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

Mary Railing mrailing at kiva.net
Wed May 14 12:25:19 EDT 2008

Many people in the SCA seem unaware of this, but the mixer version of Half 
Hannikin is an SCA invention.  The actual dance is quite different.  This 
is not the result of ambiguous instructions in Playford.  Someone made a 
deliberate decision to create a stripped down dance.  As a teaching dance 
this works, but so would many more authentic dances.


On Wed, 14 May 2008 tmcd at panix.com wrote:

> On Sun, 11 May 2008, Alex Clark <alexbclark at pennswoods.net> wrote:
> > At 04:09 PM 5/8/2008 -0500, Tim McDaniel wrote:
> > > > & are there any others that are simple for beginners?
> > >
> > >I've always been fond of Half Hannigan for a warmup.
> > >- it's vigorous without being exhausting (if your music isn't too
> > >    long)
> > >- it's the prototypical English Country Dance, consisting of nothing
> > >    BUT doubling, siding, and arming
> >
> > On the contrary, this does not make it a prototype. It is more like
> > an eviscerated ECD.
> There's no more evidence that it was designed by cutting down a dance
> than there is that it was built minimally.  It does practice the basic
> steps (other than set and turn single).
> > >- it's a mixer, so it's good for "how do you do?" or a brief "hi,
> > >    Jane, long time no see!"
> >
> > I advise against teaching this modern dance to beginners.
> I see that the Terpsichore booklet is misleading when it states the
> usual SCA version is "Playford 1651" when the source at
> <http://www.contrib.andrew.cmu.edu/~flip/contrib/dance/playford.html#Playford_43>
> or <http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/playford_1651/050small.html>
> shows it as Longways for as many as will.
> I'm not at all good at interpreting Playford: is there a good
> reconstruction that my brief Googling didn't show?
> <http://members.ozemail.com.au/~grayn1/DDances.html#Halfe Hanikin>
> looks basically plausible to me: you have to get #1 man and #N woman
> "offside" and then get them back in dancing with the same sex as
> Playford specifies.  But it doesn't state exactly how #1 man and #N
> woman get offside and the rest progress, and then get back in, and the
> ways coming to my mind right now feel awkward to me.
> Just to make sure: does the music in the facimile match the music as
> I believe it's usually played in the SCA?
> Dannet Lincoln

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