[SCA-Dance] Interpreting the last chorus of "Cuckolds All A Row"

Justin du coeur jducoeur at gmail.com
Mon Mar 19 07:43:41 EDT 2012

Not particular evidence one way or t'other, but we've generally done it the
same as your description of Gwommy's version. I think that's parallel
evolution, but I'm not certain where our reconstruction came from...
On Mar 18, 2012 6:40 PM, "Tim McDaniel" <tmcd at panix.com> wrote:

> I taught Cuckolds All A Row last week at the local dance practice as
> per the Terp booklet.  It was met with cheers as a sane version of
> Argeers.  Someone e-mailed me about a video of it.
> On Sun, 18 Mar 2012, ... wrote:
> > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DCeMghrVaU
> >
> > have you guys seen this version [of Cuckolds All A Row]? the end is
> > a little bit different but it may not agree with playford notes
> Thank you for sending the link.  It gave me much food for thought.
> [checks] Ah, Gwommy.  How the heck did they do a video that's all
> black-and-white except for Gwommy in purple?  More to the point, why?
> Gwommy goes and Does Things with dances, based on closer and more
> careful reading of Playford than I do.  In this case, I am inclined to
> disagree with him, though I see his point.
> For the poussette (push me pull you), Terp and I had the same thing
> that we [Bryn Gwlad dancers] do in Argeers: each couple moving in a U
> pattern on the floor and oriented with trespect to the room the same
> way throughout, like a compass pointing north no matter how you wave
> it around.  Casting is with your partner along the original sides.
> The second poussette retraces the same path as the first, but in
> reverse
> Gwommy has them start the same in that the pairs shove back.  But then
> the man backs up and the woman goes forward while the man backs into
> the other man's original position ... so the woman ends up back home,
> and both couples are improper.  The first casting is with one's
> partner, but it's sideways to the original orientation of the set.
> The second poussette is the same (men push out and back into their
> original place), and the casting is along the original sides.
> Terp (vertical bars and dashes indicate hand-holding, not partnering):
> W2  M2         M2  W2
> |   |    -->   |   |
> M1  W1         W1  M1
> Gwommy:
> W2  M2         W2--M1
> |   |    -->
> M1  W1         M2--W1
> You probably have to look at the video to understand it.
> The Playford text is
> "Men put the Co. We. back by both hands, fall even on the Co. side
> men cast off to the right hand, your We. following, come to the same
> place again.  _._  put them back again, fall on your own side, men
> cast off to the left hand, and come to your places, the We. following."
> Gwommy is interpreting "fall even on the Co. side" as the pair both
> landing on the side where the contrary started.  The men have to back
> in to their new spots because the next move is to cast to his right,
> so that space to his right has to be clear to walk into, and the cast
> is "your We. following", so you have to cast with your partner. [1]
> http://www.rendancedb.org/dance_detail.php?id=57 links to five sets of
> instructions.  (Academy of Courtly Pursuits's link is broken, but you
> can Google for it.)  Greg isn't clear enough, but he may agree with
> Gwommy.  The other four agree with me.
> So the Gang of Four are interpreting "the Co. side" not as meaning
> "the side where the contrary women started", but as a different
> meaning of "contrary" -- the "contrary" from the point of view of the
> couple, so the "Co. side" is the space occupied by the other
> *couple*.
> I don't know if other dances have the same pousset.  That would be a
> useful indication.  Argeers has
> "Put each others Wo. backe by both hands, slip to the right side; fall
> downe on the contrary side, set and turne S." et cetera.
> We interpret "contrary side" as into the other couple's places, but
> then again, it says "slip to the right side", which Cuckolds doesn't.
> Is it one of those things we should interpolate if missing, or not?
> At the moment, I'm more inclined to do the version I taught: pousset
> as how we do Argeers, going into the other couple's place.  It may be
> stubbornness -- it may be useful to teach the way most other people do
> it (but then how can error ever be corrected?).  On the other hand,
> the theme of the dance is largely "do it once oriented one way, then
> do it oriented the other way", like my reconstruction of Lull Me
> Beyond Thee, and Gwommy's version certainly does that more than mine.
> Thanks again for the link.  And my apologies to Star, for exulting
> last week "And there's no possible second way to interpret the final
> chorus!".  O me of little imagination.
> Danihel de Lincolino
> [1] I first carelessly saw him as proposing the pair just pushing the
> woman into the other man's place,
> M1--W2
> W1--M2
> But then the casting doesn't work: if a man casts right, he's
> following his woman, not leading.  Or he instantly turns 90 degrees
> right before casting to his right, but then he's leading his corner,
> not his partner.)
> --
> Tim McDaniel, tmcd at panix.com
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