[SCA-Dance] Grimstock Hay
alexbclark at pennswoods.net
Tue Sep 11 11:43:47 EDT 2007
At 08:53 PM 9/9/2007 -0500, tmcd at panix.com wrote:
>We've tried to do Grimstock locally, but it's been a while since we've
>done it with others (Gulf Wars), and the sources we had to hand were
>vague enough, that we almost got into an argument on how *precisely*
>to do chorus 3 in Grimstock. At the risk of embarrassing myself by
>looking like a dansn00b:
Nothing wrong with not being an expert. The experts especially like less
knowledgeable dancers who want to know more.
> W1 W2 W3
> M1 M2 M3
>M1 and W1 are supposed to exchange places. We do walk into each
>other's place, right? (One time we tried it as a crossover as in
>Female Sailor or during the mushrooming in Whirlygig: W1 walks between
>M2 and M3, and M1 walks between W2 and W3. It works and saves a few
>beats, but I wouldn't call it a hay.)
>Which shoulders do M1 and W1 pass when crossing over at the top?
>At the bottom? -- I suspect that it doesn't matter, that the
>crossovers don't count as part of the hay.
Playford says "First [couple] change places, and goe downe the [single]
Hey". Presumably the author did not think it necessary to specify which
side to change places on, perhaps because they expected people to learn the
dance in a lesson and read the book for a reminder, or perhaps because
everyone knew the rule for which way to pass.
My preference is to begin by passing right side by right side, though I'm
kind of ambivalent about this. If that side is accepted as the default,
there is something to be said for beginning the heys on the sides this way
instead of having the first couple pass right by right. OTOH, the first
couple's figure is also a sort of hey (possibly an adaptation of the
mysterious double hey), so I don't want to assume that the heys on the
sides should take precedence for this purpose.
I have probably taught the version where the first couple crosses
diagonally between the second couple once or twice for the sake of
convenience, and perhaps also because I hadn't just consulted Playford at
the time, but at the present time I have serious doubts about it. It seems
to be in relatively clear disagreement with the Playford instruction to
"change places", so I suspect that it is not accurate.
> M1 W2 W3
> W1 M2 M3
>Which shoulders do M1 and W1 start passing with? (We tried all three
>obvious candidates -- mirrored starting inside, mirrored starting
>outside, both normal -- but they're each awkward in different ways.)
I recommend alternating all the way, so that if they have passed each other
by the right then they pass the second man and woman by the left, though
there is something to be said for both the first woman and the first man
going on the outside after having crossed over. The latter could have come
naturally to period dancers who were accustomed to similar figures in such
dances as Lady Cullen, though not necessarily because in this dance it
would be done in a different context.
>The other four people walk the hay, not stand as posts, right?
>(Someone had a vague memory of a "sheepskin hay" involving posts, but
>others said that everyone does move in Grimstock.)
AFAIK the sheepskin hey comes from a dance named The Three Sheepskins,
which is not in the first edition of Playford. However, that name is often
applied as a misnomer to the heys at the end of Picking of Sticks, where
the men do a somewhat elaborate hey among the women, and then the women do
likewise among the men. In those heys, those not doing the current hey
In Grimstock it is not clearly specified who, other than the first woman
and man, moves during the heys at the end. But by comparison with the
previous figures I assume that all dancers are supposed to be moving,
especially since this can result in a figure that is easily identifiable as
a kind of single hey.
Alex Clark/Henry of Maldon
More information about the Sca-dance