strathspey Archive: Ian Powrie's Farewell

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Ian Powrie's Farewell

Message 51595 · Peter McClure · 17 Mar 2008 23:15:17 · Top

I was just exploring the SD Archives site, and on a whim, looked up
Ian Powrie's Farewell. I've never owned a set of instructions for
this, and it's quite a few years since I've danced it, but the
instruction at the end of Fig 1, for the dancers to go to the right
in the promenade, seemed contrary to memory. I know there are
versions of this dance, and I look forward to trying it as written on
the Archives web site, but, out of curiosity, do any others remember
the first promenade as clockwise, rather than anticlockwise?

Peter McClure
Winnipeg, MB

Ian Powrie's Farewell

Message 51598 · Helen Brown · 18 Mar 2008 00:02:53 · Top

Peter McClure wrote:

>I was just exploring the SD Archives site, and on a whim, looked up
>Ian Powrie's Farewell. I've never owned a set of instructions for
>this, and it's quite a few years since I've danced it, but the
>instruction at the end of Fig 1, for the dancers to go to the right
>in the promenade, seemed contrary to memory. I know there are
>versions of this dance, and I look forward to trying it as written on
>the Archives web site, but, out of curiosity, do any others remember
>the first promenade as clockwise, rather than anticlockwise?

I remember being taught IPFTA round about the end of the 60s and we danced
the promenade to the right. Yes, it is awkward but we managed. We danced
it like this for three or four years and then met someone who said it seemed
incorrect as the first and last figures were like a palindrome and so it
worked better if the promenade was danced to the left (clockwise). I'm
afraid we have done it clockwise ever since. One of our branch members met
Bill Hamilton recently and queried this. Although he didn't like it, he
accepted that it was commonly danced with the 1st promenade going to the
left. The published leaflet with a blue front cover does not stipulate
which direction for the promenade

Helen

Helen C N Brown
York, UK

Ian Powrie's Farewell

Message 51602 · Rebecca Sager · 18 Mar 2008 00:38:16 · Top

How in heaven's name do you get into a counter(anti)clockwise promenade? With the women flying out of right hands across it's obvious they should scoop up their partners and continue in the same direction, comfortably on the men's right side. I've never seen it done any other way than clockwise. I thought the whole point of the dance was - clockwise in the first half, counter(anti)clockwise in the second, because the water goes down the drain the opposite way in the Antipodes?

Becky

Becky Sager
Marietta GA USA

-- "Helen Brown" <hcnbrown@supanet.com> wrote:
Peter McClure wrote:

>I was just exploring the SD Archives site, and on a whim, looked up
>Ian Powrie's Farewell. I've never owned a set of instructions for
>this, and it's quite a few years since I've danced it, but the
>instruction at the end of Fig 1, for the dancers to go to the right
>in the promenade, seemed contrary to memory. I know there are
>versions of this dance, and I look forward to trying it as written on
>the Archives web site, but, out of curiosity, do any others remember
>the first promenade as clockwise, rather than anticlockwise?

I remember being taught IPFTA round about the end of the 60s and we danced
the promenade to the right. Yes, it is awkward but we managed. We danced
it like this for three or four years and then met someone who said it seemed
incorrect as the first and last figures were like a palindrome and so it
worked better if the promenade was danced to the left (clockwise). I'm
afraid we have done it clockwise ever since. One of our branch members met
Bill Hamilton recently and queried this. Although he didn't like it, he
accepted that it was commonly danced with the 1st promenade going to the
left. The published leaflet with a blue front cover does not stipulate
which direction for the promenade

Helen

Helen C N Brown
York, UK

_____________________________________________________________
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Ian Powrie's Farewell

Message 51605 · Peter Price · 18 Mar 2008 01:38:14 · Top

In New Haven we have always danced it as a palindrome. That is how I was
taught the for demonstration so Peter Day may have knowingly taken
liberties. Is there anyone from the original dem team lurking who could
enlighten us on what they intended when they wrote it?

I certainly see a possibility for a really neat swoop by the ladies as they
exit their wheel and pivot into place on the outside of the men ready to
promenade counter-clockwise.

Peter Price

On Mon, Mar 17, 2008 at 6:38 PM, Becky Sager <bsager3@juno.com> wrote:

> How in heaven's name do you get into a counter(anti)clockwise promenade?
> With the women flying out of right hands across it's obvious they should
> scoop up their partners and continue in the same direction, comfortably on
> the men's right side. I've never seen it done any other way than clockwise.
> I thought the whole point of the dance was - clockwise in the first half,
> counter(anti)clockwise in the second, because the water goes down the drain
> the opposite way in the Antipodes?
>
> Becky
>
> Becky Sager
> Marietta GA USA
>
> -- "Helen Brown" <hcnbrown@supanet.com> wrote:
> Peter McClure wrote:
>
> >I was just exploring the SD Archives site, and on a whim, looked up
> >Ian Powrie's Farewell. I've never owned a set of instructions for
> >this, and it's quite a few years since I've danced it, but the
> >instruction at the end of Fig 1, for the dancers to go to the right
> >in the promenade, seemed contrary to memory. I know there are
> >versions of this dance, and I look forward to trying it as written on
> >the Archives web site, but, out of curiosity, do any others remember
> >the first promenade as clockwise, rather than anticlockwise?
>
> I remember being taught IPFTA round about the end of the 60s and we danced
> the promenade to the right. Yes, it is awkward but we managed. We
> danced
> it like this for three or four years and then met someone who said it
> seemed
> incorrect as the first and last figures were like a palindrome and so it
> worked better if the promenade was danced to the left (clockwise). I'm
> afraid we have done it clockwise ever since. One of our branch members
> met
> Bill Hamilton recently and queried this. Although he didn't like it, he
> accepted that it was commonly danced with the 1st promenade going to the
> left. The published leaflet with a blue front cover does not stipulate
> which direction for the promenade
>
> Helen
>
> Helen C N Brown
> York, UK
>
> _____________________________________________________________
> Start providing for your family by becoming a paralegal. Click Now.
>
> http://thirdpartyoffers.juno.com/TGL2121/fc/Ioyw6i3nffOxB9lBTARjZ2f0jf0IuOais37MPeAVLLAsGRft7PjQp7/
>

Ian Powrie's Farewell

Message 51625 · Peter McClure · 18 Mar 2008 23:17:58 · Top

>How in heaven's name do you get into a counter(anti)clockwise
>promenade? With the women flying out of right hands across it's
>obvious they should scoop up their partners and continue in the same
>direction, comfortably on the men's right side. I've never seen it
>done any other way than clockwise.

Well, I'm glad to have several writers confirm my memory (is it a
sign of something when one cares about that?). However, I agree with
Peter Price that the original seems quite possible - a bit more of a
phrasing challenge, both to enter and (for 1s and 3s) to exit the
first promenade, but definitely worth a try. Good to have a reason
to revisit the dance.

Peter McClure
Winnipeg, MB

Ian Powrie's Farewell

Message 51626 · James Tween · 18 Mar 2008 23:41:50 · Top

It's done as a palindrome everywhere I've done it, which is mainly on the
Scottish University circuit, and various related events. It was first
explained to me as winding up and winding down. We usually end up doing the
final circle to the right only, rather than coming back to the left, so it's
not quite palindromic, and we can then get up a little more speed, with an
optional "all-in" at the end -- and that's not just the mad young students,
but a large number of people. Yet another example of the living tradition
actually living.

James
Preston, UK

----- Original Message -----
From: "Peter McClure" <joptmc@cc.umanitoba.ca>
To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Tuesday, March 18, 2008 10:17 PM
Subject: RE: Ian Powrie's Farewell

> >How in heaven's name do you get into a counter(anti)clockwise promenade?
> >With the women flying out of right hands across it's obvious they should
> >scoop up their partners and continue in the same direction, comfortably
> >on the men's right side. I've never seen it done any other way than
> >clockwise.
>
> Well, I'm glad to have several writers confirm my memory (is it a sign of
> something when one cares about that?). However, I agree with Peter Price
> that the original seems quite possible - a bit more of a phrasing
> challenge, both to enter and (for 1s and 3s) to exit the first promenade,
> but definitely worth a try. Good to have a reason to revisit the dance.
>
> Peter McClure
> Winnipeg, MB
>
>

Ian Powrie's Farewell

Message 51629 · Agnes MacMichael · 19 Mar 2008 02:20:03 · Top

Mr Hamilton always dislikes his dance being shortened to IPFTA.
The last circle is also something he dislikes seeing it going all the way
round instead of to the right and back to the left.
When teaching dances in class, group or club, I think the instructions given
by the devisor should be taught. What people do on the dance floor is
something else!
I agree that the original of Ian Powrie's Farewell to Auchterarder
instructions does not stipulate which way the promenade goes. However, when
I was first taught this dance, this was picked up, so the teacher concerned
rang Bill Hamilton up and asked the question and was told that it should be
anti clockwise both times.
In hindsight maybe it should have been clockwise first time and anti
clockwise second time as the dance is mirrored with the other formations,
like the circle to begin going to the left and back to the right and
finishing with the circle to the right and back to the left.
Agnes Macmichael
Scotland

On 17/03/2008, Helen Brown <hcnbrown@supanet.com> wrote:
>
> Peter McClure wrote:
>
> >I was just exploring the SD Archives site, and on a whim, looked up
> >Ian Powrie's Farewell. I've never owned a set of instructions for
> >this, and it's quite a few years since I've danced it, but the
> >instruction at the end of Fig 1, for the dancers to go to the right
> >in the promenade, seemed contrary to memory. I know there are
> >versions of this dance, and I look forward to trying it as written on
> >the Archives web site, but, out of curiosity, do any others remember
> >the first promenade as clockwise, rather than anticlockwise?
>
> I remember being taught IPFTA round about the end of the 60s and we danced
> the promenade to the right. Yes, it is awkward but we managed. We
> danced
> it like this for three or four years and then met someone who said it
> seemed
> incorrect as the first and last figures were like a palindrome and so it
> worked better if the promenade was danced to the left (clockwise). I'm
> afraid we have done it clockwise ever since. One of our branch members
> met
> Bill Hamilton recently and queried this. Although he didn't like it, he
> accepted that it was commonly danced with the 1st promenade going to the
> left. The published leaflet with a blue front cover does not stipulate
> which direction for the promenade
>
> Helen
>
> Helen C N Brown
> York, UK
>
>
>

Circles in palindromes (was RE: Ian Powrie's Farewell)

Message 51635 · Ian Brockbank · 20 Mar 2008 15:00:39 · Top

Hi Agnes,

Agree with you in general. Just one minor point:

> like the circle to begin going to the left and back to the right and
> finishing with the circle to the right and back to the left.

In a palindrome, the opposite of circle round and back actually is
still circle round and back. You start going to the left and come
back to the right. At the end you need to finish by reversing the
circle to the left (i.e. circle to the right) and before that you
need to reverse the circle to the right which follows (i.e. you
circle to the left). So you circle to the left and back as normal.

