[SCA-Dance] slip steps and German evidence

Lisa Marx shusmarx at yahoo.com
Sat Mar 15 00:16:51 EDT 2008

I've been looking at woodcuts of dance from Germany in the first half of the 16th century.  So far most of them are peasants, not nobility, with an occasional noble joining in.  That said, the dances look amazingly like the Old Measures, and begin with goosestep-like processions of what I'm guessing are doubles.  They are then followed by a longer series of a variety of other movements, but still in a processional-type line.  Many of them have embraces that remind me of Madam Sosilia.  

In one of the woodcuts there's a couple facing and holding hands like in the slip steps, but there's no indication of a direction of movement.  In another (more upper-class) woodcut, there's a couple turned to face each other, and the lady is holding the gentleman's arm.

I'll (hopefully) be publishing part 1 of the article I'm writing on it in the April edition of the Letter of Dance.


----- Original Message ----
From: Greg Lindahl <lindahl at pbm.com>
To: sca-dance at sca-dance.org
Sent: Friday, March 14, 2008 1:50:54 PM
Subject: Re: [SCA-Dance] Black Almain question/speculation

On Fri, Mar 14, 2008 at 08:22:48AM -0700, Jeff Suzuki wrote:

> The Black Almain is one of the many pieces of music
> that have contrafacts written for them.  The
> difficulty is that the contrafacts don't quite match
> the music.

Which music? Perhaps the dance added repeats to the usual music? I'll
double-check tonight that the transcription from Simpson I have is
correct, but note that it has a lot less repeating than the dance
does. Simpson has 11 doubles worth of music, the ballad has 12 lines
of text, and the dance has 18 doubles worth of steps.

> In support of #1, it seems to me that Black Almain has
> certain features not present in other almains,

There are some other measures with sets and turns. The slips are
pretty unique. Black Almain does fit the general pattern of
"processional section, followed by something that doesn't go
anywhere". It is unusual in that the second section is a lot longer
than the first.

-- Gregory

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