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Sharlene Penman (piano), visiting from New Zealand, is the band leader for the 2019 Tea Dance.
Our fiddlers are Sarah Stefanski and Jenny Evans, both local artists.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

New Haven Summer Social - 14 June 2011

Windsor held it's end of season party last night, and several of our regulars must have gone because we barely scrapped together a 3 couple set and there I was scrambling yet again. I couldn't do any of the 4C dances I had planned, got to try one of Monday's dances with different music and we all had a wonderful time and managed to work through 8 dances, some not so easy.

Tuesday's dances were:
The Four Winds  (32 R 4-some)  T. Glasspool
Gifts  (32 S 3 set) I. van Maarseveen
Crossing the Brook  (32 R 3 set)  R. Goldring
The Dean Bridge of Edinburgh  (32 S 3) 23/4
The Elusive Muse  (32 J 3 set)  Tim Wilson
Age of Aquarius  (32 S 3)  Tim Wilson
The Captain  (32 R 3)  R. King
The Flourish  (32 S 3) Tim Wilson

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The Four Winds:-  From the pen of Terry Glasspool and thank goodness. All these new dances for groups with small numbers are a god send. And Terry's are among the most elegant and witty of the lot. This one is spare and simple but the 'side' dancer's need to change directions adds just enough spice that no one's going to sleepwalk through the dance . 

Gifts:- By Irene van Maarseveen, published in Pretoria Branch's book Many Happy Hours, I taught it on Monday to one set of tunes that worked but didn't really fit the dance. Last night I taught to a different set of tunes (for the dance Forget Me Knot) and it was just plain better. I still want a 3x through recording of the hymn which would be 'the bomb' (as I have heard tell). But as a good second choice Forget Me Knot works well. And I still like this simple dance - it is most definitely on the short short list for next year's ball.

Crossing the Brook:- by Goldring from his Social Dances 2002,  we had to modify it slightly to make it work for a 3C set. Good dance, but I am not willing to put it on my Top 50 list. It just doesn't have that little something that puts a dance over the top and makes it special. That could be my fault as I didn't choose the music wisely, and Muriel's recording for the dance might have been what was missing.

The Dean Bridge of Edinburgh-  From the pen of Alec Hay and I like it even though I am not sure what to make of the last eight bars. There is a curious disconnect between the dancers during the advance and retires and I am not sure how or even if I should get them to make eye contact. But NO HANDS! Handing in the last formation would make the dance very unpleasant.

The Elusive Muse:-  one of Tim Wilson's contributions to the San Francisco publication Measures of Pleasure.  And what a delightful contribution it is too. Once I finally figured out my note card was missing a bit of vital information - namely that the dance was for a 3C set - I finally picked some good music: Muriel Johnstone's set for Heid of the Bay from the Port-no-quay Collection. Another short listed dance working it's way up the list.

Age of Aquarius:- Another Tim Wilson dance (is there a theme developing here I hear you ask, ah...yep).
I like what I am seeing from this guy. A bit more difficult than most of his other dances this one is going to take a few coaching sessions to get just right. But I like what Tim is doing with Terry Glasspool's box setting. Pure genius to invent the figure, genius too to see other possibilities, in this case to see you could rotate the figure to the corners. 

The Captain:-  From San Francisco Branch's Solstice Party Book. Simple choreography, certainly not very original, but with the right jaunty maybe even pushy reel it garnered a Dancer's Choice Award. I used Dave Wiesler and Mara Shea's recording for Sleepwalking off their CD "Heather Hills". Recording: highly recommended. The book of dances: ditto.

The Flourish:-  As the last dance of the evening I was really pushing the envelope with this dance.  A lovely dance with lots of opportunities to embroider, but too much too late in the evening. I would dearly love to see this done at a party with kilts and gowns swirling.

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