Cheers,

Ian (who worked it out for The Palindrome:
http://www.scottishdance.net/dances/ThePalindrome.html)

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

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Circles in palindromes (was RE: Ian Powrie's Farewell)

Message 51637 · Pia Walker · 20 Mar 2008 15:02:49 · Top

Then you get dizzy :>)

Pia

-----Original Message-----
From: strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org
[mailto:strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org]On Behalf Of Ian
Brockbank
Sent: 20 March 2008 14:01
To: SCD news and discussion
Subject: Circles in palindromes (was RE: Ian Powrie's Farewell)

Hi Agnes,

Agree with you in general. Just one minor point:

> like the circle to begin going to the left and back to the right and
> finishing with the circle to the right and back to the left.

In a palindrome, the opposite of circle round and back actually is
still circle round and back. You start going to the left and come
back to the right. At the end you need to finish by reversing the
circle to the left (i.e. circle to the right) and before that you
need to reverse the circle to the right which follows (i.e. you
circle to the left). So you circle to the left and back as normal.

Cheers,

Ian (who worked it out for The Palindrome:
http://www.scottishdance.net/dances/ThePalindrome.html)

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

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Circles in palindromes (was RE: Ian Powrie's Farewell)

Message 51640 · Andrea Re · 20 Mar 2008 15:49:25 · Top

Ian Brockbank ha scritto:
>> like the circle to begin going to the left and back to the right and
>> finishing with the circle to the right and back to the left.
>>
>
> In a palindrome, the opposite of circle round and back actually is
> still circle round and back. You start going to the left and come
> back to the right. At the end you need to finish by reversing the
> circle to the left (i.e. circle to the right) and before that you
> need to reverse the circle to the right which follows (i.e. you
> circle to the left). So you circle to the left and back as normal.
>
Hhhmmm,

"A *palindrome* is a word, phrase, number
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palindromic_number> or other sequence of
units that has the property of reading the same in either direction"
(from Wikipedia)
According to this definition (which is what I would think a palindrome
is), you do not reverse a units in isolation; instead you find yourself
doing the same thing starting from the end and working your way
backwards, so the circle would be indeed "back and round". Like in a
word or phrase, you read the single letters one by one going from left
to right or from right to left (you do not change them during the
process) and get the same words. What you describe seems to be like
working your way back from the end, but looking at the result using a
mirror (like changing p's with q's and b's with d's when you go back the
way)
While in a linguistic palindrome you read the letters starting from the
end and you obtain the same words, in a dance the question is deciding
what the basic elements (the letters) should be: I think they have to be
the most basic formations. For example, if a dance finished with "cross
R and cast off one", the twin dance should start with "cast OFF one and
cross R" (NOT cast up and cross L). I have had a very QUICK look at your
dance Ian, and it seems to me that rather than palindromic, it is
symmetrical, i.e. part two is the same as part 1, but through a mirror
(positions at the end of bar 64), i.e. it is not the same as seeing the
film of it being played from the end.

Not sure I am making myself clear, but maybe I missed the point
altogether...

Andrea (fae Dundee)

> Cheers,
>
> Ian (who worked it out for The Palindrome:
> http://www.scottishdance.net/dances/ThePalindrome.html)
>
> Ian Brockbank
> Edinburgh, Scotland
> ian@scottishdance.net
> http://www.scottishdance.net/
>
>

Spelling mistakes: Was (Circles in palindromes (was RE: Ian Powrie's Farewell))

Message 51641 · Andrea Re · 20 Mar 2008 16:31:54 · Top

Andrea Re ha scritto:

Sorry for the mistakes in my earlier post. I should have reread it
before hitting "Enter"...

Anyway, the only thing that is not clear is at the end:
where it says: "(position*s* at the end of bar 64)"
please read: "(position*ed* at the end of bar 64)".

Andrea (fae Dundee)
> Ian Brockbank ha scritto:
>>> like the circle to begin going to the left and back to the right and
>>> finishing with the circle to the right and back to the left.
>>>
>>
>> In a palindrome, the opposite of circle round and back actually is
>> still circle round and back. You start going to the left and come
>> back to the right. At the end you need to finish by reversing the
>> circle to the left (i.e. circle to the right) and before that you
>> need to reverse the circle to the right which follows (i.e. you
>> circle to the left). So you circle to the left and back as normal.
>>
> Hhhmmm,
>
> "A *palindrome* is a word, phrase, number
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palindromic_number> or other sequence of
> units that has the property of reading the same in either direction"
> (from Wikipedia)
> According to this definition (which is what I would think a palindrome
> is), you do not reverse a units in isolation; instead you find
> yourself doing the same thing starting from the end and working your
> way backwards, so the circle would be indeed "back and round". Like in
> a word or phrase, you read the single letters one by one going from
> left to right or from right to left (you do not change them during the
> process) and get the same words. What you describe seems to be like
> working your way back from the end, but looking at the result using a
> mirror (like changing p's with q's and b's with d's when you go back
> the way)
> While in a linguistic palindrome you read the letters starting from
> the end and you obtain the same words, in a dance the question is
> deciding what the basic elements (the letters) should be: I think they
> have to be the most basic formations. For example, if a dance finished
> with "cross R and cast off one", the twin dance should start with
> "cast OFF one and cross R" (NOT cast up and cross L). I have had a
> very QUICK look at your dance Ian, and it seems to me that rather than
> palindromic, it is symmetrical, i.e. part two is the same as part 1,
> but through a mirror (positioned at the end of bar 64), i.e. it is not
> the same as seeing the film of it being played from the end.
>
> Not sure I am making myself clear, but maybe I missed the point
> altogether...
>
> Andrea (fae Dundee)
>
>> Cheers,
>>
>> Ian (who worked it out for The Palindrome:
>> http://www.scottishdance.net/dances/ThePalindrome.html)
>>
>> Ian Brockbank
>> Edinburgh, Scotland
>> ian@scottishdance.net
>> http://www.scottishdance.net/
>>
>
>
>
>
>

Circles in palindromes (was RE: Ian Powrie's Farewell)

Message 51642 · Ian Brockbank · 20 Mar 2008 16:44:06 · Top

Hi Andrea,

> "A *palindrome* is a word, phrase, number
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palindromic_number> or other
> sequence of
> units that has the property of reading the same in either direction"

So the question is how do you "read" a dance. You wrote:

> seeing the film of it being played from the end.

This is the model I was using for my palindrome. If you watch a
film of a circle round and back played backwards, it will indeed
look like a circle round and back. Think it through carefully -
my initial instinct was that you start by going to the right, but
after some thought (and discussion with others) we realised that
is incorrect.

This conflicts with your other definition:

> what the basic elements (the letters) should be: I think they
> have to be the most basic formations. For example, if a dance
> finished with "cross R and cast off one", the twin dance
> should start with "cast OFF one and cross R" (NOT cast up
> and cross L).

By this token, it could be argued that "circle round and back" is
the unit...

White Heather Jig is a palindrome in this sense, if it is finished
with turn left, cast, turn right (as opposed to spinning for 8 bars
which completely misses the point...).

But I wrote the dance, so I chose the unit, and the unit I chose
was movements on the floor as might be recorded on film (ignoring
the way people are facing, admittedly...)

Cheers,

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

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Circles in palindromes (was RE: Ian Powrie's Farewell)

Message 51645 · Chris1Ronald · 20 Mar 2008 18:29:30 · Top


Andrea wrote:

Not sure I am making myself clear, but maybe I missed the point
altogether...

Well, I think I agree with you, Andrea.

If the dance begins with circling to the left for four bars, then (in terms
of a palindrome) it is reasonable if the very end is also circling to the
left for four bars.

Which is what is generally done, as far as I've seen around here. Plus, if
one's dancing as a man, one's momentum coming out of left hands across takes
one smoothly into the circle to the right on bar 121. (Needed to double check
that figure!)

Chris, New York.

**************Create a Home Theater Like the Pros. Watch the video on AOL
Home.
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Circles in palindromes (was RE: Ian Powrie's Farewell)

Message 51647 · ron.mackey · 20 Mar 2008 23:20:10 · Top

>
> Which is what is generally done, as far as I've seen around here. Plus,
> if
> one's dancing as a man, one's momentum coming out of left hands across
> takes
> one smoothly into the circle to the right on bar 121. (Needed to double
> check
> that figure!)
>
> Chris, New York.
>

Never done it any other way.
Ron

Circles in palindromes (was RE: Ian Powrie's Farewell)

Message 51649 · Agnes MacMichael · 21 Mar 2008 14:40:57 · Top

Are we not getting too technical for Scottish Country Dancing? Are we not
taking the fun out of Scottish Country Dancing? At we not taking the
......... whatever else out of Scottish Country Dancing? I thought it was
just for fun!!!! All this about palindromes and right or left or left and
right. When a dance is devised should we not do it as the devisor of the
dance wants it does, irrespective of how we think it should be done. I am
absolutely exhausted trying to figure out all the comments below and above,
to the left or to the right. I just want to enjoy dancing!
Phew!!!! Now I need a strong coffee or may I should hit the bottle!
Agnes Macmichael
West Lothian, Scotland

On 20/03/2008, Ian Brockbank <Ian.Brockbank@wolfsonmicro.com> wrote:
>
> Hi Agnes,
>
> Agree with you in general. Just one minor point:
>
> > like the circle to begin going to the left and back to the right and
> > finishing with the circle to the right and back to the left.
>
> In a palindrome, the opposite of circle round and back actually is
> still circle round and back. You start going to the left and come
> back to the right. At the end you need to finish by reversing the
> circle to the left (i.e. circle to the right) and before that you
> need to reverse the circle to the right which follows (i.e. you
> circle to the left). So you circle to the left and back as normal.
>
> Cheers,
>
> Ian (who worked it out for The Palindrome:
> http://www.scottishdance.net/dances/ThePalindrome.html)
>
> Ian Brockbank
> Edinburgh, Scotland
> ian@scottishdance.net
> http://www.scottishdance.net/
>
>
>
> Privacy & Confidentiality Notice
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> 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
>
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>
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Circles in palindromes (was RE: Ian Powrie's Farewell)

Message 51650 · Bob McArthur · 21 Mar 2008 14:55:16 · Top

Agnes,

With you on that one!

Too technical for me - just been trying to contact some young dancers in Silesia, Poland we helped last year and BINGO - I got through

Looks like the students are just waiting for Festival Dybuk to meet the volunteer teacher - Now how about Gdansk area??

