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SD before the 19th century/SD cafe fear NC-Great Awakening?

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    MacdonaldBall March 7, 2006, 1:53 a.m. (Message 44520)

    yes, interesting article.
    I have ALWAYS been surprised that there is virtually NO form of  Scottish 
    Social Dancing... ceilidh or otherwise among the Scots who settled in  the Cape 
    Fear River area of the Carolinas...  So many Scots Settled there  in the mid to 
    late 1700's (not the least of which was Flora Macdonald  and husband Alan).  
    Of course this was WAY before RSCD as we know it today  but you would have 
    thought there would have been Scottish ceilidh dances handed  down among 
    families...or some type of Scottish Social dance....  I've often  wondered if it was 
    influenced by the "great awakening" movement in the US.....  and perhaps 
    thought of as simply vulgar..and thus discouraged....  It  strikes me that these 
    Scots would have danced before coming to America. But  maybe not.  Girls often 
    did highland dancing in competitions  and for May Day celebrations.... but again 
    no social dancing.  
    New York City
    Originally from
    North Carolina
  • ... March 7, 2006, 7:32 a.m. (Message 44522, in reply to message 44520)

    It is always amazing how a linguistic error even though admitted, 
    affects our language. This comes from the shift between the RSCDS 
    language from the original 1920´s "Country dancing as danced in 
    Scotland" and the 1940´s "Scottish Country Dancing".
    To repeat, again, there was no such thing as a unique dance form 
    called "SCD" until the Society was over 10 years old. It is bad history 
    to apply a modern invention backwards into history, and then be 
    surprised it did not exist. 
    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.
    When it came to the later origins of what we call ceilidh dancing, 
    these are primarily schottisches that spread out from Germany. A 
    popular folk dance here on Mallorca, is called the "polka" (not it is 
    obviously a schottische done to music that seems Irish and of piping 
    origin), virtually everyone knows it as a common round the "room" 
    (don´t know what word to use since the dancing here is mostly outside, 
    so perhaps a "cercaplaça")  finishing dance. We know it as "Gay 
    The evidence of this is found in its opposites. No identifiable 
    Scottish dancing, but Gaelic survived in the Americas, as did hundreds 
    of identifiably Scottish tunes, which have become so American to 
    Americans that most of them would not even consider them Scottish. The 
    fact is that they did bring their dances, which simply merged and 
    whatever differences that might have been considered Scottish simply 
    Highland dancing was not even standardized until the late 40´s and 
    early 50´s (the SOBHD is about 25 years younger then the RSCDS. I 
    suspect that many aspects of step dancing that are of Scottish origin 
    did come to America, but then got merged into various "pan British" 
    dance forms namely the jig and the hormpipe, which passed on to the 
    American tap dancing tradition. In this case there was a reverse 
    connection in that there are historicly identified American tunes that 
    went back to the U.K. where they are known as of American origin.
    This historical, or linguistic, error is common in Scotland and with 
    SC dancers because of the Society, and is not heard in EFDSS circles, 
    in that they acknowledge no border of their dancing when it comes to 
  • ...

    Anselm Lingnau March 7, 2006, 9:10 a.m. (Message 44523, in reply to message 44522)

    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 Lingnau, Frankfurt, Germany .....................
    You can measure a programmer's perspective by noting his attitude on the
    continuing viability of FORTRAN.                             -- Alan J. Perlis
  • ... March 7, 2006, 2:08 p.m. (Message 44525, in reply to message 44520)

    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 
    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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