> From: afsmith@talktalk.net> To: strathspey@strathspey.org> Date: Fri, 22 Feb 2008 07:44:01 +0000> Subject: Re: Dancing Master, was Naming of formations> > Keith Graham wrote:> > As I understand it, official RSCDS events (such as Summer and Winter> > Schools) will only use dances published by the RSCDS headquarters.> > I cannot quote chapter and verse, as I no longer keep past programmes, but I > am absolutely certain that in the very recent past this has not applied, > because I do remember my partner expressing surprise on finding at least one > non-RSCDS dance on a programme for a Society event.> Believe it or not, but I think that the Society is trying to become less > prescriptive and more inclusive. I am inclined to the 'traditionalist', but > do recognise the need for evolution.> Andrew Smith,> Bristol, UK.> ----- Original Message ----- > From: "S. K. Graham" <skg@sadr.com>> To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>> Sent: Thursday, February 21, 2008 7:16 PM> Subject: Re: Dancing Master, was Naming of formations> > > >A friend of mine describes "folk dance" as "whatever the folks do".> > Contra dancing, ceilidh dancing, swing dancing, and whatever is> > happening in night clubs are examples of "folk dance". People who> > catalog folk dance generally do so descriptively. They observe and> > describe what is being done, and record it for posterity.> >> > The RSCDS has chosen to take a prescriptive approach. In theory, they> > are attempting to preserve a form of dance as performed in Scotland at> > some point in history. This led the Society to reject all newly> > devised dances for many years as they weren't part of the history.> > (In practice, what is being danced today appears to be a unique> > creation based on historical folk dancing with some ballet influence> > and some evolution over the last 75-100 years.)> >> > Competitive ballroom dancing, highland dancing, and many other sports> > use the prescriptive approach.> >> > Both approaches have advantages and disadvantages.> >> > But in this context, "RSCDS" means "prescribed by the RSCDS". The> > RSCDS does not, at the present time, make any general effort to> > describe the activity going on in the "Scottish Country Dance"> > community and to catalog the ongoing evolution of the form of folk> > dancing derived from the "official" version except by occasional> > inclusion of newly created dances in future publications.> >> > As I understand it, official RSCDS events (such as Summer and Winter> > Schools) will only use dances published by the RSCDS headquarters.> >> > Keith Graham> > skg@sadr.com> > > >
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Re:Dancing Master, was Naming of formations

Message 51251 · ron.mackey · 21 Feb 2008 20:27:25 · Top

Great dance, but not RSCDS!

Becky

Becky Sager
Marietta GA USA

-- "Ron Mackey" <ron.mackey@talktalk.net> wrote:

Thought they had adopted it, _must_ be getting old!
However - surely it must have been known to the decision makers so why was
the figure ignored?

Re:Dancing Master, was Naming of formations

Message 51254 · Loretta Holz · 21 Feb 2008 21:48:40 · Top

From Becky
Great dance, but not RSCDS!
From Ron Mackey
Thought they had adopted it...

On the RSCDS website -- http://www.rscds.org/shop/dance-query-index
You can query this index which is described as follows and has all the
dances in the RSCDS books--

This dance index (containing about 800 dance names) is designed to help
those searching for a dance, perhaps only knowing a fragment of the
name, or those searching for a publication or recording of a known
dance. The index can be queried either on the first letter or on
character sequences, words, or even listed in its entirety. Each dance
has various items of information added to it, examples being the basic
information about the dance, what recordings of associated music we
sell, and any other items which have a connection to the dance. We look
forward to adding even more information in future.

The Dancing Master does not come up as an RSCDS dance. Dances published
by local RSCDS groups are seemingly not included in the RSCDS approved
list.

My questions ---
(1) It seems that RSCDS is no longer publishing books of dances --- does
this mean no dances will be added to the 800+ in this index and no new
ones will be on the approved list.
(2) How were the dances chosen for the books? Who tested and approved
them? Is this mechanism for approving dances still in place?
(3) Why is the name of the devisor not listed in this index? This would
be very useful information. Seems like an insult to the devisors. What
if the publisher took the name of the author off a book that was being
published?
(4) (here I go out on a limb) why are people so concerned about whether
a dance is RSCDS? My experience has been they are not the best dances.
Lots of very boring ones which are just a string of figures, not
interesting or well constructed. When a dance is designated RSCDS I
have lower expectations (and I often havwe to wonder who wrote it).

Best dances (was Re:Dancing Master etc)

Message 51260 · Andrew Smith · 22 Feb 2008 09:03:26 · Top

Loretta (from ?) wrote:
"(4) (here I go out on a limb) why are people so concerned about whether a
dance is RSCDS? My experience has been they are not the best dances.
Lots of very boring ones which are just a string of figures, not interesting
or well constructed. When a dance is designated RSCDS I have lower
expectations (and I often havwe to wonder who wrote it)."

It would be interesting to have a definition of a "best" dance.
IMHO a significant number of new dances fall in to the category to which
Loretta has consigned 'RSCDS' dances. All dances come down to "a string of
figures" in the final analysis.
I believe that the music has a great deal to do with it, as has the degree
of social interaction and the resultant fun and enjoyment. If the dance is
so "interesting" that everyone has to concentrate so hard that they forget
they are dancing for pleasure with 6 or 8 other folk, then I believe the
point has been lost.
It is one of my anxieties about 'demonstrations' - they tend to be
'interesting' (which I interpret as 'complicated/involved') and I do wonder
how many onlookers go away feeling, "I could never do that", rather than,
"That looks like a lot of fun, I'd like to have a go."
Andrew Smith,
Bristol, UK.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Loretta Holz" <loretta@varisys.com>
To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Thursday, February 21, 2008 8:48 PM
Subject: RE: Re:Dancing Master, was Naming of formations

Best dances (was Re:Dancing Master etc)

Message 51262 · Pia Walker · 22 Feb 2008 10:02:04 · Top

Surely it also depends on what people want from a dance. For example, I do
not like 5-couple dances - having my head swivel constantly in order to
dance at the right time and therefore not able to dance with anyone in
particular is not my kind of fun. In my own opinion, I don't think that a
dance need to be intricate to be good, I much prefer interaction,
sociability and fun. Although a good athletic work-out in class sometimes
can be rewarding.

The RSCDS dances are devised by 'normal' dancers who submit their dances to
the RSCDS - so I suppose one can only select from what comes in :>) Turn
it on the head - are people only submitting dances which are they think the
RSCDS will accept ?

And to show my ignorance - can anyone show me where it is written that the
RSCDS is policing what is danced by groups and branches in the whole wide
world? I have yet to meet the official RSCDS police-force :>)

Have a nice dancing weekend

Pia
Stir, stir, stir :>)

-----Original Message-----
From: strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org
[mailto:strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org]On Behalf Of
Andrew Smith
Sent: 22 February 2008 08:03
To: SCD news and discussion
Subject: Best dances (was Re:Dancing Master etc)

Loretta (from ?) wrote:
"(4) (here I go out on a limb) why are people so concerned about whether a
dance is RSCDS? My experience has been they are not the best dances.
Lots of very boring ones which are just a string of figures, not interesting
or well constructed. When a dance is designated RSCDS I have lower
expectations (and I often havwe to wonder who wrote it)."

It would be interesting to have a definition of a "best" dance.
IMHO a significant number of new dances fall in to the category to which
Loretta has consigned 'RSCDS' dances. All dances come down to "a string of
figures" in the final analysis.
I believe that the music has a great deal to do with it, as has the degree
of social interaction and the resultant fun and enjoyment. If the dance is
so "interesting" that everyone has to concentrate so hard that they forget
they are dancing for pleasure with 6 or 8 other folk, then I believe the
point has been lost.
It is one of my anxieties about 'demonstrations' - they tend to be
'interesting' (which I interpret as 'complicated/involved') and I do wonder
how many onlookers go away feeling, "I could never do that", rather than,
"That looks like a lot of fun, I'd like to have a go."
Andrew Smith,
Bristol, UK.

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05:50

Re:Dancing Master, was Naming of formations

Message 51265 · Ian Brockbank · 22 Feb 2008 11:54:06 · Top

Hi Loretta,

> The Dancing Master does not come up as an RSCDS dance.
> Dances published
> by local RSCDS groups are seemingly not included in the RSCDS approved
> list.

You are reading more into this web page than is intended. It forms part
of the RSCDS shop area, and is intended to make it easy for people to
find the appropriate publications stocked by Coates Crescent where they
know the dance they are seeking. It is not intended to be a list of
"approved" dances in any way. I think the page makes this clear:

> You can query this index which is described as follows and has all the
> dances in the RSCDS books--
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

> (2) How were the dances chosen for the books? Who tested and approved
> them? Is this mechanism for approving dances still in place?

Jim Healy gave a description of the mechanism to the Scottish Branches
Conference earlier in the month. All submitted dances are forwarded
unread to a single member of the Membership Services committee. This
member then anonymises and distributes the anonymised dances. The
dances are danced through, to the submitted music if stated, using the
form of the instructions as provided (modulo the anonymisation) and
rated.

After dancing through, it is linked back to its dev^h^h^hcreator, who is
contacted with the feedback, and possibly the dances are taken further.

> (4) (here I go out on a limb) why are people so concerned
> about whether
> a dance is RSCDS? My experience has been they are not the
> best dances.
> Lots of very boring ones which are just a string of figures, not
> interesting or well constructed. When a dance is designated RSCDS I
> have lower expectations (and I often havwe to wonder who wrote it).

When the Society was in its late preservation phase, it was rummaging
around in manuscripts, and had already used up most of the better
dances, so not all dances published by the RSCDS are the greatest (you
only see a very few from the late book 20s, for example), but once they
started accepting submissions they got on a roll - starting with Book
31. Are you really telling me you don't think Follow Me Home or Joie de
Vivre or The Gentleman or Johnnie's Welcome Hame or... are well
constructed enjoyable dances? Is Polharrow Burn now a lesser dance for
having been republished by the RSCDS? On the plus side of RSCDS dances
- they are readily available and known world-wide, and they have been
through a vetting process (at least the newer ones).

The older dances were simpler on the whole - SCD hadn't had 80 years of
evolution and invention, and wasn't competing with such cerebral
pastimes as SCD nowadays. But they have their own charm, and are
interesting in a different way.

On the other hand, I agree there are also many nice dances which haven't
been published by the RSCDS.

Cheers,

Ian Brockbank
Edinburgh, Scotland
ian@scottishdance.net
http://www.scottishdance.net/

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Fax: +44 (0)131 272 7001
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Company number SC089839

Registered office:

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Dancing in Princes St Gardens

Message 51266 · campbell · 22 Feb 2008 12:29:21 · Top

Can anyone tell me if the dancing is still going to happen this year, and if
so when it will start?

Campbell Tyler
Cape Town

Dancing in Princes St Gardens

Message 51267 · Agnes MacMichael · 22 Feb 2008 12:57:27 · Top

Hi Campbell
Princes Street Gardens will start on Monday 26 May 2008 through to Monday 28
July. Monday nights only in Princes Street Gardens. Tuesday nights will be
indoors at a venue still to be confirmed.
If you would like a programme when they are available, please let me know.
Agnes Macmichael
Secretary for Gardens Scottish Country Dancers

On 22/02/2008, Campbell Tyler <campbell@tyler.co.za> wrote:
>
> Can anyone tell me if the dancing is still going to happen this year, and
> if
> so when it will start?
>
> Campbell Tyler
> Cape Town
>
>

Newcastle festival 2008?

Message 51286 · Andrea Re · 26 Feb 2008 08:51:45 · Top

Hi there,

has anybody got any news, comments or clips to share. There are a couple
on youtube, but that's it.

Cheers,

Andrea (fae Dundee)

Newcastle festival 2008?

Message 51292 · mlamontbrown · 26 Feb 2008 14:42:43 · Top

Andrea

As nobody seems to have replied,

The results were as follows:
Ladies Teams - London RSCDS
Mixed Teams - Joint first: Alba SCD (Glasgow) & Corryvrechan A
Under 16s - Darlington Junior SCD
Display - Corryvrechan

The festival was a great event, and the overall standard was very high.

The display performance by the International Team, based on a medley of many dances,
was very impressive, both for the choreography and the fact that the dancers came
from such diverse parts of the world but still seemed to know where they were going.

I have put together a DVD lasting about an hour showing extracts or more for nearly
all of the teams taking part in the festival - copies can be made available if anyone
is interested, probable price £10 incl post & packing (I prefer the quality to that
on YouTube!)

Malcolm

Malcolm L Brown
York (UK)

> -----Original Message-----
> From: strathspey-bounces-mlamontbrown=btopenworld.com@strathspey.org
> [mailto:strathspey-bounces-mlamontbrown=btopenworld.com@strathspey.org] On Behalf
Of
> Andrea Re
> Sent: 26 February 2008 07:52
> To: SCD news and discussion
> Subject: Newcastle festival 2008?
>
> Hi there,
>
> has anybody got any news, comments or clips to share. There are a couple
> on youtube, but that's it.
>
> Cheers,
>
> Andrea (fae Dundee)

Newcastle festival 2008?

Message 51293 · suepetyt · 26 Feb 2008 15:14:35 · Top

Just a reminder that you have to have a licence from MCPS to allow you to
use the music which is recorded on the DVD and that this normally has to be
paid upfront unless you are selling very large quantities.

It means that musicians get a fair (if small) payment for the use of their
performances, compositions and recordings. Even putting this extracts on
YouTube is strictly incorrect if you do not own the rights, but if DVDs are
being sold without a licence MCPS can prosecute for breach of copyright.

Sue Petyt
Lochmaben

Malcolm wrote

I have put together a DVD lasting about an hour showing extracts or more for
nearly
all of the teams taking part in the festival - copies can be made available
if anyone
is interested, probable price £10 incl post & packing (I prefer the quality
to that
on YouTube!)

Newcastle festival 2008?

Message 51295 · Anselm Lingnau · 26 Feb 2008 17:58:39 · Top

Sue Petyt wrote:

> It means that musicians get a fair (if small) payment for the use of their
> performances, compositions and recordings. Even putting this extracts on
> YouTube is strictly incorrect if you do not own the rights, but if DVDs are
> being sold without a licence MCPS can prosecute for breach of copyright.

I quite agree (being one myself) that musicians deserve compensation for their
efforts. However, two observations are in order:

- MCPS only has standing to prosecute if they indeed hold any copyright on the
material in question. Considering that much of the SCD music repertoire is
in the public domain, this is at least not a 100% given fact. Without
knowing more about the nature of the music on a DVD it is impossible to tell
whether a MCPS license is even required.

- There are many ways of compensating musicians that do not involve the MCPS,
whose main purpose as an organisation appears to be keeping Robbie Williams,
Madonna and friends from starvation. Interestingly, there are moves afoot
in the UK trying to prolong copyright in musical recordings by 20 years or
so, ostensibly to ensure that old musicians won't suddenly lose most of
their income (funnily enough, all the rest of the nation's workforce has
been, and still is, expected to work for their own retirement packages (at
least notionally)). The real reason behind this seems to be that a lot of
material recorded in the late 50s and early 60s is about to go out of
copyright, and as some of it still is of considerable commercial interest
(the Beatles, for example) this is something that the record labels do not
look forward to with eager anticipation. By comparison, if the copyright
on period Jimmy Shand records lapses, this is probably not going to put much
of an (additional) dent in EMI's earnings even though he shared a record
label with the Fab Four from Liverpool at the time :^)

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau, Friedberg, Germany ..................... anselm@strathspey.org
If you ask amateurs to act as front-line security personnel, you shouldn't be
surprised when you get amateur security. -- Bruce Schneier

Newcastle festival 2008?

Message 51299 · suepetyt · 26 Feb 2008 20:15:46 · Top

Anselm wrote

- MCPS only has standing to prosecute if they indeed hold any copyright on
the
material in question. Considering that much of the SCD music repertoire is
in the public domain, this is at least not a 100% given fact. Without
knowing more about the nature of the music on a DVD it is impossible to
tell
whether a MCPS license is even required.

Having produced several DVDs and CDs I can agree that some SCD tunes are
traditional and therefore do not require a licence fee, but by no means all.
In addition to the rights of the composer of the tune, if the group who are
dancing at the festival have used music from a commercial CD rather than a
live musician at the event, then the performer on the CD and the producer of
the CD also have entitlements under MCPS.

I know than many musicians are not worried by this, but I also know that
some take this very seriously, particularly those who are fully professional
and make their living this way. SCD musicians do not come into the category
of pop starts and it seems fair to ensure they get their entitlement.

Happy Dancing
Sue Petyt
www.suepetyt.me.uk
-----Original Message-----
From: strathspey-bounces-sue=suepetyt.me.uk@strathspey.org
[mailto:strathspey-bounces-sue=suepetyt.me.uk@strathspey.org] On Behalf Of
Anselm Lingnau
Sent: 26 February 2008 16:59
To: SCD news and discussion
Subject: Re: Newcastle festival 2008?

Sue Petyt wrote:

> It means that musicians get a fair (if small) payment for the use of their
> performances, compositions and recordings. Even putting this extracts on
> YouTube is strictly incorrect if you do not own the rights, but if DVDs
are
> being sold without a licence MCPS can prosecute for breach of copyright.

I quite agree (being one myself) that musicians deserve compensation for
their
efforts. However, two observations are in order:

- MCPS only has standing to prosecute if they indeed hold any copyright on
the
material in question. Considering that much of the SCD music repertoire is
in the public domain, this is at least not a 100% given fact. Without
knowing more about the nature of the music on a DVD it is impossible to
tell
whether a MCPS license is even required.

- There are many ways of compensating musicians that do not involve the
MCPS,
whose main purpose as an organisation appears to be keeping Robbie
Williams,
Madonna and friends from starvation. Interestingly, there are moves afoot
in the UK trying to prolong copyright in musical recordings by 20 years or
so, ostensibly to ensure that old musicians won't suddenly lose most of
their income (funnily enough, all the rest of the nation's workforce has
been, and still is, expected to work for their own retirement packages (at
least notionally)). The real reason behind this seems to be that a lot of
material recorded in the late 50s and early 60s is about to go out of
copyright, and as some of it still is of considerable commercial interest
(the Beatles, for example) this is something that the record labels do not
look forward to with eager anticipation. By comparison, if the copyright
on period Jimmy Shand records lapses, this is probably not going to put
much
of an (additional) dent in EMI's earnings even though he shared a record
label with the Fab Four from Liverpool at the time :^)

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau, Friedberg, Germany .....................
anselm@strathspey.org
If you ask amateurs to act as front-line security personnel, you shouldn't
be
surprised when you get amateur security. -- Bruce
Schneier

Newcastle festival 2008?

Message 51309 · mlamontbrown · 27 Feb 2008 00:44:33 · Top

Thanks Sue - I have taken your advice and obtained a licence.

Malcolm
Malcolm L Brown
York (UK)

> -----Original Message-----
> From: strathspey-bounces-mlamontbrown=btopenworld.com@strathspey.org
> [mailto:strathspey-bounces-mlamontbrown=btopenworld.com@strathspey.org] On Behalf
Of
> Sue Petyt
> Sent: 26 February 2008 14:15
> To: 'SCD news and discussion'
> Subject: RE: Newcastle festival 2008?
>
>
>
> Just a reminder that you have to have a licence from MCPS to allow you to
> use the music which is recorded on the DVD and that this normally has to be
> paid upfront unless you are selling very large quantities.
>
> It means that musicians get a fair (if small) payment for the use of their
> performances, compositions and recordings. Even putting this extracts on
> YouTube is strictly incorrect if you do not own the rights, but if DVDs are
> being sold without a licence MCPS can prosecute for breach of copyright.
>
> Sue Petyt
> Lochmaben
>
> Malcolm wrote
>
> I have put together a DVD lasting about an hour showing extracts or more for
> nearly
> all of the teams taking part in the festival - copies can be made available
> if anyone
> is interested, probable price £10 incl post & packing (I prefer the quality
> to that
> on YouTube!)
>
>

Newcastle festival 2008?

Message 51311 · ron.mackey · 27 Feb 2008 01:23:18 · Top

I have put together a DVD lasting about an hour showing extracts or more for
nearly
all of the teams taking part in the festival - copies can be made available if
anyone
is interested, probable price £10 incl post & packing (I prefer the quality to
that
on YouTube!)

Malcolm

Malcolm L Brown
York (UK)

I'm a buyer, please Malcolm.
Ron


Re:Dancing Master, was Naming of formations

Message 51271 · Peter Price · 22 Feb 2008 20:59:55 · Top

Loretta wrot & Ian responded:

>
>
> > (4) (here I go out on a limb) why are people so concerned
> > about whether
> > a dance is RSCDS? My experience has been they are not the
> > best dances.
> > Lots of very boring ones which are just a string of figures, not
> > interesting or well constructed. When a dance is designated RSCDS I
> > have lower expectations (and I often havwe to wonder who wrote it).
>
> When the Society was in its late preservation phase, it was rummaging
> around in manuscripts, and had already used up most of the better
> dances, so not all dances published by the RSCDS are the greatest (you
> only see a very few from the late book 20s, for example),

The New Haven Branch is hosting its annual Ball March 1st and the program
is a pleasant one. Three dances in particular have caught my attention.

>From Book 26: 'A Mile to Ride' - The first 8 bars are forgettable but the
turns in the next 8 bars, though they take work (and there is nothing wrong
with that) are simply delightful. And the way in which 1st couple reconnect
is noteworthy.

My previous experience with Minnie Banninger's dance 'The Wishing Well' (Bk
44/6) had me thinking it was more than a little fussy. I have changed my
mind. Fussy no. Requiring real work on the dancers part to stitch together
16 bars of mostly 2 bar phrases- yes. But once they accept that they have to
DO some work the dancers have risen to the challenge and are now doing the
dance very nicely indeed.

The third dance is 'Miss Jane Muirhead of Dunsmuir' from the SF Branch's
Dunsmuir Book. My initial response was 'uninspired'. After teaching it to
three groups I now have it catagorized as 'very sweet'. Not radical but
rather subtle, somewhat old fashioned in flavor, and very beautiful.

There are some very good dances indeed in the RSCDS books. Sometimes you
have to search hard to find them, and often you have to lay your prejudices
aside to let the finding happen- or at least be open to possibility when the
opportunity to revisit these older dances comes your way.

Peter Price

Quality of dances in/not in RSCDS list (was Dancing Master)

Message 51272 · Loretta Holz · 22 Feb 2008 21:27:33 · Top

This is what I said--
>> > (4) why are people so concerned about whether
>> > a dance is RSCDS? My experience has been they are not the
>> > best dances.

Peter said
> There are some very good dances indeed in the RSCDS books. Sometimes you
> have to search hard to find them, and often you have to lay your
> prejudices
> aside to let the finding happen- or at least be open to possibility when
> the
> opportunity to revisit these older dances comes your way.

The way I read your comments, Peter, we are in agreement or close to it.
There are SOME very good RSCDS dances ....Sometimes you have to SEARCH HARD
to find them. I would absolutely agree with this -- there are SOME fine
RSCDS dances but the fact that the are RSCDS does not make this more likely
that they are "finer" dances.

When you say "often YOU have to lay your prejudices aside" the YOU is
ambiguous --it could be just me or YOU in general which would mean people in
general have prejudices in this matter (do they? I can only speak for me).
I admit that sometimes when I read a dance it does not seem to be that
interesting but it dances much better than I anticipated (whether RSCDS or
not). But since our group cannot do all of the many thousands of dances, I
need to try the most likely ones!

So I suggest another topic--what makes a SCD "fine"?

Loretta (Warren, NJ, USA)

"Feathers" again

Message 51284 · e.ferguson · 26 Feb 2008 00:46:46 · Top

Loretta Holz posted:

Date sent: Fri, 22 Feb 2008 15:27:33 -0500
From: Loretta Holz <loretta@varisys.com>

> <snip> . There are SOME very good RSCDS dances ....Sometimes you have
> to SEARCH HARD to find them. I would absolutely agree with this --
> there are SOME fine RSCDS dances but the fact that the are RSCDS does
> not make this more likely that they are "finer" dances.
>
> <snip> I admit that sometimes when I read a dance it does not seem to
> be that interesting but it dances much better than I anticipated
> (whether RSCDS or not). But since our group cannot do all of the many
> thousands of dances, I need to try the most likely ones! <snip>

This leads me to reiterate my "Feathers" proposal. Countless teachers
and MCs must be looking for "fine" dances for their classes or events,
but finding these amongst the 14000+ existing dances (many poorly
accessible) is a daunting job. If only they had some guideline to make a
first selection, as Loretta says, to find the "most likely ones".

Just as restaurants can get "stars", why can't we all collaborate to
award "feathers" (as on a bonnet) to dances? For instance

3 feathers - "this dance makes your evening worth while"

2 feathers - "never miss this dance"

1 feather - "quite a nice dance"

no feathers - "just one of the many"

To award such "feathers", all we need is:

A. Someone to organise this. Preferably the RSCDS, but if they don't
pick up the idea, any Branch (the IB??) or any group of friends or some
individual could do it. Technically, the process would be done on a
website.

B. Judges. A simple choice would be to allow any RSCDS Branch or
Affiliated Group to function as "judge".

C. A procedure, on how one can submit a dance to be judged, and
especially on how the various opinions from the judges are combined into
an award of "feathers". This needs some thinking.

Who can improve on or expand this suggestion, or has better ideas for
helping teachers and MCs to find the dances they desire?