Bob, (ex Wishaw)
Scosha Group, Christchurch,UK

http://www.wessex-scd.org.uk/SCOSHA


> Date: Fri, 21 Mar 2008 13:40:57 +0000> From: agnes.macmichael@sky.com> To: strathspey@strathspey.org> Subject: Re: Circles in palindromes (was RE: Ian Powrie's Farewell)> > Are we not getting too technical for Scottish Country Dancing? Are we not> taking the fun out of Scottish Country Dancing? At we not taking the> ......... whatever else out of Scottish Country Dancing? I thought it was> just for fun!!!! All this about palindromes and right or left or left and> right. When a dance is devised should we not do it as the devisor of the> dance wants it does, irrespective of how we think it should be done. I am> absolutely exhausted trying to figure out all the comments below and above,> to the left or to the right. I just want to enjoy dancing!> Phew!!!! Now I need a strong coffee or may I should hit the bottle!> Agnes Macmichael> West Lothian, Scotland> > > On 20/03/2008, Ian Brockbank <Ian.Brockbank@wolfsonmicro.com> wrote:> >> > Hi Agnes,> >> > Agree with you in general. Just one minor point:> >> > > like the circle to begin going to the left and back to the right and> > > finishing with the circle to the right and back to the left.> >> > In a palindrome, the opposite of circle round and back actually is> > still circle round and back. You start going to the left and come> > back to the right. At the end you need to finish by reversing the> > circle to the left (i.e. circle to the right) and before that you> > need to reverse the circle to the right which follows (i.e. you> > circle to the left). So you circle to the left and back as normal.> >> > Cheers,> >> > Ian (who worked it out for The Palindrome:> > http://www.scottishdance.net/dances/ThePalindrome.html)> >> > 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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Circles in palindromes (was RE: Ian Powrie's Farewell)

Message 51652 · Anselm Lingnau · 21 Mar 2008 15:38:49 · Top

Agnes Macmichael wrote:

> When a dance is devised should we not do it as the devisor of the
> dance wants it does, irrespective of how we think it should be done.

I quite agree with that, but ...

> Are we not getting too technical for Scottish Country Dancing? Are we not
> taking the fun out of Scottish Country Dancing?

No, we aren't. For some people, thinking about the technical details is
putting the fun *in*, not taking the fun out.

Ian, for example, is a noted dev^H^H^Hauthor of unusual dances, and it is
quite in character for him to analyse the structure of palindromic dances.
However, knowing Ian, I don't think he does this because he thinks simple
dances are boring and ought to be abolished in favour of very complicated
ones, but because he enjoys »pushing the envelope« by trying stuff *in
addition* to the general repertoire. There is a considerable fraction of the
dancing community that rather enjoys dances like the ones Ian writes, and
they are surely entitled to their flavour of »fun« just like everyone else.

Insisting that all dances must be »non-technical« and no new things should be
tried would be a sure way of killing SCD stone dead. For example, the concept
of diagonal reels of four with corners, which is at the heart of very popular
dances like the oft-discussed Mairi's Wedding, is fairly new as far as
country dancing is concerned -- 50 years or so. If innovation of this kind
had been forbidden at the time because that sort of thing was too »technical«
and reels of four across or on the side should be enough for anyone, we would
all be that much poorer. We have to have innovation to keep the dance form
alive; not all forms of innovation need to catch on (for example, dances with
6-bar phrases such as Cairn Edward do not seem to have attracted a big
following) but a certain amount of new memetic material assures long-term
fertility.

Hugh Foss draws an interesting parallel: In vocal music, there used to be
hymns and madrigals. Hymns are simple pieces that everyone can sing along
with, and madrigals are highly tricky pieces that require some training and
practice. Hymns would be sung in church, and at other times people would get
together in small groups and sing madrigals for fun (this was way before TV).
The point of this comparison is that the existence of madrigals by no means
implies that hymns are inferior music, or that everybody should be forced to
sing madrigals. They are just another way of having fun with music.

In fact, we should be glad that SCD has something to offer both for people to
enjoy on their first night of dancing and for people who have been dancing
for years and are still looking for challenge. This is what makes the pastime
inclusive, not divisive -- we can all dance Flowers of Edinburgh together and
leave Belhaven to those who enjoy *that* kind of thing, on their own time :^)

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau, Friedberg, Germany ..................... anselm@strathspey.org
In dreams and in love there are no impossibilities. -- János Arany

Circles in palindromes (was RE: Ian Powrie's Farewell)

Message 51655 · Ian Brockbank · 21 Mar 2008 16:17:09 · Top

Hi Anselm,

Thank you for your defence.

> Ian, for example, is a noted dev^H^H^Hauthor of unusual
> dances, and it is quite in character for him to analyse
> the structure of palindromic dances.
> However, knowing Ian, I don't think he does this because he
> thinks simple dances are boring and ought to be abolished in
> favour of very complicated ones, but because he enjoys
> >pushing the envelope< by trying stuff *in addition* to
> the general repertoire.

As a ceilidh caller, and for weddings, I have also written quite
a few dances suitable for non-dancers to pick up, and they do
seem quite popular. On the other hand I have had several
queries recently about my more challenging dances, including
one which asked me if I had any more because their group
likes being stretched.

I'd like to think http://www.scottishdance.net/dances/ is
evidence that I am experimenting with dances for all levels
of ability (must get round to adding the 20-30 dances I've
written in the last 10 years...)

Cheers,

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

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Circles in palindromes (was RE: Ian Powrie's Farewell)

Message 51662 · ron.mackey · 21 Mar 2008 23:21:34 · Top

. For example, the concept
of diagonal reels of four with corners, which is at the heart of very
popular
dances like the oft-discussed Mairi's Wedding, is fairly new as far as
country dancing is concerned -- 50 years or so. If innovation of this kind
had been forbidden at the time because that sort of thing was
too »technical«
and reels of four across or on the side should be enough for anyone, we
would
all be that much poorer.
Anselm
------------------------
But 50 years ago there were many in the RSCDS who abhorred what Hugh was
preaching.
There are many old-stagers today in a branch I wot of who have only recently
given in and do more modern dances like Major Ian Stewart!
Happy Dancing :)

Ron

Ron Mackey
RSCDS London, Croydon & International Branches

Circles in palindromes (was RE: Ian Powrie's Farewell)

Message 51663 · Rod Downey · 22 Mar 2008 00:02:15 · Top

Hi all,
I am with Anselm all the way.
We all dance for all kinds of reasons and even those can vary
from day to day. At a formal I don't mind if there are a few
dances that are complex, but personally I am pretty happy
to be able to have really nice music and make it social.
(I genuinely dislike seeing people with their noses buried
in crib sheets all the time it is kind of not very friendly.)
This stimulates me in one way.

Other times it is fun to do modern ``flowing''
complex dances, and be
challenged in
that way. Other times it is equally interesting to do
dances that need lots of technique and step range, for other reasons.
E.g. the McNabb dances. Other times it is fun to do mental gymnastic
dances such as the Fugues, but I don't think they are for
everyone, especially the later ones.

That's what is so nice about SCD for me. The great music, and the
sheer variety of dances and styles that you can get.
I love however seeing the technique done reasonably well,
as, for instance, a strathspey or jig done with foot passing
kind of misses the point. But this is just a personal view.
On the other hand there are certainly difficult dances
that someone with poor technique will find hard to do.
Many of the old ones. I don't want re-write them but treat them
as a different challenge. Something like Bob Saunders would be
nearly impossible for someone with poor pas de basque, but
why would they want to do it anyway?

To my group the thing I really stress,
the most important thing, being a
team sport, is good phrasing (being in the right place at the right time)
enjoying the dance, engaging with others. These are the things
that really affects the ability of the set to dance the
dance.

I don't quite understand why everyone expects everyone else to
dance for the same reasons they do. Celebrate the diversity.

As for reels, diagonal reels of 4 can be found in Fair Donald,
from book 29 which very old dances,
and similarly reasonably tricky diagonal reels of
4 can be found in Down on Yon Bank from the 18th century book.
(a really interesting dance by the way, pity no
recorded music). So diagonal reels of 4 have been round
a long time I think.

sorry for the long posting

happy easter

rod

On Fri, 21 Mar 2008, Ron Mackey wrote:

> Date: Fri, 21 Mar 2008 22:21:34 -0000
> From: Ron Mackey <ron.mackey@talktalk.net>
> Reply-To: SCD news and discussion <strathspey@strathspey.org>
> To: SCD news and discussion <strathspey@strathspey.org>
> Subject: Re: Circles in palindromes (was RE: Ian Powrie's Farewell)
>
> . For example, the concept
> of diagonal reels of four with corners, which is at the heart of very popular
> dances like the oft-discussed Mairi's Wedding, is fairly new as far as
> country dancing is concerned -- 50 years or so. If innovation of this kind
> had been forbidden at the time because that sort of thing was too »technical«
> and reels of four across or on the side should be enough for anyone, we would
> all be that much poorer.
> Anselm
> ------------------------
> But 50 years ago there were many in the RSCDS who abhorred what Hugh was
> preaching.
> There are many old-stagers today in a branch I wot of who have only recently
> given in and do more modern dances like Major Ian Stewart!
> Happy Dancing :)
>
> Ron
>
> Ron Mackey
> RSCDS London, Croydon & International Branches
>

Circles in palindromes (was RE: Ian Powrie's Farewell)

Message 51664 · SMiskoe · 22 Mar 2008 02:07:39 · Top

Ron Mackey asks if SCD is becoming too technical. I agree with him and I
often think there are parallels between SCD and the American Western Square
Dance. In the 1950's Western Square dancing began to become popular and
attendance at dances grew. Then new figures began to be invented. Clubs formed and
lessons were organized. You could not attend their dances unless you had
taken the lessons. Callers began calling more intricate dances and it was a
contest between caller and dancer. How long could the dancer follow the
caller's directions before the dancer made a mistake. Figures were created that
moved across the musical phrase. And suddenly it was less fun, it was hard to
attract new dancers. I don't know where Western Club dancing is headed
because I don't do it. I never could find the time to take their lessons. I do
know the clubs are struggling for attendance.
Cheers,
Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH USA

**************Create a Home Theater Like the Pros. Watch the video on AOL
Home.
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Circles in palindromes (was RE: Ian Powrie's Farewell)

Message 51665 · Miriam L. Mueller · 22 Mar 2008 03:32:10 · Top

There are actually two forms of square dance in the San Francisco Bay
Area:
the traditional, usually advertised as old-time square dancing,
where the caller assumes little or no familiarity with the figures and
builds up as the evening goes on. These dances often feature a figure
that each couple around the square does in turn with the other couples
(repeating the pattern). Not many of these dances around, and
Callerlab square dancing, where there are classes that teach
precisely defined figures. Dancers dance at their "level" of knowledge,
and the caller, knowing the repertoire of those on the floor, is free to
call anything within that repertoire. Yes, the caller challenges the
dancers, but there is delight in following a varied pathway and finding
yourself back with your partner. Usually dancing is in a "club" rather
than a "class". The regular clubs may be scrambling, but they usually
require one to bring a partner. In the San Francisco Bay Area, the gay
square dance clubs continue to prosper, welcoming single persons of any
type who simply want to dance.
Although I grew up doing traditional square dancing, I found the
modern Callerlab style when some square dancers joined our SCD class, and
then returned the favor by inviting us to see where they came from
dance-wise.
Miriam/Mimi Mueller

On Fri, 21 Mar 2008 21:07:39 EDT SMiskoe@aol.com writes:
> Ron Mackey asks if SCD is becoming too technical. I agree with him
> and I
> often think there are parallels between SCD and the American Western
> Square
> Dance. In the 1950's Western Square dancing began to become popular
> and
> attendance at dances grew. Then new figures began to be invented.
> Clubs formed and
> lessons were organized. You could not attend their dances unless
> you had
> taken the lessons. Callers began calling more intricate dances and
> it was a
> contest between caller and dancer. How long could the dancer
> follow the
> caller's directions before the dancer made a mistake. Figures were
> created that
> moved across the musical phrase. And suddenly it was less fun, it
> was hard to
> attract new dancers. I don't know where Western Club dancing is
> headed
> because I don't do it. I never could find the time to take their
> lessons. I do
> know the clubs are struggling for attendance.
> Cheers,
> 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=aolh
om00030000000001)
>
>

Square dancing. Was: Circles in palindromes

Message 51666 · Patricia Ruggiero · 22 Mar 2008 03:07:36 · Top

Miriam wrote:
> Callerlab square dancing, where there are classes that teach precisely
defined figures.

