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 Post subject: Re: folk dancing
PostPosted: 25 Jun 2011, 18:04 
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Miss Durrant is teaching EFDSS sort of dances, though, not ceilidh dances, so there would have been quite a bit more precision expected, like there is in morris dancing and Playford.

I'm another morris dancer (NW, molly and clog) as well as a Scottish country dancer, and can supply links to various videos which show English and Scottish dancing at their best, if anyone's interested.

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 Post subject: Re: folk dancing
PostPosted: 25 Jun 2011, 18:52 
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I'm another one who did country dancing at junior school (70s - early80s) and I loved it. I was on the school team which was fun. I think we did a little on the first years at senior school but it seemed to fizzle out after that. I think we did some barn dancing as well and when the junior school had fundraising barn dances they always seemed to be well attended.
When I told my husband about it he suggested I take up line dancing but for some reason that's never appealed to me.


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 Post subject: Re: folk dancing
PostPosted: 26 Jun 2011, 10:42 
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In the late seventies, when I was young and single, I frequently went to the Saturday night dances at Cecil Sharp House with some friends. The dances were mostly English but there were evenings devoted to Playford, Scottish and square dancing.

I have tried line dancing but cannot do it


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 Post subject: Re: folk dancing
PostPosted: 26 Jun 2011, 18:03 
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Is folk dancing at all like square dancing? I can't remember which book, but I think there was a dance where the girls were described as being in pairs and swinging each other around while one of the mistresses called out figures? I could be making that up or thinking of a non CS book, but the description made me think of square dancing.


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 Post subject: Re: folk dancing
PostPosted: 26 Jun 2011, 20:16 
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We did a bit of "country dancing" which was more like a barn dance, in the first couple of years of secondary school. It was a treat (or not) for the last PE lesson of each term, as we normally did PE in separate boys' and girls' groups. It was truly awful, as we had to do it in PE kit and were at the age where boys were either "crushes" or "disgusting". And I'm not sure the boys liked it either!

I never particularly wanted to do folk dancing, although I did a couple of Playford-type workshops at Early Music days. And then a few years ago I got into Molly dancing (the fen variant of Morris) and since we moved even further north, we just found a newish Morris side to join, mostly border with Big Sticks :twisted:

Finn wrote:
I'm another morris dancer (NW, molly and clog) as well as a Scottish country dancer, and can supply links to various videos which show English and Scottish dancing at their best, if anyone's interested.

Ooh, which molly do you dance with? I used to be with Pig Dyke.

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 Post subject: Re: folk dancing
PostPosted: 26 Jun 2011, 20:46 
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When in Oxford back in April, I was lucky enough to see some Morris dancing on the high street - I could have watched it all day, but we had limited time. Someone told me that it is in decline, or that I heard it somewhere - is this true? Mum and I once saw sword dancing on the train home a couple of years ago - they wore costumes aswell. Mum and I debated as to wether it was folk or sword dancing, I said the latter as they held bendy swords over head - asked one of them who told us it was indeed, sword dancing :)

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 Post subject: Re: folk dancing
PostPosted: 26 Jun 2011, 21:12 
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Nina wrote:
Finn wrote:
I'm another morris dancer (NW, molly and clog) as well as a Scottish country dancer, and can supply links to various videos which show English and Scottish dancing at their best, if anyone's interested.

Ooh, which molly do you dance with? I used to be with Pig Dyke.


Gog Magog! I'm sure we've danced out with you guys before - I love your bouncy style, it's such a contrast from the Gogs' rigid precision. And the black and white is much more scary...

Can't quite believe there's another molly dancer on the board :D

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 Post subject: Re: folk dancing
PostPosted: 26 Jun 2011, 22:26 
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Yes, in a back street somewhere in Whittlesey, Straw Bear 2010 (the very wet one!) It was the only one we did, we joined the week after SB09 and moved away in Nov 10. I love the Gog colours, I thought we looked great together!

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 Post subject: Re: folk dancing
PostPosted: 27 Jun 2011, 12:39 
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Well, this is fun! Abbeybufo, my Playford group (it's Playford-style, not entirely 'real' Playford, but a step up from the barn dance standards) is in Bishop's Waltham on the second Thursday of each month. Check out the FASH (Folk Association of South Hants) website for details.

