[SCA-Dance] looking for a few good dances to start our group

Alex Clark alexbclark at pennswoods.net
Sun May 11 21:02:33 EDT 2008

At 07:27 PM 5/8/2008 +0000, saporling2 wrote:
>i recieved lots of good advice that will help our group when we start
>soon.  however we need a few simple dances to start with.  i would like
>to do gathering peascods & karouboushka (sp?).

Korobushka. That's a transliteration into a modern Latin alphabet; the 
original spelling is in Cyrillic.

>the latter if i remember correctly isn't even close to period,

Late 19th century, and ISTM that its choreography may be more typical of 
that period than of Russian dancing. The version of Korobushka usually done 
in the SCA is approximately the same as the one in the wedding dance scene 
in _The Deer Hunter_. There are other versions.

>but years ago we had a
>blast with these 2 dances.  where do you find the instructions for
>these?  & are there any others that are simple for beginners?  thanks,

Here is my current cheat-sheet version of Gathering Peascods, including a 
note on the reconstruction.

Gathering Peascods
 From Playford; circle of couples, min. 3 couples, max. about 7 or 8
•       Hold hands, all go L around the circle with 2 forward doubles, let go
         of hands and turn single; do that back again, circling to R.
•       “Chorus” begins here: Men go round the middle holding hands, and
         come back to their own places next to their partners; women do the
•       “Chorus” continues: Men go forward to meet in the middle and clap
         their hands (4 beats), women meet and clap likewise while the men
         go back (4), men meet and clap again (4), and men turn single while
         going out to their places (4); do all this again with the women
         meeting first and the women turning single at the end.
•       Sides by R with partner, turn single; sides by L, turn single.
•       Chorus, this time with the women doing everything 1st.
•       Arms by R with partner, turn single; arms by L, turn single.
•       Chorus, men going 1st, as the 1st time.

Note: Where the above instructions say, “men meet and clap again”, that is 
the correct way. This clap is often omitted based on the opinion that since 
Playford’s instructions didn’t mention it, that means that there must not 
be a clap there. But in the same figure, the instructions also don’t 
mention two claps that obviously ought to be there. Those are the claps in 
the second half of the figure, done to the second playing of the strain of 
music, where claps are clearly specified for the corresponding meetings in 
the first half. In my experience, everyone who does this dance knows that 
those claps are there. And in Playford’s instructions, the meetings at 
which claps are now often omitted do not prescribe anything that differs in 
any way from those meetings in the second half of the figure where it seems 
obvious that there are claps.

Alex Clark/Henry of Maldon 

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