Do you recollect if phrased dancing was taught?

I've done traditional squares as well as Western "club" square dancing, and
I don't remember phrasing being taught. When we watch Western squares at a
county fair, it's quite noticeable that no one is dancing to the phrase of
music.

What I remember doing, and what I see, is that dancers simply execute some
figure, no matter whether simple or complicated, at some arbitrary speed.
When they finish all the patterns and the dance is, by definition, over, the
musicians bring the music to an end.

I'd love to hear that your experience was different.

Pat
Charlottesville, VA
USA

Square dancing. Was: Circles in palindromes

Message 51671 · Sophie Rickebusch · 22 Mar 2008 13:27:58 · Top

> What I remember doing, and what I see, is that dancers simply execute some
> figure, no matter whether simple or complicated, at some arbitrary speed.
> When they finish all the patterns and the dance is, by definition, over,
the
> musicians bring the music to an end.

I'm afraid that was my experience when I went along to a couple of
"barn-dance" evenings in Switzerland. They had a band and nobody seemed to
be paying them the slightest bit of attention! I was getting dirty looks for
trying to follow the music and not taking hands offered nearly 2 bars
early... I wondered how the caller and one of the musicians could put up
with it, as they were the among the best dancers in my SCD class.
Unfortunately I could never get the band to come and play for us, as some
lived too far away and the one who did come wanted to dance, so we had to
make do with CDs.

Sophie
--
Sophie Rickebusch
FR - St Martin d'Heres

Square dancing. Was: Circles in palindromes

Message 51673 · Miriam L. Mueller · 22 Mar 2008 17:44:52 · Top

Pat remarks:
I've done traditional squares as well as Western "club" square dancing,
and I don't remember phrasing being taught.
What I remember doing, and what I see, is that dancers simply execute
some figure, no matter whether simple or complicated, at some arbitrary
speed.

I don't remember "phrasing" being taught as such either, but each
figure should take the amount of music it needs for a steady pacing of
the walking steps. When there is a promenade home, for example, dancers
who get home early have to wait for the end of the musical phrase
allotted. Dancers are taught how to do a figure so as to complete it
within the amount of music allotted. Unlike Scottish, there is no
expectation that figures take four or eight bars of music, for example.
Also unlike Scottish, if one set has trouble, the caller may give them a
chance to unscramble before the next figure starts.
The music supplies the beat and speed - the caller supplies the
figures. Think of a waltz - using the basic step, the dancers may do a
variety of figures to the music, but in a free waltz the music does not
define when or for how long the dancers may do those variants.
If one is used to Scottish and English dancing, the idea of
variable figures against an ongoing musical background is certainly a
change of approach.

That said, I don't remember anyone ever telling square dancers
to listen to the music and keep time to it. Many of them seem unable or
untrained to listen and dance to the beat. But when I see those
off-the-beat dancers, I think how great it is that even people who may be
rhythm-deaf can find joy in dancing.

Miriam/Mimi Mueller

On Fri, 21 Mar 2008 22:07:36 -0400 "Patricia Ruggiero"
<ruggierop@earthlink.net> writes:
> Miriam wrote:
> > Callerlab square dancing, where there are classes that teach
> precisely
> defined figures.
>
> Do you recollect if phrased dancing was taught?
>
> When we watch Western
> squares at a
> county fair, it's quite noticeable that no one is dancing to the
> phrase of
> music.
>
> > When they finish all the patterns and the dance is, by definition,
> over, the
> musicians bring the music to an end.
>
> I'd love to hear that your experience was different.
>
> Pat
> Charlottesville, VA
> USA
>
>
>

Square dancing. Was: Circles in palindromes

Message 51674 · SMiskoe · 22 Mar 2008 17:18:49 · Top

I don't think the dancers try to phrase. There was a figure devised a while
ago that did not use up the music and from that time, phrasing went out the
window. Some people feel that was when the dancing changed and attendance
began to drop.
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)

Square dancing. Was: Circles in palindromes

Message 51676 · Patricia Ruggiero · 22 Mar 2008 19:13:58 · Top

Sylvia wrote:
> There was a figure devised a while ago that did not use up the music and
from that time, phrasing went out the window. Some people feel that was
when the dancing changed and attendance began to drop.

My Western square days were in the late 70s, and even then phrasing wasn't
*in* the window.

I'm aware of other developments since that time, including ContraLab which
used contra dancing to teach phrasing to square dancers, but all of that is
OT for This List, so I'll sign off and get back to work.

Pat
Charlottesville, Virginia
USA

Square dancing. Was: Circles in palindromes

Message 51677 · GOSS9@telefonica.net · 22 Mar 2008 22:59:30 · Top

Phrasing need not be taught in square dancing because it is the
responsibility of the caller on one side, and instinct on the part of
the dancers.

Circles in palindromes (was RE: Ian Powrie's Farewell)

Message 51675 · Dick&Maureen Daniel · 22 Mar 2008 17:27:36 · Top

anselm@strathspey.org rote> Date: Fri, 21 Mar 2008 15:38:49 +0100> Subject: Re: Circles in palindromes (was RE: Ian Powrie's Farewell)> In fact, we should be glad that SCD has something to offer both for people to > enjoy on their first night of dancing and for people who have been dancing > for years and are still looking for challenge. This is what makes the pastime > inclusive, not divisive -- we can all dance Flowers of Edinburgh together and > leave Belhaven to those who enjoy *that* kind of thing, on their own time :^)> >
A palindrome reverses the ORDER of the letters in the second half of the word or phrase.... It does not reverse the letters themselves. So, if you consider a dance as a sequence of formations, one of which is "Circle Round and Back", reversing the order of the formations does not reverse the formations themselves. It remains "Circle round and Back" to be palindromic.
[Similarly, the way ABBA write their name with the second B reversed is not palindromic, it's a mirror image]

I enjoy the "local variations". Even dance devisors are not infallible. Democracy rules [in Scotland].

Conversely, if an official demonstration of a dance is being given, it should follow the dance devisor's wishes [provided they are specific] unless it is made clear that what is being presented is a "vairiation".

Dick Daniel
Brig o' Weir
_________________________________________________________________
The next generation of Windows Live is here
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Circles in palindromes (was RE: Ian Powrie's Farewell)

Message 51653 · Pia Walker · 21 Mar 2008 16:12:17 · Top

Hit the bottle - we have been doing it for years - why do you think people
think up these things :>)

Pia

-----Original Message-----
From: strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org
[mailto:strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org]On Behalf Of
Agnes Macmichael
Sent: 21 March 2008 13:41
To: SCD news and discussion
Subject: Re: Circles in palindromes (was RE: Ian Powrie's Farewell)

Are we not getting too technical for Scottish Country Dancing? Are we not
taking the fun out of Scottish Country Dancing? At we not taking the
......... whatever else out of Scottish Country Dancing? I thought it was
just for fun!!!! All this about palindromes and right or left or left and
right. When a dance is devised should we not do it as the devisor of the
dance wants it does, irrespective of how we think it should be done. I am
absolutely exhausted trying to figure out all the comments below and above,
to the left or to the right. I just want to enjoy dancing!
Phew!!!! Now I need a strong coffee or may I should hit the bottle!
Agnes Macmichael
West Lothian, Scotland

On 20/03/2008, Ian Brockbank <Ian.Brockbank@wolfsonmicro.com> wrote:
>
> Hi Agnes,
>
> Agree with you in general. Just one minor point:
>
> > like the circle to begin going to the left and back to the right and
> > finishing with the circle to the right and back to the left.
>
> In a palindrome, the opposite of circle round and back actually is
> still circle round and back. You start going to the left and come
> back to the right. At the end you need to finish by reversing the
> circle to the left (i.e. circle to the right) and before that you
> need to reverse the circle to the right which follows (i.e. you
> circle to the left). So you circle to the left and back as normal.
>
> Cheers,
>
> Ian (who worked it out for The Palindrome:
> http://www.scottishdance.net/dances/ThePalindrome.html)
>
> 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.
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> Fax: +44 (0)131 272 7001
> Web: www.wolfsonmicro.com
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Circles in palindromes (was RE: Ian Powrie's Farewell)

Message 51659 · Steve Wyrick · 21 Mar 2008 17:16:05 · Top

The secret is not taking it seriously--I refer the Strathspey list, not the
dancing ;-)

In regards to the "devisor's intentions" argument, I agree to a point but
think that once you release a dance (or a tune, etc.) "into the wild" you
should be prepared for the folk process to take over. Or at least if this
is folk dancing you should. Maybe it isn't...? -Steve

On Fri, Mar 21, 2008 at 8:12 AM, Pia <pia@intamail.com> wrote:

> Hit the bottle - we have been doing it for years - why do you think people
> think up these things :>)
>
> Pia
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org
> [mailto:strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org]On Behalf Of
> Agnes Macmichael
> Sent: 21 March 2008 13:41
> To: SCD news and discussion
> Subject: Re: Circles in palindromes (was RE: Ian Powrie's Farewell)
>
> Are we not getting too technical for Scottish Country Dancing? Are we not
> taking the fun out of Scottish Country Dancing? At we not taking the
> ......... whatever else out of Scottish Country Dancing?

<snip>

--
Steve Wyrick -- Concord, California

Circles in palindromes (was RE: Ian Powrie's Farewell)

Message 52182 · Stasa Morgan-Appel · 24 Apr 2008 21:50:25 · Top

Ah, but according to the RSCDS, Scottish Country Dancing is NOT "folk
dancing," and must not be referred to as folk dancing (*gasp*).

In fact, one of the questions on my written teachers' exam was, "Why must
one never refer to Scottish Country Dancing as 'folk dancing'?"

So, you see, it most definitely isn't folk dancing. Nope.