Happy dancing

Eric

--
Eric T. Ferguson,
van Reenenweg 3,
3702 SB ZEIST Netherlands
tel: 030-2673638
e-mail: e.ferguson@antenna.nl

"Feathers" again

Message 51287 · Andrew Smith · 26 Feb 2008 10:16:48 · Top

My reaction is that this is an almost impossible issue to resolve, because
it will be so subjective, I would suggest.
For example, I think that the music is, for me,very, very important. I have,
on occasion, had my favourite dances spoiled pretty well completely by not
having the usual first tune at least, or not-well-chosen follow-up tunes, so
a lot depends on the band-leader's choice. At the dance before last that I
went to the band departed from the well-known tunes for the Eightsome Reel,
and there was little inspiration in the dance - it became mechanistic.
Equally, later on in another dance on the same evening I actually had
shivers running up and down my spine from one particular tune, which for me
is the ultimate dance/musical experience. Again, one band will play a tune
and it is inspiring, and another band can play the same tune and it can be
pretty pedestrian.
A dance does not have to be complex or involved for me to give it a "3
feathers" rating, as I generally dance for pleasure, enjoyment and fun,
rather than cereberal gymnastics. This is probably a function of age and the
fact that I grew up with the earlier dances, but I am not dogmatic about
that.
I also find one's partner in a dance can make such a difference as to
whether you find a given dance good, bad or indifferent. I have often had
favourite dances spoilt by having a partner who almost never acknowledged
me, and equally have thoroughly enjoyed a dance that I was not fussy about
dancing completely transformed by an engaging partner.
One's own ability and experience will almost certainly come in to play.
Then, for many groups each individual teacher's personal preferences and
experience will obviously influence the repertoire of dances that the group
enjoys and experiences.
To me it is a very complex issue, which would need several aspects to be
rated and a weighted average taken to get a single figure "feathers "rating,
rather like a "Which?" Best Buy.
There is already such a lot of negative criticism of the RSCDS flying around
that I would not blame them in the least for not rising to this particular
bait. When the Society has tried to suggest a list (presumably using a panel
of experienced dancers and teachers) of preferred dances for the year to
help programme compilers and dancers as well, how often has one heard, "What
on earth are they thinking of including that one?" They have presumably been
trying to suggest danceable dances, rather than an esoteric collection, so I
rest my case.
Andrew Smith,
Bristol, UK.

"One man's meat is another man's poison."

----- Original Message -----
From: "Eric Ferguson" <e.ferguson@antenna.nl>
To: <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Monday, February 25, 2008 11:46 PM
Subject: "Feathers" again (was: Quality of dances in/not in RSCDS list)

>>
> Just as restaurants can get "stars", why can't we all collaborate to
> award "feathers" (as on a bonnet) to dances? For instance
>
> 3 feathers - "this dance makes your evening worth while"
>
> 2 feathers - "never miss this dance"
>
> 1 feather - "quite a nice dance"
>
> no feathers - "just one of the many"
>
> To award such "feathers", all we need is:
>
> A. Someone to organise this. Preferably the RSCDS, but if they don't
> pick up the idea, any Branch (the IB??) or any group of friends or some
> individual could do it. Technically, the process would be done on a
> website.
>
> B. Judges. A simple choice would be to allow any RSCDS Branch or
> Affiliated Group to function as "judge".
>
> C. A procedure, on how one can submit a dance to be judged, and
> especially on how the various opinions from the judges are combined into
> an award of "feathers". This needs some thinking.
>
>
> Who can improve on or expand this suggestion, or has better ideas for
> helping teachers and MCs to find the dances they desire?
>
>
> Happy dancing
>
> Eric
>
>
>
>
>
> --
> Eric T. Ferguson,
> van Reenenweg 3,
> 3702 SB ZEIST Netherlands
> tel: 030-2673638
> e-mail: e.ferguson@antenna.nl
>
>

"Feathers" again

Message 51288 · campbell · 26 Feb 2008 10:27:44 · Top

Andrew wrote:

>My reaction is that this is an almost impossible issue to resolve, because
>it will be so subjective, I would suggest.
>.........
>To me it is a very complex issue, which would need several aspects to be
>rated and a weighted average taken to get a single figure "feathers >
"rating,rather like a "Which?" Best Buy.

I have a similar reaction. An alternative, not quite so nuanced but
certainly a good indication, is how often a dance appears on programmes. So
send in your programmes and I shall add them to my database and send out the
results. I have set myself a target than when the first dance gets to 10
repetitions then I will send out the "hit parade" for the first time. So
far I am up to 3.

Campbell Tyler
Cape Town

"Feathers" again

Message 51289 · Ian Brockbank · 26 Feb 2008 11:39:44 · Top

Campbell Tyler wrote:

> I have a similar reaction. An alternative, not quite so nuanced but
> certainly a good indication, is how often a dance appears on
> programmes. So
> send in your programmes and I shall add them to my database
> and send out the
> results. I have set myself a target than when the first
> dance gets to 10
> repetitions then I will send out the "hit parade" for the
> first time. So
> far I am up to 3.

Until then, there's still the list Dianna Shipman compiled,
available on http://www.scottishdance.net/scd/balldances/tabulation.html

Cheers,

Ian Brockbank
Edinburgh, Scotland
ian@scottishdance.net
http://www.scottishdance.net/

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Registered office:

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"Feathers" again

Message 51290 · Bob McArthur · 26 Feb 2008 12:45:09 · Top

Ian,

Found the Dianna Shipman list confirmed lots of the most popular dances that our relatively new and inexperienced group have practised and enjoyed in the last 18 months where our group average age is about 68 - 70 years old.

I also notice that many of the dances are those that our young students (17 - 25 age group) enjoyed at our weekend workshop in Poland. They seemed to prefer dances where nearly everyone is 'in motion' such as Trip to Bavaria or Shiftin' Bobbins.

I notice that the last update is listed as Aug 2000, is this correct?

Bob McArthur
Christchurch, UK
http://www.wessex-scd.org.uk/SCOSHA

> Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2008 10:39:44 +0000> From: Ian.Brockbank@wolfsonmicro.com> To: strathspey@strathspey.org> Subject: RE: "Feathers" again (was: Quality of dances in/not in RSCDS list)> > Campbell Tyler wrote:> > > I have a similar reaction. An alternative, not quite so nuanced but> > certainly a good indication, is how often a dance appears on > > programmes. So> > send in your programmes and I shall add them to my database > > and send out the> > results. I have set myself a target than when the first > > dance gets to 10> > repetitions then I will send out the "hit parade" for the > > first time. So> > far I am up to 3. > > Until then, there's still the list Dianna Shipman compiled,> available on http://www.scottishdance.net/scd/balldances/tabulation.html> > Cheers,> > Ian Brockbank> Edinburgh, Scotland> ian@scottishdance.net> http://www.scottishdance.net/> > Privacy & Confidentiality Notice> -------------------------------------------------> This message and any attachments contain privileged and confidential information that is intended solely for the person(s) to whom it is addressed. If you are not an intended recipient you must not: read; copy; distribute; discuss; take any action in or make any reliance upon the contents of this message; nor open or read any attachment. If you have received this message in error, please notify us as soon as possible on the following telephone number and destroy this message including any attachments. Thank you.> -------------------------------------------------> Wolfson Microelectronics plc> Tel: +44 (0)131 272 7000> Fax: +44 (0)131 272 7001> Web: www.wolfsonmicro.com> > Registered in Scotland> > Company number SC089839> > Registered office: > > Westfield House, 26 Westfield Road, Edinburgh, EH11 2QB, UK>
_________________________________________________________________
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"Feathers" again

Message 51294 · Ian Brockbank · 26 Feb 2008 16:51:15 · Top

Hi Bob,

> I notice that the last update is listed as Aug 2000, is this correct?

That is correct. I'm not sure whether Dianna is still compiling the
information, but she stopped sending me the data then.

Cheers,

Ian Brockbank
Edinburgh, Scotland
ian@scottishdance.net
http://www.scottishdance.net/

Privacy & Confidentiality Notice
-------------------------------------------------
This message and any attachments contain privileged and confidential information that is intended solely for the person(s) to whom it is addressed. If you are not an intended recipient you must not: read; copy; distribute; discuss; take any action in or make any reliance upon the contents of this message; nor open or read any attachment. If you have received this message in error, please notify us as soon as possible on the following telephone number and destroy this message including any attachments. Thank you.
-------------------------------------------------
Wolfson Microelectronics plc
Tel: +44 (0)131 272 7000
Fax: +44 (0)131 272 7001
Web: www.wolfsonmicro.com

Registered in Scotland

Company number SC089839

Registered office:

Westfield House, 26 Westfield Road, Edinburgh, EH11 2QB, UK

"Feathers" again

Message 51298 · campbell · 26 Feb 2008 19:24:35 · Top

Bob and Ian write:
> I notice that the last update is listed as Aug 2000, is this correct?

>That is correct. I'm not sure whether Dianna is still compiling the
>information, but she stopped sending me the data then.

When I wrote to Dianna about doing something similar, she wrote that she had
stopped in 2000 as she no longer had the time. So that list is the latest. I
made a decision to start in 2008 so that my lists will reflect the current
situation, not what has gone before.

Campbell Tyler
Cape Town

Sustainable Energy Africa
9B Bell Crescent Close, Westlake 7945
Telephone +27-(0)21-702-3622
Cellphone +27-(0)82-214-7174
Fax +27-(0)86-692-1968
Email campbell@sustainable.org.za

"Feathers" again

Message 51301 · Robert Lambie · 26 Feb 2008 21:02:35 · Top

The "wee green book", i.e. Pilling, is a very accurate reflection of a dance's popularity, in that the dances are chosen, or rejected, on that criterion alone, as I understand it. That was the idea of the original book, anyway, and I think it is still the case.
I think that the "bottom of the barrel" in looking for dances to publish was never the case. The 18th C dancing masters turned out a vast number of truly interesting dances, but the RSCDS didn't have access to them (or possibly didn't look). I have recently come across a book of dances written published in the early 1700's by "a person of Quality" who seems to have been a Scot judging by the Scottish nature of most of the titles, including one called Bonnie Kate of Perth which interests me considerably as that is where I dance.> From: campbell@tyler.co.za> To: strathspey@strathspey.org> Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2008 20:24:35 +0200> Subject: RE: "Feathers" again (was: Quality of dances in/not in RSCDS list)> > Bob and Ian write:> > I notice that the last update is listed as Aug 2000, is this correct?> > >That is correct. I'm not sure whether Dianna is still compiling the> >information, but she stopped sending me the data then.> > > When I wrote to Dianna about doing something similar, she wrote that she had> stopped in 2000 as she no longer had the time. So that list is the latest. I> made a decision to start in 2008 so that my lists will reflect the current> situation, not what has gone before.> > Campbell Tyler> Cape Town> > Sustainable Energy Africa> 9B Bell Crescent Close, Westlake 7945> Telephone +27-(0)21-702-3622 > Cellphone +27-(0)82-214-7174> Fax +27-(0)86-692-1968> Email campbell@sustainable.org.za>
_________________________________________________________________
Share what Santa brought you
https://www.mycooluncool.com

"Feathers" again

Message 51356 · Bruce Herbold · 3 Mar 2008 23:51:59 · Top

I wish I could agree with this, cuz' I love the WGB. But it simply
isn't true. The wee green book has always kept most rscds dances
included without regard totheir populatrity (when did anyone ever do
Push about the Jorum or Theekit Hoose of Cromartie's Rant? But there
they are still in the 8th edtion). At the same time the WGB has never
included many rscds dances including New Petronella, The Star, and
most sadly Lady Harriet Hope which mostly were published after the
first few editions but before about book 30.

But in the 8th edition the authors seem to have decided to include
dances from a couple of sources that had not even been published yet
or which are very little known -- such as Breakish Postie and the
double H jig -- and they newly included lesser known dances by Cosh
like Dunivard Reel and Cousin Jim. And they continue to include The
City of Nairobi Reel without any evidence that it was published
anywhere else or is done by anyone other thatn WGB browsers (it is a
nice dance but with 14000 other published dances it seems an odd
inclusion).

So no, I would not recoomend using the WGB to assess the popularity of dances.

But I still would like a hand filtering through those 14000 dances; it
is way too much for me.

Bruce Herbold
San Francisco

On 2/26/08, Robert Lambie <ralambie50@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> The "wee green book", i.e. Pilling, is a very accurate reflection of a dance's popularity, in that the dances are chosen, or rejected, on that criterion alone, as I understand it. That was the idea of the original book, anyway, and I think it is still the case.
> I think that the "bottom of the barrel" in looking for dances to publish was never the case. The 18th C dancing masters turned out a vast number of truly interesting dances, but the RSCDS didn't have access to them (or possibly didn't look). I have recently come across a book of dances written published in the early 1700's by "a person of Quality" who seems to have been a Scot judging by the Scottish nature of most of the titles, including one called Bonnie Kate of Perth which interests me considerably as that is where I dance.> From: campbell@tyler.co.za> To: strathspey@strathspey.org> Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2008 20:24:35 +0200> Subject: RE: "Feathers" again (was: Quality of dances in/not in RSCDS list)> > Bob and Ian write:> > I notice that the last update is listed as Aug 2000, is this correct?> > >That is correct. I'm not sure whether Dianna is still compiling the> >information, but she stopped sending me the data then.> > > When I wrote to Dianna about doing something similar, she wrote that she had> stopped in 2000 as she no longer had the time. So that list is the latest. I> made a decision to start in 2008 so that my lists will reflect the current> situation, not what has gone before.> > Campbell Tyler> Cape Town> > Sustainable Energy Africa> 9B Bell Crescent Close, Westlake 7945> Telephone +27-(0)21-702-3622 > Cellphone +27-(0)82-214-7174> Fax +27-(0)86-692-1968> Email campbell@sustainable.org.za>
> _________________________________________________________________
> Share what Santa brought you
> https://www.mycooluncool.com

City of Nairobi Reel

Message 51358 · Anselm Lingnau · 4 Mar 2008 15:42:16 · Top

Bruce Herbold wrote:

> And they continue to include The
> City of Nairobi Reel without any evidence that it was published
> anywhere else or is done by anyone other thatn WGB browsers (it is a
> nice dance but with 14000 other published dances it seems an odd
> inclusion).

I seem to recall owning a photocopy of an officially-published-looking leaflet
with long-form instructions for the City of Nairobi Reel. Unfortunately I'm
away from home on business and can't check my paper files.

I haven't done the dance either, though.

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau, Friedberg, Germany ..................... anselm@strathspey.org
Unix is like a toll road on which you have to stop every 50 feet to pay
another nickel. But hey! You only feel 5 cents poorer each time.
-- Larry Wall

City of Nairobi Reel

Message 51359 · Iain Boyd · 4 Mar 2008 21:22:50 · Top

You are not mistaken, Anselm. I have a copy of the original leaflet. It was one of the earliest modern dances to be published.

Regards,

Iain Boyd


Postal Address -

P O Box 11-404
Wellington
New Zealand
Send instant messages to your online friends http://au.messenger.yahoo.com

City of Nairobi Reel

Message 51360 · Bruce Herbold · 4 Mar 2008 22:50:11 · Top

If The City of Nairobi Reel is of historical interest is there a legal
way that it could be offered for modern dancers? Perhaps through an
RSCDS collection of suchlike? Or maybe an online pdf collection of
dances that have otherwise been lost by the vagaries of paper
publication? The Lifeboat dances, The New Ashludie Rant, (Drewry's
Scotch Mist might pose particular legal problems) and others long out
of print are likely to be lost except from radically shortened
summaries in things like Pillings and Minicribs.

Anselm???

Bruce Herbold
San Francisco

On 3/4/08, Iain Boyd <iain_boyd_scd@yahoo.co.nz> wrote:
> You are not mistaken, Anselm. I have a copy of the original leaflet. It was one of the earliest modern dances to be published.
>
> Regards,
>
> Iain Boyd
>
>
>
>
> Postal Address -
>
> P O Box 11-404
> Wellington
> New Zealand
> Send instant messages to your online friends http://au.messenger.yahoo.com
>

City of Nairobi Reel

Message 51361 · Anselm Lingnau · 5 Mar 2008 11:06:53 · Top

Bruce Herbold wrote:

> If The City of Nairobi Reel is of historical interest is there a legal
> way that it could be offered for modern dancers? Perhaps through an
> RSCDS collection of suchlike? Or maybe an online pdf collection of
> dances that have otherwise been lost by the vagaries of paper
> publication? The Lifeboat dances, The New Ashludie Rant, (Drewry's
> Scotch Mist might pose particular legal problems) and others long out
> of print are likely to be lost except from radically shortened
> summaries in things like Pillings and Minicribs.
>
> Anselm???

I actually *bought* a copy of the Lifeboat Dances leaflet the other day in a
music shop near Princes Street in Edinburgh (I forget which one it was), so
unless this was the very last commercially available copy that one might not
actually be quite *that* lost.

On the whole I'm absolutely in favour of making stuff available and am
prepared to offer server space and bandwidth to facilitate this. However, I'm
not about to commit deliberate copyright violations. If anybody were to
obtain a copyright release for an old dance description from (the estate of)
the devi^H^H^H^Hauthor I will be the first person to put that description on
the web. The Society seems to be able to do it, and since many of these
things are no longer of commercial interest whatsoever (if they ever were) I
suppose keeping the memory of a beloved ancestor alive by making their work
widely available at no cost to the estate should be something worth pitching
to people.

Anselm

PS. I solemnly promise that the signature line on this message is what the
automatic generator came up with. That 20-line Perl script seems to be
not only artificially intelligent but also clairvoyant and/or telepathic,
since it selects the signature before I even start to write the actual
message ...
--
Anselm Lingnau, Friedberg, Germany ..................... anselm@strathspey.org
Their tanks will rust. Our songs will last. -- Mikis Theodorakis

City of Nairobi Reel

Message 51362 · Ian Brockbank · 5 Mar 2008 12:00:51 · Top

Hi Bruce,

> If The City of Nairobi Reel is of historical interest is there a legal
> way that it could be offered for modern dancers? Perhaps through an
> RSCDS collection of suchlike? Or maybe an online pdf collection of
> dances that have otherwise been lost by the vagaries of paper
> publication?

Robert and Mamie Donald (of Scottish Dance Archives) donated their
collection to the Scottish Library a while ago. They have since worked
to get permission to republish many of these on the web:
http://www.dancearchives.co.uk/index.htm

The City of Nairobi Reel is in the collection, but it doesn't look like
they have permission to put it online, so it is only available as a
photocopy from the library (they got permission for this for all dances
they donated to the library).

Cheers,

Ian Brockbank
Edinburgh, Scotland
ian@scottishdance.net
http://www.scottishdance.net/

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Message 51497 · John Chambers · 11 Mar 2008 22:47:25 · Top

Bruce Herbold wrote:
| If The City of Nairobi Reel is of historical interest is there a legal
| way that it could be offered for modern dancers? Perhaps through an
| RSCDS collection of suchlike? Or maybe an online pdf collection of
| dances that have otherwise been lost by the vagaries of paper
| publication? The Lifeboat dances, The New Ashludie Rant, (Drewry's
| Scotch Mist might pose particular legal problems) and others long out
| of print are likely to be lost except from radically shortened
| summaries in things like Pillings and Minicribs.

So was there any consensus on this question? I looked around online,
and found pointers to a number of recordings for the City of Nairobi
Reel. There's crib for the dance on strathspey.org, and I'd be
interested in knowing whether it came with a tune. I found a few
references to a "Nairobi Reel" tune, but I couldn't tell whether it
was specially written for this dance or was a renamed older tune as
often happens with dances. Neither my Tune Finder nor the Fiddler's
Companion has a match for "Nairobi". Anyone have a printed copy of
this tune that they can share?

--
Key: 09 f9 11 02 9d 74 e3 5b d8 41 56 c5 63 56 88 c0

Criteria to select the best dances (was "Feathers" again)

Message 51302 · Loretta Holz · 26 Feb 2008 21:23:57 · Top

Andrew Smith said in regard to the quality of dances --
My reaction is that this is an almost impossible issue to resolve...

It is impossible to evaluate the reaction of a specific dancer to a
specific dance as done in a specific venue (many variables have already
have been mentioned). However, I maintain that some dances are far
"better" than others when we look at them objectively and not in the
specific situation in which they are being done. They are intrinsicly
better dances because they rank high in a number of objective criteria.
Since my group (The Happy Soles of Fanwood, NJ, USA) cannot dance over
10,000 dances, I want to pick from the many options the best dances
which will give the optimum enjoyment to the dancers, move them to the
next level in their capabilities and get them to come back next week and
all season. How to do that-- decide on criteria to apply.

While it's a great exercise to make a list of the most popular dances,
how could you use this as a predictor for other dances? Study these
dances and see what makes them "better" than thousands of others. What
do they have in common? Or, on the other hand, how are they special?

I'll start with suggestions for objective criteria and hope that this
opens the discussion. Note that music significantly adds to the
enjoyment but for the sake of this discussion, we need to remember that
many teachers are forced to use "any 32 bar jig". I would suggest
focusing on the dances themselves and leave it up to the teacher to use
the proper tune or if necessary find the best music they have that works
for the dance.

Objective Criteria to Use in Selecting SCDances

Flow -- the figures lead logically one into the next -- there is an
inevitability which makes the dance
easier and more fulfilling to do so the dancer can get into enjoying the
dance more quickly.

Memorable Sequence, Figure or Moment -- the signature figure, what makes
the dance different and memorable

Partner Interaction -- the dance features partners working together and
gives moments when partners are paying attention to each other.

I'll stop here and look for corrections, additions, etc. After we put
together a list we can see if it truly applies to the most popular
dances (those done year after year --- ones we never get tired of doing)
and how.

Loretta (Warren, NJ, US)

Criteria to select the best dances (was "Feathers" again)

Message 51303 · Bruce Herbold · 26 Feb 2008 22:27:56 · Top

Well, right off the top clearly Montgomerie's Rant is not so good
because of that non-flow-y entry into the last reel for the lady.

Actually, I like the idea of somebody doing this sort of work. I
think the Society would be doing a real service to get member's help
scanning the 13000 dances and then producing books of the best twelve
of each year.

This thread has proven to me (by the absence of any discussion about
trad dances) that the sheer bulk of published, new dances has
overwhelmed the perceived value of traditional dances, a source which
can't hope to keep up. A consequence is that the current taste for
flowy dances without too many pas de Basques is taking us further away
from the traditional dances which are often more energetic and require
real work on the dancers' part to make them enjoyable. Now if they
don't match the 'flow-y and not too many pdB rule we simply turn the
page and scan the next one.

I like flowing dances as much as the next person, but it is in danger
of becoming the only flavor available. I like the challenge of dances
like:
Montgomerie's Rant
Up in the Air
Todlen Hame
and all those 48 bar jigs we no longer do (New Rigged Ship, Reel of
Mey, Miss Mary Douglas etc)
I can even enjoy an Eightsome Reel and I do miss Bonnie Anne
and I love Lady Harriet Hope (don't tell my wife)

(but I do draw the line at the Theeket Hoose)

So all I am really saying is I would like to see any attempt to
measure the quality of dances acknowledging the value of traditional
preservation and of multiple types of pleasure.

Bruce Herbold
San Francisco

On 2/26/08, Loretta Holz <loretta@varisys.com> wrote:
> Andrew Smith said in regard to the quality of dances --
> My reaction is that this is an almost impossible issue to resolve...
>
> It is impossible to evaluate the reaction of a specific dancer to a
> specific dance as done in a specific venue (many variables have already
> have been mentioned). However, I maintain that some dances are far
> "better" than others when we look at them objectively and not in the
> specific situation in which they are being done. They are intrinsicly
> better dances because they rank high in a number of objective criteria.
> Since my group (The Happy Soles of Fanwood, NJ, USA) cannot dance over
> 10,000 dances, I want to pick from the many options the best dances
> which will give the optimum enjoyment to the dancers, move them to the
> next level in their capabilities and get them to come back next week and
> all season. How to do that-- decide on criteria to apply.
>
> While it's a great exercise to make a list of the most popular dances,
> how could you use this as a predictor for other dances? Study these
> dances and see what makes them "better" than thousands of others. What
> do they have in common? Or, on the other hand, how are they special?
>
> I'll start with suggestions for objective criteria and hope that this
> opens the discussion. Note that music significantly adds to the
> enjoyment but for the sake of this discussion, we need to remember that
> many teachers are forced to use "any 32 bar jig". I would suggest
> focusing on the dances themselves and leave it up to the teacher to use
> the proper tune or if necessary find the best music they have that works
> for the dance.
>
> Objective Criteria to Use in Selecting SCDances
>
> Flow -- the figures lead logically one into the next -- there is an
> inevitability which makes the dance
> easier and more fulfilling to do so the dancer can get into enjoying the
> dance more quickly.
>
> Memorable Sequence, Figure or Moment -- the signature figure, what makes
> the dance different and memorable
>
> Partner Interaction -- the dance features partners working together and
> gives moments when partners are paying attention to each other.
>
> I'll stop here and look for corrections, additions, etc. After we put
> together a list we can see if it truly applies to the most popular
> dances (those done year after year --- ones we never get tired of doing)
> and how.
>
> Loretta (Warren, NJ, US)
>

Criteria to select the best dances (was "Feathers" again)

Message 51304 · campbell · 26 Feb 2008 22:39:43 · Top

Bruce wrote:
>This thread has proven to me (by the absence of any discussion about
>trad dances) that the sheer bulk of published, new dances has
>overwhelmed the perceived value of traditional dances, a source which
>can't hope to keep up.

Hmm, if it is of any significance (and statistically it probably isn't), the
early runners on my popular dance database are Machine Without Horses and
De'il Amang the Tailors.