I would not have said morris is in decline, rather the reverse. There are an increasing number of sides with quite young people in, and my friend in Wickham Morris now goes into schools and teaches bits of morris. I think this may something to do with the post-multicultural backlash which is giving 'English' people more confidence to assert their own folk traditions. Has anyone seen that marvellous 'spoof documentary' Morris; A Life with Bells?

That said, the most exciting dancing I encountered at Towersey last year was Gaorsach Rapper and Step from Scotland: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1uHClV4gzI

If anyone's in or around Romsey on 9 July, the Beggars Fair (free event) will have lots of folk dance displays, including morris.


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 Post subject: Re: folk dancing
PostPosted: 27 Jun 2011, 14:27 
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Jane wrote:
Has anyone seen that marvellous 'spoof documentary' Morris; A Life with Bells?


Oh yes, it was fabulous! I'd love to see it again. We saw it in Stamford (Lincs) and the local Morris Men danced outside the Arts Centre afterwards :)

There's definitely a resurgence of interest - we had a couple of young teens and a 10 year old in Pig Dyke, and Rackaback is about half and half over and under 40. We have a Japanese girl who is very enthusiastic, but there's something a bit surreal about watching her dance morris :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: folk dancing
PostPosted: 27 Jun 2011, 14:51 
Nina wrote:
There's definitely a resurgence of interest - we had a couple of young teens and a 10 year old in Pig Dyke, and Rackaback is about half and half over and under 40. We have a Japanese girl who is very enthusiastic, but there's something a bit surreal about watching her dance morris :shock:


How would folk dancing have been viewed by young people and older people when EBD was writing the early CS? The CS girls are very enthusiastic, but how representative would that have been of the way girls viewed the folk revival at the time - was it quite popular among the young, or a niche thing? Also - what about class? I know Cecil Sharp was Uppingham-and-Cambridge, but there was someone else who taught a working-class girls' club in King's Cross folk dance in the early days, wasn't there? I was just wondering if it was a genuinely cross-class thing in the 20s and 30s, or whether Joan and Rosamund would be less likely to have danced folk before they arrive at the CS? Or would sophisticated Joan have scoffed at the type of dance at the CS, as well as the fact that there were no boys to dance with?

Or by the time of the Swiss books, were the regular Saturday evening CS dances still folk dances?


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 Post subject: Re: folk dancing
PostPosted: 27 Jun 2011, 15:02 
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The folk revival seems to've been largely an inter-war thing, in Britain, Germany and various other countries. The "sophisticated" girls in the early Tyrol days would've been more into the Charleston etc, but I don't think there were any "sophisticated" girls at the CS then :D .

I would imagine that Joan was into jiving and jitterbugging and was not at all impressed with folk dancing :wink: .

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 Post subject: Re: folk dancing
PostPosted: 27 Jun 2011, 15:38 
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I have the DVD of Morris, a life with bells on - and when we went to see it at the Harbour Lights cinema in Southampton, there was a Morris group from the IoW dancing on the quayside just by the door. The when we were all allowed in, they all trooped in [jingling of course!] to watch.

I live in Romsey, Jane, so will see where I am for Beggars Fair weekend. BW is a bit far to go of an evening, but I'll certainly take a look at the FASH website. It would be good to get dancing regularly. :D

I've tried rapper, but it was rather slow and careful - as I, 60 at the time but the only beginner in the set, was by a good 10 years the youngest as well!

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 Post subject: Re: folk dancing
PostPosted: 27 Jun 2011, 18:27 
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Not really relevent, but my fathers name is Morris (and he spells it that way). On occasional days out, we would see notices; 'Morris Dancing, 3:00pm', or similar. My father (who is definately not a dancer) would glare at them and completely deny it, or else refuse to have anything to do with it. It always left me rather wondering what Morris dancing really was, and how it was connected to my father. To my seven year old brain, the whole concept was obvioulsy named after him. :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: folk dancing
PostPosted: 27 Jun 2011, 21:48 
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emma t wrote:
Mum and I debated as to wether it was folk or sword dancing, I said the latter as they held bendy swords over head - asked one of them who told us it was indeed, sword dancing :)


That sounds like rapper sword dancing.

