[SCA-Dance] Dance games and how we dance, was Re: Maltese Branle vs SCA Maltese

Tiffany Brown teffania at gmail.com
Wed Oct 12 01:41:53 EDT 2011

On 12 October 2011 10:56, David Learmonth <david.a.learmonth at gmail.com>wrote:

> Yes, definitely I agree, Montarde is one of my most useful bransles for
> this purpose.  I like to say it is good for those people who say they have
> "2 left feet".  :)
Any bransle that you can drag people through is a real crowd pleaser. :-)

> Ah, and Scottish, definitely fun, I really like it / them.  Not a bad one
> potentially to use, interesting and bouncy enough.  You just have to be able
> to make sure people can figure out the latter bransle of the two.  Seems it
> can throw people for a loop a bit.
That's why I don't like the version where you combine the two bansles
together (ie dance the 1st, 2nd, 1st, 2nd, etc) because it makes a much
harder dance.  If you seperate the two you get the chance to only dance the
first if people are really struggling, or for people to get used to the
steps style on the first scotish bransle becfore they tackle the harder
second one - and will several repeats of the second one in a row, they might
get it right before the musicians stop playing.

> Yes, you may be correct in some of the aspects of what works for the
> general populous, in regards to types of dance.  I've actually noted that in
> the even later evolutions of country dance, you seem to have a lot that get
> into the style of long lines of couples, progressing, with reasonably short
> sequences of steps.  (Contra dance, and later progressive ECDs).  I think
> what tends to work in these cases seems also to be that the figures, once
> you are used to the style, can be taught fairly quickly, but then you
> actually will dance such a dance for 10 minutes at a time.  So the
> dance:teaching ratio is favourable, compared to some of the ones we do.

Interesting observation.

> But again, if we were in a society where more people danced these dances
> more frequently, and throughout their lives, then you could probably pack in
> more dancing and less instruction even in our styles.
 I'm also wondering if the size of sets reflects the number of people you'd
expect to have dancing on the floor at a time in ECD - ie commonly 6-10,
occasionally 4 or more than 10.  But moreso I wonder if your average ball
go-er might have known a few dances and so requested to dance the ones you
knew well only (which might have been only the common local variants).
Perhaps later when country dance became more of a courtly dance, we see a
progression to larger sets and more variety? I'm just theorising though, I
need to do a lot more reading.


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