Campbell Tyler
Cape Town

Criteria to select the best dances (was "Feathers" again)

Message 51305 · Andrew Smith · 26 Feb 2008 22:52:22 · Top

Well, Bruce, for what it's worth Monty's Rant is up there pretty well at the
top of my list.It hits all the buttons for me.
Andrew Smith,
Bristol, UK.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Bruce Herbold" <bherbold@gmail.com>
To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Tuesday, February 26, 2008 9:27 PM
Subject: Re: Criteria to select the best dances (was "Feathers" again)

> Well, right off the top clearly Montgomerie's Rant is not so good
> because of that non-flow-y entry into the last reel for the lady.
>
> Actually, I like the idea of somebody doing this sort of work. I
> think the Society would be doing a real service to get member's help
> scanning the 13000 dances and then producing books of the best twelve
> of each year.
>
> This thread has proven to me (by the absence of any discussion about
> trad dances) that the sheer bulk of published, new dances has
> overwhelmed the perceived value of traditional dances, a source which
> can't hope to keep up. A consequence is that the current taste for
> flowy dances without too many pas de Basques is taking us further away
> from the traditional dances which are often more energetic and require
> real work on the dancers' part to make them enjoyable. Now if they
> don't match the 'flow-y and not too many pdB rule we simply turn the
> page and scan the next one.
>
> I like flowing dances as much as the next person, but it is in danger
> of becoming the only flavor available. I like the challenge of dances
> like:
> Montgomerie's Rant
> Up in the Air
> Todlen Hame
> and all those 48 bar jigs we no longer do (New Rigged Ship, Reel of
> Mey, Miss Mary Douglas etc)
> I can even enjoy an Eightsome Reel and I do miss Bonnie Anne
> and I love Lady Harriet Hope (don't tell my wife)
>
> (but I do draw the line at the Theeket Hoose)
>
> So all I am really saying is I would like to see any attempt to
> measure the quality of dances acknowledging the value of traditional
> preservation and of multiple types of pleasure.
>
> Bruce Herbold
> San Francisco
>
> On 2/26/08, Loretta Holz <loretta@varisys.com> wrote:
>> Andrew Smith said in regard to the quality of dances --
>> My reaction is that this is an almost impossible issue to resolve...
>>
>> It is impossible to evaluate the reaction of a specific dancer to a
>> specific dance as done in a specific venue (many variables have already
>> have been mentioned). However, I maintain that some dances are far
>> "better" than others when we look at them objectively and not in the
>> specific situation in which they are being done. They are intrinsicly
>> better dances because they rank high in a number of objective criteria.
>> Since my group (The Happy Soles of Fanwood, NJ, USA) cannot dance over
>> 10,000 dances, I want to pick from the many options the best dances
>> which will give the optimum enjoyment to the dancers, move them to the
>> next level in their capabilities and get them to come back next week and
>> all season. How to do that-- decide on criteria to apply.
>>
>> While it's a great exercise to make a list of the most popular dances,
>> how could you use this as a predictor for other dances? Study these
>> dances and see what makes them "better" than thousands of others. What
>> do they have in common? Or, on the other hand, how are they special?
>>
>> I'll start with suggestions for objective criteria and hope that this
>> opens the discussion. Note that music significantly adds to the
>> enjoyment but for the sake of this discussion, we need to remember that
>> many teachers are forced to use "any 32 bar jig". I would suggest
>> focusing on the dances themselves and leave it up to the teacher to use
>> the proper tune or if necessary find the best music they have that works
>> for the dance.
>>
>> Objective Criteria to Use in Selecting SCDances
>>
>> Flow -- the figures lead logically one into the next -- there is an
>> inevitability which makes the dance
>> easier and more fulfilling to do so the dancer can get into enjoying the
>> dance more quickly.
>>
>> Memorable Sequence, Figure or Moment -- the signature figure, what makes
>> the dance different and memorable
>>
>> Partner Interaction -- the dance features partners working together and
>> gives moments when partners are paying attention to each other.
>>
>> I'll stop here and look for corrections, additions, etc. After we put
>> together a list we can see if it truly applies to the most popular
>> dances (those done year after year --- ones we never get tired of doing)
>> and how.
>>
>> Loretta (Warren, NJ, US)
>>
>

Criteria to select the best dances (was "Feathers" again)

Message 51306 · Loretta Holz · 26 Feb 2008 23:10:18 · Top

Bruce said--
I like flowing dances as much as the next person, but it is in danger of
becoming the only flavor available. So all I am really saying is I
would like to see any attempt to measure the quality of dances
acknowledging the value of traditional preservation and of multiple
types of pleasure.

Why do you conclude it would be the only flavor available? Variety and
contrast make an excellent program. Sometimes the value of a dance is
that it is traditional. When the dance has a recognized date in earlier
centuries, I will announce it to the class to give them the idea we do
have a long tradition of dances. They can recognize that the dance is
different from more modern ones--or that it is not really different.
Either case is interesting. Sometimes I'm surprised at how old a dance
we do is. Or how modern an older dance appears to be.

I do wish that every dance on every program and in every crib note would
give the author's name and the date (if known). It is valuable to see
the dance within its time frame.

An aside-- Somehow this seems much more the rule in English Country
Dances--dates and authors or general sources are given. (I do have a
staked interest here I'll admit, as I write English Country dances --
see www.varisys.com/dance.html You'll even find on the site the
directions and the complete tune played dance length for one of my
dances under Samples-- should you ever stray from the straight and
narrow SCD path!)

Loretta (Warren, NJ, USA)

Criteria to select the best dances (was "Feathers" again)

Message 51308 · Anselm Lingnau · 26 Feb 2008 23:34:56 · Top

Loretta Holz wrote:

> I do wish that every dance on every program and in every crib note would
> give the author's name and the date (if known). It is valuable to see
> the dance within its time frame.

ObPlug: If you don't like researching the sources of the dances on a program
yourself, the DanceData web frontend will do it for you. Simply pick the
dances in question as your »dance selection« and »export« it to ASCII, which
will give you a convenient listing including dance name, type, length, set
type, devi^H^H^H^Hauthor and source (not the date, though). You can also
export the selection to HTML, which will result in a similar list that
includes live links into the DanceData web frontend for use on your own web
page. I'm generally hearing too few comments on this feature, which leads me
to suspect nobody ever uses it except for myself; as I don't want to do
without it any longer that seems strange to me :^)

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau, Friedberg, Germany ..................... anselm@strathspey.org
If you could transmute lead to gold in low Earth orbit, it wouldn't pay to do
it at current Western launch prices. -- Henry Spencer

Criteria to select the best dances (was "Feathers" again)

Message 51307 · Anselm Lingnau · 26 Feb 2008 23:27:52 · Top

Bruce Herbold wrote:

> I like flowing dances as much as the next person, but it is in danger
> of becoming the only flavor available. I like the challenge of dances
> like:
> Montgomerie's Rant
> Up in the Air
> Todlen Hame
> and all those 48 bar jigs we no longer do (New Rigged Ship, Reel of
> Mey, Miss Mary Douglas etc)
> I can even enjoy an Eightsome Reel and I do miss Bonnie Anne
> and I love Lady Harriet Hope (don't tell my wife)

I agree. Bruce, we only need six more people for a set to keep these going a
little while yet.

> So all I am really saying is I would like to see any attempt to
> measure the quality of dances acknowledging the value of traditional
> preservation and of multiple types of pleasure.

We've been discussing this off and on and I don't think we can hope for a
single set of criteria that will satisfy everybody.

Here's my take on the issue: One of the things on my list is an Amazon-like
recommendation system for the dance database, as follows. Everybody gets to
award any dance in the database 0 to (however many) stars/feathers/shortbread
rounds/..., and with every dance (for which there is enough data) there is
a »people who liked this dance also liked ...« list. It will be understood
that one's mileage may vary. I just need to get a handle on the math involved
here, that I haven't yet got around to looking up (pointers welcome). The
feature of being able to rate dances will only be open to logged-in members,
and the system will maintain one rating per member per dance so people can't
game the system by writing tricky little programs that will give their single
most favourite dance the maximum rating 10.000 times in a row :^)

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau, Friedberg, Germany ..................... anselm@strathspey.org
Those who do not understand UNIX are condemned to reinvent it - badly.
-- Henry Spencer

Criteria to select the best dances (was "Feathers" again)

Message 51312 · ron.mackey · 27 Feb 2008 01:38:46 · Top

I like flowing dances as much as the next person, but it is in danger
of becoming the only flavor available. I like the challenge of dances
like:
Montgomerie's Rant
Up in the Air
Todlen Hame
and all those 48 bar jigs we no longer do (New Rigged Ship, Reel of
Mey, Miss Mary Douglas etc)
I can even enjoy an Eightsome Reel and I do miss Bonnie Anne
and I love Lady Harriet Hope (don't tell my wife)

How about The Saltire Society Reel which has flow, inevitability AND setting?
The Reel of the Royal Scots is another of similar ilk and it harks back to the trads. with with an inverted Machine W.H figure. And just in case anyone thinks I don't like Strathspeys there's The Belle of Bon Accord.

??? Ron

Criteria to select the best dances (was "Feathers" again)

Message 51316 · Monica Pollard · 27 Feb 2008 05:06:44 · Top

Bonnie Stronshiray
The St. Nicholas Boat
The Sailor
Sugar Candie
Red House
Wild Geese
Staffin Harvest

Some of my long-standing favorites. And, for me at least, these all
have some kind of Memorable Sequence, Figure or Moment that requires
interaction with your partner or is challenging in some way. Some
Flow is good, but that's not the whole of a good dance. OTOH, when a
dance feels like a hodgepodge of figures seemingly thrown together at
random it can be difficult and even irritating, unless there's some
other redeeming feature to the it.

Monica Pollard
Nampa, ID

On Tue, Feb 26, 2008 at 5:38 PM, <ron.mackey@talktalk.net> wrote:
> I like flowing dances as much as the next person, but it is in danger
> of becoming the only flavor available. I like the challenge of dances
> like:
> Montgomerie's Rant
> Up in the Air
> Todlen Hame
> and all those 48 bar jigs we no longer do (New Rigged Ship, Reel of
> Mey, Miss Mary Douglas etc)
> I can even enjoy an Eightsome Reel and I do miss Bonnie Anne
> and I love Lady Harriet Hope (don't tell my wife)
>
> How about The Saltire Society Reel which has flow, inevitability AND setting?
> The Reel of the Royal Scots is another of similar ilk and it harks back to the trads. with with an inverted Machine W.H figure. And just in case anyone thinks I don't like Strathspeys there's The Belle of Bon Accord.

--
"We must be the change we wish to see in the world."
Gandhi

Criteria to select the best dances (was "Feathers" again)

Message 51319 · Marie Disiewicz · 27 Feb 2008 08:36:40 · Top

Hi to all
I hate to disagree, BUT I would take Montgomeries Rant any day.
I love the music, I love the music, I love the music.
I love looking for my partner every four bars and the entry for me is a
great momentum from the last setting to glancing at my partner to enter that
last reel. Sigh!!!

I think that you jest with us Bruce

Marie
Surrey B.C.
Canada
----- Original Message -----
From: "Bruce Herbold" <bherbold@gmail.com>
To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Tuesday, February 26, 2008 1:27 PM
Subject: Re: Criteria to select the best dances (was "Feathers" again)

> Well, right off the top clearly Montgomerie's Rant is not so good
> because of that non-flow-y entry into the last reel for the lady.
>

Criteria to select the best dances

Message 51320 · Martin Sheffield · 27 Feb 2008 10:16:14 · Top

One person wrote:

> General Stuart's Reel...
> the end of the Hello-Goodbye setting where you... turn your back
on your partner to whisk away into
> the reels.

Another wrote:
>
>> Montgomerie's Rant is not so good
>> because of that non-flow-y entry into the last reel for the lady.

Here are two similar transitions, setting followed by reels, the
first of which is pleasing because both partners have the same
movement, turning symmetrically away from each other to face a
corner, whereas, the second has an odd movement for one person only.

In Gen Stuart, dancing couple use the last setting steps to get ready
for the next figure, whereas in Monty's, if the lady uses the last
two setting steps to turn, she does not get to acknowledge second
lady, and leaves her partner in the lurch. If she completes the
setting to 2nd lady, there may be hesitation getting into the reel
unless her corner men are quite ready and fully aware of where to go.

The lack of symmetry is a weakness in the reconstruction of this
dance, but we have all done it so often, we like it nonetheless.

Will we ever find criteria that allow for both objective evaluation
and emotion/nostalgia/familiarity?

Martin,
Grenoble

Criteria to select the best dances

Message 51321 · Anselm Lingnau · 27 Feb 2008 11:00:25 · Top

Martin Sheffield wrote:

> The lack of symmetry is a weakness in the reconstruction of this
> dance, but we have all done it so often, we like it nonetheless.
>
> Will we ever find criteria that allow for both objective evaluation
> and emotion/nostalgia/familiarity?

I wonder what happened to the country dance world during the last couple of
centuries, so that today a dance must have no rough edges to be
considered »good«?

I like it if a dance has a rough edge or two. It adds spice. If all I wanted
to do was follow my nose I could go jogging instead.

Here's a little story for you: Earlier this month a group around here held
their annual ball, this year based on an all-John-Drewry programme of dances.
Imagine that: No quick-time poussette. No setting and turning corners
followed by reels of three. One down-the-middle-and-up (in Strathspey time).
No right-hands-across-left-hands-back. Three dances out of twenty-one ending
with a circle (all in the first half of the evening), and none ending with
rights and lefts. Three Espagnoles. But I'm told the evening was a resounding
success.

To me, such a ball is like a ten-course gala dinner where every single course
is ice cream. Great ice cream, to be sure. Wonderful ice cream. But still:
ice cream. I want to do Red House and Flowers of Edinburgh, Hooper's Jig and
Braes of Breadalbane. I want to do fun Roy Goldring dances that you can do
from a recap even if you have never done them before. I want to do dances
from all over the place. Maybe I'm weird that way.

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau, Friedberg, Germany ..................... anselm@strathspey.org
If you want an amusing way to whiling away a rainy afternoon, take a piece of
literary prose you consider sublimely masterful and run the Microsoft Word
grammar checker on it, accepting all the suggested changes.
-- Geoffrey K. Pullum

Criteria to select the best dances

Message 51323 · Andrew Smith · 27 Feb 2008 12:05:14 · Top

Anselm wrote:
"Maybe I'm weird that way."
May I join you? I agree wholeheartedly, one can have too much of a good
thing, and it can then pall. We too ran a "Drewry " evening some years ago,
and it nowhere near "hit all the buttons" for me.
Andrew Smith,
Bristol, UK.
"Variety is the spice of life."
----- Original Message -----
From: "Anselm Lingnau" <anselm@strathspey.org>
To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2008 10:00 AM
Subject: Re: Criteria to select the best dances

Martin Sheffield wrote:

> The lack of symmetry is a weakness in the reconstruction of this
> dance, but we have all done it so often, we like it nonetheless.
>
> Will we ever find criteria that allow for both objective evaluation
> and emotion/nostalgia/familiarity?

I wonder what happened to the country dance world during the last couple of
centuries, so that today a dance must have no rough edges to be
considered »good«?

I like it if a dance has a rough edge or two. It adds spice. If all I wanted
to do was follow my nose I could go jogging instead.

Here's a little story for you: Earlier this month a group around here held
their annual ball, this year based on an all-John-Drewry programme of
dances.
Imagine that: No quick-time poussette. No setting and turning corners
followed by reels of three. One down-the-middle-and-up (in Strathspey time).
No right-hands-across-left-hands-back. Three dances out of twenty-one ending
with a circle (all in the first half of the evening), and none ending with
rights and lefts. Three Espagnoles. But I'm told the evening was a
resounding
success.

To me, such a ball is like a ten-course gala dinner where every single
course
is ice cream. Great ice cream, to be sure. Wonderful ice cream. But still:
ice cream. I want to do Red House and Flowers of Edinburgh, Hooper's Jig and
Braes of Breadalbane. I want to do fun Roy Goldring dances that you can do
from a recap even if you have never done them before. I want to do dances
from all over the place. Maybe I'm weird that way.

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau, Friedberg, Germany .....................
anselm@strathspey.org
If you want an amusing way to whiling away a rainy afternoon, take a piece
of
literary prose you consider sublimely masterful and run the Microsoft Word
grammar checker on it, accepting all the suggested changes.
-- Geoffrey K.
Pullum

Criteria to select the best dances

Message 51326 · Martin Sheffield · 27 Feb 2008 13:48:10 · Top

Le 27 févr. 08 à 11h00, Anselm Lingnau a écrit :

> Maybe I'm weird that way.

Maybe.

But are we not all weird in some way?

Martin

Criteria to select the best dances

Message 51337 · ron.mackey · 28 Feb 2008 01:28:47 · Top

To me, such a ball is like a ten-course gala dinner where every single
course
is ice cream. Great ice cream, to be sure. Wonderful ice cream. But still:
ice cream. I want to do Red House and Flowers of Edinburgh, Hooper's Jig and
Braes of Breadalbane. I want to do fun Roy Goldring dances that you can do
from a recap even if you have never done them before. I want to do dances
from all over the place. Maybe I'm weird that way.

Anselm

I'm glad there's more than one of us!! :)

Happy Dancing :)

Ron

Ron Mackey
RSCDS London, Croydon & International Branches

Criteria to select the best dances

Message 51322 · Andrew Smith · 27 Feb 2008 12:01:04 · Top

When I dance "Monty's" we finish with the last setting facing the 2nd man,
not the 2nd lady, [see below] and turn away at the very end of the setting
to take off in to the reels with RS to the 2nd corners.
I do not think that there is too much of a difference in the amount of
rotation required to enter the reels, because I usually turn slightly with
my partner to hand her down the set to start the reel with her corners and
so have to turn back somewhat myself to start the reel with mine.
It is a question of phrasing and being aware of one's partner, and this
makes such a difference to so many dances. Once this happens even what may
seem quite a pedestrian dance can become enjoyable, IMHO.
Andrew Smith,
Bristol, UK.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Martin Sheffield" <mj.sheffield@orange.fr>
To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2008 9:16 AM
Subject: Re: Criteria to select the best dances

> Here are two similar transitions, setting followed by reels, the first of
> which is pleasing because both partners have the same movement, turning
> symmetrically away from each other to face a corner, whereas, the second
> has an odd movement for one person only.
>
> In Gen Stuart, dancing couple use the last setting steps to get ready for
> the next figure, whereas in Monty's, if the lady uses the last two
> setting steps to turn, she does not get to acknowledge second lady, and
> leaves her partner in the lurch. If she completes the setting to 2nd
> lady, there may be hesitation getting into the reel unless her corner men
> are quite ready and fully aware of where to go.
>
> The lack of symmetry is a weakness in the reconstruction of this dance,
> but we have all done it so often, we like it nonetheless.
>
> Will we ever find criteria that allow for both objective evaluation and
> emotion/nostalgia/familiarity?
>
> Martin,
> Grenoble
>
>
>

Criteria to select the best dances (was "Feathers" again)

Message 51324 · Elainerb · 27 Feb 2008 13:04:32 · Top

_bherbold@gmail.com_ (mailto:bherbold@gmail.com) wrote

Well, right off the top clearly Montgomerie's Rant is not so good
> because of that non-flow-y entry into the last reel for the lady.

oh.....Bruce, don't knock it till you've tried it........ As a woman that's
a great moment.
That little glance back to your partner, IF your partner is looking at
you......is a GREAT moment in a truly GREAT dance.

Great tune! Great dance, great moments! .........great memories !

Elaine

Maryland, USA

**************Ideas to please picky eaters. Watch video on AOL Living.
(http://living.aol.com/video/how-to-please-your-picky-eater/rachel-campos-duffy/
2050827?NCID=aolcmp00300000002598)

Criteria to select the best dances (was "Feathers" again)

Message 51325 · Anselm Lingnau · 27 Feb 2008 13:14:33 · Top

Elainerb@aol.com wrote:

> oh.....Bruce, don't knock it till you've tried it........ As a woman
> that's a great moment.

It seems that the irony detector repairpeople's business is going to be very
brisk today ...

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau, Friedberg, Germany ..................... anselm@strathspey.org
We are in danger of getting government by the clueless, over a place they've
never been, using means they don't possess.
-- John Perry Barlow, on Internet legislation

Criteria to select the best dances (was "Feathers" again)

Message 51345 · Marian Stroh · 1 Mar 2008 00:45:12 · Top

I agree, Elaine! And the fact that Montgomeries' Rant has been danced since
1749 or so brings history and it's people much closer to the rest of us in
this time. We in Reno all really enjoy this dance!

Marian Stroh, Reno, NV

Criteria to select the best dances (was "Feathers" again)

Message 51327 · Bruce Herbold · 27 Feb 2008 17:03:34 · Top

yes, I fear I was allowing myself the wee joke to point out that some
of our favorite dances might not conform to the current desire for
smoothness and flow. That if we don't recognize that there are
multiple ways for a dance to achieve greatness we will miss some great
dances.

I also think that in trying to grade dances, some acknowledgement must
be made that there is value in identifying the diverse kinds of
traditional dances, not all of which match current tastes (of course
some of them were reconstructed into configurations that bear little
resemblance to how they were originally danced [including Monty's,
which I have been told is described as a strathspey on its original
description, sometimes taste can improve things]).

Bruce Herbold
San Francisco

On Tue, Feb 26, 2008 at 11:36 PM, Marie Disiewicz <speym@telus.net> wrote:
> Hi to all
> I hate to disagree, BUT I would take Montgomeries Rant any day.
> I love the music, I love the music, I love the music.
> I love looking for my partner every four bars and the entry for me is a
> great momentum from the last setting to glancing at my partner to enter that
> last reel. Sigh!!!
>
> I think that you jest with us Bruce
>
> Marie
> Surrey B.C.
> Canada
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Bruce Herbold" <bherbold@gmail.com>
>
> To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
>
> Sent: Tuesday, February 26, 2008 1:27 PM
> Subject: Re: Criteria to select the best dances (was "Feathers" again)
>
>
>
>
> > Well, right off the top clearly Montgomerie's Rant is not so good
> > because of that non-flow-y entry into the last reel for the lady.
> >
>
>

Criteria to select the best dances (was "Feathers" again)

Message 51328 · Anselm Lingnau · 27 Feb 2008 17:30:25 · Top

Bruce Herbold wrote:

> I also think that in trying to grade dances, some acknowledgement must
> be made that there is value in identifying the diverse kinds of
> traditional dances, not all of which match current tastes (of course
> some of them were reconstructed into configurations that bear little
> resemblance to how they were originally danced [including Monty's,
> which I have been told is described as a strathspey on its original
> description, sometimes taste can improve things]).

The Montgomeries' Rant is the original »Strathspey Reel«. Whether that tells
us anything in today's musical terms is completely open to debate :^)

I believe that trying to agree on »scientific« criteria that will tell us
which dances are »good« is as much an exercise in futility as it would be for
books or restaurants. People tend to know what they enjoy, but once you start
trying to pin down the qualities that a »good« dance ought to exhibit these
have a nasty tendency of disappearing into quagmire. I must go look for my
copy of »Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance« ...

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau, Friedberg, Germany ..................... anselm@strathspey.org
Love is like Pi -- natural, irrational and *very* important. -- Lisa Hoffmann

Criteria to select the best dances (was "Feathers" again)

Message 51329 · Andrew Buxton · 27 Feb 2008 17:46:35 · Top

Pi or Pia?

---
Anselm Lingau quoted:

Love is like Pi -- natural, irrational and *very* important. -- Lisa Hoffmann

---
Andrew Buxton
Lewes, East Sussex, UK

__________________________________________________________
Sent from Yahoo! Mail.
A Smarter Inbox. http://uk.docs.yahoo.com/nowyoucan.html

Criteria to select the best dances (was "Feathers" again)

Message 51330 · Bruce Herbold · 27 Feb 2008 17:58:48 · Top

and your proposal of yesterday seems like the only path out of this
mess -- I am very impressed with netflix's implementation of the 'you
may also like this' process where they tell you how similar the raters
are to yourself. Not 'scientific' but very useful; and maybe more
than SCD needs.

Bruce Herbold (who is trying to break his addiction to parentheses)
San Francisco

On Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 8:30 AM, Anselm Lingnau <anselm@strathspey.org> wrote:
> Bruce Herbold wrote:
>
> > I also think that in trying to grade dances, some acknowledgement must
> > be made that there is value in identifying the diverse kinds of
> > traditional dances, not all of which match current tastes (of course
> > some of them were reconstructed into configurations that bear little
> > resemblance to how they were originally danced [including Monty's,
> > which I have been told is described as a strathspey on its original
> > description, sometimes taste can improve things]).
>
> The Montgomeries' Rant is the original »Strathspey Reel«. Whether that tells
> us anything in today's musical terms is completely open to debate :^)
>
> I believe that trying to agree on »scientific« criteria that will tell us
> which dances are »good« is as much an exercise in futility as it would be for
> books or restaurants. People tend to know what they enjoy, but once you start
> trying to pin down the qualities that a »good« dance ought to exhibit these
> have a nasty tendency of disappearing into quagmire. I must go look for my
> copy of »Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance« ...
>
>
> Anselm
> --
> Anselm Lingnau, Friedberg, Germany ..................... anselm@strathspey.org
> Love is like Pi -- natural, irrational and *very* important. -- Lisa Hoffmann
>

Criteria to select the best dances (was "Feathers" again)

Message 51331 · Loretta Holz · 27 Feb 2008 18:35:10 · Top

Anselm Lingnau said --
"I believe that trying to agree on >scientific< criteria that will tell
us
which dances are >good< is as much an exercise in futility as it would
be for
books or restaurants.

OK. Let's take your example of restaurants--
#1 -- excellent, imaginative, well educated, experienced chef who has an
immaculate kitchen, uses only the freshest ingredients all properly
refrigerated as needed, using the best commercial kitchen appliances and
devoted to producing the best dining experience.

#2-- novice, unimaginative, ill-organized cook with dirty kitchen, using
day old ingredients which were not properly refrigerated.

Once a restaurant has the basic criteria of a good restaurant the
individual dining experience depends on the subjective tastes of the
diner. HOWEVER, if served in #1 you are most likely to be happy, while
if served in #2 much less likely because the restaurant lacks the basic
criteria of a good restaurant.

I agree with this much --
" People tend to know what they enjoy," (in the specific situation)

I disagree with this
"but once you start trying to pin down the qualities that a >good< dance
ought to exhibit these
have a nasty tendency of disappearing into quagmire."
Let's make the list and see if it indeed is a quagmire. I don't believe
it will be but work with me on this. I believe the list will be helpful
to everyone.

"I must go look for my copy of >Zen and the Art of Motorcycle
Maintenance< ..."
You can use the intuitive methodology which it suggests but this does
not negate the innate positive qualities (or criteria) a good dance
has-- just a different way of approaching the situation. I like the
idea of knowing what's important in a good dance so I can look for these
qualities in dances under consideration.

