[SCA-Dance] ly bens/parson's

Jane & Mark Waks waks at comcast.net
Mon May 19 10:16:57 EDT 2008

Kelley Rambo wrote:
> I have a question about Ly Bens Dystonys.  When we were trying to learn
> it, one of our group said that she had done it in a line of couples.  We
> tried this and ended up getting quite tangled

Hmm. We do it as a line, and tangling is never an issue. I actually find 
it quite natural in a line. There's no partner-changing involved.

But keep in mind that there are *wildly* differing reconstructions of Ly 
Bens -- the original is pretty vague, so there is much room for 
disagreement. So it's entirely possible that the reconstruction we do 
(which might be what your group member learned) works as a line, but the 
one you're currently doing doesn't.

(And note that I'm not taking sides on which reconstructions are more or 
less plausible here -- I haven't studied it yet. We do this version 
mostly because it fits the music we like.)

> How do people in the East Kingdom finish Parson's Farewell?  One set of
> instructions suggests doing two circular heys, but the original sounds a
> bit different.   

Hmm. Don't recall a circular-hey version, but there are again competing 
reconstructions. (Indeed, I published two back-to-back in the Letter of 
Dance.) Locally (and I think more generally in the East), we do Baron 
Patri's reconstruction:


Roughly summarizing what that means in practice -- you take right hands 
with your partner, go around until both men are in the middle, and then 
they lead a line Hey for four until everyone is in the other couple's 
place and go around with right hands again. Then the music shifts; 
reverse hands, and go back the same way, but with the women leading the 
Hey from the middle.

				-- Justin
				   Dancemaster, Carolingia

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