academie: Fwd: Re: Hot off the presses! (Or nearly so...)

Edvard Gayer scavard at hotmail.com
Wed Jan 10 07:54:15 PST 2001


Friends:

I wanted to CC you a copy of a letter I just sent to the good folk who are 
volunteering to play dance music at the Twelfth Night balls this weekend.  
Some of us are already part of the "band", so this will be a repeat.

For your information, at InterBaronial Twelfth Night, HRH asked us to do one 
of three GOOPs.  Tough as it was, we said no.  Well, it was tough for me, 
Judith had no problem putting her foot down.  ;)

-Vard


----Original Message Follows----
From: "Edvard Gayer" <scavard at hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: Hot off the presses! (Or nearly so...)
Date: Wed, 10 Jan 2001 10:42:10 -0500

James:

You've done a great job...I know first-hand how difficult it can be to 
coordinate a lot of people to make something like this come off, especially 
when you've got other event-related duties tugging at you.  It's a thankless 
job, and you tend to ONLY hear complaints from those who think they could 
have done better but who did not bother to help you.  I don't want to be 
lumped in with these folks.... thanks for all your efforts, James!

>>If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, it's not too late

Okey dokey, you asked for it!  ;)

>>Second Ball
>>  Carolingian Pavane
>>  Female Sailor
>>  Hole in the Wall
>>  Road to the Isles
>>  Koroboushka
>>  Earl Of Salisbury Pavane
>>  Whirligig (repeat chorus)
>>  Picking of Sticks

It's apparent we need to help educate Atlantia somewhat about what is 
pre-17th Century and what is not.  Though some may argue about Playford's 
1651 publication of "The English Dancing Master" and whether those 1st 
edition dances are period or not -- there are even differences of opinion 
within the Dance Academie on this one -- there is little doubt about the 
non-periodness of Female Sailor, Hole in the Wall, Road to the Isles, and 
Koroboushka.

"Female Sailor" was not published until 1706;
"Hole in the Wall" was not published until 1698;
"Road to the Isles" is an SCA Invention (post-1965);
"Koroboushka" is based on a 19th century Russian ballroom dance.

If these dances MUST be done (due to Royal decree or some other reason), I 
would strongly suggest re-ordering the second ball so that the non-period 
dances are at the very end, and make an announcement disclaiming them prior 
to them being done.  But I would like to make a case for their exclusion 
altogether.

While it would be foolish to expect that we can change decades' worth of 
inertia with at a moment, we should REALLY try to avoid perpetuating the 
belief that non-period dances are "okay" as long as they have a "period 
feel" to them.  They are not.  This belief is something that the Academie is 
working toward overcoming, but it makes our job that much more difficult 
when these type of dances are included at Kingdom-level events.  By 
including grossly out of period (GOOP) dances for Atlantia's Twelfth Night 
Ball, we are tacitly endorsing their use within the Society -- something 
that we should NOT be doing.  I am confident that our Laurels and Pearls 
understand this, and I would hope that our other Peers (including the 
Royals) would understand this as well.

It is difficult, but we must begin to earnestly resist attempts to include 
GOOP dances (and other arts/sciences) into our activities.  There are scores 
of other fun dances to do which are documentably period.  If the Kingdom 
sets the wrong example by performing GOOP dances at Twelfth Night, what hope 
is there that smaller groups will not do likewise locally?

Let's draw the line, here and now, and do the right thing by excluding these 
four dances from the ball.  Please.

Yours,
// Vard //

Lord Edvard Gayer, Secretary
L'Academie Atlantienne de la Danse
http://www.pbm.org/~lindahl/academie.htm


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