Loretta (NJ, US)

Criteria to select the best dances (was "Feathers" again)

Message 51332 · Anselm Lingnau · 27 Feb 2008 19:03:59 · Top

Loretta Holz wrote:

> Let's make the list and see if it indeed is a quagmire. I don't believe
> it will be but work with me on this. I believe the list will be helpful
> to everyone.

The problem is, I think, that for any »interesting« list of criteria there are
going to be dances that have obvious deficits in at least one of them but
that people like very much anyway. So the list will have to allow for this in
some way.

What should that list be used for, anyway? Presumably it could (a) help
identify »great« dances in the repertoire that are out there already but that
nobody knows about, by trawling for high-scoring dances in obscure
publications. The other use would be (b) to »synthesise« completely new
dances that score high in all the criteria on the list in order to
produce »instant crowd pleasers«. I'd be interested to see how they both pan
out :^)

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau, Friedberg, Germany ..................... anselm@strathspey.org
We learn as much from sorrow as from joy, as much from illness as from health,
from handicap as from advantage -- and indeed perhaps more. -- Pearl S. Buck

Criteria to select the best dances (was "Feathers" again)

Message 51334 · Loretta Holz · 27 Feb 2008 20:59:42 · Top

Anselm wrote--
"The problem is, I think, that for any >interesting< list of criteria
there are
going to be dances that have obvious deficits in at least one of them
but
that people like very much anyway. So the list will have to allow for
this in
some way."

Absolutely. Few dances will score high in all of the criteria but by
asking yourself different questions you can sort out why a particular
dance is so enjoyable and popular. When you are lookking at a dance new
to you, you can see what qualities it has that would appeal to daners
(and ones that would not be so welcome).

Take Mairi's Wedding for example -- what criteria/qualities make it so
popular? Let's add any new criteria to the list. Does it have any
negative ones?

Anselm wrote--
"What should that list be used for, anyway? Presumably it could
(a) help identify >great< dances in the repertoire that are out there
already but that
nobody knows about, by trawling for high-scoring dances in obscure
publications.
(b) to >synthesise< completely new dances that score high in all the
criteria on the list in order to
produce >instant crowd pleasers<.
I'd be interested to see how they both pan out :^) Anselm"

Both are very good reasons. Let's put together the list and see if we
have any volunteers to join us in both A and B.
Loretta

Criteria to select the best dances (was "Feathers" again)

Message 51366 · Alan Paterson · 5 Mar 2008 15:49:48 · Top

On 27/02/2008 20:59, Loretta Holz wrote:
> Take Mairi's Wedding for example -- what criteria/qualities make it so
> popular? Let's add any new criteria to the list. Does it have any
> negative ones?

Oh indeed. I refuse to dance it because of the cheesy tune. It is one of
my LEAST favourite dances.

Alan

Criteria to select the best dances (was "Feathers" again)

Message 51367 · campbell · 5 Mar 2008 15:59:12 · Top

And if anyone is going to recognise a cheesy tune, it will be the Swiss!!:-)

Sustainable Energy Africa
9B Bell Crescent Close, Westlake 7945
Telephone +27-(0)21-702-3622
Cellphone +27-(0)82-214-7174
Fax +27-(0)86-692-1968
Email campbell@sustainable.org.za

-----Original Message-----
From: strathspey-bounces-campbell=tyler.co.za@strathspey.org
[mailto:strathspey-bounces-campbell=tyler.co.za@strathspey.org] On Behalf Of
Alan Paterson
Sent: 05 March 2008 04:50 PM
To: SCD news and discussion
Subject: Re: Criteria to select the best dances (was "Feathers" again)

On 27/02/2008 20:59, Loretta Holz wrote:
> Take Mairi's Wedding for example -- what criteria/qualities make it so
> popular? Let's add any new criteria to the list. Does it have any
> negative ones?

Oh indeed. I refuse to dance it because of the cheesy tune. It is one of
my LEAST favourite dances.

Alan

Criteria to select the best dances (was "Feathers" again)

Message 51368 · Loretta Holz · 5 Mar 2008 16:07:59 · Top

Alan--
If the band played another tune for Mairi's Wedding would you do it?
Let's say a really great "non-cheesy" tune that you really like?

Is the dance itself well constructed and enjoyable apart from the music.
Does it have interesting figures and do the figures flow well from one
to the other? Is it the "cheesy" music that makes it popular or is it a
well constructed dance that's fun to do?
Loretta

On 27/02/2008 20:59, Loretta Holz wrote:
> Take Mairi's Wedding for example -- what criteria/qualities make it so

> popular? Let's add any new criteria to the list. Does it have any
> negative ones?

Oh indeed. I refuse to dance it because of the cheesy tune. It is one of

my LEAST favourite dances. Alan

Criteria to select the best dances

Message 51370 · Martin Sheffield · 5 Mar 2008 16:22:24 · Top

Le 5 mars 08 à 16h07, Loretta Holz a écrit :

> Alan--
> If the band played another tune for Mairi's Wedding would you do it?
> Let's say a really great "non-cheesy" tune that you really like?

Can't answer for Alan, of course (who was not born in Gruyere, by the
way), but I am convinced it is the sing-along music that makes the
dance popular.
The structure of the dance is uninteresting and repetitive. For the
corner dancers, it's just stop-go-stop-go, with no continuity. Quite
nice for 1st cp -- once they have decided which shoulder ... ;-), but
spoiled further by the 6-hands-round tacked on to the end when
everyone is pointed in different directions.

One of my groups loved dancing to Jimmy Shand's old recording of MW,
but turned their noses up when I used another band's CD. So perhaps
it is not just the tune.

Martin

Criteria to select the best dances

Message 51387 · Stasa Morgan-Appel · 5 Mar 2008 20:54:02 · Top

I've heard it argued that this is also the case with Sleepy Maggie -- ie,
that the dance would not be so beloved with other music, but that because
the tune is splendid, the dance remains in demand. Thoughts?

Stasa
Ann Arbor, MI, USA

On Wed, Mar 5, 2008 at 10:22 AM, Martin Sheffield <mj.sheffield@orange.fr>
wrote:

>
> Le 5 mars 08 à 16h07, Loretta Holz a écrit :
>
> > Alan--
> > If the band played another tune for Mairi's Wedding would you do it?
> > Let's say a really great "non-cheesy" tune that you really like?
>
> Can't answer for Alan, of course (who was not born in Gruyere, by the
> way), but I am convinced it is the sing-along music that makes the
> dance popular.
> The structure of the dance is uninteresting and repetitive. For the
> corner dancers, it's just stop-go-stop-go, with no continuity. Quite
> nice for 1st cp -- once they have decided which shoulder ... ;-), but
> spoiled further by the 6-hands-round tacked on to the end when
> everyone is pointed in different directions.
>
> One of my groups loved dancing to Jimmy Shand's old recording of MW,
> but turned their noses up when I used another band's CD. So perhaps
> it is not just the tune.
>
> Martin
>

Criteria to select the best dances

Message 51391 · SMiskoe · 5 Mar 2008 21:22:52 · Top

The dance itself is like many others of its time period. All nice moves and
joins but I feel it is the tune that makes the dance exciting. It is not
the easiest tune to play.
Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH USA

**************It's Tax Time! Get tips, forms, and advice on AOL Money &
Finance. (http://money.aol.com/tax?NCID=aolprf00030000000001)

Criteria to select the best dances

Message 51394 · Peter Price · 5 Mar 2008 22:02:03 · Top

My opinion is that no mediocre tune has been saved by great choreography,
but that many mediocre dances have been saved by great tunes (or at least
fun - maybe even cheesy - tunes;-).

And Stasa - I love the ECD opening to Red House but much prefer the Scottish
version of the reels. They may be wrong interpretations but they make the
dance.

Peter Price
New Haven, Ct

On Wed, Mar 5, 2008 at 3:22 PM, <SMiskoe@aol.com> wrote:

> The dance itself is like many others of its time period. All nice moves
> and
> joins but I feel it is the tune that makes the dance exciting. It is not
> the easiest tune to play.
> Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH USA
>
>
>
> **************It's Tax Time! Get tips, forms, and advice on AOL Money &
> Finance. (http://money.aol.com/tax?NCID=aolprf00030000000001)
>

Criteria to select the best dances

Message 51396 · SMiskoe · 5 Mar 2008 22:17:06 · Top

Peter, you are right!
Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH USA

**************It's Tax Time! Get tips, forms, and advice on AOL Money &
Finance. (http://money.aol.com/tax?NCID=aolprf00030000000001)

Criteria to select the best dances

Message 51398 · Stasa Morgan-Appel · 5 Mar 2008 22:33:08 · Top

I agree with both of you about Red House!

On Wed, Mar 5, 2008 at 4:17 PM, <SMiskoe@aol.com> wrote:

> Peter, you are right!
> Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH USA
>
>
>
> **************It's Tax Time! Get tips, forms, and advice on AOL Money &
> Finance. (http://money.aol.com/tax?NCID=aolprf00030000000001)
>

Criteria to select the best dances (was "Feathers" again)

Message 51371 · SMiskoe · 5 Mar 2008 16:24:08 · Top

When you hear all the dancers singing Mairi's Wedding as they dance, and all
the entertainers singing it, you may consider your dislike of the tune to be
a minority. Have you tried dancing it to something else?
Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH USA

**************It's Tax Time! Get tips, forms, and advice on AOL Money &
Finance. (http://money.aol.com/tax?NCID=aolprf00030000000001)

Criteria to select the best dances (was "Feathers" again)

Message 51373 · SMiskoe · 5 Mar 2008 16:30:36 · Top

There are many dances that are done to a song tune, i.e. Irish Rover,
Galloway House, Merry Reapers. Do you sit them out as well?
Sylvia Miskoe, concord, NH USA

**************It's Tax Time! Get tips, forms, and advice on AOL Money &
Finance. (http://money.aol.com/tax?NCID=aolprf00030000000001)

Criteria to select the best dances (was "Feathers" again)

Message 51448 · Alan Paterson · 8 Mar 2008 09:46:21 · Top

On 05/03/2008 16:30, SMiskoe@aol.com wrote:
> There are many dances that are done to a song tune, i.e. Irish Rover,
> Galloway House, Merry Reapers. Do you sit them out as well?

No.

Alan

Mairi's Wedding (was Criteria to select the best dances)

Message 51447 · Alan Paterson · 8 Mar 2008 09:45:56 · Top

On 05/03/2008 16:24, SMiskoe@aol.com wrote:
> When you hear all the dancers singing Mairi's Wedding as they dance, and all
> the entertainers singing it, you may consider your dislike of the tune to be
> a minority.

Oh indeed. I am well aware of this. May have something to do with a
Scottish upbringing and long exposure to Billy Connolly.

> Have you tried dancing it to something else?

Does one ever get the chance?

The dance has only negative aspects for me.

1. Tune as described previously.
2. I strongly agree with Martin that it goes on too much
3. I never cease to be disgusted by people *deliberately* ignoring the
wishes of the devisor regarding the shoulder passes.
4. So often been in sets with beginners who either a) are visibly hurt
by the acrobats going on around them (this isn't how it was explained to
me!) or b) who attempt said acrobatics themselves and vanish off into
the sunset.

There are so many dances which I prefer so I have decided to avoid this one.

Alan (unashamedly maybe a minority of 1).

Mairi's Wedding (was Criteria to select the best dances)

Message 51456 · Iain Boyd · 9 Mar 2008 10:21:06 · Top

Dear Alan,

You are not alone.

I enjoyed "Mairi's Wedding" when it first 'came out'.

However, it has been 'trashed to death' and does not appeal as much as it used to.

Unfortunately, in my opinion, it is still being taught because it is still liked and because it is still new to the new dancers. Perhaps many teachers are too lazy to find something else or feel obliged to teach it when it turns up again on a local dance programme.

However, I still enjoy "The Montgomeries' Rant".

Regards,

Iain Boyd


Postal Address -

P O Box 11-404
Wellington
New Zealand
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Mairi's Wedding (was Criteria to select the best dances)

Message 51459 · Susan McKinnell · 9 Mar 2008 19:05:23 · Top

Mairi's Wedding was the dance that 'hooked' me on Scottish Country
dancing. The first night I attended a class, the more experienced
dancers danced it for us 'newbies.' I remember thinking "I want to
dance that dance!" I still enjoy the dance because it provides me the
feeling of 'flight' that I get with a dance that just works. And I have
to admit that I enjoy humming along to the tune. :-)
Sue (Chicago, USA)

Iain Boyd wrote:
> Dear Alan,
>
> You are not alone.
>
> I enjoyed "Mairi's Wedding" when it first 'came out'.
>
> However, it has been 'trashed to death' and does not appeal as much as it used to.
>
> Unfortunately, in my opinion, it is still being taught because it is still liked and because it is still new to the new dancers. Perhaps many teachers are too lazy to find something else or feel obliged to teach it when it turns up again on a local dance programme.
>
> However, I still enjoy "The Montgomeries' Rant".
>
> Regards,
>
> Iain Boyd
>
>
>
>
> Postal Address -
>
> P O Box 11-404
> Wellington
> New Zealand
> Send instant messages to your online friends http://au.messenger.yahoo.com
>
>
>
>

--
Susan McKinnell luvscd@suedan.com http://suedan.com

"A house without a cat, and a well-fed, well-petted, and properly
revered cat, may be a perfect house, perhaps, but how can it prove
its title?"
- Mark Twain, The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson

Mairi's Wedding (was Criteria to select the best dances)

Message 51465 · Stasa Morgan-Appel · 10 Mar 2008 00:07:47 · Top

The first time I attended a class, it was the end-of-semester party, and I
ended up in a dance with mirror reels! But everyone knew it was my first
time, and seemed to take great fun in helping me along. (Whew.)

I came back next term. During the first class, the experienced dancers
danced "Petronella" for us -- and the teacher promised us we'd do it within
two weeks. Yes, I was impressed. :)

Stasa, Michigan, US

On Sun, Mar 9, 2008 at 2:05 PM, Susan McKinnell <luvscd@suedan.com> wrote:

> Mairi's Wedding was the dance that 'hooked' me on Scottish Country
> dancing. The first night I attended a class, the more experienced
> dancers danced it for us 'newbies.' I remember thinking "I want to
> dance that dance!" I still enjoy the dance because it provides me the
> feeling of 'flight' that I get with a dance that just works. And I have
> to admit that I enjoy humming along to the tune. :-)
> Sue (Chicago, USA)
>

Mairi's Wedding

Message 51461 · ninian-uk · 9 Mar 2008 20:09:57 · Top

Ian Boyd wrote: "Unfortunately, in my opinion, it [Mairi's Wedding] is
still being taught because it is still liked and because it is still new to
the new dancers."

Silly me - I thought we danced for pleasure.

David

Berkeley, UK

Mairi's Wedding

Message 51462 · Pia Walker · 9 Mar 2008 21:04:03 · Top

Well I have danced SCD for 30 years, and I still like it - there's something
about getting that flow going and looking at your partner afterward with a
feeling of triumph, that gets me every time.

Pia

-----Original Message-----
From: strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org
[mailto:strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org]On Behalf Of
ninian-uk
Sent: 09 March 2008 19:10
To: SCD news and discussion
Subject: Re: Mairi's Wedding

Ian Boyd wrote: "Unfortunately, in my opinion, it [Mairi's Wedding] is
still being taught because it is still liked and because it is still new to
the new dancers."

Silly me - I thought we danced for pleasure.

David

Berkeley, UK

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Mairi's Wedding

Message 51464 · Andrea Re · 9 Mar 2008 21:11:10 · Top

Pia ha scritto:
> Well I have danced SCD for 30 years, and I still like it - there's something
> about getting that flow going and looking at your partner afterward with a
> feeling of triumph, that gets me every time.
>
Did you start aged 5? I didn't know you did it in Denmark as well. It
just shows you how popular SCD is in continental Europe:-).

Andrea (fae Dundee)
> Pia
>

Mairi's Wedding

Message 51467 · ron.mackey · 10 Mar 2008 00:48:51 · Top

> Pia ha scritto:
>> Well I have danced SCD for 30 years, and I still like it - there's
>> something
>> about getting that flow going and looking at your partner afterward with
>> a
>> feeling of triumph, that gets me every time.
>>
> Did you start aged 5? I didn't know you did it in Denmark as well. It just
> shows you how popular SCD is in continental Europe:-).
>
> Andrea (fae Dundee)

Take no notice, Pia. He's only fishing for Brownie Points! :))
Ron

P.S. These days when looking for flow I prefer 'The Belle of Bon Accord'.

Mairi's Wedding

Message 51469 · Pia Walker · 10 Mar 2008 09:51:28 · Top

Its working - I won't run him down the next time I see him crossing the road
in Dundee :>) And yes I started dancing in Denmark, Andrea - part of my
happy youth.

Pia

-----Original Message-----
From: strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org
[mailto:strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org]On Behalf Of Ron
Mackey
Sent: 09 March 2008 23:49
To: andrea@andrea-re.eu; SCD news and discussion
Subject: Re: Mairi's Wedding

>>
> Did you start aged 5? I didn't know you did it in Denmark as well. It just
> shows you how popular SCD is in continental Europe:-).
>
> Andrea (fae Dundee)

Take no notice, Pia. He's only fishing for Brownie Points! :))
Ron

P.S. These days when looking for flow I prefer 'The Belle of Bon Accord'.

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Checked by AVG.
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14:01

Mairi's Wedding

Message 51466 · ron.mackey · 10 Mar 2008 00:46:09 · Top

> Well I have danced SCD for 30 years, and I still like it - there's
> something
> about getting that flow going and looking at your partner afterward with a
> feeling of triumph, that gets me every time.
>
> Pia

Must say I understand Iain's comment. He surely says
'unfortunately' for himself. I'm more or less in the same boat as I've a
few more years on the floor than Pia and have grown fed-up with all the
right shoulder blasting. I'd probably still get up for it if it was done
as James wrote it and as I learned it.
We once - probably mid 50s - did 3 dems in one afternoon in
different places - to the same programme of course - and MW was our last
dance. At the third venue at end of the last time through we had a joint
loss of concentration and were doing the circle when someone muttered 'what
about the reel of three'!! 'Do them after' was the reply so we did!
Oh, yes. That night we went up to Porchester Hall and danced to Andrew
Rankine till yon time. Happy days!
a propos - I could do it then, John!

Happy Dancing :)

Ron

Ron Mackey
RSCDS London, Croydon & International Branches

Mairi's Wedding

Message 51472 · Katharine Hoskyn · 10 Mar 2008 21:08:04 · Top

Hullo

I am in the same boat as Ron and Iain who I think was responding to Alan. I
prefer the dance as written by the deviser. But we will never resolve the
diversity of views on this one.

When teaching the dance (and yes I do teach it), I suggest a compromise to
the class. Dancing the dance 8 times through, when in first place - dance
the dance as written. For the second turn through when starting in second
place, the deal is that I don't watch and they can make up their own mind.

To insist that they dance left shoulder 8 times would be like pushing water
uphill. But I would like them to respect the deviser's wishes at least some
of the time.

I think it's a reasonable compromise that seems to work.

I am also surprised at the number of people who carry on passing left
shoulder on their second turn through the dance (when I'm not watching! Just
peaking out behind the door in the kitchen)

I've noticed that a number of the dancers have carried this practice to
dances and balls as well - hopefully with the agreement of their partner.

Best wishes

Katharine

Katharine Hoskyn
Franklin Country, New Zealand

-----Original Message-----
From: strathspey-bounces-kat.hos=xtra.co.nz@strathspey.org
[mailto:strathspey-bounces-kat.hos=xtra.co.nz@strathspey.org] On Behalf Of
Ron Mackey
Sent: Monday, March 10, 2008 12:46 PM
To: SCD news and discussion
Subject: Re: Mairi's Wedding

> Well I have danced SCD for 30 years, and I still like it - there's
> something
> about getting that flow going and looking at your partner afterward with a
> feeling of triumph, that gets me every time.
>
> Pia

Must say I understand Iain's comment. He surely says
'unfortunately' for himself. I'm more or less in the same boat as I've a
few more years on the floor than Pia and have grown fed-up with all the
right shoulder blasting. I'd probably still get up for it if it was done
as James wrote it and as I learned it.
We once - probably mid 50s - did 3 dems in one afternoon in
different places - to the same programme of course - and MW was our last
dance. At the third venue at end of the last time through we had a joint
loss of concentration and were doing the circle when someone muttered 'what
about the reel of three'!! 'Do them after' was the reply so we did!
Oh, yes. That night we went up to Porchester Hall and danced to Andrew
Rankine till yon time. Happy days!
a propos - I could do it then, John!

Happy Dancing :)

Ron

Ron Mackey
RSCDS London, Croydon & International Branches

Mairi's Wedding

Message 51476 · Jerome Reinstein · 10 Mar 2008 22:24:09 · Top

I've just taken the last line from Katharine's comment below. I understand
why the dance was written left shoulder, but as I feel dancing is about joy
of moving with the music rather than just respect for the devisor, I tell my
people how it was written and let them try it both ways. (I do say both
partners have to agree on what they will do!) In my experience most choose
right shoulder (I have to say - as I do also). In spite of many repetitions
it has not gone out of style in either Paris or London and is mostly danced
right shoulder (and taught left shoulder).
--
Jerry
Paris & London

> From: Katharine Hoskyn <kat.hos@xtra.co.nz>
> Reply-To: SCD news and discussion <strathspey@strathspey.org>
> Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2008 09:08:04 +1300
> To: 'SCD news and discussion' <strathspey@strathspey.org>
> Subject: RE: Mairi's Wedding
>
>' I've noticed that a number of the dancers have carried this practice to
> dances and balls as well - hopefully with the agreement of their partner.'

Mairi's Wedding

Message 51480 · Jock McVlug · 10 Mar 2008 23:22:01 · Top

My opinion is that the option of right or left shoulder pass makes it that
much more attractive as a Dance. When you want to experience that wonderful
feeling of "flight" find a partner who will dance it right shoulder with
you. If you are otherwise inclined, find a partner who will dance it left
shoulder with you. Right or left, you can have lots of eye contact with
partner, which makes either way very enjoyable.

As far as dancing it the way the devisor wrote it...... how many of you
dance the last 4 bars of White Heather Jig the way it was written? Around
these parts it is almost always done as a Tulloch turn. (or some other form
of a spin turn rather than a simple RH turn)(and I won't get into other
examples)
As long as it doesn't interfere with the other couples in the set, does it
really matter how it is danced by 1st couple?

Jack in Beautiful British Columbia.

Mairi's Wedding

Message 51482 · ron.mackey · 11 Mar 2008 01:14:46 · Top

> My opinion is that the option of right or left shoulder pass makes it that
> much more attractive as a Dance. When you want to experience that
> wonderful feeling of "flight" find a partner who will dance it right
> shoulder with you. If you are otherwise inclined, find a partner who will
> dance it left shoulder with you. Right or left, you can have lots of eye
> contact with partner, which makes either way very enjoyable.
>
> Jack in Beautiful British Columbia.

Sorry Jack, I can't let this go by.:~)
The next time you dance MW try dancing wider RSh loops on the
corners so that you have plenty of room to turn the left shoulder in to pass
your partner. Done this way there is NO loss of flight; in fact I would
say it enhances it because you cover more ground with the added bonus of
agility in the curve to pass LSh without loss of movement. You usually
make more contact with your partner because you _must_ watch each other to
time the pass more accurately.
Happy Dancing :)

Ron

Ron Mackey
RSCDS London, Croydon & International Branches

Mairi's Wedding

Message 51483 · Sophie Rickebusch · 11 Mar 2008 09:29:53 · Top

Selon Ron Mackey <ron.mackey@talktalk.net>:

> The next time you dance MW try dancing wider RSh loops on the
> corners so that you have plenty of room to turn the left shoulder in to pass
> your partner. Done this way there is NO loss of flight; in fact I would
> say it enhances it because you cover more ground with the added bonus of
> agility in the curve to pass LSh without loss of movement. You usually
> make more contact with your partner because you _must_ watch each other to
> time the pass more accurately.

I'm with Ron on this one! If you feel that the LSh pass in the middle is
awkward, then you haven't made your set wide enough (and the reels across will
no doubt require dancing nearly on the spot too). I can understand why you'd
want to use RSh on a crowded dance-floor, where you can't have a decent-sized
set (which is probably where the change came from in the first place), but
otherwise there's really no reason.

Cheers,
Sophie

--
Sophie Rickebusch
FR - St Martin d'Heres

Mairi's Wedding

Message 51490 · Iain Boyd · 11 Mar 2008 21:51:00 · Top

Greetings all,

It seems to me that Ron and Sophie want to 'have their cake and eat it too'.

Having bigger sets merely allows dancers to dance 'right shoulder pass loops' without actually passing right shoulders.

James Cosh asked for half reels of four on the diagonal where first couple finish facing the next corner round rather than the corner they originally passed.

Half reels of four have three passes and hence three curves. First couple pass by right shoulders and curve out to the left on the way out, pass by right shoulders and curve out to the left on the way in and lastly pass by left shoulders and curve out to the right in the middle.

Thus, it is NOT a single large loop for first couple. They must add a slight curve as they pass each other in the middle for the figure to be a 'half reel of four'!

What every first couple who are passing by right shoulders in the middle are dancing is NOT half reels of four although they are half reels of four for the corners.

The figure the 'right shouder passers' are dancing can be described -

"Corners dance the track of a half reel of four
while
first couple dance a right shoulder loop round corner positions and pass by right shoulders to face the next corner."

while

the figure Ron and Sophie are suggesting can be described -

"Corners dance the track of a half reel of four
while
first couple dance a right shoulder loop round corner positions and pass by left shoulders to face the next corner."

Regards,

Iain Boyd






Sophie Rickebusch <sophie.rickebusch@free.fr> wrote:
Selon Ron Mackey :

> The next time you dance MW try dancing wider RSh loops on the
> corners so that you have plenty of room to turn the left shoulder in to pass
> your partner. Done this way there is NO loss of flight; in fact I would
> say it enhances it because you cover more ground with the added bonus of
> agility in the curve to pass LSh without loss of movement. You usually
> make more contact with your partner because you _must_ watch each other to
> time the pass more accurately.

