Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Kilts and Ghillies Class - 17 November 2009

A full set present tonight - Hoo Rah!

We danced:
Joie de Vivre (32 J 3C - adapted for 3C set) Bk 39/2
Dance No.39 (32 S 3 set) Bk 46 project
John of Bon Accord (32 R 3) Bk 33/5
The Nurseryman (32 J 3) Bk37/7

Joie de Vivre: Adapting Joie de Vivre for a 3C set is an interesting proposition. With couples in the order 3,1,2 you need to end 2, 3, 1. The easiest solution is to "fix" the Allemande thus: 3C dances up and out to the right as 1C dances up and to the left. 1C has now cut in front of 3C and the Allemande completes normally. (Thank you, Mary Shoolbraid Brandon! She wrote this "fix" into her dance The Double Sixsome - which is where I first saw it).

Dance No. 39: Very frustrating. I have taught it twice now and both times it was like going to the dentist. I could not believe that I had to teach a group of experienced dancers (most with over 20 years dancing experience) how to set to corners. Not Hello-Goodbye setting but set to 1st corner, set to 2nd corner - from scratch no less. A comment though brought me to earth.

How often does that figure actually appear? Answer: Not often. My guess is that a dance with that figure might get done once every 10-12 years. And my struggle is to remember that I am not normal. I don't forget these things - Once learned - learned. Other dancers need repetition to retain familiarity and they haven't had that. My frustration - My bad.

John of Bon Accord: For some reason this dance continues to fly under my radar. I have taught the dance in 1992, twice in 1994, once in 2003 and tonight. It is a far better dance than that record would indicate.

What is needed are good crisp, properly timed reels. 1C needs to keep the first 3 half reels HALF reels and not overshoot their marks. Every four bars those marks are: for 1L the center line of the set; for 1M one or the other of the sidelines. The subtlety here is where IL, in the transitional moments between the half reels, positions herself along the center line– for it is her relationship to her partner that create the axis of each new half reel. The four reels are on the diagonal (1M to 2L), straight across the set in 2nd place, on the diagonal (2M to 3L), and across the set in 3rd place.

The Nurseryman: One of my favourite dances. What I find special is not the Inverting Double Triangles but rather the transition from the Left Hands Across on the sides into lines of 3 across the set. The secret is to dance the Left Hands Across about half round, release hands and expand it into a sort of chase. Then when everyone links hands at the same moment what appeared to be circular magically transforms into a line and it just shines! That, IMHO, is the moment that defines the dance. And tonight someone else actually 'got' it!

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