[SCA-Dance] ECD - siding

Monica Hultin mhultin at mts.net
Fri May 16 17:27:50 EDT 2008


Since we're talking so much about Playford right now, I had a question about

In the SCA I originally learned siding as double forward to your partner (a
bit to the side), approaching right shoulders, maintain eye contact, double
back, then side left by doing the same thing approach left shoulders.

Now I belong to an English Dance Group and they call this gentle siding.
They generally use what they call full siding which is double past your
partner, passing left shoulders, turn around walk back, repeat, in sort of a
crescent pattern.  I understand this is an invention of Cecil Sharp who
didn't really know what siding was, but came up with this.  And out of
habit, the ECD community keeps doing it.  I also heard at a workshop this
weekend that gentle siding, (as I had originally learned) is considered more
accurate and comes from research by Pat Shaw who figured this movement
studying more period sources, pictures etc., (though still 18th century).

I also recall the Millar book, (which I hear being said is not very
accurate) did advocate using gentle siding.

In my book, I also find the gentle siding makes more sense as it is, a) more
symmetrical, and b) much less rushed  while fitting the music better.

Any comments?  Has anybody have good sources for how siding was done in
Playford's time?

Not that I'm going to go all authentic on my local ECD group, They'll just
keep doing what they're doing, but we might want to learn some ECD in my
local Early Music Society, (probably me teaching) and I'd rather go for the
more authentic method.

Thank you,


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