- Stasa, Michigan, USA

On Fri, Mar 21, 2008 at 12:16 PM, Steve Wyrick <sjwyrick@astound.net> wrote:

> The secret is not taking it seriously--I refer the Strathspey list, not the
> dancing ;-)
>
> In regards to the "devisor's intentions" argument, I agree to a point but
> think that once you release a dance (or a tune, etc.) "into the wild" you
> should be prepared for the folk process to take over. Or at least if this
> is folk dancing you should. Maybe it isn't...? -Steve
>
>

Circles in palindromes (was RE: Ian Powrie's Farewell)

Message 52192 · GOSS9@telefonica.net · 25 Apr 2008 07:23:00 · Top

Sorry, the RSCDS, or any other group or individual has the right to
say, or believe, anything it wants. However in the real world, Scottish
country dancing, within and without the society, is folk dancing by
common acceptance. The fact that is also ballroom dancing, does not
negate that it is folk dancing. A part of this myth is simple snobbery,
that to some, folk dancing is peasant dancing, and SCDers are not
peasants. In many cultures, there is not this classist prejudice
against the peasantry, so our RSCDS distinction is not relevant. To me
there is a set of dancing activities called "folk" in all cultures,
some traditional and some not. In Scotland, I recognize two
intersecting subsets, one being ceilidh dancing, and the other the
figure dancing we call Scottish country dancing. In the history of
country dancing in Scotland, will be found all the elements of the folk
process, both before and after the creation of the society. True, many
national folk traditions do not have the element of dancing masters,
but then others do. Afterall, many of our dancing masters advertised
that they were teaching the latest dances from France, and those dances
have evolved into the folk dances of other countries into which they
have spread by the same means.

It is a rather lmited think process that says just because X is Y, it
can not also be Z.

Circles in palindromes (was RE: Ian Powrie's Farewell)

Message 52243 · Diane Jensen Donald · 28 Apr 2008 18:03:21 · Top

hear, hear! I agree completely. SCD contains all the elements that define
an entity as a type of folklore (specific to a culture, modified by
different people/groups independently but containing common themes, devised
by individuals and passed on person to person, etc.).

I think the idea that SCD must be thought of as "ballroom" dancing is overly
snobbish. Yes, it is descended from court dancing and is refined and
lovely, but the dichotomy of folk=peasant/uneducated/common and
ballroom=formal/intelligent/refined is so unhelpful. Yes, SCD was helpfully
standardized at a period in history when organizing and taming folk culture
was de rigeur (Think R. Vaughn Williams, Childe, etc.), but SCD existed
before the RSCDS and continues to exist outside it in the form of people
writing their own dances and sharing them without copyrights, etc., as well
as people modifying and playing with standard dances. That is folklore in
action, and to forbid such change and work to keep SCD standard, formal, and
untouched is only going to hurt the art as a whole.

Just my two cents.

Diane Donald
Boise, Idaho

On 4/24/08, GOSS9@telefonica.net <GOSS9@telefonica.net> wrote:
>
> Sorry, the RSCDS, or any other group or individual has the right to
> say, or believe, anything it wants. However in the real world, Scottish
> country dancing, within and without the society, is folk dancing by
> common acceptance. The fact that is also ballroom dancing, does not
> negate that it is folk dancing. A part of this myth is simple snobbery,
> that to some, folk dancing is peasant dancing, and SCDers are not
> peasants. In many cultures, there is not this classist prejudice
> against the peasantry, so our RSCDS distinction is not relevant. To me
> there is a set of dancing activities called "folk" in all cultures,
> some traditional and some not. In Scotland, I recognize two
> intersecting subsets, one being ceilidh dancing, and the other the
> figure dancing we call Scottish country dancing. In the history of
> country dancing in Scotland, will be found all the elements of the folk
> process, both before and after the creation of the society. True, many
> national folk traditions do not have the element of dancing masters,
> but then others do. Afterall, many of our dancing masters advertised
> that they were teaching the latest dances from France, and those dances
> have evolved into the folk dances of other countries into which they
> have spread by the same means.
>
> It is a rather lmited think process that says just because X is Y, it
> can not also be Z.
>
>
>

Circles in palindromes (was RE: Ian Powrie's Farewell)

Message 52245 · Stasa Morgan-Appel · 28 Apr 2008 23:26:01 · Top

Tongue in cheek or not, I seem to have touched a nerve, or at least a
sensitive issue. - Stasa

Folk

Message 52247 · ron.mackey · 29 Apr 2008 00:04:56 · Top

> Tongue in cheek or not, I seem to have touched a nerve, or at least a
> sensitive issue. - Stasa
>

Not touched a nerve Stasa. Just warmed an old chestnut! :))
Happy Dancing :)

Ron

Ron Mackey
RSCDS London, Croydon & International Branches

Folk

Message 52266 · Stasa Morgan-Appel · 29 Apr 2008 17:40:20 · Top

Excellent. :)

On Mon, Apr 28, 2008 at 6:04 PM, Ron Mackey <ron.mackey@talktalk.net> wrote:

>
>
>
> Tongue in cheek or not, I seem to have touched a nerve, or at least a
> > sensitive issue. - Stasa
> >
> >
> Not touched a nerve Stasa. Just warmed an old chestnut! :))
> Happy Dancing :)
>
> Ron
>
> Ron Mackey
> RSCDS London, Croydon & International Branches
>

Folk

Message 52267 · Pia Walker · 29 Apr 2008 17:44:22 · Top

Yep - now we just have to discuss (at length) if Mairi's Wedding is a
traditional dance or not :>) :>) :>) - and if as such, going you know which
way could be deemed a traditional development - and therefore as such should
be allowed :>) :>) :>)

Yes the sun is shining!!!!!!!!

Pia

-----Original Message-----
From: strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org
[mailto:strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org]On Behalf Of
Stasa Morgan-Appel
Sent: 29 April 2008 16:40
To: SCD news and discussion
Subject: Re: Folk

Excellent. :)

On Mon, Apr 28, 2008 at 6:04 PM, Ron Mackey <ron.mackey@talktalk.net> wrote:

>
>
>
> Tongue in cheek or not, I seem to have touched a nerve, or at least a
> > sensitive issue. - Stasa
> >
> >
> Not touched a nerve Stasa. Just warmed an old chestnut! :))
> Happy Dancing :)
>
> Ron
>
> Ron Mackey
> RSCDS London, Croydon & International Branches
>

No virus found in this incoming message.
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Folk

Message 52279 · ron.mackey · 29 May 2008 23:32:16 · Top

AND YOU are stirring the pot, Pia!! Now do give over --- ? :))

Ron

It's hissing down over London at the moment.

> Yep - now we just have to discuss (at length) if Mairi's Wedding is a
> traditional dance or not :>) :>) :>) - and if as such, going you know
> which
> way could be deemed a traditional development - and therefore as such
> should
> be allowed :>) :>) :>)
>
> Yes the sun is shining!!!!!!!!
>
> Pia
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org
> [mailto:strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org]On Behalf Of
> Stasa Morgan-Appel
> Sent: 29 April 2008 16:40
> To: SCD news and discussion
> Subject: Re: Folk
>
> Excellent. :)
>
> On Mon, Apr 28, 2008 at 6:04 PM, Ron Mackey <ron.mackey@talktalk.net>
> wrote:
>
>>
>>
>>
>> Tongue in cheek or not, I seem to have touched a nerve, or at least a
>> > sensitive issue. - Stasa
>> >
>> >
>> Not touched a nerve Stasa. Just warmed an old chestnut! :))
>> Happy Dancing :)
>>
>> Ron
>>
>> Ron Mackey
>> RSCDS London, Croydon & International Branches
>>
>
> No virus found in this incoming message.
> Checked by AVG.
> Version: 7.5.524 / Virus Database: 269.23.6/1402 - Release Date:
> 28/04/2008
> 13:29
>
> No virus found in this outgoing message.
> Checked by AVG.
> Version: 7.5.524 / Virus Database: 269.23.6/1402 - Release Date:
> 28/04/2008
> 13:29
>
>
>

Folk

Message 52286 · Pia Walker · 30 Apr 2008 10:38:40 · Top

Moi!!!! NEVER!!!!!

:>)
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: 29 May 2008 22:32
To: SCD news and discussion
Subject: Re: Folk

AND YOU are stirring the pot, Pia!! Now do give over --- ? :))

Ron

It's hissing down over London at the moment.

> Yep - now we just have to discuss (at length) if Mairi's Wedding is a
> traditional dance or not :>) :>) :>) - and if as such, going you know
> which
> way could be deemed a traditional development - and therefore as such
> should
> be allowed :>) :>) :>)
>
> Yes the sun is shining!!!!!!!!
>
> Pia
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org
> [mailto:strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org]On Behalf Of
> Stasa Morgan-Appel
> Sent: 29 April 2008 16:40
> To: SCD news and discussion
> Subject: Re: Folk
>
> Excellent. :)
>
> On Mon, Apr 28, 2008 at 6:04 PM, Ron Mackey <ron.mackey@talktalk.net>
> wrote:
>
>>
>>
>>
>> Tongue in cheek or not, I seem to have touched a nerve, or at least a
>> > sensitive issue. - Stasa
>> >
>> >
>> Not touched a nerve Stasa. Just warmed an old chestnut! :))
>> Happy Dancing :)
>>
>> Ron
>>
>> Ron Mackey
>> RSCDS London, Croydon & International Branches
>>
>
> No virus found in this incoming message.
> Checked by AVG.
> Version: 7.5.524 / Virus Database: 269.23.6/1402 - Release Date:
> 28/04/2008
> 13:29
>
> No virus found in this outgoing message.
> Checked by AVG.
> Version: 7.5.524 / Virus Database: 269.23.6/1402 - Release Date:
> 28/04/2008
> 13:29
>
>
>

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Circles in palindromes (was RE: Ian Powrie's Farewell)

Message 52246 · ron.mackey · 28 Apr 2008 23:28:24 · Top

> I think the idea that SCD must be thought of as "ballroom" dancing is
> overly
> snobbish. Yes, it is descended from court dancing and is refined and
> lovely, but the dichotomy of folk=peasant/uneducated/common and
> ballroom=formal/intelligent/refined is so unhelpful. Yes, SCD was
> helpfully
> standardized at a period in history when organizing and taming folk
> culture
> was de rigeur

Surely SCD, as we now do it, was devised to be a ballroom / dance hall
pastime as opposed to hurley-birley hob-nail boots version which quite often
left participants injured?
It is done in the poshest of places by all sorts off people which,
as far as I have ever heard, something that Continental Folk Dancing does
not achieve?

Happy Dancing :)

Ron

Ron Mackey
RSCDS London, Croydon & International Branches

Circles in palindromes (was RE: Ian Powrie's Farewell)

Message 52248 · Thomas G. Mungall, III · 29 Apr 2008 00:42:29 · Top

Ron, I see your point and I think it is a valid one. Beyond the issue of
social class, I wonder if you would agree that there is an added element
that is intrinsic to SCD and that it is a "living" tradition. SCD seems to
spontaneously inspire people to write new dances and sometimes create new
formations. Whereas, most other folk traditions are frozen in time. (I know
there are some exceptions.)
Tom Mungall
Baton Rouge, La, USA

----- Original Message -----
From: "Ron Mackey" <ron.mackey@talktalk.net>
> Surely SCD, as we now do it, was devised to be a ballroom / dance hall
> pastime as opposed to hurley-birley hob-nail boots version which quite
often
> left participants injured?
> It is done in the poshest of places by all sorts off people which,
> as far as I have ever heard, something that Continental Folk Dancing does
> not achieve?

