[SCA-Dance] SCA Created Dances - Hole in the Wall

Jennifer Dobyns jendobyns at verizon.net
Fri Apr 30 17:36:03 EDT 2010


I spent about 5 years or more training weekly in baroque dance with  
Cheryl Stafford when she had the Court Dancers group outside of DC.   
And some of that experience was dancing and performing in period  
clothing.  The step technique you are talking about is part of my  
training.  We did Hole in the Wall with the minuet step and I have  
taught it that way.  And while Cheryl had a more theatrical approach  
to costuming, most of us in the DC area classes came from backgrounds  
where historical accuracy in the clothing was something we weren't  
ready to compromise.  It's quite an experience!

If there is interest in this type of dance technique, while admittedly  
rusty, I'll be happy to teach, though it seems rather late period for  
SCA.  The print description below does not give a very good  
description of the step-sink thing.  There's a specific count as well  
for the minuet.  Hole in the Wall when done as a minuet isn't really  
done in 3/4 time as 1-2-3.  You use a count of 6 beats, where you're  
"down" on beats 2 and 6.  Practicing it can take on zen like qualities  
once you've got it *g*

And could you please cite your references to the part with the  
clothing descriptions that are not from the websites?  I am having  
difficulty in accepting the description of a "bustle", since the form  
of hip padding used in that time period is of a different shape and  
construction.  The actual description of the shape leads me to think  
that what is meant should actually be referred to as a bum roll.  As I  
only have a facsimile edition of the 1651 version, I can't compare  
notes with the Keller publication.  If it's out of that, Keller is not  
a period clothing expert, so he may just not understand the proper  
terminology and not have considered such a detail important.  But it  
is if you want to know how to do the dance and understand things like  
spacing and timing (and that includes the music, which is usually  
played too fast for dancing in the clothes).

Sorry if this has turned out a bit long, but I love baroque dance  
technique and really miss practicing it.  ECD as done by most  
historically minded folks doesn't usually extend so far.  And I really  
like the clothes ;-)

Lady Genevieve D'Aubigne

On Apr 30, 2010, at 1:06 PM, Niki wrote:

> Okay – it’s late 17th century, so I have to put in my 2 cents, and a  
> dance I’ve done a ridiculous amount of personal research on!
> Hole in the Wall (the dance) first appeared in the 9th edition of  
> (Henry) Playfords, Dancing Master (1695).  However, the music, dates  
> back further – though musical historians and theorists continue to  
> debate on how far back.  The music is actually called Hornpipe in B  
> flat Major, and was composed by Henry Purcell as incidental music  
> for Aphra Behn’s play Abdelazer, or The Moor's Revenge, which was  
> presented by the Duke’s Company at Dorset Gardens on 3rd July 1676.
> The only copy of the actual dance that I can readily get my hands on  
> is from the Illustrated Playford compendium – which means it’s not  
> necessarily the earliest version available, in fact it is the same  
> as the 1721 version posted on this thread earlier.
>  ¾ is the standard minuet time.  So, yes, it most likely would have  
> been danced with a minuet step.  According to the The art of dancing  
> explained by reading and figures; whereby the manner of performing  
> the steps is made easy by a new and familiar method: being the  
> original work, first design'd in the year 1724, and now published by  
> Kellom Tomlinson, dancing-master .., the basic minuet step is:
> A movement or sink and Rise, being added to the first step of the  
> three belonging to the Minuet Step, produces a Bouree; and the like  
> to the fourth and laft a Half Coupee, which together compose what is  
> commonly called the Englifh Minuet Step.
> In addition to the music and steps, another factor to take into  
> account is both men and woman’s fashion of the time.
> Women were no longer wearing the bell shaped hoop skirts.  Instead,  
> the front of their dresses was flat, allowing for more of a crescent  
> moon shape, or as more commonly know – a bustle, which supported  
> their skirts on the side and back and later paved the way for  
> paniers.  In addition, beneath their dresses they were wearing a  
> chimese, petticoats (underskirt), a waistcoat (similar to a man’s ½  
> shirt), and drawers.  Their over-corsets were richly embroidered and  
> had gems applied to them.  Skirts were embroidered in simple lines  
> and also accented with jewels.  Long sleeves had the option of being  
> tied into ¾ length sleeves.
> Men’s underclothes consisted of a shirt, half shirt, crevatt, and  
> drawers.
> Stockings of both men and women (of noble class) were made of linen  
> or silk.
> Pictures of various over garmets – both men and women’s - can be  
> found here: http://www.costumes.org/classes/fashiondress/17thCent.htm
> Shoes also played an important factor.
> Mens Shoes: Stiff, 1" - 2" heeled, closed top shoes, with long  
> tongues and long square ended toes, constructed of leather, with  
> wood, leather or cork soles, and closed with a metal buckle.  (In  
> the French Courts the heels were painted red, to show that the  
> courtiers had shoes specifically for Court.  Basically, they were  
> used as proof of money/status.  Thigh high boots were also  
> fashionable for men – especially soliders.  The hide was typically  
> made from cowshide.
> Womens Shoes: Similar to high heeled slippers, made of leather or  
> stiff brocade, with ribbon to tie them.  The soles of these shoes  
> were made of leader or cork.
> More detailed information on shoes can be found here: http://www.kipar.org/baroque-costumes/costumes_male_footwear.html
> So, I told you all that to say this:
> The fashion of the time directly influences the way people were able  
> to move, hold themselves and dance.  Small steps were probably  
> normal, because they couldn’t move their feet very far without  
> pain.  They were also moving a considerable amount of  weight in  
> regards to fabric and trimmings – on average of 45 lbs for either  
> men or women.
> So, crossing face to face makes sense to me, but turning your back  
> on your partner (or opposite) does not.  It’s more movement than is  
> necessary, in clothing that was difficult to move.  However, since  
> bowing/curtsying and the like were common social aspects of the  
> time, I could plausibly see a short bob or acknowledgement being  
> done as a sign of respect for the person you are about to dance  
> with.  The hands being up seems to be more of a 19th century  
> addition, especially since women in the 17th century still had  
> limited motion in their arms.
> If you have any other questions about Hole in the Wall, Female  
> Sailor or any other way the heck out of our period dance, look me up!
> Lady Jane Milford
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