academie: Report: Assessment

SCAVard at aol.com SCAVard at aol.com
Mon Jul 24 07:46:55 PDT 2000


Dancing at Assessments went *very* well.

Our activities centered around the large double-decker pavillion.  We had a small dance practice session there in the afternoon, then went upstairs for court.  Feast was held downstairs, with dancing after feast back upstairs.  We had the support of the Autocrat and Head Cook, who made certain that dancing was announced during feast, and who arranged for the dessert board to be served "upstairs", ensuring a large crowd.

Our dance music was provided by Lord James of Middle Aston (on recorder) and a lady whose name I never caught (on bodhran).  The set list was:

First Set: Gathering Peascods, Horse's Bransle, Jenny Pluck Pears, Washerwoman's Bransle, Sellenger's Round, Petit Vriens. Intermission (demonstration pieces by members of the Academie): Parson's Farewell (two sets of 4) and Gelosia (one set of 6). Second Set: Newcastle, Maltese Bransle, Rufty Tufty, Official Bransle, Black Nag, Hole In The Wall.

Our hosts chose the set list, and as you can see, it was weighed heavily towards the "simple" end of the dance spectrum. <g>  This was appropriate, considering that this was an event geared primary toward fighting and archery, and considering the number of first-timers who were in attendance.  The bransles were very popular, with as many as two dozen people dancing at once.  The least popular was Newcastle, which pretty much flopped.

We *did* learn at least one valuable lesson:  The next time we are teaching a large group of very inexperienced dancers, we should make CERTAIN that we teach the more complicated dances during practice.  We tried the patience of our musicians, who had sat through the 10 minute intermission (we danced to recordings) and over 15 minutes of Newcastle instruction.  We need to do this better.  If we can't teach a dance in advance, we should cut our losses and spend the time during the ball to dance something else.

I never got a formal headcount of ALL of the Academie members in attendance, but I *believe* the following to be a pretty close list:  Bryan, Evelynne, James, Margaret, Marion, Rowen, Stefan, Vard and Victoria.  If I forgot someone, my apologies!  :)

We have a few new people who have or who will be joining the Academie from Black Diamond.  Yaay!  Once that settles, I'll send an updated membership list to everyone.  (Also, Marion, can you pls re-send me a copy of your new info?)

That's that!  It was great to see everyone this weekend, you done good!

-Vard

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