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Official variations/DANCE: Skye Barbecue

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  • ...

    Ian Brockbank March 13, 2006, 2:42 p.m. (Message 44675)

    Hi All,
    
    How do you feel about a dance having an official variation included in
    the instructions?
    
    I have been revisiting Skye Barbecue, which I wrote a  while back (see
    below).  Looking at bars 25-32, I think that the movement as written (an
    exact repeat of bars 17-24 for them) is probably the most satisfying for
    the 1st couple, and is definitely the most satisfying for the supporting
    couples.  However, for a performance, I suspect that a left hand turn
    and anti-clockwise chase for the 1s would look better - fitting in with
    what the 2s and 3s are doing.
    
    Now I don't have a group of people handy to try this out with, and I
    suspect this is something that different groups might have different
    opinions on (after my experiences with Gloomy Winter/Gloomy Winter's
    Noo Awa').  So three questions:
    
     - which would you prefer to dance?
     - which would you prefer to watch?
     - how would you feel if the instructions had one option plus a note
       describing the other as an official variation (to be agreed with your
       partner)?
    
    ~~~~~
                                     Skye Barbecue
                                     =============
    
    Dance for 3 couples in a 4 couple longwise set			8x32 bar
    Reel
    1-8	1C cross down (no hands) between second and third couples to start
    reels of three on the opposite side of the dance.
    9-16	1C cross down (no hands) between second and third couples to start
    reels of three on their own sides. Finish with 2nd couple in 1st place and
    1st couple flowing into...
    17-24	First couple turn right hand, moving down to second place, dance out
    through second place on own side and dance clockwise half-way round the set
    while 2nd and 3rd couples set, cross over giving right hands and dance right
    hands across once round.
    25-32	First couple turn right hand, dance out through second place on
    opposite side and dance clockwise half way round the set while 2nd and 3rd
    couples set, cross over giving left hands and dance left hands across once
    round.
    	
    Repeat, having passed a couple.
    
    Note: The phrasing of bars 17-24 and 25-32 is deliberately left ambiguous
    (particularly for 1st couple).
    
    Iain MacPhail played the Alastair Fraser tune "Skye Barbecue" in one of the
    sets he played for the RSCDS Edinburgh Branch show "Strictly Scottish" in
    August 2001. I was one of the dancers in the show, and was so taken by the
    tune that I felt it deserved its own dance. This is the result. It's a
    lively dance, as befits the tune.
    
    Tune: 	Skye Barbecue	(Alastair Fraser)
    August 2001, revised March 2003.
    ~~~~~
    
    Cheers,
    
    Ian Brockbank
    Applications Software Team Leader
    e: xxx.xxxxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxxxx.xxx / xxxx@xxxxxxxxxxxx.xxx
    scd: xxx@xxxxxxxxxxxxx.xxx
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    f: +44 131 272 7001
  • ...

    Iain Boyd March 15, 2006, 12:10 a.m. (Message 44711, in reply to message 44675)

    Dear Ian,
       
      Firstly, let me say that I am surprised that your original dance has
      first couple turning with right hands and dancing a clockwise chase
      each time while second and third couples give right hands then left
      hands.
       
      If I had been devising this dance I would have chosen one of the
      following alternatives -
       
             First couple turn right and chase clockwise both times
             while
             second and third couples give right hands both times
       
      OR
       
             First couple turn right and chase clockwise then turn left and chase 
             counter clockwise
             while
             second and third couples give right hands then left hands.
       
      In my opinion, you should abandon the current unbalanced version and
      adopt one of the two alternatives I have described above as the
      official version rather than providing an alternative official
      version.
       
      In the meantime, a few observations.
       
      I suspect that most dancers will prefer the original movements for
      second and third couples - ie. right then left - as they are
      different.
       
      A number of experienced dancers I know will dislike the original
      movement for first couple - ie. turn right and chase clockwise both
      times - because it is unbalanced compared with second and third
      couples movements and because it does not change direction.
       
      There are several local dancers who will prefer your original
      version for first couple as they have only one speed and not having
      to change direction between the two eight bar phrases will appeal to
      them.
       
      As you have you have not specified the phrasing for first couple, it
      should be comparatively easy for them to turn right (2 or 3) bars
      and chase clockwise (6 or 5 bars) THEN change direction and turn
      left and chase counter clockwise. I do not imagine it being a very
      abrupt change of direction.
       
      I might be able to try out the different versions for you later in the week. 
       
      Regards,
       
      Iain Boyd
      
     
    
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  • ...