Circles in palindromes (was RE: Ian Powrie's Farewell)

Message 52250 · ron.mackey · 29 May 2008 04:07:13 · Top

> Ron, I see your point and I think it is a valid one. Beyond the issue of
> social class, I wonder if you would agree that there is an added element
> that is intrinsic to SCD and that it is a "living" tradition. SCD seems to
> spontaneously inspire people to write new dances and sometimes create new
> formations. Whereas, most other folk traditions are frozen in time. (I
> know
> there are some exceptions.)
> Tom Mungall
> Baton Rouge, La, USA

Yes, that is another valid part of the discussion. I believe there are
some other forms of dance based on original folk but I am not well enough
informed to make any further point on that score. Our current form of
SCD has been tailor-made for its purpose, and although there is undoubtedly
some element of 'folk' about it, it seems to me that even the remote origins
do not lie in that area.
One of my arguments in the past, when I felt we were being held back by
traditionalists, was that we would have to decide whether we were dancing in
commoration of a dead (in the 'unmoving' sense) tradition or were enjoying a
living dance form _based_ on tradition. I think that time has shown on
which side that coin has fallen!
Happy Dancing :)

Ron

Ron Mackey
RSCDS London, Croydon & International Branches

Circles in palindromes (was RE: Ian Powrie's Farewell)

Message 52252 · James Mungall · 29 Apr 2008 06:53:12 · Top

Just let us NEVER say that Scottish Country Dance is dead anything... ;-)

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

> Ron, I see your point and I think it is a valid one. Beyond the issue of
> social class, I wonder if you would agree that there is an added element
> that is intrinsic to SCD and that it is a "living" tradition. SCD seems to
> spontaneously inspire people to write new dances and sometimes create new
> formations. Whereas, most other folk traditions are frozen in time. (I
> know
> there are some exceptions.)
> Tom Mungall
> Baton Rouge, La, USA

Yes, that is another valid part of the discussion. I believe there are
some other forms of dance based on original folk but I am not well enough
informed to make any further point on that score. Our current form of
SCD has been tailor-made for its purpose, and although there is undoubtedly
some element of 'folk' about it, it seems to me that even the remote origins
do not lie in that area.
One of my arguments in the past, when I felt we were being held back by
traditionalists, was that we would have to decide whether we were dancing in
commoration of a dead (in the 'unmoving' sense) tradition or were enjoying a
living dance form _based_ on tradition. I think that time has shown on
which side that coin has fallen!
Happy Dancing :)

Ron

Ron Mackey
RSCDS London, Croydon & International Branches


---------------------------------
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The Great Folk-Dance Debate

Message 52253 · Anselm Lingnau · 29 Apr 2008 08:30:37 · Top

James Mungall quoted Ron Mackey, who said:

> I believe there are
> some other forms of dance based on original folk but I am not well enough
> informed to make any further point on that score. Our current form of
> SCD has been tailor-made for its purpose, and although there is undoubtedly
> some element of 'folk' about it, it seems to me that even the remote
> origins do not lie in that area.

Israeli »folk« dancing was basically invented along with the State of Israel,
with a view to uniting the immigrants through dance. It combines elements of
the dances of various traditions like Balkan, Arabic and Eastern Europe
Jewish dancing (among others), but as a synthesis is something new and very
much ongoing. For much of the repertoire, the names of the people who
invented the dances are quite well-known. In fact, in that respect it is
uncannily like SCD, only that its »tradition« is 25 years or so younger.
(Although this is something that Miss Milligan probably wouldn't have liked
to think about in detail.)

Anselm

(Disclaimer: I'm not in any way, shape, or form an authority on the subject
of Israeli folk dancing, but I know people who are :^))
--
Anselm Lingnau, Friedberg, Germany ..................... anselm@strathspey.org
The safest kind were the ones that wanted Oracle experience. You never had to
worry about those. You were also safe if they said they wanted C++ or Java
developers. -- Paul Graham evaluates his startup's competitors
by looking at their job adverts

Circles in palindromes (was RE: Ian Powrie's Farewell)

Message 52259 · SMiskoe · 29 Apr 2008 14:43:45 · Top


In a message dated 4/29/2008 12:54:36 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
jeb_mungall@yahoo.com writes:

Whereas, most other folk traditions are frozen in time. (I
> know
> there are some exceptions.)

One exception is the English Country Dance and ceilidh scene. There are
many many new dances being composed, workshops held on them, books published.
Just like the Scots.
Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH USA

**************Need a new ride? Check out the largest site for U.S. used car
listings at AOL Autos.
(http://autos.aol.com/used?NCID=aolcmp00300000002851)

Circles in palindromes (was RE: Ian Powrie's Farewell)

Message 52268 · Stasa Morgan-Appel · 29 Apr 2008 18:01:29 · Top

<jeb_mungall@yahoo.com>

>
> Whereas, most other folk traditions are frozen in time. (I
> > know
> > there are some exceptions.)
>
> One exception is the English Country Dance and ceilidh scene. There are
> many many new dances being composed, workshops held on them, books
> published.
> Just like the Scots.
> Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH USA
>
>
American contra dancing, too.

- Stasa, Michigan, USA

Circles in palindromes (was RE: Ian Powrie's Farewell)

Message 52269 · Thomas G. Mungall, III · 29 Apr 2008 18:16:05 · Top

Aye, but these exceptions are not really the same thing. I've been around
ECD and Contra and Irish, it just doesn't have that same je ne sais quoi of
Scottish Country Dance.

Tom Mungall
Baton Rouge, La, USA

Circles in palindromes (was RE: Ian Powrie's Farewell)

Message 52300 · S. Keith Graham · 30 Apr 2008 15:59:56 · Top

On Mon, Apr 28, 2008 at 6:42 PM, Thomas G. Mungall, III <atheling@cox.net>
wrote:

> Beyond the issue of
> social class, I wonder if you would agree that there is an added element
> that is intrinsic to SCD and that it is a "living" tradition. SCD seems to
> spontaneously inspire people to write new dances and sometimes create new
> formations. Whereas, most other folk traditions are frozen in time.

If you go beyond pure folk dancing, and look at other kinds of dancing that
relatively modern folks have done, you see that there are dances that are
taught mostly by the other dancers.

This includes Contra dance, anything that happens at a night club, etc.
This also includes "authentic" tango, country waltzes, and swing dancing.

The rules aren't terribly formalized, and vary from place to place. There
may actually be some classes and teachers, but there's certainly no central
body making rules, etc. Teacher's that are liked; or who's styles are
frequently emulated; are hired for workshops.

Then the ballroom people adopt and adapt it, establish precise rules for
where your feet go, how you hold your body and what tempos of music are
allowed. Sometimes they are the types who then judge people on how well
you're doing and hold competitions (be they Highland Dance or the ballroom
national championships.) And they sometimes make changes to the rules, but
the reasons aren't usually because people are breaking the rules in a
consistent fashion so the rules must be wrong.

The RSCDS, as originally structured, was very much a "ballroom" (i.e.
formalized) or "prescriptive" form of dance. They didn't want to introduce
new dances or new figures. It has evolved, as far as I can tell, into an
organization that is willing to accept that we have a living tradition, at
least in terms of adding "appropriate" new dances and figures, but it
maintains a very strong "ballroom" hold on defining what exactly is canon.

And that attitude, much more so than how we dress up or down and where we
hold the dances, is what makes it "ballroom dancing" in my opinion.

Keith Graham
skg@sadr.com
Atlanta, GA, USA

Circles in palindromes (was RE: Ian Powrie's Farewell)

Message 52314 · Diane Jensen Donald · 30 Apr 2008 23:39:46 · Top

Well-stated, Keith. That is exactly the point I was trying to make, but you
made it much more succinctly than I did. Bravo!

Diane Donald

Boise, Idaho, USA.

On Wed, Apr 30, 2008 at 7:59 AM, S. K. Graham <skg@sadr.com> wrote:

> On Mon, Apr 28, 2008 at 6:42 PM, Thomas G. Mungall, III <atheling@cox.net>
> wrote:
>
> > Beyond the issue of
> > social class, I wonder if you would agree that there is an added element
> > that is intrinsic to SCD and that it is a "living" tradition. SCD seems
> to
> > spontaneously inspire people to write new dances and sometimes create
> new
> > formations. Whereas, most other folk traditions are frozen in time.
>
>
> If you go beyond pure folk dancing, and look at other kinds of dancing
> that
> relatively modern folks have done, you see that there are dances that are
> taught mostly by the other dancers.
>
> This includes Contra dance, anything that happens at a night club, etc.
> This also includes "authentic" tango, country waltzes, and swing dancing.
>
> The rules aren't terribly formalized, and vary from place to place. There
> may actually be some classes and teachers, but there's certainly no
> central
> body making rules, etc. Teacher's that are liked; or who's styles are
> frequently emulated; are hired for workshops.
>
> Then the ballroom people adopt and adapt it, establish precise rules for
> where your feet go, how you hold your body and what tempos of music are
> allowed. Sometimes they are the types who then judge people on how well
> you're doing and hold competitions (be they Highland Dance or the ballroom
> national championships.) And they sometimes make changes to the rules,
> but
> the reasons aren't usually because people are breaking the rules in a
> consistent fashion so the rules must be wrong.
>
> The RSCDS, as originally structured, was very much a "ballroom" (i.e.
> formalized) or "prescriptive" form of dance. They didn't want to
> introduce
> new dances or new figures. It has evolved, as far as I can tell, into an
> organization that is willing to accept that we have a living tradition, at
> least in terms of adding "appropriate" new dances and figures, but it
> maintains a very strong "ballroom" hold on defining what exactly is canon.
>
> And that attitude, much more so than how we dress up or down and where we
> hold the dances, is what makes it "ballroom dancing" in my opinion.
>
> Keith Graham
> skg@sadr.com
> Atlanta, GA, USA
>

The RSCDS, a prescriptive organisation

Message 52317 · Anselm Lingnau · 1 May 2008 00:29:20 · Top

Keith Graham wrote:

> The RSCDS, as originally structured, was very much a "ballroom" (i.e.
> formalized) or "prescriptive" form of dance. They didn't want to introduce
> new dances or new figures. It has evolved, as far as I can tell, into an
> organization that is willing to accept that we have a living tradition, at
> least in terms of adding "appropriate" new dances and figures, but it
> maintains a very strong "ballroom" hold on defining what exactly is canon.
>
> And that attitude, much more so than how we dress up or down and where we
> hold the dances, is what makes it "ballroom dancing" in my opinion.

However, when country dancing was most definitely »ballroom dancing«, namely
in the 18th century, there was no such organisation as the RSCDS around at
all! In fact, dance invention and publication was a free-for-all, with
publishers basically falling over themselves to issue stuff that often was
sub-par even according to contemporary standards. These were the people who
didn't think twice about ripping off dances published by the competition, or
even publishing books that contained the same dance (sequence of movements)
under several titles. It was anarchy to a degree that today's state of
affairs cannot even begin to resemble.

