pennsicdance: more fringy ponderings

whirlygig at whirlygig at
Thu Aug 25 17:42:46 PDT 2005

Why does this issue have to be so completely black and white?

I have never seen the two-step/swing dance/tango...or what have you requested or taught at any event dance or otherwise I've attended in 6 years.  Landler, I’ve only seen requested and taught at Crystal Ball.  But by these standards I have taken an OOP Minuet class in the dance tent during Pennsic 30 or 31.

And to be absolutely clear on this:  In the barn this year there were FAR more period dances then non-period dances being danced AND requested, in some cases multiple times for Rostiboli, Petit Vrens, and Black Nag.  I would guess at a 1 GOOP dance to 7 InPDs as a statistic?  I'm hoping the people who led dance will send me their set lists so I can get a better number for everyone on this.  
(HINT HINT!!!  ;) )

A Music Laurel (I think it was Master John Ap Winn? ) once said to me, “After 40 years- the SCA has evolved a culture of it's own that should be celebrated.”  We are the Society of CREATIVE ANACHRONISMS.  We are not, and have never been a strictly puritan organization like the Revolutionary or Civil War re-enactors.  We celebrate the best of history, and fudge quite a bit, thankfully.  
(Wool undies in summertime? No thanks!)

One example would be all the women dance mistresses on this list.  Wouldn't have happened "in period" folks.  The nobility we portray would have been scandalized to consider such a thing and too busy having babies and running households for our husbands.  Our womanly artistic endeavors were mostly limited to cooking and needlepoint :)

The dances that have been CREATED; like 'Hearlds in Love' – where both Choreorgraphy and Music are original to Society; there was care that went into that crafting.  As much as went in to translating a dance like ‘Buffens’ or ‘Gracca Amorosa’ over into something we can understand and dance.  
So I’m all for keeping many of the SCA crafted dances.  Because they are the epitomy of what being a Creative Anachronism is about!

I don't see more then a few Playford 2 & 3 dances, mostly without music available.  
Let sleeping dogs sleep - and just don't add any more.

Korobushka, Road to the Isles
 however these dances have been around Society for 15-20+ YEARS.  Yes- more dances are now available that are documented and period, that are easier to teach, easier on the knees, ears, and authentic tastes.  But these few, 25 odd dances have become part of our SCA *culture*.  Why not let them be just that.  And simply drop the 70+ obscure ones there’s no readily availble music for anyway, and NOT ADD ANY New folk dances from this line out?

Yes carpet armor and freon cans were also common 20 years ago - but for reasons of safety and easier cheaper arming methods becoming available, it went out of fashion.  
Yes - even the fencers are evolving to more periodness.
Yes- it’s more comfy at times to wear jeans and tee-shirts; but it clearly states in the Pennsic book, as well as many event books that “AN ATTEMPT AT PERIOD CLOTHING *MUST* be made” when on-site.  That and people asking you about ‘nakedness’ makes it kinda obvious about what is acceptable :)

But there’s something to be said for anything that can stand the test of time in the hearts and mind of the general dancing populace the way these dances have.  That more then anything is what endears these few dances to me.  It’s like a comfy blanket, a good scotch, or fine wine.  For us/them- It’s all about the 'Good Ole Days.'


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