pennsicdance: Dance Suggestions

White, John john.white at
Thu Aug 25 08:14:36 PDT 2005

> From:  Sean D. Sorrentino
> >Overall - I actually like the idea of 
> >the parties!  Having the option to dance 
> >an entire night within a single theme is 
> >pretty nifty.
> As I pointed out, this is a bug, not a feature. We
> should discourage the specialization during social
> dance hours. 

Add me in on the opposite side of this argument.  I'm
not at all in favor of single-theme events because mixing
themes squicks me (and I think that the number of people
for whom that is a problem is low), but it is nice to know
that the event will be all from Arbeau or 1st ed Playford
or 15th c Italian, etc.  I'm seem to remember in the past
(I haven't been to Pennsic in a few years) that classes
were coordinated so that there was some teaching of those
particular dances (especially for those who are still, like
me, woefully lacking a serious 16th c Italian repertoire)
before the party/event.

What it comes down to is that the test isn't big enough to
take over completely from the barn.  This means that, since
it is there, it can be used for events that by its history,
the barn cannot (which is to say that there's no reason 
someone couldn't (try to) schedule the barn for a Caroso
ball or a 15th c Italian event - but it just isn't done).

> >. Tent 
> >dancers- send people to the barn if they 
> >don't like the theme of the night.
> This is rude and exclusive. It neither solves the
> split nor does it do our honors any service. 

But the tent exists and the barn exists and dancing is
going to happen in both until someone takes one or the
other away from us.  Why should there be a complete
duplication of effort between the two?

> >2)  A lesser reason - is that it 
> >attracts NEW dancers like you wouldn't 
> >believe. 
> It attracts people who want to watch. 

I think that it is probably just as much the dearth
of seating at the tent (and it's opposite in the barn)
that makes the barn a better observation platform.  The
tent is just as centrally located as the barn, and plenty
of traffic goes past it every day and every night.  The
food court is nearly next door, as is the Serengheti
merchant mall.  If new dancers don't see the dance tent
as attractive, it is probably something about the tent
and its setup itself that is causing that reaction.

> >3)  Dance in the barn is visible in a 
> >way dancing in the tent is not. Being 
> >right next to the Cooper's Store, we get 
> >a lot of foot traffic. People hear a 
> >dance they recognize and they join in 
> >and stick around. In 3 words:    It's 
> >good advertisement.
See above.

> >Midnight Rule:
> >I say abolish it. It made sense when 
> >there was only one venue. 
> >Seriously, the people who want to dance 
> >them want to dance them earlier in the 
> >night and don't want to wait around.
> Why continue to perpetuate a dying class of dance?
> Some people are holding on to this with their
> fingernails when it is a dead end art. It isn't
> period, it isn't close, and it isn't long for this
> world. Let it die. Stop wasting the brain cells and
> muscle memory of new dancers on dying dances.

I'll throw in with Domenico on this one.  I would
actually be in favor of banning them utterly from
organized dancing of any kind, barn, tent, pre-midnight,
post-midnight.  These dances serve no useful purpose,
they don't belong, and we shouldn't encourage them at
all.  I refuse to teach them, for all that Korobushka
and Moonshine were once my favorite dances of all.

To allow them, even in a post-midnight fashion, puts
a stamp of approval on them, which only allows them
to be perpetuated long past their expiration date.
Leave them out entirely ... or if you must, let the
barn be pick-up dancing after midnight, and if the
dancers can find a caller and a musician or two to
play, then they can do waltzes and the jitterbug if
they want, just as they could do in their own encampment
(which is where they should confine that to anyway).

> >My Proposed GOOP keepers: Korobushka; 
> >SCA Road to the Isles; Mari's Wedding; 
> >Gae Gordens; Postie's Jig; John Tallow's 
> >Cannon; Earl of Salisbury Pavanne; 
> >Female Sailor, Landler

Except for Earl of Salisbury (unless there is some
proof that the figures could not possibly be (or were
never) so combined, none of these belong anywhere in
the SCA.

> >SOOP keepers:
> >Playford 2 & 3 Dances, including Hole in 
> >the Wall, Mr. Isaac's Maggot, and 
> >Trenchmore

These are completely out of consideration as well.
Making an exception for Black Nag, which has no
figure in it that any 1st ed Playford doesn't have,
is different.  (Sellingers may be a different story
since I have a feeling that the version I've been
taught isn't necessarily the one in Playford.)

> >SCA Chor. / Reconstruction Keepers 
> >(which I don't feel I should have to 
> >count, but that for a different 
> >day):Quen Quer Que; Gracca Amorosa; 
> >Heralds in Love; Manschaft Pavanne; 
> >Carolingian Pavanne; Salterello La 
> >Regina, Riunione,

On the SCA choreography topic, I'd have to agree
with Justin.  As a group, they should be allowed
because that's what we do - beyond reconstruction,
we also try to reinact (after all, heavy weapon
combat is largely a modern invention, no matter how
many manuals you think that stuff came out of).
The problem is whether the choreography works - but
that's a different kettle of fish.

> Domenico

          \\Dafydd Cyhoeddwr

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