westdance: Thoughts on 15c Italian for KWDS?

Matthew Larsen matt1.larsen at gmail.com
Tue May 8 13:39:27 PDT 2007

On 5/8/07, Cin <cinbarnes at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 5/8/07, Matthew Larsen <matt1.larsen at gmail.com> wrote:
> > On 5/8/07, Cin <cinbarnes at gmail.com> wrote:
> > > On 5/7/07, Greg Lindahl <lindahl at pbm.com> wrote:
> > > > ...The improvised piva or saltarello is easy to teach, and
> > > ... Veronique Daniels is into non-choreographed
> > > partnered  steps in sauterello & even bazzadanza time.
> > ... I don't think we (or at least I) have
> > anything against non-choreographed dances.
> That was not my claim. My claim was that it was a hard sell as the
> Crosston ball group (the larger group than Wens nite regulars) finds
> the concept odd. Matt, Crystal, Kat & Hugh & Merrin & Carey & all the
> others who have a toe in the 19th & early 20th c dance community are
> not the ones that were hard to sell.

Ah, I understand now.  Yeah... the regular Crosston Ball crowd would
probably not take too well to that, unless there was a lot of Wed.
Night regulars to provide yeast, as it were.

> >My issue with unchoroegrahped salterello, pas de brabant, piva, etc is
> >that I don't see any source that gives enough detail to have any sense
> >of confidence that we're doing anything that is remotely like what
> >they were doing.
> A fair point, but tell me, when was the last time you wrote about a
> non-choreographed partnered dance of *any* style... say one of those
> Argentine tangos or a bit of Lindy Hop?
> I can say I never have wrtten about a particlular dance except to say
> "wow that really worked" without specifying either the *what* that
> worked much less the *how* and *why* of the thing that worked. Without
> those details (and no video), you'd have no idea what
> non-choreographed partnered dance in the 21st century looked like much
> less felt like from inside the partnership.

This is certainly true.  I imagine if I were writing about some
Crosston Ball, I'd write the same kind of stuff that we get in some of
the sources we have, something like "and then we danced such and such,
and I danced it with Crystal, after that we danced this other dance,
unfortunately only three couples danced it..." and so on.  Not exactly
useful info for reconstructing. :-)

And if I were to describe a dance in detail, it almost certainly
wouldn't be a free galliard.  If there were any description at all, it
would probably be "and then Greg did this cool 24 step, gotta get him
to teach that one in class some time".  :-)

> Fun topic! Yay for bringing this up!

Yeah...  time for more galliard practice.  We've got to get to the
point where what we can work on is not some specific step, but rather
how you string them together.  But you have to have everyone doing at
least two steps to get to that...  I need to think more on how to
teach that.  Hmmm...


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