Thursday, March 11, 2010

Westchester Class - 10 March 2010

Tonight's dances:
The Mad Hatter (32 J 3) Iain Boyd – Happy to Meet
On Hudson Creek (32 H 3) Between the Rivers (J. Sawin et al)
Rakes of Auld Reekie (32 S 2) B. Priddey - Golden Oriole Book
Maurice (32 S 2) Dunsmuir Dances (Gary Thomas)
Mole’s Frolic (32 J 3) Dunsmuir Dances (Tom Winter)
Gramachie (32 S 3) Misc 1


On Hudson Creek – for this dance what do dancers need to know? Fractions! They need to know exactly what and how far a half reel of four goes, and they need to know how far a three-quarters turn goes. And do them in exactly 4 and 2 bars respectively (more or less). Heaven help they who, in the half reel, just HAVE to take hands before they complete their left shoulder pass. Quickly now! By how much does that change the turn?

Rakes of Auld Reekie – Oh me oh my, how I like this dance. Along with Maurice this one a "no doubt" top 10 winner. It does takes some work to put the pieces together especially the timing which is on the subtle side. I have been using a set of melodic, smooth strathspeys, but in filling out a set tonight I realized that the dance works better to strong traditional tunes. Dancers can't be genteel with this one. Strong steps, strong dancing make the dance. Good dancing rewarded.

Maurice – Following on the heels of RoAR this was a case of biting off more than I could chew. I ended up behind schedule and made the beginner class wait as we (finally) danced it through. But it was coming together. Once again, good dancing rewarded.

Gramachie – A solid, doable, reasonably pleasant dance done to solid performed reasonably pleasant music. Not exhilarating, but OK. Is this a case of damning through faint praise? Perhaps. I wouldn't want to do the dance on a regular basis, and I would certainly prefer better music. I chose it because I needed a dance for a mixed set (including true beginners) and it filled the bill.

On Hudson Creek, Maurice, Rakes of Auld Reekie and Mole's Frolic are all on the Kilts and Ghillies Ball (coming real soon now).

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