westdance: More dancing

Matthew Larsen matt1.larsen at gmail.com
Thu Jan 8 12:30:51 PST 2009

Greetings Daniel!

Thanks for speaking up, it's very useful to hear from people who like
to dance but aren't part of the hardcore dance croud.  It's sometimes
hard for a lot of us to even remember what seemed hard when we started
out. :-)

Can I as a few more questions?

When you say you don't like Geloxia and Contrapasso, is that because
of complexity?  Or is it just that you don't care for them?  Or both?
:-)  Either is a fine answer, I just want to better understand how
people feel about the dances.

Regarding the dance set for 12th Night -- when you say there were more
dances that you weren't interested in doing than ones you were, I'm
guessing you ruled out the ECD dances because they are out of period
(I'm kind of reading between the lines to get that from your later
statement).  Is that true, and if so, do you think that there are a
reasonable number of others who share that feeling?  My preference
would be to go away from them as well, but there's always been an
assumption that a lot of people really like them even if they are out
of period, and won't want to dance _unless_ they're on the list.  If
that isn't so true, I would love to reduce the number of ECD dances we
include.  There are plenty of bransles and almans that could replace

Thanks for your thoughts, and also thanks for having dance at your Investiture!


On Thu, Jan 8, 2009 at 10:36 AM, Daniel Fenwick
<daniel at fenwick.sparks.nv.us> wrote:
> Just an FYI,  :)
> Geloxia is so-so, but I don't really like it.  Pavan's are fine. :)
> Contrapasso is one I really don't like.  Cleaves I don't remember (if I've
> ever seen or done it.)  :)
> We looked at the dance set for 12th Night and since there were substantially
> more dances that We weren't interested in than were, We went and did other
> things.  Most of the other people that I talked to who I know like to dance
> but weren't dancing, weren't dancing for the same reason.
> The idea is to have dances simple enough that people who don't dance or who
> danced years ago but don't live in the Bay Area (so can't attend the regular
> dance practices) can come out and dance and have fun.  We want dances you
> can go through and people can remember not dances that people forget 5
> minutes after they've walked through them and can't remember to the end.
> We realize that many of the more advanced dancers want fancier, harder
> dances but we want things that more people can participate in and feel
> comfortable and still be doing something that is easily shown to be in
> Period.
> Our goal is to do what we can to get more people participating in more
> activities, so much of what We do for "official" activities needs to be
> aimed at beginners rather than hoping the beginners can catch up.
> Thank you for being willing to help Us in this endeavor.
> Daniel and Aeschine
> Lord and Lady of the Swan
>> The autocrat for Investiture talked to me at Twelfth Night (and for a
>> wonder, I remembered and actually contacted him afterward - sieve brain
>> that I am, especially at 12th Night).  I've been asked to teach and
>> lead dance at Cynagua Investiture, January 31, the week after the
>> Crosston Ball.
>> There's a hitch.  Their Highnesses do not want English Country nor Late
>> Italian.  Doesn't leave too much.  I'm interpretting "Late Italian" as
>> "nothing too foofy or hard".  I've also added the caveat "nothing that
>> I don't have dance music for" as I don't have an in house musician.
>> This is what I've come up with, building on things that were taught at
>> Twelfth Night and will be taught at the Crosston Ball.  I don't imagine
>> there will be that much time reserved for dance, so I'm not putting a
>> full set list together.
>> Horses Bransle
>> Montarde Bransle
>> Black Alman
>> Queen's Alman
>> Amoroso
>> Petite Rhiens
>> If we get through those, I may try and sneak in
>> A Pavan
>> Danse de Cleves
>> Geloxia
>> and maybe Contrapasso, which is later Italian, but drag throughable.
>> Comments, questions, suggestions?
>> Thanks,
>> Na'arah
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