Anyway, I don't know that the Society gets to define »what exactly is canon«.
While that may be the case, my observation is that if something isn't quite
canon but people like it, they will do it anyway. Maybe not at St Andrews
summer school, but essentially everywhere else. Any control that the Society
still has over the mechanics of SCD is largely there because nobody has so
far bothered to organise a large-scale mutiny, and because people are mostly
convinced that having a standardised base on which to build is, on the whole,
a good thing. Today the Society exists because between itself and the
worldwide SCD community (Society members and non-members alike) there is
mutual agreement that, for the time being, nobody profits from rocking the
boat too much. SCD is well-established enough nowadays that if the RSCDS
disappeared tomorrow the dancing would go on pretty much as before, with new
organisations taking over essential functions like standardised teacher
training and putting on an annual summer school (which would maybe not smell
and taste exactly like they do today but which would presumably cater to the
community's needs in much the same way). But the Society does what it does
already -- perhaps not perfectly, but certainly reasonably well --, and it is
less costly to the SCD community as a whole to just let them go on doing it
than to have to reinvent it all over again.

For the Society, this is both a good thing and a bad thing: It is nice to be
able to say that one has successfully managed to keep SCD going through some
difficult times, and to see that the baby whose nappies one had to change way
back when is now ready to make their own way in the world. On the other hand
it creates a constant need on the part of the Society to justify its
existence to the community, as we can see in the ongoing debate about fee
increases and the perceived value of what the Society does. In the long run
it means that complacency is something that the Society can ill afford, and
that this will hopefully lead to a culture of constant well-considered
changes that bring it closer to what the dancing community (not just the
Society's members) would like to see in a »governing body« (however much
*that* may change over time). Whether that will, in fact, happen is anyone's
guess but then again it is up to us (the RSCDS membership) to (a) make it
happen and (b) allow it to happen. I, for one, am happy that the SCD scene is
sufficiently democratic that you do not need to be a member of the anointed
ruler class in order to start a dance group, to come up with a new dance, or
to start an SCD mailing list on the Internet -- and if it was up to me I
should like to keep things that way.

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau, Friedberg, Germany ..................... anselm@strathspey.org
Sometimes it is more important to discover what one cannot do than what one
can do. -- Lin Yutang

The RSCDS, a prescriptive organisation

Message 52319 · GOSS9@telefonica.net · 1 May 2008 01:29:47 · Top

Anselm, I agree with your last post except for one point regarding
"standardized teacher training". this would go, because, it only exists
because of the society.

Here is a California study. California had Scottish dancing long
before it had the LASCD which later became the LA Branch of the RSCDS,
its program consisted of ceilidh dancing, and RSCDS dances as from
books 1-13. There were groups corresponding to the locations of most of
the California branches and affiliated groups today. I only have a
vague memory of those in SF and SD, but can comment first hand on the
situation in LA before the first RSCDS teacher, C. Stewart Smith.

In Monrovia, there was a family called Lumsden, the husband was a pipe
and involved with a pipe band. The wife, Margaret, was a highland dance
teacher, and predated the founding of the SOBHD, so was grandmothered
in as an SOBHD teacher with the organization was founded. For the band
members, and parents of the highland dance students, she had a country
dance class, they had regular dances, a dem team that performed at
Scottish functions, etc.

C. Stewart Smith, certificated and living in San Francisco, was hired
by the folk dance federation of California, to teach at its summer
schools. As a result, some folk dancers in the L.A. area, finding that
they liked the dances, most of which did not take in the general folk
dance clubs, decided to form a club, that became an afiliated group,
the LASCD, of which I was a member. To get it started Stewart came
south one weekend per month, taught folk dancers, teacher training, dem
team, advanced and a regular class between Friday p.m. and Sunday p.m.
In the mean time, a preexisting group in San Francisco was also
preparing teachers. The rest of the month, led by David Brandon, and
aided by the other teacher trainees, there were classes for beginners,
intermidiate, advanced, and dem team. David also organized the first N-
S weekend at Santa Maria, about half way in between LA and SF. This was
attended by the affiliated groups, along with other groups such as
Margaret Lumsden. For this event, through Stewart, a connection was
made with Mary Schoolbraid (Brandon), who was then teaching in
Vancouver. As an aside, David and Mrs Brandon I, were in the process of
a divorce at the time.

Miss M, made her tour and gave examples, hitting Vancouver (Mary
Murray got her prelim then, if memory serves). San Francisco ended up
with two fully certificate teachers making it eligible to become a
branch, and Miss M, passed 6 of 8 candidates in L.A., and breaking the
rules, immidiately passed two of the 6 on to a first certificate, John
Tiffany and David Brandon. I was on the team at the time, wrote the
original bylaws, and was on the first Branch committee.

Meanwhile, David, currently divorced, marries Mary School braid, and
the L.A. branch started to expand, I was in the second prelim class,
the first as a branch and got my pass from Mina Corson, on the next
examination tour. Under David and Mary, relations were good between the
pre-existing SCD classes, but when, because of David´s job, they moved
to Hawaii (founded the Hawaii branch), the current RSCDS-LA
establishment, got a bit doctrinaire, and acted as if the Lumsden class
did not exist (the last time I heard, it still existed, under one of my
and Margaret´s former students, also not certificated).

The reason for telling this story, is while there was an [R]SCDS
teaching standard starting with SCD Book - 1, it was never universal,
in that many outside Scotland chose not to accept the authority of the
RSCDS (ISTD, BATD, and individual teachers, even in Scotland). A
Scottish example with which I was involved was the Celtic Soc at St
Andrews University. The university staff club, had a class in my day
under Archie Strachen, head of PE and a Milligan. But the Celtic
society, teaching from RSCDS books, had always had non certificated
students as teachers. The majority of which were RSCDS trained dancers
from their home branches before comming up to university. The first
RSCDS teacher, was one of my former students from California with a
prelim, who preceded me to St Andrews as a post graduate, I took over
his class, and convinced the Celtic Society to become an afiliated
group within the RSCDS. When I left, I had two of my students preparing
for their certificate. By my next stint at St Andrews, they had
graduated and moved on, and I was again the teacher for a year (CD and
Highland - uncertificated by the SOBHD). Since then I have lost touch.

It is my feeling, that should the Society cease to exist, so will the
standardized teaching curriculum, which will be replaced by voluntary
regional associations, as in TAC in Canada. With out an "official"
accredation from RSCDS-HQ, the standardization will become less in the
teaching, dancing, and teacher preparation. This can be both good in
some areas and bad in others. On the good side, candidates will no
longer be stuck with silly dances that have no bearing on what is being
danced or taught. On the bad side, being an RSCDS dancer, will be less
of a passport to any set in the world, even when dancing a dance of the
same name as one at home.

What I predict is what we have here in Mallorca, where the only
organization is bands, which are the focus, as opposed to teachers and
dancers. The typical jota alternates between chorus and verse. With a
regional population of about a million, the majority live on one
island, where nowhere is more then an hour´s drive from anywhere.
Because I live in a village, where right-left politics has resulted in
a weak dance tradition, most of my dancing friends dance "Palma" style
jotas (chorus - set and turn), but in mine and neighboring villages,
they dance the "Es Pla" style (chorus - circle), but in the eastern
part of the island, they dance the "Llevant" style (different setting
and turning), or even a different dance to the same music (Mateixa).
Since none of these styles are compatible in the same set, the result
is people picking their sets based on the style they prefer (most are
flexible enough to be able to do all three styles, except the mateixa
alternative). Since this flexibility is not a problem to most people,
there is little segregation among the visitors at local dances. At the
same time, in the spirit of SCD, this would be quite strange, if,
taking California as an example, we organized sets by SD, LA, and SF
styles. In other words, for Mairy´s Wedding, sets would form based on
right or left shoulders in the middle. By the way, this does happen in
the case mentioned above at St Andrews, where there was some
segregation at town and university dances, where the trend was staff
club, town branch, plus visitors the majority in some sets, and
students in others, say in Reel of the 51st Division. In my day, here
were the differences from the RSCDS standard. Often all male sets,
resulting in all female sets. Circle round twice (not back), and in the
set and turn, between the set and the grapple for the turn, a double
clap, which makes the turn even more hurried. Note, this dance was
standard at all hall balls, celidhs, and university country dances, so
it was on my curriculum. It did not matter that I taught RSCDS, as the
majority of my beginning students were first and second year, as they
were quickly "corrupted" into both the university, and the county
styles done at university functions.

The RSCDS, a prescriptive organisation

Message 52323 · Anselm Lingnau · 1 May 2008 02:03:11 · Top

GOSS9@telefonica.net wrote:

> It is my feeling, that should the Society cease to exist, so will the
> standardized teaching curriculum, which will be replaced by voluntary
> regional associations, as in TAC in Canada. With out an "official"
> accredation from RSCDS-HQ, the standardization will become less in the
> teaching, dancing, and teacher preparation. This can be both good in
> some areas and bad in others. On the good side, candidates will no
> longer be stuck with silly dances that have no bearing on what is being
> danced or taught. On the bad side, being an RSCDS dancer, will be less
> of a passport to any set in the world, even when dancing a dance of the
> same name as one at home.

I would hope that the latter issue were something that people would be working
hard to keep the way it is now. SCD is now a world-wide phenomenon, and large
parts of the repertoire are standardised as much as one could hope for even
though they are not »RSCDS canon«. (We do manage to do J.B.Milne, Shiftin'
Bobbins, Schiehallion, or -- shock horror -- Mairi's Wedding in pretty much
the same way all over the place, after all, even without the good offices of
the Society.) We should keep encouraging dancers to travel and visit dancers
in other places, and to keep »technique drift« to a minimum.

I was probably not quite clear regarding »standardised teacher training«. What
I meant was not a standardised curriculum of dances (silly or no) or teaching
techniques with a centrally-administered hierarchy of examiners, but a
consensus on the »mechanics of the dance«, of steps and formations and how to
tie them together. It would certainly be up to the TACs of the future to come
up with whatever procedures to certify somebody as a qualified teacher they
think reasonable, but it would also be in the interest of everybody if the
dancing itself stayed as uniform as possible, e.g., a North American and
Australian pas de basque looked as much the same as they did today, and
someone from Scotland could dance an allemande with somebody from Japan
without tripping over each other's feet. This would certainly imply some form
of coordination, but a World SCD Teachers' Congress could deal with this
without also trying to be an umbrella organisation for a large number of
dancers in »local associations« or an organiser of dance events for the
general public.

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

The RSCDS, a prescriptive organisation

Message 52324 · Monica Pollard · 1 May 2008 03:43:29 · Top

GOSS9@telefonica.net wrote:
> Here is a California study. California had Scottish dancing long
> before it had the LASCD which later became the LA Branch of the RSCDS,...(big snip)

I hope you (or someone else directly involved) will write all of this
down one day. There's a lot of history behind the spread of SCD to
various areas outside Scotland that many new dancers probably aren't
aware of, even if it's their own Branch or group! It would be a shame
to lose it.

