Anselm Lingnau Nov. 2, 2001, 12:08 p.m. (Message 28029)
Re: Changing of hands.
M Sheffield <email@example.com> writes: > If, by streamlining, you mean, getting rid of misinterpetation of old texts > or of ill-considered rules, then why not be modern? I'm all in favour of getting rid of `misinterpretations and ill-considered rules', but we need to take care not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. It doesn't really matter whether RHJ or LHJ is a `misinterpretation'; the fact is that we have been doing it for a while and at least in my opinion the inconvenience is not so great as to warrant changing all the books etc. I have already said that I don't mind people going for what they think is appropriate in such circumstances, especially where it may help and does not inconvenience other members of the dance. The `streamlining' comment was more meant to apply to the school of thought that disdains traditional dances because they don't `flow' as well as many modern dances. It may be that the `kinks' in many traditional dances are due to misinterpretations in modern times, but many of these dances are delightfully interesting even so and don't really need fixed -- and many of them may be all but undanceable and thus tend to fall prey to natural selection. It's not as if there was a general scarcity of good dances (new or old), but some of the older ones of the not-quite-so-convenient type are very interesting and, on the whole, popular, and rightfully so. > I would have said that, by doing things easily and spontaneously, we shall > have less need to concentrate on "doing the right thing" thus freeing our > brains for more interaction with the other dancers. True. But the idea of `doing things easily and spontaneously' breaks down with the first strathspey travelling step. I know we can argue the merits or desirability of good footwork until the cows come home, but my personal opinion is that this is a major taste-giving ingredient of the SCD soup, and even though it would certainly free the brains of dancers no end if teachers stopped nagging them about their strathspey steps I doubt that the result would still be as pleasing to everybody concerned. At the end of the day, SCD is not about `doing things easily and spontaneously'; if all we were after was to have a good sociable time with our friends we could go straight off to the bar. So it seems that we *want* to be challenged, at least to a certain degree, but exactly in what way is probably a matter of personal preference. Some of us may find the `Linton Ploughman' taxing on our brains and/or feet, while others will do `1314' cold, but neither of those are what a casual onlooker would consider `easy and spontaneous'. Doing things easily and spontaneously in SCD is something that comes with practice, and while there are dances that don't need a lot of practice that way it turns out that most of the popular repertoire consists of dances that have their special little somethings here and there. It appears to me that dancers don't mind a little inconvenience as long as it is taken in modest dosage. > Still puzzling over your ref to the nether reaches of RSCDS book 16, Anselm... That was about dances having kinks and special places requiring attention. Book 16 contains a few dances that have more than a fair share of those, including the one with the bird name (which, perversely, I rather like every so often). Anselm -- Anselm Lingnau .......................................... firstname.lastname@example.org We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it, and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove lid again, and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore. -- Mark Twain