Anselm Lingnau March 7, 2006, 9:10 a.m. (Message 44523)
Re: SD before the 19th century/SD cafe fear NC-Great Awakening?
Richard Goss wrote: > With the exception of Highland dancing mentioned below. All of what we > call SCD and Ceilidh dancing were simply European forms of dancing > prior to the 20c, and their certainly was no dancing border between > England and Scotland. So Scots who originally settled the Americas, and > later immigrants brought with them the European dancing they knew at > home. Given, there were stylistic differences, but these were such that > they simply merged with those of the other European communities in the > New World. This is all true, but what of those Scots who emigrated before country dancing reached them during the 19th century? The article talks about country dancing being taken up in Scotland during the 18th century, but that applies mostly to the big cities in the South and the surrounding countryside. Country dancing took much longer in reaching the Highlands, and many of those who emigrated subscribed to older forms of dancing which were not well-known (let alone recently imported from) somewhere else. In consequence, in Cape Breton, which was settled by highland Scots in the 18th century, we find very little country dancing but much material which has evolved from older, »more« Scottish dance forms (and influenced by other types of dance which other immigrants brought to the area). The article cited by Eric, in particular, refers to one Topham, who I presume is the Major Topham who visited Edinburgh in the 18c and was impressed with the vigour the Scots exhibited when dancing Scottish reels (not country dances). Reels and country dances co-existed for a long time and dancing masters were expected to teach both. I have two points to make about the article cited by Eric: First, »De'il stick the minister« is alive and well if not as popular in this gentile age as it once may have been. Second, I don't buy the paragraph entitled »Penny Wedding«. For one, it does not talk about penny weddings at all. Secondly, the »perform'd in Scotland« does not mean anything; it is probably just marketing talk. For example, publishers of dance books as well as dance teachers not just in Scotland but all over Britain would be quick to advertise that their material was based on personal experience with the newest styles current in fashionable places like Paris, when they had in fact never even been close enough to Dover to smell the sea air. In the old days, to most people in the civilised South, Scotland was an exotic place (a modern equivalent would be the Amazonas basin) and dances purportedly from there would carry a certain appeal even if they were otherwise no different from what people would come up with elsewhere. It was also usual to call a dance Scottish if the music was Scottish, the music could possibly be construed to perhaps have originated in Scotland, or the music had a vaguely Scottish-sounding title. A dance itself did not have to have anything to do with Scotland at all, and in fact, discernable »Scottish« notions did not creep into country dancing, »as done in Scotland«, until much closer towards the end of the 18th century. And as Goss points out, it took until the 20th century for the dance form to be called *Scottish* country dancing. Anselm -- Anselm Lingnau, Frankfurt, Germany ..................... firstname.lastname@example.org You can measure a programmer's perspective by noting his attitude on the continuing viability of FORTRAN. -- Alan J. Perlis