pennsicdance: Dance Suggestions

White, John john.white at drexel.edu
Fri Aug 26 07:30:42 PDT 2005


> From:  Judith
> 
> <<Several of the parties are exclusive when it comes to 
> musicians.  20% of
> the 
> time Maug was turned away.>>
> 
> I should point out here that on two of those occasions, the 
> musicians in
> question were a cohesive band who had practiced together well 
> in advance and
> had a plan on how to play each piece.  In those instances, 
> having a musician
> who had not rehearsed with them would have seriously 
> disturbed the flow of
> the music.  It would be somewhat akin to an unknown musician 
> hopping up and
> playing at a Wolgemut concert...

The desire to have a rehearsed band play at your event is 
understandable, especially if you have a lot of dances you
want to get through, or perhaps if you are trying to make it
more of a party and less of a dance-thing (i.e. where the
dancing is only one of the social things going on, and the
focus of everyone is not getting the musicians playing the
right tune in the right repeats the right number of times -
if the musicians are able to just go with it, the dancing
feels less ... amateurish? focused on? ... than otherwise).

That said, I think that unless you really have the entire
evening planned out as to what's going on when and how long
it is going to take, that perhaps Maug's suggestion of having
sets that use an open band vs sets that use your rehearsed band
could be a good way not to exclude that very valuable resource
of the dance musician.

Another thing that might help could be a place or way to let
party/event hosts who the for-hire musicians are.  A third
possibility might be to have an "open band" that has had some
rehearsal time together before the party/event - a method that
worked moderately well at KWDS5 in Sydney, and a method that
I think would work much better at a party/event, where you don't
want too much chaos among the musicians as they work out
arrangements, than at the barn, where the musician chaos can 
work itself out while the dancer chaos does the same.

While it would be nice to be totally open to musicians at
every venue/party/event, it isn't really reasonable to expect
that as (and if) we move to more specialized events.  Making
ways (and time) to smooth out the rough edges before the
party event should be a reasonable compromise (says me, a 
non-musician, hopefully not stepping on too many musical toes).
After all, not all of the musicians who want to play in an open
band *are* professionals who could probably slip into a rehearsed
band without disrupting anything.  

> 
> J

        \\Dafydd Cyhoeddwr



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