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strathspey@strathspey.org:44525

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  • GOSS9@telefonica.net

    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.
          

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