[SCA-Dance] Theme and Variations

Justin du coeur jducoeur at gmail.com
Thu Apr 6 08:11:07 EDT 2017

I don't find "commonly done in the SCA" to be an especially strong
argument, and the Terp book is not authoritative (it's never been used much
locally).  Local variation has always been with us, and it's period,
dammit, so folks should get in the habit of adjusting to local norms as
they travel.

Indeed, the whole notion of "commonly done in the SCA" is a relatively
recent change -- it used to be a pretty common assumption that different
Kingdoms interpreted dances differently, and everybody coped reasonably
well.  (One downside of the Internet is that the SCA has gradually become
much more homogeneous than the cultures we're emulating, much moreso than
25 years ago.)

Between 2 and 3, it's less obvious, and kind of depends on circumstance and
the nature of the group.  For an event or a more social practice, I give a
fair amount of latitude to local preference; for a more principled dance
group, I generally favor the best reconstruction.  But in general, I tend
to ask myself, "Would this version be a plausible regional variation?"
 More often than not, the answer is yes (both of your examples typically
would be), so I don't get terribly het up about it...

On Wed, Apr 5, 2017 at 11:12 PM, Tim McDaniel <tmcd at panix.com> wrote:

> At times lately, I find myself torn two or three ways.
> (1) The way a dance is commonly done in the SCA and/or is in the Terp
> book.
> (2) The way that I think matches the source better.
> (3) The way that the local dancers want to dance it.  N pive, but
> they'd rather do N/2 doubles.  They think it feels better to turn left
> rather than right.
> And I wonder whether following 2 or 3 might mess people up when they
> go to Gulf Wars or to Pennsic.  If they were expert dancers, I
> wouldn't worry, but some are newer sorts.
> I don't know that there is a good general solution.  I just wanted to
> mention it and get feedback.
> Danielis de Lindonio
> --
> Tim McDaniel, tmcd at panix.com
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