[SCA-Dance] Halfe Hannikin

White, John john.white at drexel.edu
Thu May 15 11:33:18 EDT 2008

> From:  Tim McDaniel
> I notice that neither "Sides all" nor "turn[e]" say "That againe".
> I don't think that's significant.  For example, if Playford were read
> literally, the haying in Whirlygig would have the upper triangle
> arming while the lower triangle was two-handed turning.  In the case
> of Halfe Hannikin, I don't see how you could fill the music available
> with one siding and one turn.

I like to see the attitude of looking at Playford with the
filter of common sense, not as if it was some kind of holy
book of truth ... *grin*

> Are there other Playford or ECD dances that have this sort of
> progression, for comparison?  

I've reconstructed many 1st edition ECDs, and I don't believe
that I've come across this kind of "tank tread" progression.
There are some pretty funky progressions - there is one that
progresses people around the perimeter of the set (Row Well
Ye Mariners), but there's no sitting out in that one (but it
does have you play patty-cake as part of the dance!  *grin*).

> These two pages have two of the three
> techniques I thought of for getting the sit-outs back in:
> - drexel: not well-written (read literally, it would lead to the sides
>    progressing *two* apart on each rep), but what I think Dafydd meant
>    is that each second turn is 7/8 of the way around, so the men
>    progress up half a place and the women progress down half a place
>    each time.  After two reps, the men are one place up from 
>    the women,
>    leaving holes (one each at each end) for the outie to join.

As popular as I've found it to "bash" Playford for not being more
specific, it is actually not all that easy to translate dance
moves into verbal descriptions sometimes.  I do try to be as
verbose and explicit as possible, but I can see upon re-reading
that "walk out to your new place" isn't exactly illuminating.  It
doesn't help that I'm usually working from either my head alone,
or remembering how the dance was done (the latter was the case
here), so that it's even easier to be imprecise (or wrong).

> My first thought:
> - after each rep, the women leave the second turning to go down one
>    position.  This makes each rep the same, and has more precise
>    placement (in a sense) than the half-way movement of drexel.

Playford is actually pretty specific at least as to how the dancers end
up progressing - after the first repetition, man 1 and woman x end up
outside the set, with everyone else having adjusted accordingly ("First 
man stand alone, and the last Wo. stand alone, the rest of the men take
the next We..")  It is therefore basically mandatory to have everyone
moving at the same time, rather than just one side of the set
when, as listed, the women will be wrapping around the bottom of the set

and coming up the men's side, so you can't have the women "go{ing} down
position" every rep - thus the half-way movement I attempted to describe
end of the second part: "First man take the 2. man with his left hand,
Wo. taking the next Wo. with her right hand."). 

> > I've also started teaching Millison's Jegge, which is basically a
> > simpler (and earlier) version of Black Nag, and it works with the
> > same music.
> Cool!  Speaking of "weird and not quite identical to what we know".
> This may really screw with our muscle memory -- they may come to
> hate me a little.  One can only hope.
> The other advantage of Millisons Jegge is that one rep progresses:
> couple 2, couple 3, couple 1.  

Yea, it's a little messy, but with the correct music (not that there
are a lot of sources unless you have live musicians) you get most of
the fun of Black Nag along with a 1st edition dance, along with a
built-in progression (and this is a progression that is used in at
least two other dances in nearly the same form - Maiden Lane and
Night Peece.

>We have a CD which repeats Black Nag 3
> times: after reps 1 and 2, our lead couple scurries down to the foot
> while the others are doing the first doubling forward. 

Not that I would encourage this, but an alternate to "scurrying"
is having the lead couple step sideways at the beginning of the 
next time through, let the other two couples "double forward"
between them, and fall in at the end of the double-forwarded line
ready to fall back a double in their new position.  Just a little
more class ...

> The next dance down is "The Spanish Jeepsie": just given the title,
> I want to look at it. ...  *slaps forehead* I bet "Jeepsie" ==
> "Gypsy", and I believe "gypsying" is a couple turning without hands
> while facing each other.

First you would have to prove that "gypsy" was a period term ... not
that I would mind having that proof, of course.  Yes, the dance has
a figure that is often translated (by others) as a gypsy (the "go all 
about your We. not turning your faces" phrase, which occurs in several
dances besides this one), and which would cause the often accompanying
phrase "turn all back to back, faces again," to mean do-si-do (or still
what I take it to mean) ... but without proof that "gypsy" is a period
term and/or figure, there's no real way to deal with the different
reconstructions (that I know of).

> Danielis Lindicolinum
> -- 
> Tim McDaniel, tmcd at panix.com


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