academie: Re: acedemie: Sorry, wrong room.

Edvard Gayer scavard at
Wed Jan 17 07:55:07 PST 2001

Scriptsit Faelan:
>I don't speak much, however, I wanted to share my two pence on this.  I 
>pray that it will not offend anyone.

Worry not, we're all friends here.  I'm certain the Academie can have a 
spirited discussion without anyone taking anything personally.  ;)

>The impression did come across to several gentles there was suppression of 
>post-period dances at 12th Night by the academie.

That's unfortunate.  It is my understanding that the GOOP dances were all 
grouped into the second set by the dance coordinator after consultation with 
the band, but prior to any involvement by the Academie.  My understanding is 
that the band did not desire to play those tunes, so the dances were shifted 
to the set where the band would not be playing.  The Academie as a whole had 
very little, if anything, to do with dance selection or their order.

The "suppression" you mention didn't really happen, although I can 
understand how that impression might get promulgated internally, based on 
the response I provided when Lord James asked for comments regarding the 
final set list.  Curiously enough, the audience for that response was very 
small, limited to just James, Arcturus, the band, the Academie, and perhaps 
one or two other Gentles.  The general populace was not a party to that 

>I might not like clogging as much as ballet but I am going to support that 
>student that does like clogging...

As many of us like period dance *and* modern dance.  I happen to like Swing, 
even though I haven't a prayer of ever being good at it.  (Poor Judith, she 
has the patience of a Saint when we go Swing dancing.)  But that does not 
mean that I should break into a Lindy Hop in the middle of a Twelfth Night 
ball.  Things have their place.

Is Vard anti-GOOP?  Nope, not at all.  In fact, I happen to like them quite 
a bit.  They're fun.  In the hotel bar after K12N, Etain and I danced "Road 
to the Isles" to some disco tune, I have been seen dancing "Korobushka" to 
'Kharma Chamelion', and I have taught "Hole in the Wall" and "Female Sailor" 
at dance practices.  But consistently through each of these examples, the 
dances have either been done in non-SCA settings or I've made a point to 
indicate they were GOOP.  I didn't always do things this way, but now I that 
I better-understand the difference between period and non-period dance, I 
can work on educating myself and those whom I teach.  I'm not perfect, I 
still teach and enjoy Black Nag and Sellenger's Round, even though by my own 
rationalizations they're OOP, and there's a whole argument for/against 
Playford that I'll not get into here.

The point I guess I'm trying to make is that there is nothing inhererntly 
*wrong* with any particular style of dance, including GOOP dances.  The only 
beef I have, and I think it's a reasonable one, is that GOOP dances are 
sometimes erroneously passed-off as being period.  I know GOOP dances are 
fun and popular, and that they're going to be with us for a very, very long 
time to come.  But if they are done in a setting where all of the dances are 
assumed to be period, I believe it reasonable to ask that they be done with 
a disclaimer.

The error I made, and one that I sincerely regret, was that instead of 
*asking* that the GOOP dances at K12N be disclaimed or removed, I 
*insisted*, and I implied that the Academie supported this insistance.  As a 
result, we may have permanently lost a valuable member, as I gave her the 
impression that the Academie is exclusionary, elitist, and snobbish.  That 
was my fault, and I have to live with both the consequences of that action 
and the burden that it has placed on my conscience.  I will strive to do 
better in the future.

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