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Changing of hands.

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  • ...

    Frans Ligtmans Nov. 1, 2001, 10:04 p.m. (Message 28015)

    Dear friends,
    I believe in rules for the use of hands. If joining Right Hands is a bit
    uncomfortable, solve the problem in an elegant way. It may be a challenge
    and more satisfying than just do it the easy way. Joining hands or changing
    of hands needs cooperation and gives opportunities to look in your partner's
    eyes while offering you hand.
    When leading with RH (or LH) partners are closer together then with nearer
    hands joined. Sometimes this looks better, see  Seann Truibhas Willichan.
    Teach the giving of hands and the CHANGING so that dancers can do it with
    courtesy. A good dance for this purpose is Anna Holden's: Miss Allison
    Little. It has five or six changes in 32 bars.
  • ...

    Anselm Lingnau Nov. 2, 2001, 12:35 a.m. (Message 28021, in reply to message 28015)

    Frans Ligtmans <xxxxx.xxxxxxxx@xxxxxx.xx> writes:
    
    > If joining Right Hands is a bit
    > uncomfortable, solve the problem in an elegant way. It may be a challenge
    > and more satisfying than just do it the easy way. Joining hands or changing
    > of hands needs cooperation and gives opportunities to look in your partner's
    > eyes while offering you hand.
    
    I must say that once again I agree with Frans. There seems to be a
    certain `modern' school of thought that says that dances should be as
    streamlined as possible, so everybody gets to follow their noses all the
    time with not a lot of thinking (or reacting to the other dancers in the
    set) required, all the hands are always in the most convenient place for
    what comes next, and so on. Dances devised according to this philosophy
    are often very nice and pleasing to dance, but in my opinion there is
    also a certain charm to dances that do have little kinks and special
    places that require attention to be done well. Of course this, too, can
    be carried too far; the nether reaches of RSCDS book 16 contain some
    examples that might serve as a deterrent.
    
    As far as Dalkeith's Strathspey is concerned, personally I don't think
    crossing one's partner over with the right hand after leading down the
    middle and up is enough of a bother as to imply leading down the middle
    with a left hand instead, and I wouldn't suggest it to my class, but if 
    anybody desperately wanted to do it on these grounds I'd say feel free. 
    It's not as if it were a nuisance to the rest of the set.
    
    Anselm
    -- 
    Anselm Lingnau .......................................... xxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxx.xxx
    You could argue that Microsoft is the product of clever strategy, mediocre
    technology, and a hell of a lot of increasing returns.          -- Brian Arthur
  • ...

    Alan Paterson Nov. 2, 2001, 9:59 a.m. (Message 28025, in reply to message 28021)

    Anselm Lingnau wrote:
    > 
    > <Snip>  there is
    > also a certain charm to dances that do have little kinks and special
    > places that require attention to be done well. Of course this, too, can
    > be carried too far; the nether reaches of RSCDS book 16 contain some
    > examples that might serve as a deterrent.
    
    Number 9, nicht wahr?
    
    Alan
  • ...

    Martin.Sheffield Nov. 2, 2001, 10:32 a.m. (Message 28028, in reply to message 28021)

    Anselm wrote:
    
    >There seems to be a
    >certain `modern' school of thought that says that dances should be as
    >streamlined as possible, 
    
    If, by streamlining, you mean, getting rid of misinterpetation of old texts
    or of ill-considered rules, then why not be modern?
    
    > ...with not a lot of thinking (or reacting to the other dancers in the
    >set) required, 
    
    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.
    
    >there is
    >also a certain charm to dances that do have little kinks and special
    >places that require attention to be done well. 
    
    Why do we dance?  To do the dances "well", or to enjoy music, movement, and
    each other's company?
    (non-exclusive choice)
    
    >As far as Dalkeith's Strathspey is concerned, ...
    
    I don't remember anyone suggesting leading *down* LHJ. 
    There's no reason why one should not go down RHJ, change hands, then lead
    up LHJ, or, alternatively, lead down RHJ, lead up RHJ (to respect the
    Memory), and politely offer LH on bar 16 to help the lady over to face 2nd
    man.
    
    Still puzzling over your ref to the nether reaches of RSCDS book 16, Anselm...
    
    Taking a quick look in bk 16, I found:
    "1st cp lead down,... turn and lead up, ... man handing his pt across in
    front of him to opp side."
    (Same words appear in many other RSCDS books. My abbrev'ns. )
    
    If 1st cp is to keep their RHJ, then the description would have been "1st
    cp turn to face 1st man and release hands. 1st man turns (or dances across)
    to face 2nd lady."
    To me, the words "handing his pt across" imply something different -- a
    change of hands into a sideway movement without any turning.
    
    Martin,
     in Grenoble, France.
    
     http://perso.wanadoo.fr/scots.in.france/scd.htm
                  (dance groups,  events,  some new dances ...)
  • ...