Do any other groups keep a history of their formation, early classes
and teachers, etc?

Monica
Nampa, ID

--
"If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a
horrible warning."
Catherine Aird

Histories of Dancing

Message 52325 · Iain Boyd · 1 May 2008 04:19:32 · Top

Greetings all,

Monica wrote -

>I hope you (or someone else directly involved) will write all of this
>down one day. There's a lot of history behind the spread of SCD to
>various areas outside Scotland that many new dancers probably aren't
>aware of, even if it's their own Branch or group! It would be a shame
>to lose it.
>
>Do any other groups keep a history of their formation, early classes
>and teachers, etc?

The New Zealand Branch produced a history of Scottish country dancing in New Zealand in 1995.

Even at 200 pages, the A5 hard cover book had to leave out much, but, at least we have a basic history.

I believe that a few copies may still be available for purchase.

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

Histories of Dancing

Message 52343 · Katharine Hoskyn · 3 May 2008 00:06:40 · Top

Hullo

In addition to printed histories, a number of groups record their history
when they publish books of dances.

For New Zealand some books that spring to mind are:
* The Island Bay Collection - has some history of that dance group in
Wellington
* The Kauri Collection - footnotes give the background to the dances from
the Auckland Region and anecdotes relating to the region
* Touch of Gold - history of summer schools in NZ
* Silver Threads - a one page summary of the history of the NZ branch

I think this last book is particularly important. In one page it summarises
the link between the RSCDS and dancing in New Zealand - how a NZ society
became a branch, the lack of certificated teachers in the early days and the
difficulties of getting to St Andrews with no air travel, the arrival of
Florence Lesslie in New Zealand and the impact this had, the development of
teaching, the presentation of the first society scroll to Mrs Lesslie, the
official visits from Jean Milligan and others.

In many ways it reflects the history of a number of overseas branches.

Dance books are a very important source of printed history - and like Silver
Threads often give it in summarized form.

Best wishes

Katharine

Katharine Hoskyn
Franklin County (the border between Auckland and the Waikato)

-----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
Iain Boyd
Sent: Thursday, May 01, 2008 2:20 PM
To: SCD news and discussion
Subject: Histories of Dancing

Greetings all,

Monica wrote -

>I hope you (or someone else directly involved) will write all of this
>down one day. There's a lot of history behind the spread of SCD to
>various areas outside Scotland that many new dancers probably aren't
>aware of, even if it's their own Branch or group! It would be a shame
>to lose it.
>
>Do any other groups keep a history of their formation, early classes
>and teachers, etc?

The New Zealand Branch produced a history of Scottish country dancing in
New Zealand in 1995.

Even at 200 pages, the A5 hard cover book had to leave out much, but, at
least we have a basic history.

I believe that a few copies may still be available for purchase.

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

Histories of Dancing

Message 52345 · Anne Lowenthal · 4 May 2008 17:02:55 · Top

Hello Strathspey,

Anyone interested in the history of the New York Branch can have a look at
our newly redesigned website, at http://www.rscdsnewyork.org/aboutus.html
We're one of the oldest branches in the U.S., second only to that in Boston.
As our 50th anniversary approaches, we'll be gathering even more information
about our early days. We already have an archive that includes
reminiscences, photos, and a complete run of our newsletter, The Scottish
Country Dancer. That archival treasure trove will provide the material for
a newsletter column headed "Auld Lang Syne," starting with the next issue.
Look for it on our website, and read a quotation from the very first Branch
newsletter , dated November 1963.

Anne Lowenthal, NYC
anne340@verizon.net

Circles in palindromes (was RE: Ian Powrie's Farewell)

Message 52244 · Stasa Morgan-Appel · 28 Apr 2008 23:24:32 · Top

I hope I was clear that my tongue was well-planted in my cheek... - Stasa

On Thu, Apr 24, 2008 at 3:50 PM, Stasa Morgan-Appel <smorganappel@gmail.com>
wrote:

> Ah, but according to the RSCDS, Scottish Country Dancing is NOT "folk
> dancing," and must not be referred to as folk dancing (*gasp*).
>
> In fact, one of the questions on my written teachers' exam was, "Why must
> one never refer to Scottish Country Dancing as 'folk dancing'?"
>
> So, you see, it most definitely isn't folk dancing. Nope.
>
> - Stasa, Michigan, USA
>

Circles in palindromes (was RE: Ian Powrie's Farewell)

Message 51661 · ron.mackey · 21 Mar 2008 23:14:01 · Top

> Are we not getting too technical for Scottish Country Dancing? Are we not
> taking the fun out of Scottish Country Dancing? > Agnes Macmichael
> West Lothian, Scotland

Yes. As I have often said here - SCD is an art form not a science!
Ron

Circles in palindromes (was RE: Ian Powrie's Farewell)

Message 51670 · Sophie Rickebusch · 22 Mar 2008 13:15:55 · Top

> Yes. As I have often said here - SCD is an art form not a science!
> Ron

Seeing the high number of scientists in SCD circles (definitely not
proportionate to their distribution in the general population), one might
wonder...

Sophie
(a geek and not ashamed to admit it ;-) )
--
Sophie Rickebusch
FR - St Martin d'Heres

Ian Powrie's Farewell

Message 51633 · Ian Brockbank · 20 Mar 2008 14:22:59 · Top

Hi Peter,

> I was just exploring the SD Archives site, and on a whim, looked up
> Ian Powrie's Farewell. I've never owned a set of instructions for
> this, and it's quite a few years since I've danced it, but the
> instruction at the end of Fig 1, for the dancers to go to the right
> in the promenade, seemed contrary to memory. I know there are
> versions of this dance, and I look forward to trying it as written on
> the Archives web site, but, out of curiosity, do any others remember
> the first promenade as clockwise, rather than anticlockwise?

Yes, the original instructions are that both promenades are to the
right. I understand Bill Hamilton's reasoning was that that is how
promenades in a square set are always danced (think of Clutha, for
example).

Since then, the folk tradition has found that it works more easily
if the first promenade is reversed, and this is the way it is
almost exclusively danced nowadays. Mr Hamilton has for a long
time resisted this modification, and we always have to remember
to dance as written when dancing it as the demonstration team in
Princes Street Gardens, since Mr Hamilton is a regular attender.
Helen's comment that he accepts this is the way it is generally
danced is news to me.

Cheers,

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

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Friendly Waltz

Message 51639 · Mikhail Smagin · 20 Mar 2008 15:50:07 · Top

Hello All!

I've faced some problems with Friendly Waltz from Collins Pocket Reference.

I'm curious if the movement on bars 3-4 "Two waltz steps turning away from partner" and the movement on bars 7-8 "Waltz turning slightly away from partner then towards" are the same or not.

Are they similar? How they look like?

Thank you in advance.

M.S.


---------------------------------

Вы уже с Yahoo!? Испытайте обновленную и улучшенную. Yahoo! Почту!

Friendly Waltz

Message 51643 · Margaret Lambourne · 20 Mar 2008 16:55:37 · Top

I would interpret the first as a cast.

Margaret
Nieuwegein, The Netherlands

On Mar 20, 2008, at 3:50 PM, Mikhail Smagin wrote:

> Hello All!
>
> I've faced some problems with Friendly Waltz from Collins Pocket
> Reference.
>
> I'm curious if the movement on bars 3-4 "Two waltz steps turning
> away from partner" and the movement on bars 7-8 "Waltz turning
> slightly away from partner then towards" are the same or not.
>
> Are they similar? How they look like?
>
>
> Thank you in advance.
>
>
> M.S.
>
>
> ---------------------------------
>
> Вы уже с Yahoo!? Испытайте обновленную и
> улучшенную. Yahoo! Почту!

Friendly Waltz

Message 51644 · Sophie Rickebusch · 20 Mar 2008 17:30:08 · Top

Hi Mikhail,

As far as I remember, in the first you each do a little turn on the spot
(symetrically, M to the left and W to the right), which means you have to drop
hands and join up again at the end of bar 4. In the second, you take 1 step away
(a bit like the start of the turn on bar 3), but you don't drop hands and you
turn back towards your partner with the second step.

Seen from above, I'd say the first looks like a pair of spectacles: each dancer
goes round one of the lenses (and the joined hands are the bit that goes over
the nose). For the second, imagine a pair of double doors opening and shutting
(still seen from above).

Cheers,
Sophie

Selon Mikhail Smagin <rscds_russia@yahoo.com>:

> Hello All!
>
> I've faced some problems with Friendly Waltz from Collins Pocket Reference.
>
> I'm curious if the movement on bars 3-4 "Two waltz steps turning away from
> partner" and the movement on bars 7-8 "Waltz turning slightly away from
> partner then towards" are the same or not.
>
> Are they similar? How they look like?
>
>
> Thank you in advance.
>
>
> M.S.
>
>
> ---------------------------------
>
> ÷Ù ÕÖÅ Ó Yahoo!? éÓÐÙÔÁÊÔÅ ÏÂÎÏ×ÌÅÎÎÕÀ É ÕÌÕÞÛÅÎÎÕÀ. Yahoo! ðÏÞÔÕ!
>

--
Sophie Rickebusch
FR - St Martin d'Heres

Ian Powrie's Farewell

Message 51648 · Agnes MacMichael · 21 Mar 2008 14:31:54 · Top

Hi Ian
I agree with you. I was in Bill's company on Wednesday of this week at a
Take The Floor recording for BBC Scotland and relayed to him the discussion
going on and he did raise an eyebrow or two. He does insist on the
promenade going the same way both times (anti clockwise) and he does not
agree with the last circle going one way only. In fact I have been told
that he has left the room when this has happened! I wasn't there at that
time but I do know he does not like it.
Agnes Macmichael
West Lothian, Scotland

On 20/03/2008, Ian Brockbank <Ian.Brockbank@wolfsonmicro.com> wrote:
>
> Hi Peter,
>
> > I was just exploring the SD Archives site, and on a whim, looked up
> > Ian Powrie's Farewell. I've never owned a set of instructions for
> > this, and it's quite a few years since I've danced it, but the
> > instruction at the end of Fig 1, for the dancers to go to the right
> > in the promenade, seemed contrary to memory. I know there are
> > versions of this dance, and I look forward to trying it as written on
> > the Archives web site, but, out of curiosity, do any others remember
> > the first promenade as clockwise, rather than anticlockwise?
>
> Yes, the original instructions are that both promenades are to the
> right. I understand Bill Hamilton's reasoning was that that is how
> promenades in a square set are always danced (think of Clutha, for
> example).
>
> Since then, the folk tradition has found that it works more easily
> if the first promenade is reversed, and this is the way it is
> almost exclusively danced nowadays. Mr Hamilton has for a long
> time resisted this modification, and we always have to remember
> to dance as written when dancing it as the demonstration team in
> Princes Street Gardens, since Mr Hamilton is a regular attender.
> Helen's comment that he accepts this is the way it is generally
> danced is news to me.
>
> 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
>
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>
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>
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