I'm with Ron on this one! If you feel that the LSh pass in the middle is
awkward, then you haven't made your set wide enough (and the reels across will
no doubt require dancing nearly on the spot too). I can understand why you'd
want to use RSh on a crowded dance-floor, where you can't have a decent-sized
set (which is probably where the change came from in the first place), but
otherwise there's really no reason.

Cheers,
Sophie

--
Sophie Rickebusch
FR - St Martin d'Heres

Postal Address -

P O Box 11-404
Wellington
New Zealand
Send instant messages to your online friends http://au.messenger.yahoo.com

Mairi's Wedding

Message 51500 · ron.mackey · 12 Mar 2008 01:20:10 · Top

> the figure Ron and Sophie are suggesting can be described -
>
> "Corners dance the track of a half reel of four while first couple dance
> a right shoulder loop > round corner positions and pass by left shoulders
> to face the next corner."
> Regards,
> Iain Boyd
>

Not so Iain. What I am asking for is subtlety. I have found that when
I teach MW some cannot time the reel and so get to the centre too early so
that they overshoot and thus pass RSh. If they are asked to slightly
broaden the RSh pass on the corner they are coming to their partner more as
if they were dancing a full reel of four and so the left shoulder pass makes
more sense. I have always dance it like that. It was how we
demonstrated it years ago and found it was the easiest way to time the
figure. We always enjoyed it and never passed RSh.!

If the tune is thought to be 'cheesy' that is modern sophistication
talking! In those days these songs were heard regularly and people sang
them heartily with no trace of embarrassment. It's a very good way of
enjoying oneself, after all. Of course there is virtually no community
singing these days but then what pops could they sing. Please don't talk
about the choruses at Soccer or Rugby matches!! - even if they _are_
enjoying themselves!!
In short, when MW was popular it was the best way to finish one's Dem and a
sure-fire way to be asked back next year!
Happy Dancing :)

Ron

Ron Mackey
RSCDS London, Croydon & International Branches

Mairi's Wedding

Message 51505 · Sophie Rickebusch · 12 Mar 2008 10:28:35 · Top

Quite! Even if your set is larger, you can still do "proper" half reels, ie. for
1s: pass RSh - curve at the end - pass RSh - pass LSh, though the LSh pass is
shorter (90 degrees rather than 180), which I find much more satisfactory. I
didn't mean that sets should be so wide that you couldn't see your partner, just
that if your set is too narrow, then as Ron says it is difficult not to
overshoot the mark in the middle. I don't know how it is in your part of the
world, but around here it's often a struggle to get people not to make the sets
so small you can cross them in half a step! (Having short legs is no excuse,
it's a matter of technique.) The main problem though is people who can't phrase
reels of 4, something you see surprisingly often for such a basic figure.

Cheers,
Sophie

Selon Ron Mackey <ron.mackey@talktalk.net>:

> > the figure Ron and Sophie are suggesting can be described -
> >
> > "Corners dance the track of a half reel of four while first couple dance
> > a right shoulder loop > round corner positions and pass by left shoulders
> > to face the next corner."
> > Regards,
> > Iain Boyd
> >
>
> Not so Iain. What I am asking for is subtlety. I have found that when
> I teach MW some cannot time the reel and so get to the centre too early so
> that they overshoot and thus pass RSh. If they are asked to slightly
> broaden the RSh pass on the corner they are coming to their partner more as
> if they were dancing a full reel of four and so the left shoulder pass makes
> more sense. I have always dance it like that. It was how we
> demonstrated it years ago and found it was the easiest way to time the
> figure. We always enjoyed it and never passed RSh.!

--
Sophie Rickebusch
FR - St Martin d'Heres

Mairi's Wedding

Message 51507 · ron.mackey · 12 Mar 2008 11:11:47 · Top

----- Original Message -----
From: "Sophie Rickebusch" <sophie.rickebusch@free.fr>

The main problem though is people who can't phrase
> reels of 4, something you see surprisingly often for such a basic figure.
>
> Cheers,
> Sophie
>
> Selon Ron Mackey <ron.mackey@talktalk.net>:

I second that! Next time you watch a reel of four take note of how many
are facing back into the reel at the end of every two bars. They should be
as that's how the figure starts! Mostly they are right shoulder on to the
axis of the reel, if not still gazing into the next set. No wonder there
is often difficulty in passing the last left shoulder as in The Winding
Road, None so Pretty, etc. etc. etc.

Happy Dancing :)

Ron

Ron Mackey
RSCDS London, Croydon & International Branches

Mairi's Wedding

Message 51479 · ron.mackey · 10 Mar 2008 23:20:41 · Top

> I am also surprised at the number of people who carry on passing left
> shoulder on their second turn through the dance (when I'm not watching!
> Just
> peaking out behind the door in the kitchen)
>
> I've noticed that a number of the dancers have carried this practice to
> dances and balls as well - hopefully with the agreement of their partner.
> Katharine Hoskyn
> Franklin Country, New Zealand

It's nice to know that subtlety is not entirely dead.. :-)
Ron

Mairi's Wedding

Message 51484 · Andrew Smith · 11 Mar 2008 10:44:11 · Top

Katharine wrote:
"I am also surprised at the number of people who carry on passing left
> shoulder on their second turn through the dance (when I'm not watching!
> Just
> peaking out behind the door in the kitchen)"

I am surprised that just to have her class passing left shoulders in Mairi's
wedding causes her to have a transcendental experience behind the kitchen
door. They must be wonderful dancers, or is it the music/musicians?
Or does she mean 'peeking'? ;-)
Andrew Smith,
Bristol, UK.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Katharine Hoskyn" <kat.hos@xtra.co.nz>
To: "'SCD news and discussion'" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Monday, March 10, 2008 8:08 PM
Subject: RE: Mairi's Wedding

> Hullo
>
> I am in the same boat as Ron and Iain who I think was responding to Alan.
> I
> prefer the dance as written by the deviser. But we will never resolve the
> diversity of views on this one.
>
> When teaching the dance (and yes I do teach it), I suggest a compromise to
> the class. Dancing the dance 8 times through, when in first place - dance
> the dance as written. For the second turn through when starting in second
> place, the deal is that I don't watch and they can make up their own mind.
>
> To insist that they dance left shoulder 8 times would be like pushing
> water
> uphill. But I would like them to respect the deviser's wishes at least
> some
> of the time.
>
> I think it's a reasonable compromise that seems to work.
>
> I am also surprised at the number of people who carry on passing left
> shoulder on their second turn through the dance (when I'm not watching!
> Just
> peaking out behind the door in the kitchen)
>
> I've noticed that a number of the dancers have carried this practice to
> dances and balls as well - hopefully with the agreement of their partner.
>
> Best wishes
>
> Katharine
>
>
> Katharine Hoskyn
> Franklin Country, New Zealand
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: strathspey-bounces-kat.hos=xtra.co.nz@strathspey.org
> [mailto:strathspey-bounces-kat.hos=xtra.co.nz@strathspey.org] On Behalf Of
> Ron Mackey
> Sent: Monday, March 10, 2008 12:46 PM
> To: SCD news and discussion
> Subject: Re: Mairi's Wedding
>
>
>
>
>> Well I have danced SCD for 30 years, and I still like it - there's
>> something
>> about getting that flow going and looking at your partner afterward with
>> a
>> feeling of triumph, that gets me every time.
>>
>> Pia
>
> Must say I understand Iain's comment. He surely says
> 'unfortunately' for himself. I'm more or less in the same boat as I've a
> few more years on the floor than Pia and have grown fed-up with all the
> right shoulder blasting. I'd probably still get up for it if it was
> done
> as James wrote it and as I learned it.
> We once - probably mid 50s - did 3 dems in one afternoon in
> different places - to the same programme of course - and MW was our last
> dance. At the third venue at end of the last time through we had a joint
> loss of concentration and were doing the circle when someone muttered
> 'what
> about the reel of three'!! 'Do them after' was the reply so we did!
> Oh, yes. That night we went up to Porchester Hall and danced to Andrew
> Rankine till yon time. Happy days!
> a propos - I could do it then, John!
>
> Happy Dancing :)
>
> Ron
>
> Ron Mackey
> RSCDS London, Croydon & International Branches
>
>

Mairi's Wedding

Message 51485 · George Watt · 11 Mar 2008 11:33:48 · Top


Much better just to have one grand birl - but keep counting the bars folks!George T. Watt, 4 Ancrum Drive, Dundee. DD2 2JB Scotland. tel. 01382 642131> From: afsmith@talktalk.net> To: strathspey@strathspey.org> Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2008 09:44:11 +0000> Subject: Re: Mairi's Wedding> > Katharine wrote:> "I am also surprised at the number of people who carry on passing left> > shoulder on their second turn through the dance (when I'm not watching! > > Just> > peaking out behind the door in the kitchen)"> > I am surprised that just to have her class passing left shoulders in Mairi's > wedding causes her to have a transcendental experience behind the kitchen > door. They must be wonderful dancers, or is it the music/musicians?> Or does she mean 'peeking'? ;-)> Andrew Smith,> Bristol, UK.> > ----- Original Message ----- > From: "Katharine Hoskyn" <kat.hos@xtra.co.nz>> To: "'SCD news and discussion'" <strathspey@strathspey.org>> Sent: Monday, March 10, 2008 8:08 PM> Subject: RE: Mairi's Wedding> > > > Hullo> >> > I am in the same boat as Ron and Iain who I think was responding to Alan. > > I> > prefer the dance as written by the deviser. But we will never resolve the> > diversity of views on this one.> >> > When teaching the dance (and yes I do teach it), I suggest a compromise to> > the class. Dancing the dance 8 times through, when in first place - dance> > the dance as written. For the second turn through when starting in second> > place, the deal is that I don't watch and they can make up their own mind.> >> > To insist that they dance left shoulder 8 times would be like pushing > > water> > uphill. But I would like them to respect the deviser's wishes at least > > some> > of the time.> >> > I think it's a reasonable compromise that seems to work.> >> > I am also surprised at the number of people who carry on passing left> > shoulder on their second turn through the dance (when I'm not watching! > > Just> > peaking out behind the door in the kitchen)> >> > I've noticed that a number of the dancers have carried this practice to> > dances and balls as well - hopefully with the agreement of their partner.> >> > Best wishes> >> > Katharine> >> >> > Katharine Hoskyn> > Franklin Country, New Zealand> >> >> >> > -----Original Message-----> > From: strathspey-bounces-kat.hos=xtra.co.nz@strathspey.org> > [mailto:strathspey-bounces-kat.hos=xtra.co.nz@strathspey.org] On Behalf Of> > Ron Mackey> > Sent: Monday, March 10, 2008 12:46 PM> > To: SCD news and discussion> > Subject: Re: Mairi's Wedding> >> >> >> >> >> Well I have danced SCD for 30 years, and I still like it - there's> >> something> >> about getting that flow going and looking at your partner afterward with > >> a> >> feeling of triumph, that gets me every time.> >>> >> Pia> >> > Must say I understand Iain's comment. He surely says> > 'unfortunately' for himself. I'm more or less in the same boat as I've a> > few more years on the floor than Pia and have grown fed-up with all the> > right shoulder blasting. I'd probably still get up for it if it was > > done> > as James wrote it and as I learned it.> > We once - probably mid 50s - did 3 dems in one afternoon in> > different places - to the same programme of course - and MW was our last> > dance. At the third venue at end of the last time through we had a joint> > loss of concentration and were doing the circle when someone muttered > > 'what> > about the reel of three'!! 'Do them after' was the reply so we did!> > Oh, yes. That night we went up to Porchester Hall and danced to Andrew> > Rankine till yon time. Happy days!> > a propos - I could do it then, John!> >> > Happy Dancing :)> >> > Ron> >> > Ron Mackey> > RSCDS London, Croydon & International Branches> >> > > >
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Mairi's Wedding

Message 51486 · Marie Disiewicz · 11 Mar 2008 18:36:47 · Top

Hi to all

I do not remember who wrote or suggested the dance be danced with the Right Shoulder pass in MW, but they then called it" Mairi's Divorce"

Cheers
Marie

Mairi's Wedding

Message 51493 · Brian Charlton · 11 Mar 2008 22:36:32 · Top

G'Day,

After a similar long-winded discussion about MW, Angus Henry, on this
discussion group, re-wrote the dance and suggested it be danced as 'Mairi's
Divorce'.

My particular 'gripe' is that inexperienced dancers now think that ALL such
reels are right-shoulder passes - even recently in 'Irish Rover'!!!

Another is that many of the right-shoulder pass people are not consistent,
they pass left shoulder in the fourth half-reel. I suggest they try the
fourth right shoulder pass, then get into the left shoulder reel of three as
a challenge to their real dancing skill.

Brian Charlton,
Sydney, Australia

On 12/03/2008, Marie Disiewicz <speym@telus.net> wrote:
>
> Hi to all
>
> I do not remember who wrote or suggested the dance be danced with the
> Right Shoulder pass in MW, but they then called it" Mairi's Divorce"
>
> Cheers
>
> Marie

Mairi's Wedding

Message 51515 · Alan Paterson · 12 Mar 2008 16:43:27 · Top

On 11/03/2008 22:36, Brian Charlton wrote:
> My particular 'gripe' is that inexperienced dancers now think that ALL such
> reels are right-shoulder passes - even recently in 'Irish Rover'!!!

I quite definitely try to discourage that. If they do do it
right-shoulder with the first corners, then they almost automatically do
it with 2nd corners - and miss the quick left-hand turn. Causing chaos.

Alan

Mairi's Wedding

Message 51502 · Angus Henry · 12 Mar 2008 02:44:16 · Top

It was me - just so that people would know without confusion which
dance they were doing and save having to keep posting questions about
it! :-)

Mairi's Divorce is listed in the major references like the Sutton
Coldfield Index and Napier's Index.

Angus

On 12-03-2008, at 3:06, Marie Disiewicz wrote:

> Hi to all
>
> I do not remember who wrote or suggested the dance be danced with
> the Right Shoulder pass in MW, but they then called it" Mairi's
> Divorce"
>
> Cheers
> Marie

Angus & Puka Henry
DARWIN, AUSTRALIA
Website: <http://www.users.on.net/~anguka/>

Mairi's Wedding

Message 51514 · Alan Paterson · 12 Mar 2008 16:42:02 · Top

On 12/03/2008 02:44, Angus Henry wrote:
> It was me - just so that people would know without confusion which dance
> they were doing and save having to keep posting questions about it! :-)
>
> Mairi's Divorce is listed in the major references like the Sutton
> Coldfield Index and Napier's Index.

Oh Angus. Does no other major reference come to mind?

Alan
(sob)

Mairi's Wedding

Message 51526 · Angus Henry · 13 Mar 2008 05:07:53 · Top

Sorry about that, Alan; the mentions were not intended to be an
exhaustive list but just examples of accurate indexes; I'm happy to
confirm that DanceData joins them, so dry your tears! It's just
that some resources I checked are not too fussy about accuracy (or
maybe don't understand the difference), which makes one wonder at
their other entries ? ? ?

cheers, and HAPPY dancing

Angus

On 13-03-2008, at 1:12, Alan Paterson wrote:

> On 12/03/2008 02:44, Angus Henry wrote:
>> It was me - just so that people would know without confusion which
>> dance they were doing and save having to keep posting questions
>> about it! :-)
>> Mairi's Divorce is listed in the major references like the Sutton
>> Coldfield Index and Napier's Index.
>
> Oh Angus. Does no other major reference come to mind?
>
> Alan
> (sob)

Angus & Puka Henry
DARWIN, AUSTRALIA
Website: <http://www.users.on.net/~anguka/>

Mairi's Wedding

Message 51527 · Chris1Ronald · 13 Mar 2008 05:09:40 · Top


Jan Obdrzalek(?) (Sorry I don't know you last name, and there's more than
one Jan on the list) writes:

"you need RSh pass for a proper twiddle for the dancing couple"


I've been trying to keep my head down during this latest annual discussion
about MW. But......

... for what it's worth, I wouldn't make much of a connection between the
shoulder of passing and the addition of a twiddle. That is, I wouldn't need a
RSh pass in order to twiddle. To me, a twiddle on a LSh pass is equally
doable, if not more so.

About embellishments in general, in English dances that are repeated all the
way down a hall, and with the same tune (itself getting embellished no
doubt), one often sees embellishments creeping in as everyone becomes familiar
with the choreography. In SCD we don't have such dances (excepting Glasgow
Highlanders - where we do have variations - in the setting steps), so it tends
to be only the most popular SCD dances where one sees embellishments, and even
then not very much.

So my theory is, the more a dance gets repeated, the more dancers will look
for ways to modify it. Does that make sense to anyone else?

Chris, New York.


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Mairi's Wedding

Message 51529 · Monica Pollard · 13 Mar 2008 15:41:35 · Top

On Wed, Mar 12, 2008 at 11:09 PM, <Chris1Ronald@aol.com> wrote:
> So my theory is, the more a dance gets repeated, the more dancers will look
> for ways to modify it. Does that make sense to anyone else?

Makes sense to me. The more familiar the dance, the more likely you
are to throw in a few variations. What worries me are beginners who
try these things when they can barely get through the dance.

As has been said by others, I teach it according to the instructions.
Then tell/show my dancers about the variations. I advise they should
only do them at a dance if they've talked about it beforehand with
their partner - who may or may not be prepared/able to do them.

(I seem to recall a very similar discussion of MW on this list back in
1998. Wonder if it's still in the archives...)

Monica Pollard
Nampa, ID

--
"We must be the change we wish to see in the world."
Gandhi

Mairi's Wedding

Message 51530 · Thomas G. Mungall, III · 13 Mar 2008 17:10:54 · Top

I always ask the set BEFORE we start, "Left shoulder or right?" Usually
everyone looks at me and says in unison, "RIGHT!" Its like I had asked
something totally inane or something silly! Personally, I prefer the right
shoulder blast over the left shoulder pass. ;-) I agree, the dance should be
learned as it was written and then become familiar with the variations.
However, the right shoulder pass appears to be the standard way it is
danced. I just wonder if there are regional or geographic preferences on
that issue?

Tom Mungall
Baton Rouge, La, USA

----- Original Message -----
From: "Monica Pollard" <sequoia03@gmail.com>
<<<<<SNIP>>>>>>>>>...
> As has been said by others, I teach it according to the instructions.
> Then tell/show my dancers about the variations. I advise they should
> only do them at a dance if they've talked about it beforehand with
> their partner - who may or may not be prepared/able to do them.

Mairi's Wedding

Message 51531 · Wendy Grubb · 13 Mar 2008 16:58:53 · Top

I think controlled abandon should be the order of the
day. Too often I find that dancers use the right
shoulder pass to "race" through the dance without
listening to the music.

I also have a concern for sets with several new
dancers, in that case I try to have or perhaps I
should say would prefer to have the set dance Mairi's
as written in order not to confuse the new dancers.

Wendy Grubb
New Orleans, LA

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Mairi's Wedding

Message 51533 · Bruce Herbold · 13 Mar 2008 17:28:31 · Top

I dance it both ways -- often alternating if it is with my wife -- but
it is worth thinking about the change in with whom you are dancing.
When one goes 'blasting' through the middle one is mostly dancing with
one's partner and the corner is so far away they can only dance with
the other corner. Whereas the left shoulder pass allows one to
coordinate with partner, generally closer than in the right shoulder
pass, and one is actually facing one's corner so they become fellow
dancers rather than slalom flags.

Bruce Herbold
San Francisco

On 3/13/08, Thomas G. Mungall, III <atheling@cox.net> wrote:
> I always ask the set BEFORE we start, "Left shoulder or right?" Usually
> everyone looks at me and says in unison, "RIGHT!" Its like I had asked
> something totally inane or something silly! Personally, I prefer the right
> shoulder blast over the left shoulder pass. ;-) I agree, the dance should be
> learned as it was written and then become familiar with the variations.
> However, the right shoulder pass appears to be the standard way it is
> danced. I just wonder if there are regional or geographic preferences on
> that issue?
>
> Tom Mungall
> Baton Rouge, La, USA
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Monica Pollard" <sequoia03@gmail.com>
> <<<<<SNIP>>>>>>>>>...
> > As has been said by others, I teach it according to the instructions.
> > Then tell/show my dancers about the variations. I advise they should
> > only do them at a dance if they've talked about it beforehand with
> > their partner - who may or may not be prepared/able to do them.
>
>

Mairi's Wedding

Message 51535 · Miriam L. Mueller · 13 Mar 2008 19:23:28 · Top

What doesn't seem to have been said this time around is that the
considerate experienced dancer will adjust his/her styling to the other
dancers.
Specifically, if there are newer dancers in the set, especially
if they look unsure, one should curb one's twiddles and dance as clearly
and simply as one can -- think of it as a chance to work on technique and
phrasing. Note that I say "in the set" - you and your partner may be able
to handle the fancy stuff, but the newer dancers are probably watching
you to see what it should look like and how the talk-through translates
into motion.
So if the talk-through for MW says to pass left shoulders in the
middle, and you have less experienced dancers in the set, then do it that
way. Next year they'll know it well enough to join you in the twiddles
and play. If you're a good enough dancer to twiddle, you are a good
enough dancer to NOT twiddle, and (I trust) to judge when each is
appropriate.

Miriam Mueller San Francisco

On Thu, 13 Mar 2008 08:41:35 -0600 "Monica Pollard" <sequoia03@gmail.com>
writes:
> On Wed, Mar 12, 2008 at 11:09 PM, <Chris1Ronald@aol.com> wrote:
> > So my theory is, the more a dance gets repeated, the more dancers
> will look
> > for ways to modify it. Does that make sense to anyone else?
>
> Makes sense to me. The more familiar the dance, the more likely
> you
> are to throw in a few variations. What worries me are beginners
> who
> try these things when they can barely get through the dance.

Mairi's Wedding

Message 51544 · Angus Henry · 14 Mar 2008 03:51:37 · Top

Well said, Bruce. That just about sums it all up!

Angus

On 14-03-2008, at 1:58, Bruce Herbold wrote:

> Whereas the left shoulder pass allows one to
> coordinate with partner, generally closer than in the right shoulder
> pass, and one is actually facing one's corner so they become fellow
> dancers rather than slalom flags.
>
> Bruce Herbold
> San Francisco
>

Angus & Puka Henry
DARWIN, AUSTRALIA
Website: <http://www.users.on.net/~anguka/>

Mairi's Wedding

Message 51532 · Anselm Lingnau · 13 Mar 2008 17:03:01 · Top

Monica Pollard wrote:

> (I seem to recall a very similar discussion of MW on this list back in
> 1998. Wonder if it's still in the archives...)

Make that 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2003, and 2005. Hmmm ... sounds just
about right :^)

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau, Friedberg, Germany ..................... anselm@strathspey.org
You cannot teach beginners top-down programming, because they don't know which
end is up. -- C. A. R. Hoare

Mairi's Wedding

Message 51540 · ron.mackey · 13 Mar 2008 22:25:01 · Top

>
> Make that 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2003, and 2005. Hmmm ... sounds
> just
> about right :^)
>
> Anselm
> --

Just shows that it makes an infallible spoon! :))

Ron :)

Mairi's Wedding

Message 51541 · Brian Charlton · 13 Mar 2008 22:30:34 · Top

Anselm,

Again, your script generator must be psychic!

Brian Charlton,
Sydney, Australia

On 14/03/2008, Anselm Lingnau <anselm@strathspey.org> wrote:
>
> Monica Pollard wrote:
>
> > (I seem to recall a very similar discussion of MW on this list back in
> > 1998. Wonder if it's still in the archives...)
>
>
> Make that 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2003, and 2005. Hmmm ... sounds
> just
> about right :^)
>
> Anselm
>
> --
> Anselm Lingnau, Friedberg, Germany .....................
> anselm@strathspey.org
> You cannot teach beginners top-down programming, because they don't know
> which
> end is up. -- C. A. R.
> Hoare
>

Mairi's Wedding

Message 51547 · Pia Walker · 14 Mar 2008 10:29:51 · Top

Ah but the old tue and tested ones are the best :>)
Pia

-----Original Message-----
From: strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org
[mailto:strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org]On Behalf Of
Brian Charlton
Sent: 13 March 2008 21:31
To: SCD news and discussion
Subject: Re: Mairi's Wedding

>
> > (I seem to recall a very similar discussion of MW on this list back in
> > 1998. Wonder if it's still in the archives...)
>
>
> Make that 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2003, and 2005. Hmmm ... sounds
> just
> about right :^)
>

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Mairi's Wedding

Message 51553 · Fran Smith · 15 Mar 2008 00:13:52 · Top

 Speak for yourself/your area. Around here Polharrow Burn is danced
with left shoulder passes.
Fran (South Wales)

> From:: Andrew Buxton <andrew.buxton@yahoo.co.uk>
> To: SCD news and discussion <strathspey@strathspey.org>
> Subject: Re: Mairi's Wedding
> Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2008 12:19:37 +0000 (GMT)

> It's interesting that in other dances with "clover leaf" reels, e.g.
> Polharrow Burn, The Kelpie, the dancing couple pass RSh in the middle.
> (Also corners pass and turn.) Could this be because dancers find LSh
> awkward/unnatural?
>
>
> Andrew Buxton
> Lewes, UK
>
> ---
> Selon Sophie:
>
> I'm with Ron on this one! If you feel that the LSh pass in the middle is
> awkward, then you haven't made your set wide enough (and the reels across
> will no doubt require dancing nearly on the spot too). I can understand why
> you'd want to use RSh on a crowded dance-floor, where you can't have a
> decent-sized set (which is probably where the change came from in the first
> place), but otherwise there's really no reason.
>
>
> __________________________________________________________
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Palharrow Burn was Mairi's Wedding

Message 51554 · Thomas G. Mungall, III · 15 Mar 2008 01:26:19 · Top

Speaking of Palharrow Burn (one of my favorites!) here is a video of the
RSCDS Manchester Branch doing this dance at their Ball in 2007. Goodness
they look like they are having FUN!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ggec5kkmLxM&feature=related

Tom Mungall
Baton Rouge, La, USA

----- Original Message -----
From: "Fran Smith" <smith.fran@lycos.co.uk>

Speak for yourself/your area. Around here Polharrow Burn is danced
with left shoulder passes.
Fran (South Wales)

> From:: Andrew Buxton <andrew.buxton@yahoo.co.uk>

> It's interesting that in other dances with "clover leaf" reels, e.g.
> Polharrow Burn, The Kelpie, the dancing couple pass RSh in the middle.
> (Also corners pass and turn.) Could this be because dancers find LSh
> awkward/unnatural?
>
>
> Andrew Buxton
> Lewes, UK
>
> ---
> Selon Sophie:
>
> I'm with Ron on this one! If you feel that the LSh pass in the middle is
> awkward, then you haven't made your set wide enough (and the reels across
> will no doubt require dancing nearly on the spot too). I can understand
why
> you'd want to use RSh on a crowded dance-floor, where you can't have a
> decent-sized set (which is probably where the change came from in the
first
> place), but otherwise there's really no reason.

