GOSS9@telefonica.net March 7, 2006, 2:08 p.m. (Message 44525)
Re: SD before the 19th century/SD cafe fear NC-Great Awakening?
Adding to my previous post, a lot of what we call "ladies´ Highland" came from Belgium where it was learned by a Catholic Scot, who was a university drop out and retuned to the highlands to teach. So who is to say what part of what we call Highland is Scottish and not urban European through his teaching. This came to mind because last week we had a "national" (Baleares) holiday, that included three days of choirs, dem teams, poetry, etc. from other parts of Spain. Each region of Spain has the equivalent of "Casa de [name of region]", and these all have teams of sorts. My comments here cover some material in several previous strathspey threads. Someone posted that folk costumes are very uniform, I felt that this was not true at the time because of a recent experience with a visting Serbian team, yes, similar pattern, but no more uniform then the cross section of all the kids at a modern high school. Here is the pattern I discovered. Yes, all the dance teams had uniform costumes, or nearly so, however if one tossed their fans and bands into the mix, the uniformness disappears, though the relative age of the costume stayed the same. Remember that these teams are made up of expats, who, themselves are foregners here. This would be the same as say an Edinburgh dance team designing a dem costume, based on some notion of traditional dress. The one group that was definitely not in uniform was the only one that actually came from outside the island. Everything in each of their costumes, including shoes were different, within a range of similarity. The interesting thing is that in choosing their style of dance and costume, even though the traditional costume of Menorca has exact parallels in Mallorca, they chose costumes based on the urban upper class, instead of rural peasants. If you saw this costume anywhere else in Europe, it would be no different from that found from Spain across to Eastern Europe, Croatia, and up to Scotland. E.g.: Men´s black heeled shoes with silver buckles, white socks, black "kneebundhosen", white shirts, and waistcoats. Women´s black heeled dancing shoes (character shoes in the catalogues I have seen), bloomers with white socks, textured skirt (sometimes brocade), white blouse, with an "Aboyne" type "drindle". Their dancing is also dead among the "folk" in that they are choosing for a style, similar to the RSCDS, a balletic high cultural style more typical of the aristocrats than the people (note, that their ancestors were under British rule during the hay day of country dancing in Scotland). Of the three basic types of music, their featured one is the "fandango", as opposed to the bolero and jota, all of which they perform in the fandango style, and often in longways formation, even with progression and minor sets. Here on Mallorca (as hosts not represented on thios occasion (see below), we also dance the same three forms, but not in the cultured aristocratic style, though it comes through in our fandango which is derivitive of a court dance. Another differences, is the fact that the Menorquí dancers uses steps similar to both Irish and Scottish step dancing, and even with turnout and on their toes. Whereas the "strangers" got Friday night to Sunday night for their performances, only the Basques actually danced socially off the stage, including lving steps that one might call "pasos de vascos", that we would recognize (no costumes, just folks dancing. The Mallorquí dance offering was an entire evening (other regions got 30 minutes each), in the street with a band, spectators at any given moment outnumbering dancers. The dance, as per usual, lasted 2 hours, with nonstop music (musicians rotated in and out when they needed a drink, or wanted to dance). But then, unlike SCD, and other modern forms of folk dancing, this is a currently living tradition of the folk, not members of some club isolated from the general culture.