pennsicdance: The Caroso Style Ball

Susan Kronenfeld skronenf at
Fri Mar 31 14:35:08 PST 2000

Greetings, lordinges, from Roselyne!

On Fri, 31 Mar 2000, Julia E Smith wrote:

> "Charles J. Cohen" wrote:
> > 
> > >I've always wondered why a Caroso Ball wasn't made *part* of the Dance
> > >Exhibition, which, AFAIK, has had no other Western RenDance besides
> > >what I incited.

Actually, my lord, it sort of *was* the theme of the Carolingian
troupe's performance at the dance tent 2 Pennsics ago.  (And did
you instigate that? :)  I suppose you might have invited us or
something, though I don't remember those details right now.)
Actually, I'm wrong-- it was more of a Book-of-the-Courtier type
arrangement, with the presiding figure requesting dances of the
"attendees"; ostensibly, therefore, it was spontaneous, but I'm sure
everyone knew that the program was pre-arranged-- but such procedures
were hardly unknown to the Italian Renaissance courts!

> > That being said, I think that if I arranged it so that our Caroso
> > style ball was done as part of the exhibition, it would scare away too
> > many dancers.  I don't *know* this, it is just my opinion.

We-el... what if it were audience-participation with a few well-placed
ringers in the audience?  At the Caroso balls of past Pennsics, there
have always been at least a few who dared not get up but stayed to
watch, and at least some not known as barn "regulars" who gamely join
in.  If we had a few, known to the people "on stage", but who keep a
low profile in general, and are not dressed especially flamboyantly,
who would "volunteer" to stand up, or who would accept an invitation if
asked to dance, we might take in a few unwary before they knew it was
supposed to be hard or scary to dance before an audience...
> At some point, we talked about doing two Caroso Balls: the first a real
> Caroso with the standard SCA format (which we'd do in the Dance tent or
> barn), and the second a performance piece in which various of us agree
> to work some stuff up and perform it in a "Caroso ball setting".  That
> way, we can have the best of both worlds: a real Caroso that's
> inclusive, and a "real performance setting."  

Not to pick nits, but isn't that the essential idea of what we are
always doing in a Caroso ball?  :) As I understand it, the difference,
(if any) is that you propose we work it up with a particular partner.
One partner (or probably both) would then also have to work up a
different piece with a second partner, and so on, in order to keep
up the chain where the invited party selects the next dance and


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