[SCA-Dance] ECD - siding

White, John john.white at drexel.edu
Mon May 19 11:02:42 EDT 2008

> From:  Monica Hultin
> Greeetings,
> Since we're talking so much about Playford right now, I had a 
> question about
> siding.
> 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, {...}
> 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.

There's another meta-dance reason to do "gentle" siding as
well - in combination with the doubles forward and the arming,
the halfway-siding forms a progression (walking side by side,
meeting halfway but not passing, and then walking fully in a
circle) that might or might not have any significance in the
greater scheme of English Country Dancing as a whole.  (This isn't
my theory, but I like meta concepts ...)

> Any comments?  Has anybody have good sources for how siding 
> was done in
> Playford's time?
If we had good sources, we wouldn't be arguing about this stuff
all the time!  *grin*  (Then again, maybe we would ...)

> 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.

If your local ECD group does mostly modern stuff, then there's no
point or reason to change how they do their dances.  ECD is a live
art form (perhaps resurrected fits better), and it is growing and
changing every day.  If the modern convention is to dash through
the figure like that, then they're not doing anything incorrectly.
They might wish, however, to be more "correct" if they're doing
non-modern ECDs.

Sounds like an Early Music Society, on the other hand, would be
doing early ECDs, and so should do the dances in a more period
style.  If only we had any authoratative source on exactly what 
that was ...

> Thank you,
> Monika

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