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  • Anselm Lingnau

    Anselm Lingnau March 22, 2006, 4:53 p.m. (Message 44835)

    Re: Two Chords

    Martin Sheffield wrote:
    > Was there not a move to get rid of the two chords a short while ago?
    > Which of the defenders of the chords managed to prevail, I wonder, so that,
    > once again, we got "no change" ?
    > As mentioned, the Manual is the only thing that is allowed to change, it
    > seems.
    Don't forget that the RSCDS is, at the end of the day, a standards body. 
    Standards bodies are conservative by nature. Conservatism in a standards body 
    is commonly considered a Good Thing, as one does not want do chase after 
    every new-fangled idea that might come up. Things should settle down for a 
    bit before they show up on a standards body's radar screen.
    Anyway, the SCD scene no longer works like it did in the early 1930s. The 
    Society no longer has any real power to control how SCD is actually being 
    done all over the world; there is too much dancing going on in places that 
    the Society doesn't really reach. It may try to gradually influence things 
    (especially through the teacher training process) but imposing drastic 
    changes (such as the poussette-on-the-right-foot-for-men idea) isn't 
    possible; anything of the sort would merely create lots of confusion and 
    argument, and (if the changes are too severe or too ridiculous) would 
    probably be ignored by large parts of the community. Such an event would 
    basically mean the end of the Society as an important player in SCD (and 
    would likely be detrimental for SCD in the long run), and therefore this is 
    about as likely to happen as an assembly of turkeys voting in favour of the 
    practice of holding Thanksgiving dinners.
    Having said that, especially in an area like the two-chords debate, which 
    touches only on a minute part of the RSCDS repertoire, it is unproductive to 
    look to the RSCDS to mandate something which is contrary to current practice 
    (and playing two chords for the type of dance in question *is* current 
    practice, no doubt about that), in particular if current practice isn't 
    really an RSCDS idea to begin with. (Tinkering with the strathspey poussette, 
    for example, is fine for the RSCDS since they invented it in the first place; 
    note the ongoing controversy on exactly when hands should be dropped on set & 
    link to see just how big the RSCDS influence is concerning issues that do not 
    matter one way or another to a large majority of dancers -- however strongly 
    people like the originator of the concept may feel.)
    For the just-one-chord proponents, it seems a more promising approach to 
    educate the people out in the field directly -- dance dev^H^H^Hauthors, event 
    organisers/MCs, and musicians. Apparently John Drewry, one of the main 
    originators of »two-chord dances« has already seen the light, so if we give 
    the idea another decade or two things may have settled the way Simon et al. 
    would like, and then the RSCDS will be happy to follow suit in their 
    publications. If not, then it's not as if the world would come to a sudden 
    end, either.
    Anselm Lingnau, Frankfurt, Germany .....................
    Rock journalism is people who can't write interviewing people who can't talk
    for people who can't read.                                      -- Frank Zappa

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