[SCA-Dance] ly bens/parson's

White, John john.white at drexel.edu
Mon May 19 10:55:23 EDT 2008

> From:  Kelley Rambo
> I have a question about Ly Bens Dystonys.  When we were 
> trying to learn
> it, one of our group said that she had done it in a line of 
> couples.  We
> tried this and ended up getting quite tangled, 

This dance does usually work with a column of couples (as long
as they aren't too close together), just as well as any dance
where the partners separate and come back together will (Rostibolli
for example, which needn't be done in a column and in which the
leave and return is generally not quite so quick).  It might be
that your people are still getting used to the steps and the 
patterns, and so aren't necessarily able to concentrate on yet
another thing - keeping to the circle or oval path of the column.
I should think that as the dance becomes more familiar and there
are fewer new things to concentrate on, the separation and return
will become less tangled.

> How do people in the East Kingdom finish Parson's Farewell?  
> One set of
> instructions suggests doing two circular heys, but the 
> original sounds a
> bit different.   

Briefly, one common reconstruction is:  men turn their partners
a little more than once around then lead half of a hey to the
other side of the set where they catch their partners and turn
them again.  Then the women turn the men a little more than
halfway around and lead half of a hey back to their regular side
of the set, catching their partners and turning them all the way 
around again.  That seems to fit Playford reasonably well (with
some elisions and creative interpretations), and it works to the
music as well.

> Thank you,
> cate

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