I dance with Bishop Gundulf Morris. I know a couple of the dancers who danced in the DVD, Morris, a life with bells on.

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 Post subject: Re: folk dancing
PostPosted: 27 Jun 2011, 22:13 
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Jane wrote:
That said, the most exciting dancing I encountered at Towersey last year was Gaorsach Rapper and Step from Scotland: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1uHClV4gzI


I was there! Are you going to Towersey this year? I'm definitely going with a group of friends, we contemplated not going because of cost and my energy levels, but in the end decided it really is the only way to spend the august bank holiday!

And did you see the shopping trolley "women"? :shock: :lol:

/thread hijack!

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 Post subject: Re: folk dancing
PostPosted: 29 Jun 2011, 12:22 
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Not this year, Dawn - sixth form enrolment and GCSE results time...


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 Post subject: Re: folk dancing
PostPosted: 29 Jun 2011, 18:33 
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Nina wrote:
Yes, in a back street somewhere in Whittlesey, Straw Bear 2010 (the very wet one!) It was the only one we did, we joined the week after SB09 and moved away in Nov 10. I love the Gog colours, I thought we looked great together!


My Home Village ! My Home Village ! My Home Village ! :trumpet: :trumpet: :trumpet:

And I've never danced there yet..... :cry: :cry:


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 Post subject: Re: folk dancing
PostPosted: 01 Jul 2011, 19:33 
Could some of the knowledgeable people here shed some light on the first folk dancing lesson at the CS? As will be clear, I know nothing about English folk dancing, and I find this quite difficult to visualise!

Quote:
One thing let me impress on you now. You must never dance on your toes or point them, because that’s folk-dancing. I’ll tell you more about it when we’ve done some, and then you’ll see why. All face me.’
They turned and faced her in two long files. They were all interested, and one or two people were thrilling with excitement.
‘Take hands,’ said Miss Durrant. ‘Now run three steps forward, and then three back. Begin with your right foot always, and don’t bend your knees; give at the ankles.’
With shrieks of laughter they began, and soon they were running backwards and forwards as lightly as they could, while Miss Durrant walked up and down, criticising them.
‘Don’t point your toes, Wanda! –Grizel! Stop jumping – run! –Joey, you aren’t an elephant; so don’t try to be one! –Straighter knees, Gisela! That’s better! –Come along, Rosalie, try with me.’
Two minutes later she stopped them. ‘That’s called “leading up a double,”’ she explained. ‘If you do it without holding hands, it’s called “running up a double.” Heaps of the dances begin in that way. Now join hands with your partners, and I’ll teach you slipping step.’
This was easier, and before long they were all slipping, first up, then down, while Miss Bettany played for them. Finally, they learned ‘setting to partners’ and ‘turning single,’ and this last movement proved full of pitfalls for them
‘Joey! You aren’t a spider!’ cried Miss Durrant. ‘And you’ll certainly kick your next-door neighbour if you do it like that. Make your steps as neat as possible. –You ought to be able to turn single in – in a soup-plate!’


How can you run backwards and forwards 'giving at the ankles' but without bending your knees? I've just tried this, and if I try to run without bending my knees, I look like I've got bound feet or something!
What, roughly, does the 'slipping step' and 'setting to partners' look like? And is 'turning single' as difficult as EBD makes it sound? And why no toe pointing, anyway - is it just not done in English folk dance, and would look as odd as if someone suddenly started doing ballet arabesques in the middle of a morris set?


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 Post subject: Re: folk dancing
PostPosted: 02 Jul 2011, 22:28 
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Not entirely answering your question, but here is a Youtube link to the Morris jig Jockey to the Fair which Miss Durrant also dances for the girls. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJmBHymx ... re=related

To attempt to answer the questions:

This link http://www.srcf.ucam.org/round/dances/elements.htm will tell you more about country dance steps than you ever wanted to know. I don't entirely understand the no knee-bending bit either, although pointing the toes is generally not done.

This link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJmBHymx ... re=related starts with slipping followed by set and turn single - and Jenny Pluck Pears is a lovely tune. You also get siding and arming. This is a classic Playford dance.


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