pennsicdance: Gathering Peascods

Alex Clark alexbclark at
Thu Sep 8 04:49:13 PDT 2005

At 08:41 AM 9/7/2005 -0700, Sean D. Sorrentino wrote:
>except i think the instructions say, take a double
>into the center, take hands, and take (4? 8?) slips
>left. then fall back. . . .

I don't know whose instructions there are, but they certainly aren't 
Playford's. Playford's instructions are: "Men hands, and goe round in the 
inside, and come to your places _._ We. as much _:_" No indication that 
there is supposed to be even a single beat for taking hands, or for coming 
to their places, that cannot also be used to go round in the inside. So 
that means that up to the full 12 beats may be used to go round, as long as 
the men are out of the way at the end of the 12th beat, so that the women 
can start round.

If the dancers have all practiced double-time marching at close distance, 
and if they squeeze close together in the middle, it might be feasible to 
do this with 15 or 20 couples. With less than 10 couples it can be done 
better, and will look more like other period or SOOP dances. And if the 
musicians slow way down or stop, then any number of couples can do it 
correctly, but in that case I doubt that the music would be exactly correct.

Henry of Maldon/Alex Clark 

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