Thursday, November 7, 2013

23 September 2013 - New Haven Friends Meeting

Back on Schedule… Yeah Right!

This was a very experimental session. On the near horizon a workshop dedicated to the late Robert Gregg, one of my dancers and a deviser of different but good dances.

H was still working on The Southpaw Reel when he died. The action is all left handed (no surprise given the title). I was scheduled to teach it at the workshop and the description was so very Bob that after 20 minutes of trying to figure out what he meant I headed for the fridge for a beer. 40 minutes later I thought I knew what his intent was but that is never a sure thing until it is danced and thus confirmed.

This class was the perfect opportunity to test my interpretation. It took up most of the first half. I was very lucky too. 4 of the dancers had previously learned it from Bob himself and my interpretation not only worked it was correct. (hooray!)

I like the dance. The problem is bars 9-16. They are a 30 minute project in and of themselves. It is so different in concept and so not standard usage that experienced dancer are thrown for a loop and require serious retraining, as it were.

All in all, except for the wording, this dance is a finished product ready for publication. I have to work this out with the branch and his estate.

The other three dances I taught this evening are also winners and,  dare I say it, more accessible.

The dances were:

Dust Devils  (32 J 4some)  Jane Lataille - Still enough to Dance
The Southpaw Reel  (32 R 3)  Rbt. Gregg - leaflet
Yet Another Birthday  (32 S 3 set)  Holly Boyd - Montr√©al Moments
Shinkansen  (32 R 3)  Ann Dix - Reel Friends 3

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Dust Devils –  If you have a class with small numbers, and this one is,
           this is a dance for you.  From a   book you should have. By a
           dance diviser who is thinking outside the box and who is
            really very good at what she does. Recommended!

The Southpaw Reel – From the pen of a chemist who had a view far
            removed from the norm. I need to find time to rewrite the
            second figure into something understandable. Forty minutes
            struggling to decipher his description is just too much. Forty
            minutes teaching the figure is a guarantee that the dancer
            will never want to see it again. The results are not worth
            that kind of effort. If I can get the description down to 10
            minutes study and the teaching down to a minimal
           10 minutes then the reward is definitely worth the effort.

Yet Another Birthday – It's a beautiful thing indeed. It received a
           Dancer's Choice Award and they were most insistent that I put
           it on the upcoming (March 28, 2014) Kilts and Ghillies Tea
           Dance program. Holly wrote a Keeper. Went right to the top
           of my Top 50 Strathspeys list, neck and neck with Maurice,
           Linnea's Strathspey, and Gypsy Dreams.
           Highly recommended!

Shinkansen – from the pen of the late Ann Dix. It also received a
            Dancer's Choice Award. On it's first trial too. it too will be on
            the Kilts and Ghillies Tea Dance program this spring.
            Accessible, Fun, with a mild fugal formation.
            Recommended!

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