[SCA-Dance] Retconning Nika Nika?

Charlene Charette charlene281 at gmail.com
Mon Apr 30 13:32:43 EDT 2012

On Mon, Apr 30, 2012 at 11:24 AM, Tim McDaniel <tmcd at panix.com> wrote:
> In a dance group I was in a couple of decades ago, and Nika Nika
> Bransle was popular there.  I like it.  It's a fun bransle and pretty
> simple, and I think the switching between sideways and forward makes
> it much easier on the calves than the common Arbeau bransles.  It's
> still popular in Shadowlands, which has lots of energetic college
> students.
> But I don't know from bransles.  Is it at all reasonable as a
> period-style bransle?

>From a SCA-dance message dated 27-Sep-96:

It's mine.  In the early '80s the Bloomington/Indiana University shire
was to do a demo for Dr. Barbara Hanawalt's class, Knights, Peasants
and Bandits of Mediaeval England, 1100-1400.  We wanted to try to do
demo dances that were as close to what was proper to their period as
was possible (and we all know that that's impossible.  Oh, and if you
have the time and money, Dr. Hanwalt's books are fascinating reading.)

In any case, we improvised.  Nou Pourier ana Plus Mau was music I had
on a record by Les Musiciens de Provence.  It worked out to be a
bransle simple metre and I knew from research into carols that the
bransle simple metre was very common in medieval carols.

A little judicious choreography and we get the Bransle NPaPM, more
often refered to as Nika nika (nonsense words in the refrain) and for
a little while (until I squelched it) as Little Kitty Wants his
Dinner. [Wounded look on the Sion's face as he recalls the dancers
chanting that through the chorus].

--Sion Andreas


If that Harry Potter theme park doesn't have a souvenir shop called
VoldeMart, that's just a crying shame.  -- Aaron Karo's

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