Palharrow Burn was Mairi's Wedding

Message 51555 · Bruce Herbold · 15 Mar 2008 01:14:11 · Top

well I agree -- it looks like a lovely time. Maybe I'll take a year
off and travel the globe going from ball to ball and earn my living as
an itinerent dance instructor between times. Or maybe not.

But notice that the people doing twirls are doing them alone -- they
are not dancing with their fellow corners/partners who are dancing
straight, probably as they learned the dance. To my eye twirling
alone lessens the sociablility of the dance -- more of a 'look at me'
approach and less of a 'let's do it this way' approach. Twirls or no
twirls I strongly favor the eye-contact and collaboration approach.

But I have noticed before that what I favor plays little role in how
the world works.

Bruce Herbold
San Francisco

On 3/14/08, Thomas G. Mungall, III <atheling@cox.net> wrote:
> Speaking of Palharrow Burn (one of my favorites!) here is a video of the
> RSCDS Manchester Branch doing this dance at their Ball in 2007. Goodness
> they look like they are having FUN!
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ggec5kkmLxM&feature=related
>
> Tom Mungall
> Baton Rouge, La, USA
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Fran Smith" <smith.fran@lycos.co.uk>
>
>
> Speak for yourself/your area. Around here Polharrow Burn is danced
> with left shoulder passes.
> Fran (South Wales)
>
>
>
> > From:: Andrew Buxton <andrew.buxton@yahoo.co.uk>
>
> > It's interesting that in other dances with "clover leaf" reels, e.g.
> > Polharrow Burn, The Kelpie, the dancing couple pass RSh in the middle.
> > (Also corners pass and turn.) Could this be because dancers find LSh
> > awkward/unnatural?
> >
> >
> > Andrew Buxton
> > Lewes, UK
> >
> > ---
> > Selon Sophie:
> >
> > I'm with Ron on this one! If you feel that the LSh pass in the middle is
> > awkward, then you haven't made your set wide enough (and the reels across
> > will no doubt require dancing nearly on the spot too). I can understand
> why
> > you'd want to use RSh on a crowded dance-floor, where you can't have a
> > decent-sized set (which is probably where the change came from in the
> first
> > place), but otherwise there's really no reason.
>
>

Palharrow Burn was Mairi's Wedding

Message 51572 · Stasa Morgan-Appel · 15 Mar 2008 23:28:53 · Top

On Fri, Mar 14, 2008 at 8:14 PM, Bruce Herbold <bherbold@gmail.com> wrote:

> Maybe I'll take a year
> off and travel the globe going from ball to ball and earn my living as
> an itinerent dance instructor between times. Or maybe not.
>
>
That sounds like my idea of heaven -- as long as my "feets don't fail me"!

- Stasa, Michigan, US

Palharrow Burn was Mairi's Wedding

Message 51573 · Stasa Morgan-Appel · 15 Mar 2008 23:31:16 · Top

They do!

>From above, I think the left-shoulder pass looks better than the
right-shoulder. Interesting!

- Stasa, Michigan, US

On Fri, Mar 14, 2008 at 8:26 PM, Thomas G. Mungall, III <atheling@cox.net>
wrote:

> Speaking of Palharrow Burn (one of my favorites!) here is a video of the
> RSCDS Manchester Branch doing this dance at their Ball in 2007. Goodness
> they look like they are having FUN!
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ggec5kkmLxM&feature=related
>
> Tom Mungall
> Baton Rouge, La, USA
>

Mairi's Wedding

Message 51583 · Andrew Buxton · 17 Mar 2008 13:59:45 · Top

I'm sure I was taught r/sh and that's what I've always done. My partner has never queried it. Are the diagrams on the Scottish Dance Archive website from the original? It seems to be unspecified in the words.

On Saturday we did the Recumbent Stone where it's r/sh so Mairi's Wedding may still be in the minority.

Andrew
-----
Andrew Buxton
Lewes, East Sussex, UK

----- Original Message ----
From: Fran Smith <smith.fran@lycos.co.uk>
To: SCD news and discussion <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Friday, 14 March, 2008 11:13:52 PM
Subject: Re: Re: Mairi's Wedding

Speak for yourself/your area. Around here Polharrow Burn is danced
with left shoulder passes.
Fran (South Wales)

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Mairi's Wedding

Message 51584 · Anselm Lingnau · 17 Mar 2008 14:34:22 · Top

Andrew Buxton wrote about Polharrow Burn:

> Are the diagrams on the Scottish Dance Archive
> website from the original? It seems to be unspecified in the words.

Yes, they are -- I have the original leaflet (Glendarroch 18) to hand and they
are the same.

The giveaway as far as the provenance of the diagrams are concerned is Hugh
Foss's style of denoting which couple is which -- the first couple's squares
and circles are completely filled in, the second couple's half, the third
couple's a third and so on. The filled-in bit is always where the person
would have their nose. Only a mathematician could have come up with this :^)

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau, Friedberg, Germany ..................... anselm@strathspey.org
Law of Cat Magnetism: All blue blazers and black sweaters attract cat hair in
direct proportion to the darkness of the fabric.

Mairi's Wedding

Message 51586 · Volleyballjerry · 17 Mar 2008 15:35:10 · Top


While I am as guilty as anyone of dancing RS in Mairi's Wedding and actually
prefer it, I have always made it clear in teaching that the original and
proper way is LS and have known it to be such since beginner days three decades
ago. And I have always found that everyone long active in SCD, teacher or
otherwise, pretty much is aware of the same. It is a first for me to hear from
someone with an established SCD background that he was actually taught RS
passes for M.W. and has always assumed it to have properly been such. It's not
at all a criticism, as one certainly cannot be held accountable for what one
encounters, merely a surprise.

Robb Quint
Thousand Oaks, CA, USA
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In a message dated 3/17/2008 6:01:36 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time,
andrew.buxton@yahoo.co.uk writes:

I'm sure I was taught r/sh and that's what I've always done. My partner has
never queried it. Are the diagrams on the Scottish Dance Archive website
from the original? It seems to be unspecified in the words.

On Saturday we did the Recumbent Stone where it's r/sh so Mairi's Wedding
may still be in the minority.

Andrew
-----
Andrew Buxton
Lewes, East Sussex, UK

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St Patrick's Day

Message 51591 · Rod Downey · 17 Mar 2008 21:24:43 · Top

Hi all,

I was teaching this dance last night as it seemed appropriate
given the date. I chose to use the TAC notes description of the
"half poussette". Away and turn on bar 5, up/down and turn 6,
into the centre 7, and home on 8. (Remember it begins with
the couples in the centre, but on opposite sides.)

I was looking at the new manual when I got home and the notes there say
"Both couples end the half poussette with a full turn to finish on
their own sidelines."

(I can only presume that this would entail in and turn on 7 and
turn and retire on 8, changing this to a technique dance, whereas it was
not that bad before, the class actually quite liked it, and it has a
nice tune.)

Any thoughts on what is usual and/or what the society notes mean?
For example is my interpretation correct.

Apologies if this has been discussed before.

thanks in advance

rod

St Patrick's Day

Message 51593 · Brian Charlton · 17 Mar 2008 22:54:32 · Top

G'Day,

Referring to the Manual for Poussette in four bars (6.19.4), is states that
on bar 2 'All progress and dance a quarter turn, moving into the middle'.
Bar 3 is then 'All dance a half turn'.

This assumes that dancers are on their own sides of the dance to start, thus
the Manual is maintaining consistency by giving the special reference to a
full turn Chapter 7, 3.3.

TAC notes, which were produced well before the Manual, attempted to assist
with dances where the descriptions were unclear and is a very useful
resource.

Brian Charlton,
Sydney, Australia

On 18/03/2008, Rod Downey <Rod.Downey@mcs.vuw.ac.nz> wrote:
>
>
>
> Hi all,
>
> I was teaching this dance last night as it seemed appropriate
> given the date. I chose to use the TAC notes description of the
> "half poussette". Away and turn on bar 5, up/down and turn 6,
> into the centre 7, and home on 8. (Remember it begins with
> the couples in the centre, but on opposite sides.)
>
> I was looking at the new manual when I got home and the notes there say
> "Both couples end the half poussette with a full turn to finish on
> their own sidelines."
>
> (I can only presume that this would entail in and turn on 7 and
> turn and retire on 8, changing this to a technique dance, whereas it was
> not that bad before, the class actually quite liked it, and it has a
> nice tune.)
>
> Any thoughts on what is usual and/or what the society notes mean?
> For example is my interpretation correct.
>
> Apologies if this has been discussed before.
>
> thanks in advance
>
>
> rod
>
>

St Patrick's Day

Message 51604 · Rod Downey · 18 Mar 2008 01:17:46 · Top

Hi Brian,

I don't think that really answers the question. You cannot do a full turn
in one bar. The TAC notes (which I know were used by the society
in making up their manual notes) have no turn on the last two bars.
The society's notes seem to indicate two half turns with movement.
That is, an extra half turn on bar 4.

Have others taught this dance?

best

rod

On Tue, 18 Mar 2008, Brian Charlton wrote:

> Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2008 08:54:32 +1100
> From: Brian Charlton <briangcharlton@gmail.com>
> Reply-To: SCD news and discussion <strathspey@strathspey.org>
> To: SCD news and discussion <strathspey@strathspey.org>
> Subject: Re: St Patrick's Day
>
> G'Day,
>
> Referring to the Manual for Poussette in four bars (6.19.4), is states that
> on bar 2 'All progress and dance a quarter turn, moving into the middle'.
> Bar 3 is then 'All dance a half turn'.
>
> This assumes that dancers are on their own sides of the dance to start, thus
> the Manual is maintaining consistency by giving the special reference to a
> full turn Chapter 7, 3.3.
>
> TAC notes, which were produced well before the Manual, attempted to assist
> with dances where the descriptions were unclear and is a very useful
> resource.
>
> Brian Charlton,
> Sydney, Australia
>
> On 18/03/2008, Rod Downey <Rod.Downey@mcs.vuw.ac.nz> wrote:
>>
>>
>>
>> Hi all,
>>
>> I was teaching this dance last night as it seemed appropriate
>> given the date. I chose to use the TAC notes description of the
>> "half poussette". Away and turn on bar 5, up/down and turn 6,
>> into the centre 7, and home on 8. (Remember it begins with
>> the couples in the centre, but on opposite sides.)
>>
>> I was looking at the new manual when I got home and the notes there say
>> "Both couples end the half poussette with a full turn to finish on
>> their own sidelines."
>>
>> (I can only presume that this would entail in and turn on 7 and
>> turn and retire on 8, changing this to a technique dance, whereas it was
>> not that bad before, the class actually quite liked it, and it has a
>> nice tune.)
>>
>> Any thoughts on what is usual and/or what the society notes mean?
>> For example is my interpretation correct.
>>
>> Apologies if this has been discussed before.
>>
>> thanks in advance
>>
>>
>> rod
>>
>>
>

St Patrick's Day

Message 51608 · Brian Charlton · 18 Mar 2008 07:29:32 · Top

Hello, Rod,

No, I probably didn't answer the question, but referred to the
'authoritative' sources.

I believe that neither TAC nor the Society came up with the best solution. I
suggest that we note that the preceding four bars are hands across half-way;
very slow. Therefore, we can use the fourth bar to turn partners into
position for a normal poussette.

Incidentally, the poussette is described in Book 3 as '2nd and 1st couples
turn partners with half poussette back to original places.'

I wonder how the dance was described in Allen's Ballroom Guide.

Brian Charlton.

On 18/03/2008, Rod Downey <Rod.Downey@mcs.vuw.ac.nz> wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
> Hi Brian,
>
> I don't think that really answers the question. You cannot do a full turn
> in one bar. The TAC notes (which I know were used by the society
> in making up their manual notes) have no turn on the last two bars.
> The society's notes seem to indicate two half turns with movement.
> That is, an extra half turn on bar 4.
>
> Have others taught this dance?
>
> best
>
> rod
>
>
>
>
>
> On Tue, 18 Mar 2008, Brian Charlton wrote:
>
> > Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2008 08:54:32 +1100
> > From: Brian Charlton <briangcharlton@gmail.com>
> > Reply-To: SCD news and discussion <strathspey@strathspey.org>
> > To: SCD news and discussion <strathspey@strathspey.org>
> > Subject: Re: St Patrick's Day
>
> >
> > G'Day,
> >
> > Referring to the Manual for Poussette in four bars (6.19.4), is states
> that
> > on bar 2 'All progress and dance a quarter turn, moving into the
> middle'.
> > Bar 3 is then 'All dance a half turn'.
> >
> > This assumes that dancers are on their own sides of the dance to start,
> thus
> > the Manual is maintaining consistency by giving the special reference to
> a
> > full turn Chapter 7, 3.3.
> >
> > TAC notes, which were produced well before the Manual, attempted to
> assist
> > with dances where the descriptions were unclear and is a very useful
> > resource.
> >
> > Brian Charlton,
> > Sydney, Australia
> >
> > On 18/03/2008, Rod Downey <Rod.Downey@mcs.vuw.ac.nz> wrote:
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> Hi all,
> >>
> >> I was teaching this dance last night as it seemed appropriate
> >> given the date. I chose to use the TAC notes description of the
> >> "half poussette". Away and turn on bar 5, up/down and turn 6,
> >> into the centre 7, and home on 8. (Remember it begins with
> >> the couples in the centre, but on opposite sides.)
> >>
> >> I was looking at the new manual when I got home and the notes there say
> >> "Both couples end the half poussette with a full turn to finish on
> >> their own sidelines."
> >>
> >> (I can only presume that this would entail in and turn on 7 and
> >> turn and retire on 8, changing this to a technique dance, whereas it
> was
> >> not that bad before, the class actually quite liked it, and it has a
> >> nice tune.)
> >>
> >> Any thoughts on what is usual and/or what the society notes mean?
> >> For example is my interpretation correct.
> >>
> >> Apologies if this has been discussed before.
> >>
> >> thanks in advance
> >>
> >>
> >> rod
> >>
> >>
> >
>

St Patrick's Day

Message 51610 · Anselm Lingnau · 18 Mar 2008 08:49:19 · Top

Brian Charlton wrote:

> I wonder how the dance was described in Allen's Ballroom Guide.

I'm going to do a little Richard Goss impersonation now by pointing out that
the poussette as we know it is a modern invention and that confusion between
that formation and old dance books is only to be expected.

Speaking for myself again, chances are that the original book says something
along the lines of »couples change places using poussette« and that could
really imply anything from a weaving zigzag to a polka round.

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau, Friedberg, Germany ..................... anselm@strathspey.org
An architecture in hand is worth 4 or 5 in vapor. -- Eugene Miya

St Patrick's Day

Message 51611 · Jim Healy · 18 Mar 2008 10:29:45 · Top

Greetings!

> Brian Charlton wrote: > > I wonder how the dance was described in Allen's Ballroom Guide.> and Anslem suggests:
> chances are that the original book says something > along the lines of »couples change places using poussette« and that could > really imply anything from a weaving zigzag to a polka round.
The description of the dance in Allan's Ballroom Guide reads as follows:

1. First and second couples right hand across and half round, back to places with poussette.

2. First couple down the centre, turning half round and up again.

3. First and second couples right hands across and round, turning into places.

And, Angus, we are working on the dance as part of the revision of Books 1 to 6 which is just one of our projects. Within that one project, the poussette in St Patrick's Day is one item but it is not the number one priority although some research is going on including digging through the notes made by some of the earlier teachers. When we have something useful we will share it.

Jim Healy
Convenor, Membership Services

St Patrick's Day

Message 51612 · Bruce Herbold · 18 Mar 2008 15:10:19 · Top

well if we don't assume that the hands across half round is half (i.e.
4 bars) of what goes on in the first figure it might become 2 bars for
the half hands across (as per usual) and then 6 bars to poussette back
to place, which would be a pretty comfortable figure to do since
you're starting on opposite sides. I.e out to the side, quarter turn,
up or down, quarter turn, into the center, and fall back - 6 bars.

And/or if we further assume that a half poussette in jig time is like
a half poussette in strathspey time (given modern interpretations of
what poussettes are) with the couples on a diagonal but parallel to
each other rather than in line (more like an ECD poussette), then it
would also be an easy transition from the first 2 bars to the
'poussette.'

just some thoughts based on the conviction that it was never intended
to be a dance requiring in-depth notes and frantic maneuvering.

Bruce Herbold
San Francisco

On Mon, Mar 17, 2008 at 11:29 PM, Brian Charlton
<briangcharlton@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hello, Rod,
>
> No, I probably didn't answer the question, but referred to the
> 'authoritative' sources.
>
> I believe that neither TAC nor the Society came up with the best solution. I
> suggest that we note that the preceding four bars are hands across half-way;
> very slow. Therefore, we can use the fourth bar to turn partners into
> position for a normal poussette.
>
> Incidentally, the poussette is described in Book 3 as '2nd and 1st couples
> turn partners with half poussette back to original places.'
>
> I wonder how the dance was described in Allen's Ballroom Guide.
>
> Brian Charlton.
>
>
>
> On 18/03/2008, Rod Downey <Rod.Downey@mcs.vuw.ac.nz> wrote:
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Hi Brian,
> >
> > I don't think that really answers the question. You cannot do a full turn
> > in one bar. The TAC notes (which I know were used by the society
> > in making up their manual notes) have no turn on the last two bars.
> > The society's notes seem to indicate two half turns with movement.
> > That is, an extra half turn on bar 4.
> >
> > Have others taught this dance?
> >
> > best
> >
> > rod
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > On Tue, 18 Mar 2008, Brian Charlton wrote:
> >
> > > Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2008 08:54:32 +1100
> > > From: Brian Charlton <briangcharlton@gmail.com>
> > > Reply-To: SCD news and discussion <strathspey@strathspey.org>
> > > To: SCD news and discussion <strathspey@strathspey.org>
> > > Subject: Re: St Patrick's Day
> >
> > >
> > > G'Day,
> > >
> > > Referring to the Manual for Poussette in four bars (6.19.4), is states
> > that
> > > on bar 2 'All progress and dance a quarter turn, moving into the
> > middle'.
> > > Bar 3 is then 'All dance a half turn'.
> > >
> > > This assumes that dancers are on their own sides of the dance to start,
> > thus
> > > the Manual is maintaining consistency by giving the special reference to
> > a
> > > full turn Chapter 7, 3.3.
> > >
> > > TAC notes, which were produced well before the Manual, attempted to
> > assist
> > > with dances where the descriptions were unclear and is a very useful
> > > resource.
> > >
> > > Brian Charlton,
> > > Sydney, Australia
> > >
> > > On 18/03/2008, Rod Downey <Rod.Downey@mcs.vuw.ac.nz> wrote:
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>
> > >> Hi all,
> > >>
> > >> I was teaching this dance last night as it seemed appropriate
> > >> given the date. I chose to use the TAC notes description of the
> > >> "half poussette". Away and turn on bar 5, up/down and turn 6,
> > >> into the centre 7, and home on 8. (Remember it begins with
> > >> the couples in the centre, but on opposite sides.)
> > >>
> > >> I was looking at the new manual when I got home and the notes there say
> > >> "Both couples end the half poussette with a full turn to finish on
> > >> their own sidelines."
> > >>
> > >> (I can only presume that this would entail in and turn on 7 and
> > >> turn and retire on 8, changing this to a technique dance, whereas it
> > was
> > >> not that bad before, the class actually quite liked it, and it has a
> > >> nice tune.)
> > >>
> > >> Any thoughts on what is usual and/or what the society notes mean?
> > >> For example is my interpretation correct.
> > >>
> > >> Apologies if this has been discussed before.
> > >>
> > >> thanks in advance
> > >>
> > >>
> > >> rod
> > >>
> > >>
> > >
> >
>

St Patrick's Day

Message 51613 · Peter Price · 18 Mar 2008 19:26:24 · Top

I must admit, I sometimes have trouble remembering that we are not in the
business of historical reenactment of Scottish dancing but rather we are
reinterpreting the dances to fit a modern style of dance.

I spent some time with a dance scholar in the New York area who was working
with English Country dances. One dance in particular "Fair Phillis" simply
would not dance as written so we kept tweaking it to get it to work (and be
enjoyable). The biggest trouble was the music. 4 bars A, 12 bars B.

>From the Original:
The first couple cross over, and Back to Back. Change places with your
partner and then with 2nd Cu. all four set in the Middle, then set back
again and cast off. Cross over, figure thro' the 3rd Cu. and cast up.

As we interpreted it:
A1 - 4 1C cross by R shoulder.
1M turn single by the L/1W turn single by the R.
A5-8 1C improper lead through 2C for a mirror Back to Back with nbr.

B 1-4 1C cross by R-shoulder; 1M turn single R as 1W turn single L.
5-8 All 4 set into the center, all 4 set back to places.
9-12 1C cast as 2C move up, all Turn BH 1x round.

B 1-8 All face up for double fig. 8
9-12 1C 2C dance RH-across once round.

Not very similar. The dance was changed from a 3 couple to a 2 couple dance.
Turn singles were added to take up music.
Mirror Back to Back was added.
The figure of 8 was originally thru 3C but we went with 2C and made it
double.

The dance was so tweaked that one of the other dancers thought we should
have changed the name of the dance too, and wanted it to be called "Fairly
Phillis". I thought he wasn't going far enough and wanted to change it to
"Liberties with Fair Phillis".

To really know what is going on with St. Patrick's Day we need the music.
What if the music were is 6 bar phrases? Now that would change the timing
throughout the dance, but we don't do our poussettes in 12 bars (or 1/2
poussettes in 6) which might solve a lot of the problems.

Just a few days ago I found a jig "Down Drought" in Gow - 6 bar phrases!
So...
I decided to see what I could come up with if the dance was in four 6 bar
phrases instead of three 8 bar phrases:

St. Patrick's Day 24 Jig for 2 couples.

1-3 1C2C Rh across 1/2 way
4-6 1C2C turn partners once round (end improper hands joined for poussette)

7-12 Poussette (out, turn, move, turn, in, 1/2 turn) stay in middle & face
down (improper).

13-14 down the middle 2C leading
15-16 Turn as couples (arch, women under as men dance across below) and face
up. (or a simple 1/2 turn in 2 bars Rh)
17-18 Dance up the middle to places.

19-22 1C2C dance Rh across once round, men retain R hands,as do the ladies.
23-24 1M2M change places with RH, the ladies the same.

I think a lot of dancers would get dizzy but

The music makes the difference.

Peter Price
New Haven

On Tue, Mar 18, 2008 at 9:10 AM, Bruce Herbold <bherbold@gmail.com> wrote:

> well if we don't assume that the hands across half round is half (i.e.
> 4 bars) of what goes on in the first figure it might become 2 bars for
> the half hands across (as per usual) and then 6 bars to poussette back
> to place, which would be a pretty comfortable figure to do since
> you're starting on opposite sides. I.e out to the side, quarter turn,
> up or down, quarter turn, into the center, and fall back - 6 bars.
>
> And/or if we further assume that a half poussette in jig time is like
> a half poussette in strathspey time (given modern interpretations of
> what poussettes are) with the couples on a diagonal but parallel to
> each other rather than in line (more like an ECD poussette), then it
> would also be an easy transition from the first 2 bars to the
> 'poussette.'
>
> just some thoughts based on the conviction that it was never intended
> to be a dance requiring in-depth notes and frantic maneuvering.
>
> Bruce Herbold
> San Francisco>
>

St Patrick's Day

Message 51614 · SMiskoe · 18 Mar 2008 19:50:42 · Top


In a message dated 3/18/2008 2:27:40 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
peter.price1672@gmail.com writes:

Just a few days ago I found a jig "Down Drought" in Gow - 6 bar phrases!

Which Gow collection is the jig in? 6 bar phrases make me think 9/8.
Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH USA

**************Create a Home Theater Like the Pros. Watch the video on AOL
Home.
(http://home.aol.com/diy/home-improvement-eric-stromer?video=15?ncid=aolhom00030000000001)

St Patrick's Day

Message 51616 · Peter Price · 18 Mar 2008 20:51:56 · Top

Just ran an errand and while driving (and my mind roving free) realized that
SPD could be done in 8 bar phrases with little effort. The key is not
needing to do a poussette from the usual side but starting 'improper' and
finsihing 'improper' in the middle.

1-2 Rh across half round. Stay in the middle & join Bh with partner.
3-8 six bar poussette
1 out (1M backing to ladies' side/2W to the men's)
2 turn
3 move on the sides
4 turn
5 into the middle
6 half turn.

that leaves you in the middle for ...

9-16 down the middle, half turn, and up (now 'proper' for the last
figure).
17-24 Rh across once round. 1M 2M turn in 4 bars 1-1/2. The ladies the same.

This fits the original description rather closely and no convolutions
necessary.
(I still like the 6-bar phrase idea though - dancing it to Cairn Edward...
hmm. )

Peter Price
New Haven

St Patrick's Day

Message 51617 · Bob McArthur · 18 Mar 2008 21:24:01 · Top


Be careful Peter, over here that is probably classed as using a Mobile and you could lose your licence.

