pennsicdance: Dance Music at Pennsic

Alex Clark alexbclark at
Sun Aug 28 17:36:53 PDT 2005

At 07:12 PM 8/28/2005 -0400, Jane & Mark Waks wrote:Octavio de Flores wrote:
>>5.  How does Black Nag (1673) escape the Pennsic OOP restriction?  If you
>>argue that it is "similar to" Playford 1, it opens up a pandora's box of
>>opinions about why my favorite dance is "like" Playford 1.
>Yeah, but that's nonetheless how a lot of us operate: by style, not year. 
>For example, Carolingia *mostly* (not religiously, but as a rule of thumb) 
>focuses on the set-dance forms from Playford, and avoids the longways 
>dances. That's because the set dances have an apparently straightforward 
>line of descent from the dances being done in 1600, so they occupy a 
>fairly grey area as far as SCA period is concerned. By contrast, there are 
>relatively few longways-style progressive dances documentable prior to 
>1651, and it then becomes the defining style of the Baroque. So we 
>essentially draw a line right down the middle of Playford, separating the 
>style that was going out from the one that was coming in. And by that 
>stylistic line, Black Nag is in the "early" (late Renaissance) 
>choreographic style, rather than the "late" (Baroque) one.
>Not everyone agrees with that mode of operation, and I said, even here 
>we're not entirely consistent about it. And it's certainly subjective,

I do not agree that the longways dances with progressions in the first 
edition of Playford were the "[style] that was coming in" or "the defining 
style of the Baroque". This was in fact another style that was on its way 
out. In the first edition, where a dance has any kind of minor-set 
progression, then that progression is almost always contained within a part 
of the dance. An extreme example is Nonesuch, where there is only one such 
progression, and then there are other figures which call for eight dancers 
instead of as many as will. In many other dances there are several 
different progressions, and each new progression begins when the dancers 
have completed the previous progression by coming to their starting places; 
sometimes figures such as sides and arms intervene between progressions.

In contrast with this, the progressive dances typical of the Baroque have a 
progression that encompasses the entire dance. At the end of the last 
figure of the dance, the first figure of the dance starts up with the 
dancers in their new, progressed, places.

Henry of Maldon/Alex Clark 

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