[Bg-dance] KWDMS #2

Tim McDaniel tmcd at panix.com
Sat Jun 23 21:54:57 PDT 2012

Walking into the hotel behind two fellows who were occasionally
looking back at me.  (They may have been involved in Saran Wrapping
a car in the parking lot.)  I get into the elevator with them and
notice first that one man had sparkly earrings and then that the other
had large carved wooden plugs in his earlobes.

"Is that ... Wiccan?"
"No, I was at a Renaissance dance symposium."
"Oh, right, that was this weekend. -- Yeah, it looks like something we
have for our Wiccan rituals."
"Hm!  This was standard clothing for several centuries."
"Well, the Renaissance is old, Wicca is old ..."

I went to ECD classes today in preference to an advanced Gresley class
and an Amoroso variation class.  One listed Parson's Farewell,
Whirlygig, and Nonesuch (as in "where I already know all but one
dance" from yesterday).  I figure I can show up and do the first two,
and at least learn Nonesuch.  The Parson's Farewell set I was in had
three people who knew it.  I was the only one in the Whirlygig set who
knew it, and it went about as you expect for new/moderate intermediate
dancers.  And then we didn't have time to even start Nonesuch.  OK,
it's gratifying to be a dance angel, but still, I could have learned
more Gresley.

The Whirlygig was a non-Ansteorran version.  (One lady hissed in a "ha
ha only serious" manner when I told her about doing both as right-hand
stars.)  The instructor taught the S hays as "the receiver starts the
hey" -- as in, man 2 turns left and offers right to woman 1, woman 1
is the receiver.  It leads to extra turning and so I think it's not so

Turns out they found a source that gives a crucial detail about
Quadran Pavane (the first alman in the Old Measures): it's left,
right, forward, LEFT, RIGHT, backwards.  The other sources just said
side, forward, side, back, and everyone assumed it was alternating L
and R.  Turns out one person, normally the least helpful, wrote a
cheat sheet note on the back of a document and they specified it was
left both times.

The earliest alman source(s?) specify that the double ends with a hop.
Later ones never do.  Did hops go out of style or did they just figure
that everyone knew that an alman double in England ended with a hop?
The alman scholar (Trahearne, as seen on the SCA Dance mailing list)
is not sure.

Someone mentioned doing If All the World Were Paper when they had but
7 dancers.  They alternated two positions during the choruses, because
each half of the sets stands idle during half the chorus.  In the
verses, someone still has to dance with a ghost partner.  It can work,
but the person doing double duty has to do a LOT of dancing and
running back and forth.

I tried a few more solutions to the chafing.  As I reflected on one at
the end of the evening, I realized that I should not have be
surprised, as many human problems can be solved by pulling up one's
shorts and belting them firmly.

Danel de Linccolne
Tim McDaniel, tmcd at panix.com

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