Bob
Scosha, Bournemouth
> Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2008 14:51:56 -0500> From: peter.price1672@gmail.com> To: strathspey@strathspey.org> Subject: Re: St Patrick's Day> > Just ran an errand and while driving (and my mind roving free) realized that> SPD could be done in 8 bar phrases with little effort. The key is not> needing to do a poussette from the usual side but starting 'improper' and> finsihing 'improper' in the middle.> > 1-2 Rh across half round. Stay in the middle & join Bh with partner.> 3-8 six bar poussette> 1 out (1M backing to ladies' side/2W to the men's)> 2 turn> 3 move on the sides> 4 turn> 5 into the middle> 6 half turn.> > that leaves you in the middle for ...> > 9-16 down the middle, half turn, and up (now 'proper' for the last> figure).> 17-24 Rh across once round. 1M 2M turn in 4 bars 1-1/2. The ladies the same.> > This fits the original description rather closely and no convolutions> necessary.> (I still like the 6-bar phrase idea though - dancing it to Cairn Edward...> hmm. )> > Peter Price> New Haven
_________________________________________________________________
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St Patrick's Day

Message 51618 · Rod Downey · 18 Mar 2008 21:26:39 · Top

unfortunately that leave the second couple in the middle to be crushed
by the first as they go down the middle.

best

rod

On Tue, 18 Mar 2008, Peter Price wrote:

> Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2008 14:51:56 -0500
> From: Peter Price <peter.price1672@gmail.com>
> Reply-To: SCD news and discussion <strathspey@strathspey.org>
> To: SCD news and discussion <strathspey@strathspey.org>
> Subject: Re: St Patrick's Day
>
> Just ran an errand and while driving (and my mind roving free) realized that
> SPD could be done in 8 bar phrases with little effort. The key is not
> needing to do a poussette from the usual side but starting 'improper' and
> finsihing 'improper' in the middle.
>
> 1-2 Rh across half round. Stay in the middle & join Bh with partner.
> 3-8 six bar poussette
> 1 out (1M backing to ladies' side/2W to the men's)
> 2 turn
> 3 move on the sides
> 4 turn
> 5 into the middle
> 6 half turn.
>
> that leaves you in the middle for ...
>
> 9-16 down the middle, half turn, and up (now 'proper' for the last
> figure).
> 17-24 Rh across once round. 1M 2M turn in 4 bars 1-1/2. The ladies the same.
>
> This fits the original description rather closely and no convolutions
> necessary.
> (I still like the 6-bar phrase idea though - dancing it to Cairn Edward...
> hmm. )
>
> Peter Price
> New Haven
>

St Patrick's Day

Message 51620 · Peter Price · 18 Mar 2008 21:33:44 · Top

Not if they BOTH dance down the middle and 1/2 turn and dance up. How else
does the poor 2nd couple get back to their own sides?

Peter

On Tue, Mar 18, 2008 at 3:26 PM, Rod Downey <Rod.Downey@mcs.vuw.ac.nz>
wrote:

>
>
> unfortunately that leave the second couple in the middle to be crushed
> by the first as they go down the middle.
>
>
> best
>
> rod
>
>
>
> On Tue, 18 Mar 2008, Peter Price wrote:
>
> > Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2008 14:51:56 -0500
> > From: Peter Price <peter.price1672@gmail.com>
> > Reply-To: SCD news and discussion <strathspey@strathspey.org>
> > To: SCD news and discussion <strathspey@strathspey.org>
> > Subject: Re: St Patrick's Day
> >
> > Just ran an errand and while driving (and my mind roving free) realized
> that
> > SPD could be done in 8 bar phrases with little effort. The key is not
> > needing to do a poussette from the usual side but starting 'improper'
> and
> > finsihing 'improper' in the middle.
> >
> > 1-2 Rh across half round. Stay in the middle & join Bh with partner.
> > 3-8 six bar poussette
> > 1 out (1M backing to ladies' side/2W to the men's)
> > 2 turn
> > 3 move on the sides
> > 4 turn
> > 5 into the middle
> > 6 half turn.
> >
> > that leaves you in the middle for ...
> >
> > 9-16 down the middle, half turn, and up (now 'proper' for the last
> > figure).
> > 17-24 Rh across once round. 1M 2M turn in 4 bars 1-1/2. The ladies the
> same.
> >
> > This fits the original description rather closely and no convolutions
> > necessary.
> > (I still like the 6-bar phrase idea though - dancing it to Cairn
> Edward...
> > hmm. )
> >
> > Peter Price
> > New Haven
> >
>

St Patrick's Day

Message 51621 · Bruce Herbold · 18 Mar 2008 21:36:11 · Top

so the 2s retire while the 1s half-turn.... hmmm might be fun, as long
as we don't pretend too seriously that we have reconstructed an
historic dance. And I am in this for the fun.
Or the 2s could lead the 1s down the center...
The 6 bar poussette doesn't bother me because I think the transition
from hands across would need to simply be a part of an 8 bar figure
compiled from pieces of two other figures

Bruce

On 3/18/08, Rod Downey <Rod.Downey@mcs.vuw.ac.nz> wrote:
>
>
> unfortunately that leave the second couple in the middle to be crushed
> by the first as they go down the middle.
>
>
> best
>
> rod
>
>
>
> On Tue, 18 Mar 2008, Peter Price wrote:
>
> > Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2008 14:51:56 -0500
> > From: Peter Price <peter.price1672@gmail.com>
> > Reply-To: SCD news and discussion <strathspey@strathspey.org>
> > To: SCD news and discussion <strathspey@strathspey.org>
> > Subject: Re: St Patrick's Day
> >
> > Just ran an errand and while driving (and my mind roving free) realized that
> > SPD could be done in 8 bar phrases with little effort. The key is not
> > needing to do a poussette from the usual side but starting 'improper' and
> > finsihing 'improper' in the middle.
> >
> > 1-2 Rh across half round. Stay in the middle & join Bh with partner.
> > 3-8 six bar poussette
> > 1 out (1M backing to ladies' side/2W to the men's)
> > 2 turn
> > 3 move on the sides
> > 4 turn
> > 5 into the middle
> > 6 half turn.
> >
> > that leaves you in the middle for ...
> >
> > 9-16 down the middle, half turn, and up (now 'proper' for the last
> > figure).
> > 17-24 Rh across once round. 1M 2M turn in 4 bars 1-1/2. The ladies the same.
> >
> > This fits the original description rather closely and no convolutions
> > necessary.
> > (I still like the 6-bar phrase idea though - dancing it to Cairn Edward...
> > hmm. )
> >
> > Peter Price
> > New Haven
> >
>

St Patrick's Day

Message 51627 · ron.mackey · 19 Mar 2008 01:03:52 · Top

> And/or if we further assume that a half poussette in jig time is like
> a half poussette in strathspey time (given modern interpretations of
> what poussettes are) with the couples on a diagonal but parallel to
> each other rather than in line (more like an ECD poussette), then it
> would also be an easy transition from the first 2 bars to the
> 'poussette.'
> Bruce Herbold

Are we sure that the Pousette required is not the original all-round
pousette as originally done in past times? Just like the S'pey Pous.? It
is still required in one of the RSCDS dances but memory fails most often
when urgently needed so someone else will have to finish this thought for
me? :~)
Happy Dancing :)

Ron

Ron Mackey
RSCDS London, Croydon & International Branches.

St Patrick's Day

Message 51628 · Brian Charlton · 19 Mar 2008 01:46:55 · Top

G'Day,

In fact, two Society dances - The Longwise Eightsome Reel (Book 18) and The
Marchioness of Blandford's Reel (Book 21). In Waltz time, we have Waltz
Country Dance which says for bars 33-40 'Poussette, passing couple with whom
they have just danced to meet the next couple'. I note that Thomas Wilson in
his Complete System, describes the whole poussette with couples 'move round
each other twice and change situations...' which is the way we usually dance
in Waltz Country.

Wilson also describes the 'Half poussette or draw' with couples moving round
each other to finish in original places.

Brian Charlton,
Sydney, Australia

On 19/03/2008, Ron Mackey <ron.mackey@talktalk.net> wrote:
>
>
> > And/or if we further assume that a half poussette in jig time is like
> > a half poussette in strathspey time (given modern interpretations of
> > what poussettes are) with the couples on a diagonal but parallel to
> > each other rather than in line (more like an ECD poussette), then it
> > would also be an easy transition from the first 2 bars to the
> > 'poussette.'
>
> > Bruce Herbold
>
> Are we sure that the Pousette required is not the original all-round
> pousette as originally done in past times? Just like the S'pey
> Pous.? It
> is still required in one of the RSCDS dances but memory fails most often
> when urgently needed so someone else will have to finish this thought for
> me? :~)
> Happy Dancing :)
>
> Ron
>
>
> Ron Mackey
> RSCDS London, Croydon & International Branches.
>
>

St Patrick's Day

Message 51607 · Angus Henry · 18 Mar 2008 03:46:33 · Top

The Manual says that in this dance the half poussette ends with a
full turn on bars 3-4 (p. 80).

However it is interesting to compare this with the half poussette in
'The Seagull', in which 3C and 1C start on own sides and 1C finish
facing 1st corners, for which a full description is given in the new
"all-in-one" edition of the Miscellany Dances. This is:
1. out and quarter turn
2. along and quarter turn
3. in to the middle
4. 1C open out, 3C retire

(Unfortunately 3C always seem to end up on the wrong side of the dance.)

However, the second bar in this arrangement avoids the problem in the
Manual's "half poussette" of 'along and quarter turn AND into the
middle', in one bar, and matches Rod's interpretation.

We have tried both, and Rod's interpretation ends with far fewer
bruises that the Manual variation; and for what it is worth if on bar
3 in 'The Seagull' version 3C dance into the middle AND half turn,
the dance becomes workable.

I have been trying to get a resolution from the RSCDS on this for 4
or 5 months but as I get older each year I'll continue teaching them
as described above, as both dances work like that, until something
more accurate and definitive becomes available; though I would be
happy to support a move to amend the St Patrick's Day half poussette
to 3. into the centre 4. retire.

happy dancing

Angus

On 18-03-2008, at 5:54, Rod Downey wrote:

>
>
> Hi all,
>
> I was teaching this dance last night as it seemed appropriate
> given the date. I chose to use the TAC notes description of the
> "half poussette". Away and turn on bar 5, up/down and turn 6,
> into the centre 7, and home on 8. (Remember it begins with
> the couples in the centre, but on opposite sides.)
>
> I was looking at the new manual when I got home and the notes there
> say
> "Both couples end the half poussette with a full turn to finish on
> their own sidelines."
>
> (I can only presume that this would entail in and turn on 7 and
> turn and retire on 8, changing this to a technique dance, whereas
> it was
> not that bad before, the class actually quite liked it, and it has a
> nice tune.)
>
> Any thoughts on what is usual and/or what the society notes mean?
> For example is my interpretation correct.
>
> Apologies if this has been discussed before.
>
> thanks in advance
>
> rod

Angus & Puka Henry
DARWIN, AUSTRALIA
Website: <http://www.users.on.net/~anguka/>

Mairi's Wedding

Message 51589 · Ian Brockbank · 17 Mar 2008 15:52:52 · Top

Hi Andrew,

> Are the diagrams on the
> Scottish Dance Archive website from the original?

Everything on this site is as close to the original as they
can make it.

Cheers,

Ian

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Mairi's Wedding

Message 51543 · Steve Wyrick · 13 Mar 2008 23:52:29 · Top

On Thu, Mar 13, 2008 at 9:03 AM, Anselm Lingnau <anselm@strathspey.org>
wrote:

> Monica Pollard wrote:
>
> > (I seem to recall a very similar discussion of MW on this list back in
> > 1998. Wonder if it's still in the archives...)
>
> Make that 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2003, and 2005. Hmmm ... sounds
> just
> about right :^)
>

Because of the way Apple Mail sorts messages into threads (and my habit of
hanging on to any interesting e-mail messages), a couple of the 2005 mails
keep coming up at the bottom of the current thread! Guess I have to get
better at cleaning out my in-box...
--
Steve Wyrick -- Concord, California

Mairi's Wedding

Message 51656 · Jan Obdrzalek · 21 Mar 2008 16:38:44 · Top

On Thu, Mar 13, 2008 at 6:09 AM, <Chris1Ronald@aol.com> wrote:
> Jan Obdrzalek(?) (Sorry I don't know you last name, and there's more than
> one Jan on the list) writes:
>
> "you need RSh pass for a proper twiddle for the dancing couple"
>
> ... for what it's worth, I wouldn't make much of a connection between the
> shoulder of passing and the addition of a twiddle. That is, I wouldn't need a
> RSh pass in order to twiddle. To me, a twiddle on a LSh pass is equally
> doable, if not more so.

I agree with the "doability" argument. But in my book "a proper
twiddle" means "the really cool and challenging (and easy to get
lost!) twiddle I always wanted to do since I first saw it done" :)

Do not take me too seriously, I'm among the people who learnt MW the
RSh way and only heard about the LSh few years later. And I also have
a feeling our dem team didn't do the "correct" promenades in IPFTA
when demming in Princess Street Gardens. Bill Hamilton was present ...

Jan

Mairi's Wedding

Message 51660 · Agnes MacMichael · 21 Mar 2008 17:56:37 · Top

If you demmed Ian Powrie's Farewell to Auchterarder in Princes Street
Gardens when Bill was present I am sure he would not have been happy. One
team demming in the Gardens did the circle all the way round and he walked
off the stage.
It is expected that teams demming in the Gardens would demo the written way
or the devisor's way or the Society's way.
I teach the dances the way they are written or how the devisor wants it
done, but I also tell my groups that when in the ballroom or dance hall then
that is a different matter. It is the same when recapping a dance. It is
recapped (or should be recapped) in the way it is written, but when it is
danced then this is sometimes danced differently.
Agnes Macmichael
West Lothian, Scotland

On 21/03/2008, Jan Obdrzalek <obdrzalek@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> On Thu, Mar 13, 2008 at 6:09 AM, <Chris1Ronald@aol.com> wrote:
> > Jan Obdrzalek(?) (Sorry I don't know you last name, and there's more
> than
> > one Jan on the list) writes:
> >
> > "you need RSh pass for a proper twiddle for the dancing couple"
> >
> > ... for what it's worth, I wouldn't make much of a connection between
> the
> > shoulder of passing and the addition of a twiddle. That is,
> I wouldn't need a
> > RSh pass in order to twiddle. To me, a twiddle on a LSh pass is
> equally
> > doable, if not more so.
>
> I agree with the "doability" argument. But in my book "a proper
> twiddle" means "the really cool and challenging (and easy to get
> lost!) twiddle I always wanted to do since I first saw it done" :)
>
> Do not take me too seriously, I'm among the people who learnt MW the
> RSh way and only heard about the LSh few years later. And I also have
> a feeling our dem team didn't do the "correct" promenades in IPFTA
> when demming in Princess Street Gardens. Bill Hamilton was present ...
>
> Jan
>

Mairi's Wedding

Message 51487 · Rosemary Coupe · 11 Mar 2008 20:03:18 · Top

Out of curiosity, we did a small experiment at class last night. Each couple
were instructed to pass by the left on their first turn, and by the right on
their second. In the discussion afterwards, both sides had their defenders
(for many of the reasons previously raised in this thread). But when it came
to the vote, the right-shoulder-ites were definitely in the majority.

Rosemary Coupe
Vancouver

Mairi's Wedding

Message 51488 · Pia Walker · 11 Mar 2008 20:29:50 · Top

Is that what is called 'voting with your feet'? - sorry bad pun - I couldn't
help myself.

Pia

-----Original Message-----
From: strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org
[mailto:strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org]On Behalf Of
Rosemary Coupe
Sent: 11 March 2008 19:03
To: SCD news and discussion
Subject: Re: Mairi's Wedding

Out of curiosity, we did a small experiment at class last night. Each couple
were instructed to pass by the left on their first turn, and by the right on
their second. In the discussion afterwards, both sides had their defenders
(for many of the reasons previously raised in this thread). But when it came
to the vote, the right-shoulder-ites were definitely in the majority.

Rosemary Coupe
Vancouver

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Mairi's Wedding

Message 51489 · James Mungall · 11 Mar 2008 20:49:45 · Top

That's kind of how a decision was made in our class. Many had been taught the dance elsewhere as right shoulderists and they won out. I think that it is a real testament to the dance and its wide usage that people have minor variations of it.
-James Mungall
Baton Rouge, LA, USA

Rosemary Coupe <rcoupe@shaw.ca> wrote:
Out of curiosity, we did a small experiment at class last night. Each couple
were instructed to pass by the left on their first turn, and by the right on
their second. In the discussion afterwards, both sides had their defenders
(for many of the reasons previously raised in this thread). But when it came
to the vote, the right-shoulder-ites were definitely in the majority.

Rosemary Coupe
Vancouver


---------------------------------
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Mairi's Wedding

Message 51491 · Peter McClure · 11 Mar 2008 21:40:08 · Top

>Out of curiosity, we did a small experiment at class last night.
>Each couple were instructed to pass by the left on their first turn,
>and by the right on their second. In the discussion afterwards, both
>sides had their defenders (for many of the reasons previously raised
>in this thread). But when it came to the vote, the
>right-shoulder-ites were definitely in the majority.

I wasn't going to get into this, but ... . Why not another
experiment: when first couples are passing R shoulder in their half
"reels", have the corner dancers do so as well. See how everybody
likes that. (Full disclosure: I don't plan to try this.)

Peter McClure
Winnipeg, MB

>
>Rosemary Coupe
>Vancouver

Mairi's Wedding

Message 51499 · ron.mackey · 12 Mar 2008 00:49:01 · Top

Much better just to have one grand birl - but keep counting the bars
folks!George T. Watt,

I'd have found that very boring when I was young. In those days we liked
to _dance_!! :))

Happy Dancing :)

Ron

Ron Mackey
RSCDS London, Croydon & International Branches

Mairi's Wedding

Message 51508 · George Watt · 12 Mar 2008 12:32:12 · Top

> > > Much better just to have one grand birl - but keep counting the bars > folks!George T. Watt,> > I'd have found that very boring when I was young. In those days we liked > to _dance_!! :))


As boring as some of these Emails!!!!

> > Happy Dancing :)> > Ron> > Ron Mackey> RSCDS London, Croydon & International Branches >
_________________________________________________________________
Telly addicts unite!
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Mairi's Wedding

Message 51510 · Andrew Buxton · 12 Mar 2008 13:19:37 · Top

It's interesting that in other dances with "clover leaf" reels, e.g. Polharrow Burn, The Kelpie, the dancing couple pass RSh in the middle. (Also corners pass and turn.) Could this be because dancers find LSh awkward/unnatural?


Andrew Buxton
Lewes, UK

---
Selon Sophie:

I'm with Ron on this one! If you feel that the LSh pass in the middle is awkward, then you haven't made your set wide enough (and the reels across will no doubt require dancing nearly on the spot too). I can understand why you'd want to use RSh on a crowded dance-floor, where you can't have a decent-sized set (which is probably where the change came from in the first place), but otherwise there's really no reason.

__________________________________________________________
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Mairi's Wedding

Message 51516 · Anselm Lingnau · 12 Mar 2008 17:48:38 · Top

Andrew Buxton wrote:

> It's interesting that in other dances with "clover leaf" reels, e.g.
> Polharrow Burn, The Kelpie, the dancing couple pass RSh in the middle.
> (Also corners pass and turn.) Could this be because dancers find LSh
> awkward/unnatural?

In Polharrow Burn, the reels are supposed to be left-shoulder (the diagrams on
http://www.dancearchives.co.uk/dances/glendarroch/polharrow.htm speak for
themselves). I don't have the instructions for The Kelpie to hand (I'm in the
office and the book is at home) but I would be very surprised if they
specified right-shoulder reels. There are dances that explicitly specify
right-shoulder passes (Gothenburg's Welcome comes to mind) but, as far as I
remember, not these two.

I have at various occasions heard teachers explain the reels in Polharrow Burn
as »pass right in the middle, just like in Mairi's Wedding«. Go figure :^)

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau, Friedberg, Germany ..................... anselm@strathspey.org
Simplify, simplify. -- Henry David Thoreau, *Walden*

Mairi's Wedding

Message 51518 · mlamontbrown · 12 Mar 2008 18:14:05 · Top

Anselm wrote:
> I don't have the instructions for The Kelpie to hand (I'm in the
> office and the book is at home) but I would be very surprised if they
> specified right-shoulder reels.

The wording in Kelpie is:

"A right shoulder pass in the middle is preferable here because of the right hand
turn which follows" - a similar argument applies to Polharrow Burn - it is easier to
remember to turn LH if you pass L Sh in the reels.

I think everyone who insists that a R Sh pass in Mairi's Wedding is an improvement
should be made to dance Marigold, preferably followed by Maggie Luv.

Malcolm

Malcolm L Brown
York (UK)

>
> In Polharrow Burn, the reels are supposed to be left-shoulder (the diagrams on
> http://www.dancearchives.co.uk/dances/glendarroch/polharrow.htm speak for
> themselves There are dances that explicitly specify
> right-shoulder passes (Gothenburg's Welcome comes to mind) but, as far as I
> remember, not these two.
>
> I have at various occasions heard teachers explain the reels in Polharrow Burn
> as >pass right in the middle, just like in Mairi's Wedding<. Go figure :^)
>
> Anselm
> --
> Anselm Lingnau, Friedberg, Germany ..................... anselm@strathspey.org
> Simplify, simplify. -- Henry David Thoreau, *Walden*

Mairi's Wedding

Message 51523 · ron.mackey · 12 Mar 2008 23:40:49 · Top

> I think everyone who insists that a R Sh pass in Mairi's Wedding is an
> improvement
> should be made to dance Marigold, preferably followed by Maggie Luv.
>
> Malcolm
> York (UK)

Diabolical suggestion, Malcolm. I suppose that we lefties are bound to
lose out in a righthanded world. I'm persuaded that, as with those
responsible for the early (R)SCDS books, the majority of right handers think
that the left hand (and therefor shoulder) should only be used for
scratching one's - - nose? :)
I do know that there are a few in my classes, even though reasonably
experienced, who find it almost impossible to cast off on the men's side or
to turn to the left without a great effort of will - and then often failing.
I'm talking about The Montgomeries' Rant bars 5-6 and similar.
Must look up those two dances. By this time I'll probably find them a
culture shock too. :~)

Happy Dancing :) :)

Ron

Ron Mackey
RSCDS London, Croydon & International Branches

Mairi's Wedding and Assorted Random Thoughts

Message 51474 · John Cahill · 10 Mar 2008 21:31:10 · Top

At 04:46 PM 3/9/2008, Ron wrote:

> Must say I understand Iain's
> comment. He surely says 'unfortunately' for
> himself. I'm more or less in the same boat as
> I've a few more years on the floor than Pia and
> have grown fed-up with all the right shoulder
> blasting. I'd probably still get up for it
> if it was done as James wrote it and as I learned it.
> We once - probably mid 50s - did 3 dems
> in one afternoon in different places - to the
> same programme of course - and MW was our last
> dance. At the third venue at end of the last
> time through we had a joint loss of
> concentration and were doing the circle when
> someone muttered 'what about the reel of
> three'!! 'Do them after' was the reply so we did!

I had to laugh at the "right shoulder blasting". It reminded me of a comment
of a friend of ours years ago who said she never did Mairi's Wedding any more.
She said that everything was in the same
direction in that dance and by the end of it
her insoles had all shifted up the left side of
her shoes. She had to take them
off and put the insoles back where they belonged before she could do the next
dance.

I've always like Mairi's Wedding myself. Perhaps
it hasn't been on the programme
often enough out here for me to get weary of
it. Sometimes it's just a case of a
surfeit of a good thing. Many years ago I was on
the Orange County branch's demo
team* and we did Shiftin' Bobbins into the
ground. I couldn't look at that dance
for two years. Some how or other it became one
of my wife's favourite dances and
her joy in it turned out to be contagious. I do it quite happily now.

But some things will just never appeal. Like
liver, lima beans, and St Andrew's Fair.

[*Don't let the "demo team" reference mislead
you. OC was and is a small branch.
I may not have been great, but I was available.]

Cheers,

-John-
Lakewood, California
33.8540° N, 118.1330° W
In partibus infidelium

Mairi's Wedding and Assorted Random Thoughts

Message 51475 · Etienne Ozorak · 10 Mar 2008 22:00:36 · Top

You know, I love to dance.

I can't remember when I first did this dance, but I am sure it's more than
30 years ago. And because I've spent most of my years being on the
bandstand, I rarely get to do Mairi's Wedding left shoulders or right
shoulders at all. I think it's a fun dance. I get to play it a lot. A
lot. People love to dance with it. People want to dance to the original
music. I don't think it's a science or a religion. I don't think it needs
to be. It's just a nice experience regardless of what anyone chooses to
dissect into it.