    Ian Brockbank March 15, 2006, 11:22 a.m. (Message 44721, in reply to message 44711)

    Hi Iain,
    
    >   Firstly, let me say that I am surprised that your original 
    > dance has first couple turning with right hands and dancing a 
    > clockwise chase each time while second and third couples give 
    > right hands then left hands.
    
    I have to confess I dug out the instructions after 3 years, and was slightly
    surprised myself.
    
    Obviously there are three options, as you mention:
     1: right hands for everyone both times
     2: right hands then left hands for everyone
     3: right hands then left hands for 2s & 3s + right hands both times for 1s
    
    Thinking through the dance, the first option is not really an option.  It
    would be boring for 2s and 3s.  They really need the contrast between the
    two phrases.
    
    I can't remember why I originally wrote the "unbalanced" (as you put it)
    version, but I like the spiralling feeling of the right-hand both times
    option for the 1s and feel it fits the character of the tune.  I think it
    was originally influenced by the cloverleaf figure which appears in
    Australian Ladies, Moving Cloud and Nifty Shiftin' - in those you're turning
    to the right each time.
    
    However, there are 3 couples working together in the set, and when I re-read
    the instructions at the weekend, I wondered how well option 3 actually
    worked in practice, which set me wondering about option 2, which prompted my
    email.
    
    >From the people who have tried it, it has become clear that option 2 is
    indeed the best option - one class thought option 3 was okay until they
    tried option 2.  I have revised my local instructions accordingly, and won't
    be including the note.
    
    Thank you to everyone who took the time to consider this and particularly to
    those who actually tried it out with their class.  It has been really useful
    to get this feedback.
    
    Ian Brockbank
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    xxx@xxxxxxxxxxxxx.xxx
    http://www.scottishdance.net/
  • ...

    Iain Boyd March 24, 2006, 4:49 a.m. (Message 44863, in reply to message 44721)

    Dear Ian,
       
      I did try your dance last week - option 2, only.
       
      The group is mainly 'older' although most have quite a bit of experience.
       
      This is a dance for experienced dancers who are able to relate to
      the set spatially. Unfortunately, I doubt that it will find its way
      onto many social dance programmes.
       
      Bars 17-32 went well although not all second and third couples were
      able to finish the hands across in first and third places.
      Consequently, first couple ocasionally had problems knowing where
      second place was.
       
      The end of the second reel of three caused a few problems with
      second couple having to finish in top place. This made it a little
      awkward for first couple who had to finish in from the side-lines
      and then start turning down between second couple.
       
      However, the major problem was the join between the first and second
      times through and the second and third times through.
       
      The difficulty was caused by the left hands across being followed
      immediately by symmetrical reels of three on the sides.
      Unfortunately, the changes of direction are different in both cases.
      This is what makes it an advanced dancers dance. Of course, it did
      not help that second and third couples did not always finish in
      first and third places (as noted above).
       
      Regards,
       
      Iain Boyd
       
       
      
    
    Ian Brockbank <xxx@xxxxxxxxxxxxx.xxx> wrote:
      Hi Iain,
    
    > Firstly, let me say that I am surprised that your original 
    > dance has first couple turning with right hands and dancing a 
    > clockwise chase each time while second and third couples give 
    > right hands then left hands.
    
    I have to confess I dug out the instructions after 3 years, and was slightly
    surprised myself.
    
    Obviously there are three options, as you mention:
    1: right hands for everyone both times
    2: right hands then left hands for everyone
    3: right hands then left hands for 2s & 3s + right hands both times for 1s
    
    Thinking through the dance, the first option is not really an option. It
    would be boring for 2s and 3s. They really need the contrast between the
    two phrases.
    
    I can't remember why I originally wrote the "unbalanced" (as you put it)
    version, but I like the spiralling feeling of the right-hand both times
    option for the 1s and feel it fits the character of the tune. I think it
    was originally influenced by the cloverleaf figure which appears in
    Australian Ladies, Moving Cloud and Nifty Shiftin' - in those you're turning
    to the right each time.
    
    However, there are 3 couples working together in the set, and when I re-read
    the instructions at the weekend, I wondered how well option 3 actually
    worked in practice, which set me wondering about option 2, which prompted my
    email.
    
    >From the people who have tried it, it has become clear that option 2 is
    indeed the best option - one class thought option 3 was okay until they
    tried option 2. I have revised my local instructions accordingly, and won't
    be including the note.
    
    Thank you to everyone who took the time to consider this and particularly to
    those who actually tried it out with their class. It has been really useful
    to get this feedback.
    
    Ian Brockbank
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    xxx@xxxxxxxxxxxxx.xxx
    http://www.scottishdance.net/
    
    
    
    Send instant messages to your online friends http://au.messenger.yahoo.com

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