pennsicdance: questions to all & thoughts from the peanut gallery

whirlygig whirlygig at
Sun Aug 28 22:03:09 PDT 2005

Let me ask you all this:

What's actually broken here?
What are the actual goals for the 2 venues we have at Pennsic?  How do these
relate to similar venues at the OTHER wars?
What first/second hand stories are truly floating around about 'snubbing'
from either side of the fences?
         I always felt I was treated with respect from Lyev, Adele, and
Judith- and I hope all my interactions with them came across with the deep
respect I have for them :)   (...if not, please e-mail me privately!!!)
I have a few second-hand accounts of complaints from people at the barn of
treatment by 'tent people', but I am interested in seeing whether we're all
hearing complaints from a few very vocal people, or the grumblings of many
discontented people.

My observation from the list thus far:
1) Tent - Provides good atmosphere, good times.
- As it was this year, and previous years- many people danced, had a good
time, went home happy
- Good focus on historial recreation and accuracy
- The parties / themed nights = Advertisement and perception thereof maybe
needs some tweaking, but otherwise are ok?

2) Barn - Good atmosphere, good times
- As it was this year, and previous years- many people danced, had a good
time, went home happy
- Good focus on the theme of the 'home grown dance revels' as are found in
many baronies
- Yes, people volunteered from the areas that have more OOP dances then
others.  And they also took requests from dancers from those same areas
(many who came because they KNEW the person leading dance.)  But - as near
as I can tell - the only ones truly complaining about this are the ones on
this list.  Either way, from all accounts I've heard and the lists I've seen
so far, better then 2/3 of the dances on any given night were "in period."
- My remaining concerns from the barn:
a)  2 of my volunteers to lead dance in the barn felt they had to stop/leave
after 11:30 to prevent (words used: "problems", "arguments", and "bad
feelings") when the dancers from the tent came up as war week wore on.
b) That what I heard, and able to observe after 11:30, the dances taught by
people coming from the tent were taught fully rather then blocked/sketched-
even when nearly all dancers on the floor knew the dance, some dances were
complicated (or were made complicated by over-explaining), in many cases
focused to a small group, and were leaving many sitting on the sidelines who
eventually left.
c) Last, I was unable to find a replacement for Wendesday and Thursday after
my voice went out.

3)  Split of musicians between venues- not so much a problem, considering we
oked the use of CD's/tapes even before Pennsic in the barn to make up for
the lack of live music that's been happening in the barn these past few
years.  Reason for doing this:  Any music was better then not dancing.
Thanks to musicans like Maug, and others- we didn't need to rely on them as
much as we thought we were going to.
BTW - Yes, for whatever reason, I too have noticed an increased lack of live
dance musicians.

4) Communication for musicans - we've now identifed there is a problem.  We
can work on a variety of solutions- signs, marker boards, ads in the
independet...  lots of options here

Yes - there are definate preferances for why things are done in certain ways
in the various places.
        But aside from increasing communication and goodwill between the two
venues, I don't see that much else needs to change.
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it."  Too much is actually working and getting
that to try to fix it really could REALLY break things down.
          Let the barn stay with it's two organized functions- (as long as
Wolgumut shows up when they say they will! ;)  ).  Given everything else
that happens in the barn, esp during war week- it could be hard to get the
space ready for much else.  I just don't know.  I do know a suggestion was
made at Pennsic about an "Apocolypse Ball" for Friday night- that's similar
to Crystal Ball (?  I don't want to put words in anyones mouth? ).  Could be
fun to add this as a third, and since there are no courts left at that
point, could even be possible.

If there has to be a line drawn for when OOP can/can't be danced in the
barn- I suggest that line be BEFORE the dancers from the tent come up to the
barn (unless they really *DO* secretly want to dance the Goop too! ;)  ).
Anything goes from 9:00 until 11:30, then only period peices.  Again, I
don't see the point of having that line =**As long As the dances are
announced properly**= as the nights and times I was able to be in the barn,
the period peices were being requested more often and more frequently then
the others.  There were also people sitting out many dances because they
were BOARD with them Period and non-period.

More ponderings on the OOP issue in next message.


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