academie: Shameless Plug

Edvard Gayer scavard at
Wed Oct 11 08:56:32 PDT 2000

That's precisely the problem... I have a half-dozen dances, but can NOT yet 
claim for certain that they are clearly traceable to our period.

The background investigation is turning out to be very much like tracing 
one's family tree.  There aren't a whole lot of written records from 
pre-1600 Eastern Europe (at least from what I understand), and unlike the 
documentation of dancing that was done in the West, most of the Eastern 
"documentation" was apparently done by word of mouth and demonstration.  
Apparently the Renaissance hit EE later than it did the West, and written 
records of dances are virtually non-existant.

I am working with a group in the Midwest who specializes on things from 
Eastern Europe, and who themselves play with a folk dance group based in 
Ohio.  Between the two of them, they've given me several dances that they 
believe very strongly to date to within a century of our period.  They're 
continuing to research the dances, and are trying to see whether any of them 
can be traced back even further.

There is an inherent problem here, though.  Since these dances were passed 
from generation to generation without any tangible documentation, the 
likelihood that the dances evolved have away from their original form during 
this time is pretty high.  What we see them dancing today in EE might be the 
same thing that was danced 350-400 years ago, but if I were a betting man, 
I'd say that they've probably changed somewhat over time.  Unfortunately, we 
don't yet know for certain.

I am *not* an expert, and though the people I'm working with are the 
best-informed folks I've managed to find, I do not know whether *they* are 
experts either.  It's likely that NOBODY is an expert on this, at least 
nobody on this side of the pond.

The dances that I'm preparing to bring to the event on Nov 11th are the best 
and closest things I've been able to come up with during my few months of 
searching.  I cannot stand up in front of anyone and claim that these are 
"period" dances, although I am hoping that the ongoing research will come up 
with some stronger evidence to support that type of a claim at a later date.


----Original Message Follows----
From: Judithsca at
To: academie at
Subject: Re: academie: Shameless Plug
Date: Wed, 11 Oct 2000 03:57:27 EDT

wait---you have actually managed to find out infor on pre-1600 eastern
european dance?  Well, share, share! :)

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