Etienne Ozorak
Meadville, PA USA

----- Original Message -----
From: "John Cahill" <piobair@earthlink.net>
To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Monday, March 10, 2008 4:31 PM
Subject: Mairi's Wedding and Assorted Random Thoughts

> At 04:46 PM 3/9/2008, Ron wrote:
>
>> Must say I understand Iain's comment. He surely says
>> 'unfortunately' for himself. I'm more or less in the same boat as I've a
>> few more years on the floor than Pia and have grown fed-up with all the
>> right shoulder blasting. I'd probably still get up for it if it was
>> done as James wrote it and as I learned it.
>> We once - probably mid 50s - did 3 dems in one afternoon in
>> different places - to the same programme of course - and MW was our last
>> dance. At the third venue at end of the last time through we had a
>> joint loss of concentration and were doing the circle when someone
>> muttered 'what about the reel of three'!! 'Do them after' was the reply
>> so we did!
>
>
> I had to laugh at the "right shoulder blasting". It reminded me of a
> comment
> of a friend of ours years ago who said she never did Mairi's Wedding any
> more.
> She said that everything was in the same direction in that dance and by
> the end of it
> her insoles had all shifted up the left side of her shoes. She had to
> take them
> off and put the insoles back where they belonged before she could do the
> next
> dance.
>
> I've always like Mairi's Wedding myself. Perhaps it hasn't been on the
> programme
> often enough out here for me to get weary of it. Sometimes it's just a
> case of a
> surfeit of a good thing. Many years ago I was on the Orange County
> branch's demo
> team* and we did Shiftin' Bobbins into the ground. I couldn't look at
> that dance
> for two years. Some how or other it became one of my wife's favourite
> dances and
> her joy in it turned out to be contagious. I do it quite happily now.
>
> But some things will just never appeal. Like liver, lima beans, and St
> Andrew's Fair.
>
> [*Don't let the "demo team" reference mislead you. OC was and is a small
> branch.
> I may not have been great, but I was available.]
>
> Cheers,
>
> -John-
> Lakewood, California
> 33.8540° N, 118.1330° W
> In partibus infidelium
>

Mairi's Wedding and Assorted Random Thoughts

Message 51481 · Peter McClure · 10 Mar 2008 22:57:10 · Top

>You know, I love to dance.
>
>I can't remember when I first did this dance, but I am sure it's
>more than 30 years ago. And because I've spent most of my years
>being on the bandstand, I rarely get to do Mairi's Wedding left
>shoulders or right shoulders at all. I think it's a fun dance. I
>get to play it a lot. A lot. People love to dance with it. People
>want to dance to the original music. I don't think it's a science
>or a religion. I don't think it needs to be. It's just a nice
>experience regardless of what anyone chooses to dissect into it.

Thanks for this, Etienne. Really nice to hear from a musician who
likes both the music and the dance. I hope you get a chance to dance
it soon.

Peter McClure
Winnipeg, MB

Mairi's Wedding

Message 51511 · Jan Obdrzalek · 12 Mar 2008 13:32:41 · Top

> Well I have danced SCD for 30 years, and I still like it - there's something
> about getting that flow going and looking at your partner afterward with a
> feeling of triumph, that gets me every time.

Yep. For me the reason I like the dance has a lot to do with tune,
speed, and a chance to do lots of spinning (birling) in the first
eight bars (usually all 8 the second time through), twiddles and claps
for everybody in the next sixteen bars [and you need RSh pass for a
proper twiddle for the dancing couple], short breathing space in the
next eight and kick'n'scream in the circle :) I agree this has
nothing to do with the original instructions, but it is very enjoyable
nevertheless :o) But this is the way I was taught MW, and I got the
feeling this is the case for many people, at least on the Scottish
university dance circuit.

Jan

Comments taken out of context (was Mairi's Wedding)

Message 51463 · Iain Boyd · 9 Mar 2008 21:09:36 · Top

Dear David,

One can read anything into another's BRIEF comments (often taken out of context)!

Regards,

Iain Boyd



ninian-uk <ninian-uk@tiscali.co.uk> wrote:
Ian Boyd wrote: "Unfortunately, in my opinion, it [Mairi's Wedding] is
still being taught because it is still liked and because it is still new to
the new dancers."

Silly me - I thought we danced for pleasure.

David

Berkeley, UK

Send instant messages to your online friends http://au.messenger.yahoo.com

Criteria to select the best dances (was "Feathers" again)

Message 51374 · Steve Wyrick · 5 Mar 2008 16:43:15 · Top

Well this just shows how difficult it'll be to come up with "best" dances
that all can agree on. I happen to agree with you about the tune however
it's well-loved around here. Bands then combine it with other "cheesy"
tunes (show tune sets, etc.) and people love the dance more than ever! Go
figure... -Steve

On Wed, Mar 5, 2008 at 6:49 AM, Alan Paterson <alan.paterson@paranor.ch>
wrote:

> On 27/02/2008 20:59, Loretta Holz wrote:
> > Take Mairi's Wedding for example -- what criteria/qualities make it so
> > popular? Let's add any new criteria to the list. Does it have any
> > negative ones?
>
> Oh indeed. I refuse to dance it because of the cheesy tune. It is one of
> my LEAST favourite dances.
>
> Alan
>
>
--
Steve Wyrick -- Concord, California

Criteria to select the best dances (was "Feathers" again)

Message 51380 · Miriam L. Mueller · 5 Mar 2008 18:32:02 · Top

I also enjoy Rest and Be Thankful, and the description I heard of it
applies also to Mairi's Wedding: "It's a great ride." What the speaker
meant was that once you got moving, you could keep moving, in interesting
directions. With a great band, it's almost like flying.

There are lots of "good" dances I like that have other aspects to
recommend them, but the pleasure of the motion is one of the things
people may be rating.
Miriam Mueller San Francisco

> On 27/02/2008 20:59, Loretta Holz wrote:
> > Take Mairi's Wedding for example -- what criteria/qualities make
> it so
> > popular? Let's add any new criteria to the list. Does it have
> any
> > negative ones?

Criteria to select the best dances (was "Feathers" again)

Message 51339 · ron.mackey · 28 Feb 2008 01:41:53 · Top

The problem is, I think, that for any »interesting« list of criteria there
are
going to be dances that have obvious deficits in at least one of them but
that people like very much anyway. So the list will have to allow for this
in
some way.

Anselm
--

Watched a group dancing The Anniversary tonight. (Should be The 35th
Anniversary anyway!) It is a very nice dance with good music but has a
small failing in the last eight which are of the 'now get out of that'
variety. The reason for the change (by the publication Comm. I believe) was
that the original had more or less the same fault although the West Wickham
club for which is was devised liked the original Much Better!
Happy Dancing :)

Ron

Ron Mackey
RSCDS London, Croydon & International Branches

Criteria to select the best dances (was "Feathers" again)

Message 51333 · Jan Rudge · 27 Feb 2008 19:06:42 · Top

Loretta wrote: > OK. Let's take your example of restaurants-->> #1 -- excellent, imaginative, well educated, experienced chef who has an> immaculate kitchen, uses only the freshest ingredients all properly> refrigerated as needed, using the best commercial kitchen appliances and> devoted to producing the best dining experience.> > #2-- novice, unimaginative, ill-organized cook with dirty kitchen, using> day old ingredients which were not properly refrigerated.
>
> Once a restaurant has the basic criteria of a good restaurant the
> individual dining experience depends on the subjective tastes of the
> diner. HOWEVER, if served in #1 you are most likely to be happy, while
> if served in #2 much less likely because the restaurant lacks the basic
> criteria of a good restaurant.


Which category would you put fast food restaurants into? I know plenty
of young(er) people who would definitely prefer to eat at McDonalds or
KFC than at a "good" restaurant (as in option #1)... Jan Beaconsfield, UK
_________________________________________________________________
Free games, great prizes - get gaming at Gamesbox.
http://www.searchgamesbox.com

Criteria to select the best dances (was "Feathers" again)

Message 51335 · Jim Healy · 27 Feb 2008 22:38:35 · Top

Bruce Herbold wrote:> <snip>
> reconstructed into configurations that bear little> resemblance to how they were originally danced [including Monty's,> which I have been told is described as a strathspey on its original> description, sometimes taste can improve things]).
To which Anselm added:
> The Montgomeries' Rant is the original »Strathspey Reel«. Whether that tells > us anything in today's musical terms is completely open to debate :^)
As I think I have mentioned on Strathspey before, the last eight bars of Monty are 'reconstructed' (to use Bruce's word) contrary to the original which gives 1st couple moving around on bar 24 to face out the men's side mirroring the movement at the end of bar 20. This is followed by 1st couple leading out at the sides ie dancing figures of eight across the dance, 1st woman round 2nd couple and 1st man round 3rd couple. With that ending, it makes an interesting strathspey, especially if danced to the original original 'Lord Eglingtoun' played at modern tempo.

Jim Healy
Perth, Scotland

Criteria to select the best dances (was "Feathers" again)

Message 51338 · ron.mackey · 28 Feb 2008 01:32:51 · Top

> I also think that in trying to grade dances, some acknowledgement must
> be made that there is value in identifying the diverse kinds of
> traditional dances, not all of which match current tastes (of course
> some of them were reconstructed into configurations that bear little
> resemblance to how they were originally danced [including Monty's,
> which I have been told is described as a strathspey on its original
> description, sometimes taste can improve things]).
>
> Bruce Herbold
> San Francisco

Maybe it would be easier to make a list of the rubbish?
But I suppose someone would say that they are their favourite dances!

Ron

Criteria to select the best dances (was "Feathers" again)

Message 51340 · Monica Pollard · 28 Feb 2008 06:01:49 · Top

I told my husband Strathspey was discussing this, and that's the first
thing he said! :-)

Ron Mackey <ron.mackey@talktalk.net> wrote:
> Maybe it would be easier to make a list of the rubbish?
> But I suppose someone would say that they are their favourite dances!

Monica Pollard
Nampa, ID
--
"We must be the change we wish to see in the world."
Gandhi

Dance histories

Message 51341 · Thomas G. Mungall, III · 29 Feb 2008 16:52:51 · Top

Can anyone tell me a wee bit about the following dances:

1.) Lady Catherine Bruce's Reel - (Who was this Lady Bruce?)
2.) Rovin' Robin
3.) Butterscotch & Honey
4.) Foursome Reel - (Any truth to the Highland Fling coming from this
dance?)

Thanks in advance!

Yours aye,

Tom Mungall
Baton Rouge, La, USA

Dance histories

Message 51342 · Andrew Smith · 29 Feb 2008 18:04:58 · Top

1) I "googled" LCB and got:
In the 18th century the Bruce family fortunes declined: Lady Catherine Bruce
lived on in the decaying mansion, a remarkable old lady famed for her charm
and hospitality. On 26th August 1787 she 'knighted' Robert Burns with the
sword said to have belonged to King Robert Bruce. After her death, the tower
and house were abandoned and by 1841 the house had gone.
Clackmannan Tower has been in the guardianship of what is now Historic
Scotland since the 1950s. Subsidence had caused major structural collapse in
1948. Historic Scotland has undertaken extensive repairs and is committed to
increasing public access in the next few years.
2) RR is from Burns' poem commemorating his birth, titled "Rantin', Rovin'
Robin" to the tune "Daintie Davie". First line: "There was a lad was born in
Kyle".
3) The only connection that comes to mind for Butterscotch and Honey is that
it may come from the bothy ballad, "McGinty's Meal and Ale":
"This is nae a sang o' love, nor yet a sang o' money
Faith, it's naethin' very pitiful, it's naethin' very funny
But there's Hieland Scotch, Lowland Scotch, butterscotch and honey
If there's nane o' them for a' there's a mixture o' the three."
4) The 4-some I have always understood to be the original Reel designed to
be danced in a confined space, but someone else will need to confirm or
otherwise whether the highland fling was assembled from the steps devised
for performance in the 4-some or vice versa.
Hope that helps, but it is not authoratative.
Andrew Smith,
Bristol, UK.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Thomas G. Mungall, III" <atheling@cox.net>
To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Friday, February 29, 2008 3:52 PM
Subject: Dance histories

> Can anyone tell me a wee bit about the following dances:
>
> 1.) Lady Catherine Bruce's Reel - (Who was this Lady Bruce?)
> 2.) Rovin' Robin
> 3.) Butterscotch & Honey
> 4.) Foursome Reel - (Any truth to the Highland Fling coming from this
> dance?)
>
> Thanks in advance!
>
> Yours aye,
>
> Tom Mungall
> Baton Rouge, La, USA
>
>
>
>

Dance histories

Message 51343 · GOSS9@telefonica.net · 29 Feb 2008 18:26:24 · Top

Sorry can´t help with you with the rest, but regarding your "Foursome"
rumor, I seriously doubt if any recognized dance scholar would put his
or her name to such an assertion that the Highland Fling came from this
dance.
There are several reasons for this.

1. Foursome reel has a life independent of country dancing, Scottish
or otherwise,and is simply a generic European dance where dancers in a
line, 3 or 4, or more is not relevant, do some traveling for a bet,
then show off some steps for a bit then repeat. The RSCDS and SOBHD,
foursome is simply a version of Highland reel, of which Reel of Tulloch
(which has no figure similar to that which we call a reel), and
Shepherd´s Crook are other permutations. In the period before the
decline of country dancing in favor of couple ballroom dancing, it was
pan-European as an example of a Scottish folk dance.

2. If I would guess, I would suggest that the setting and reeling
parts, had an independent life before they were combined in the dance
forms as we know them. I say this because, although there are movements
in the Fling that are pecularly Scottish to me, there are others that
are found throughout Europe.

3. What the SOBHD calls the fling, is simply a mid 20c standardization
of a series of traditional steps, for competition purposes. Granted
that many of them go back beyond the reach of country dance influence.
As with the RSCDS decision not to include certain dance motifs in its
repertoire, so also the SOBHD, in codifying its dances, omitted some
also. From the shadow effect of these efforts to "save" cultural items,
those not so preserved have, and have had a greater opportunity of
being lost. While I was at Scottish Studies, I was often confronted
with the attitude of why study SCD, it has already been done by the
RSCDS. The problem is that it hadn´t, in fact the Society was rather
hostile to those who did primary research as found in the Border Book
(Jamieson), which was "not approved" during my early days, and the work
of the Fletts.

4. A further problem is in the name "fling", which in historical terms
as applied to a particular dance, is relatively modern.

Regarding the other dances mentioned, I suspect you had best find the
composers of the dances Rovin´robin and butterscotch & Honey for your
answer there.

The problem with dances of the "[title] + [name]´s + [dance] {Lady
Caterine Bruce´s Reel} is concerned, even if you find something, is is
probably suspect for the following reasons.
1. There is no necessary connection between a collection of figures
and a particular tune.
2. Dance teachers and musicians were noted for recycling their figures
and melodies to members of families who were currently supporting them.
3. Often the same figures were danced to many different tunes, from
which they took their name - e.g. Duke of Perth (never existed in
Scotland, though the title was granted to a Jacobean supporter in
France), Pease Straw Reel, Clean Peas Straw, etc.
4. The Society often attached music it liked to dances with which
there was no connection. For example the reels to which we dance the
"strathspey" Montgomery´s Rant.
5. People got married and promoted. As a result while a tune may be
associated with a particular person, it often got renamed when their
status changed. Your Lady Catherine Bruce, may have started out as
"Miss Cathy Hamilton", married Ian Bruce and became, "Mrs Catherine
Bruce". When Ian was knighted she became "Lady Catherine Bruce", then
when he was given a peerage, she could have become "Countess of Elgin".
Some tunes get their names updated during and after this process.
6. Once we have the tune connected to a name, then we have to find
when, and how, it became connected to a particular choreography.

Dance histories: Highland Fling

Message 51344 · Rosemary Coupe · 29 Feb 2008 20:37:01 · Top

Richard Goss writes,
" . . . regarding your "Foursome" rumor, I seriously doubt if any recognized
dance scholar would put his or her name to such an assertion that the
Highland Fling came from this dance."

Here are the first sentences of the "Highland Fling" chapter of Traditional
Step-Dancing in Scotland by the Fletts (actually written by Joan Flett but
based on Tom Flett's notes):

"Today the Highland Fling consists of six or eight steps but prior to 1900 a
dancer usually performed ten steps. The steps used were primarily a
selection taken arbitrarily from the steps used in the part of the Highland
Reel danced to strathspey rhythm. We know of at least sixty possible steps
and in the following pages we give the most interesting of these." They
proceed to describe 29 steps.

Aside from this authority, the process by which dancing masters observed and
recorded the steps of the Highland reel is seen in Francis Peacock's book of
1805 and the anonymous MS Contre-Danses a Paris 1818. It seems entirely
plausible that the Highland Fling began as a formalized sequence of these
steps. The earliest extant description of the Fling, in the Hill MS of 1818,
gives two alternative versions ascribed to two different dancing masters.
Also, early accounts of step dance teaching emphasize the learning of steps
rather than whole choreographed dances: Elizabeth Grant writes, "A dancing
master taught us every variety of wonderful Highland step . . ." Finally,
the term "Highland fling" in its early uses applied to the step we now know
as "shedding," not to an entire dance.

One thing I find fascinating is that the entire process seems to have
repeated itself on Cape Breton Island, where solo step dancing also
developed from a linking of steps drawn from the reels. But Cape Breton step
dances are extemporaneous and not formally named. The dancers draw on their
personal repertoire of steps as did the herd boy observed by Francis
Peacock, who "had a variety of well chosen steps." Highland dancing in
Scotland, on the other hand, evolved in response to the demands of an urban
audience and was shaped by the needs of public performance.

Rosemary Coupe
Vancouver

Dance histories

Message 51351 · George Meikle · 3 Mar 2008 12:52:45 · Top

Andrew Smith wrote:-

3) The only connection that comes to mind for Butterscotch and Honey is that

it may come from the bothy ballad, "McGinty's Meal and Ale":
"This is nae a sang o' love, nor yet a sang o' money
Faith, it's naethin' very pitiful, it's naethin' very funny
But there's Hieland Scotch, Lowland Scotch, butterscotch and honey
If there's nane o' them for a' there's a mixture o' the three."

I was a good friend of the late Barry Priddey and that is exactly what he
told me. It also explains his choice of original tune which is "McGinty's
Meal and Ale".

George Meikle (Dunfermline)
Lothian Scottish Dance Band

Dance histories

Message 51354 · Maureen Daniel · 3 Mar 2008 15:56:11 · Top

The dance Butterscotch and Honey was devised by Jean Attwood, original tune "McGinty's Meal and Ale" (Kemp) and at the end of the dance she quotes
" "But there's Heelan' Scotch, Lowlan' Scotch, Butter Scotch and honey....."
McGinty's Meal and Ale"Maureen Daniel
Bridge of Weir

> From: george.meikle@btinternet.com> To: strathspey@strathspey.org> Date: Mon, 3 Mar 2008 11:52:45 +0000> Subject: RE: Dance histories> > Andrew Smith wrote:-> > 3) The only connection that comes to mind for Butterscotch and Honey is that> > it may come from the bothy ballad, "McGinty's Meal and Ale":> "This is nae a sang o' love, nor yet a sang o' money> Faith, it's naethin' very pitiful, it's naethin' very funny> But there's Hieland Scotch, Lowland Scotch, butterscotch and honey> If there's nane o' them for a' there's a mixture o' the three."> > I was a good friend of the late Barry Priddey and that is exactly what he> told me. It also explains his choice of original tune which is "McGinty's> Meal and Ale".> > > George Meikle (Dunfermline)> Lothian Scottish Dance Band> > >
_________________________________________________________________
Telly addicts unite!
http://www.searchgamesbox.com/tvtown.shtml

Criteria to select the best dances (was "Feathers" again)

Message 51314 · Monica Pollard · 27 Feb 2008 04:52:33 · Top

Related to the Memorable Sequence, Figure or Moment, but not quite the
same (in my mind, anyway :), I'd like to suggest that some of the
better dances have a sequence of figures that build up to a high
point.
One example, for me, would be General Stuart's Reel. Specifically,
the end of the Hello-Goodbye setting where you pas de basque forward
then flirtatiously turn your back on your partner to whisk away into
the reels. My class learned it last night, and loved it, lots of
setting steps and all.

Monica
Nampa, ID

On Tue, Feb 26, 2008 at 1:23 PM, Loretta Holz <loretta@varisys.com> wrote:
>....I'll start with suggestions for objective criteria and hope that
this opens the discussion. ... for the sake of this discussion, we
need to remember that many teachers are forced to use "any 32 bar
jig". I would suggest focusing on the dances themselves and leave it
up to the teacher to use
the proper tune or ...
>
> Objective Criteria to Use in Selecting SCDances
>
> Flow -- the figures lead logically one into the next -- there is an
> inevitability which makes the dance
> easier and more fulfilling to do so the dancer can get into enjoying the
> dance more quickly.
>
> Memorable Sequence, Figure or Moment -- the signature figure, what makes
> the dance different and memorable
>
> Partner Interaction -- the dance features partners working together and
> gives moments when partners are paying attention to each other.
>
> I'll stop here and look for corrections, additions, etc. After we put
> together a list we can see if it truly applies to the most popular
> dances (those done year after year --- ones we never get tired of doing)
> and how.
>
> Loretta (Warren, NJ, US)
>

--
"We must be the change we wish to see in the world."
Gandhi

Criteria to select the best dances (was "Feathers" again)

Message 51315 · Rod Downey · 27 Feb 2008 05:04:06 · Top

Hi all:

Objective Criteria should surely include *great music*

Things like de'il amang the tailors etc done to
the irish washerwoman, say, just would not seem right.
It is hard for me to think of a really good dance
which is universally liked without a really really good tune.

One of the things you can say about all those old dances is that
many have really fine music for dancing, especially the old song tunes.

best

rod

On Tue, 26 Feb 2008, Monica Pollard wrote:

> Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2008 20:52:33 -0700
> From: Monica Pollard <sequoia03@gmail.com>
> Reply-To: SCD news and discussion <strathspey@strathspey.org>
> To: SCD news and discussion <strathspey@strathspey.org>
> Subject: Re: Criteria to select the best dances (was "Feathers" again)
>
> Related to the Memorable Sequence, Figure or Moment, but not quite the
> same (in my mind, anyway :), I'd like to suggest that some of the
> better dances have a sequence of figures that build up to a high
> point.
> One example, for me, would be General Stuart's Reel. Specifically,
> the end of the Hello-Goodbye setting where you pas de basque forward
> then flirtatiously turn your back on your partner to whisk away into
> the reels. My class learned it last night, and loved it, lots of
> setting steps and all.
>
> Monica
> Nampa, ID
>
> On Tue, Feb 26, 2008 at 1:23 PM, Loretta Holz <loretta@varisys.com> wrote:
>> ....I'll start with suggestions for objective criteria and hope that
> this opens the discussion. ... for the sake of this discussion, we
> need to remember that many teachers are forced to use "any 32 bar
> jig". I would suggest focusing on the dances themselves and leave it
> up to the teacher to use
> the proper tune or ...
>>
>> Objective Criteria to Use in Selecting SCDances
>>
>> Flow -- the figures lead logically one into the next -- there is an
>> inevitability which makes the dance
>> easier and more fulfilling to do so the dancer can get into enjoying the
>> dance more quickly.
>>
>> Memorable Sequence, Figure or Moment -- the signature figure, what makes
>> the dance different and memorable
>>
>> Partner Interaction -- the dance features partners working together and
>> gives moments when partners are paying attention to each other.
>>
>> I'll stop here and look for corrections, additions, etc. After we put
>> together a list we can see if it truly applies to the most popular
>> dances (those done year after year --- ones we never get tired of doing)
>> and how.
>>
>> Loretta (Warren, NJ, US)
>>
>
>
>
> --
> "We must be the change we wish to see in the world."
> Gandhi
>

"Feathers" again

Message 51310 · ron.mackey · 27 Feb 2008 01:13:27 · Top

----- Original Message -----
From: "Andrew Smith" <afsmith@talktalk.net>
To: <eric@ferguson.nl>; "SCD news and discussion"
<strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Tuesday, February 26, 2008 9:16 AM
Subject: Re: "Feathers" again (was: Quality of dances in/not in RSCDS list)

> My reaction is that this is an almost impossible issue to resolve, because
> it will be so subjective, I would suggest.
> For example, I think that the music is, for me,very, very important. I
> have, on occasion, had my favourite dances spoiled pretty well completely
> by not having the usual first tune at least, or not-well-chosen follow-up
> tunes, so
----
> I also find one's partner in a dance can make such a difference as to
> whether you find a given dance good, bad or indifferent. I have often had
----
> To me it is a very complex issue, which would need several aspects to be
> rated and a weighted average taken to get a single figure "feathers
> "rating, rather like a "Which?" Best Buy.
> Andrew Smith,
> Bristol, UK.
>
> "One man's meat is another man's poison."

I think I'm with Andrew on this. I recently went into a dance I was not
very keen to do but everyone in the set had such fun that I did too. I
might not be so lucky next time.
Happy Dancing :)

Ron

Ron Mackey
RSCDS London, Croydon & International Branches

Re:Dancing Master, was Naming of formations

Message 51255 · Peter Price · 21 Feb 2008 21:50:00 · Top

>
> -- "Ron Mackey" <ron.mackey@talktalk.net> wrote:
>
>
> Thought they had adopted it, _must_ be getting old!
> However - surely it must have been known to the decision makers so why was
> the figure ignored?
>

One good question deserves another. And why did they ignore the traditional
dancing of the Shetland Isles? Shetland is part of Scotland isn't it? Or has
it reverted back to the Danes? ;-)

Peter Price

Re:Dancing Master, was Naming of formations

Message 51257 · GOSS9@telefonica.net · 21 Feb 2008 23:34:20 · Top

"And why did they ignore the traditional dancing of the Shetland
Isles?"

Fairly simple answer according to the original revelation that SCD was
ballroom, as opposed to folk dancing (whatever that really means). The
traditional non country dancing not of urban origins, fell into the
category of folk, or non-ballroom, dancing. Therefore was "not
appropriate" material for the Society´s apostles.

There are several other categories of even country dancing that have
not been picked up by the Society where were definitely ballroom. Here
I am referring to the large number of slip jigs, and non longways
dances, or those where there are men and women on both sides. True some
of them have been picked up, but no where near their proportion to the
repertoire at any point in time related to the dances we have picked
up.

I think what happened, is that while there was a general feeling that
something should be "saved", the actual publication process was the
result of an evolving philosophy that fell into three phases:
I. Publish currently danced dances in an approved style.
II. Publish dances not currently dances from books and MS.
III. Publish newly composed dances

Obviously phase 1 started with Book I. Phase 2 is more difficult, in
that by the time it was reached, some of these dances were already
revived in the EFDSS. Phase III started with the Victory book, but it
was not until the 60´s that entire books were modern composed dances,
Book 22 if I remember correctly.

So the answer to your question would have to be found somewhere
between 1930 and 1945. By that time academic researchers, such as the
Fletts and others were documenting the traditional dances of Scotland.

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