    Oberdan Otto Nov. 6, 2001, 11:29 p.m. (Message 28064, in reply to message 28021)

    >[Anselm:] As far as Dalkeith's Strathspey is concerned, personally I 
    >don't think
    >crossing one's partner over with the right hand after leading down the
    >middle and up is enough of a bother as to imply leading down the middle
    >with a left hand instead, and I wouldn't suggest it to my class, but if
    >anybody desperately wanted to do it on these grounds I'd say feel free.
    >It's not as if it were a nuisance to the rest of the set.
    
    Although I am one to prefer the "natural hand" lead (opening away 
    from the body centerline), I agree with Anselm on this one.
    
    >[Martin:] I don't remember anyone suggesting leading *down* LHJ.
    >There's no reason why one should not go down RHJ, change hands, then lead
    >up LHJ,
    
    This goes against a little personal rule of mine which says: "Don't 
    change (hands or feet) until the change is needed. In this case there 
    is no imperative that makes the left hand needed for the lead up.
    
    >[Martin:] or, alternatively, lead down RHJ, lead up RHJ (to respect the
    >Memory), and politely offer LH on bar 16 to help the lady over to face 2nd
    >man.
    
    This satisfies the my little personal rule, but then I think that a 
    hand change at this point really isn't needed--probably OVERLY 
    helpful! She knows where she is going, so a somewhat early release of 
    hands allows both of you to get where you need to be. Oh! I see that 
    Frans describes this very nicely:
    
    >[Frans:] At the end of lead down the middle and up, drop hands early 
    >enough (end of bar 7) to have time to cross to your back to back 
    >position. The lady goes in front and the man holds back a bit for 
    >the crossing.
    
    
    Cheers, Oberdan.
    
    184 Estaban Drive, Camarillo, CA 93010-1611 USA
    Voice: (805) 389-0063, FAX: (805) 484-2775, email: xxxxx@xxxxx.xxx
  • ...

    Martin.Sheffield Nov. 2, 2001, 9:42 a.m. (Message 28026, in reply to message 28015)

    Frans wrote:
    
    >I believe in rules for the use of hands. 
    
    Well, we beg to differ, but I would like to concur with your point about
    hand changes. 
    
    Grand chain has always been my favorite figure, since we are cooperating
    with so many people in such a short time. There is something very satisfying
    when the hands touch on just the right beat of the music. 
    
    Similarly, there's a little spark of togetherness, when you take someone's
    hand (to lead down, to turn, whatever), when it happens with the music and
    not just because the teacher told you to do it. 
    
    I do not know "Miss Allison Little" with five or six changes in 32 bars,
    but can imagine it might be pleasing to try.  
    
     (I wonder if someone will give me the opportunity, by sending the
    instructions ...)
    Martin,
     in Grenoble, France.
    
     http://perso.wanadoo.fr/scots.in.france/scd.htm
                  (dance groups,  events,  some new dances ...)
  • ...

    Anselm Lingnau Nov. 2, 2001, 12:08 p.m. (Message 28029, in reply to message 28015)

    M Sheffield <xxxxxx.xxxxxxxxx@xxxxxxx.xx> 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 .......................................... xxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxx.xxx
    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
  • ...

    Martin.Sheffield Nov. 2, 2001, 7:53 p.m. (Message 28035, in reply to message 28029)

    Anselm wrote:
     > It doesn't really matter whether RHJ or LHJ is a
    >`misinterpretation'; 
    >... the inconvenience is not so great as to
    >warrant changing all the books etc. 
    
    but the whole point is that the books said nothing about which hand, so
    it's not a matter of changing any texts. What needs changing is the mindset
    that says "it must be so", and the misconcenception that "it has always
    been so."
    
    >the school of
    >thought that disdains traditional dances because they don't `flow' as
    >well as many modern dances. 
    I hadn't realized I belonged to a school; I rather had the impression that
    my prefernces made me an oddity (the more conservative dancers being more
    vehement). 
    
    >some of the older [dances with kinks] are, on the
    >whole, popular...
    
    Popular? or merely better known, because found in the most easily
    available publications?
    
    If I appear to be of ill humour, put it down to the fact that a dancing
    party on 30 october was twice interrupted by kids, with ugly masks bought
    at the local supermarket, imitating American kids by ringing our bell.
    Brought back some unpleasant memories of our stay in USA, many years ago. 
    All right, SCD is a foreign custom, too (in France), but we indulge in
    private and try not to disturb our neighbours. We do it because we enjoy
    it, not because the local tradesmen spend a lot of energy trying to
    persuade us to fill their pockets buying fancy outfits.
    
    Martin,
     in Grenoble, France.
    
     http://perso.wanadoo.fr/scots.in.france/scd.htm
                  (dance groups,  events,  some new dances ...)

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