[SCA-Dance] Re: Twelve Goddesses triumph over snowstorm

Francis Classe torlanswingmeister at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 4 16:10:49 EDT 2007

> When I ran dance at pennsic XXV, the masked ball was a Masque.
> Authored by Dame (not at the time) Margaret Macdubhshithe (Macfee).
> She may still have the text/dance list around... I'll ask her. 

I'd love to see the text of the masque.  I'm also sorry I couldn't 
make the 12th Goddesses masque.  We held a pseudo-masque at our West 
Kingdom 12th Night in the evening based on the story of Gawain and 
the Green Knight.  I call it a pseudo-masque because it incorporated 
a few elements of Monty Python fame (the servants with coconuts, the 
existence of Sir Robin =) to get some laughs.  It was unscripted, for 
the most part, but we wove numerous dance sets in to the story.  It 
started off as a normal ball with the first set of dance, to lull 
people into a false sense of security.  Then we had a vocal 
performance.  After they finished and people we milling around, the 
musicians suddenly began playing, and the narrator announced the 
entry of Arthur and Guinevere, followed by Gawain, Kay, Bedievere, 
Lancelot, and Robin (the not quite so brave as Sir Lancelot) into the 
hall, dancing an alman with the ladies of the Rose.  All were dressed 
in the appropriate tabards =)  As they danced, they invited the 
populace to join in.  Then, the Green Knight came in to interrupt 
things and make the challenge.  Gawain accepts, and cuts of the Green 
Knight's head (a wonderfully crafted head made out of a gourd, 
sculpted beeswax, strings of red leather gore, and a wig mounted on 
top of someone's head, his head covered by black fabric).  The Green 
Knight catches his head and finishes the challenge, then rides off on 
his "horse."

Several dances are done as Gawain dallies in Camelot (he was well 
encouraged by the ladies of the populace to stay while Arthur and the 
narrator bid him to depart on his quest =)), and then finally goes 
off to search for the Green Knight.  Coming to the host's home, the 
host welcomes him and goes off hunting, bidding him and the populace 
to make merry (more dancing).  

Gawain finally encounters the Green Knight, and they do their thing.  
Gawain rides back to Arthur to announce the completion of his quest, 
and more dancing was done to celebrate.

What worked well is that the story (used as a vehicle for the 
dancing) kept everyone's attention they stuck around until the very 
end, anxious to see what was going to happen.  They didn't get bored 
because they were invested in the story by helping to move it along 
through dancing.  What didn't work so well is that we had to take a 
large part of time in teaching many of the dances.

- Vyncent

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