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In the course of preparing for an event, there are many things that require advance planning and work before the appointed date arrives. If there is to be a feast, a head cook must be selected, who will plan what dishes will be served, test the recipes, buy the food, and perhaps cook some things before the feast itself. Artisans may spend weeks or months creating decorations, site tokens, tourney prizes, and the like. Teachers must prepare their classes and create instructional materials.


Though it usually comes at the very end of the event and is a time for joy and relaxation, a dance revel benefits just as much from such attention. Just as the other event staff is chosen well ahead of time, your dance leader should be appointed early enough that they can plan ahead for the dancing. If there is to be live music, this makes it much easier for the musicians to be prepared, whether they are from your own group or from further afield. More importantly, if the dance list is created and posted along with the other event information, there will be ample chance for those attending the event to learn unfamiliar dances or refresh their memories.


Just as the populace of the hosting group may be involved in the cooking and serving of feast, the creation of decorations and prizes, and other tasks that contribute to the success of an event, so too can they be involved in preparation for the dancing. A pre-determined dance list is an excellent way to focus the instruction at your local dance practice, or to get a local practice started in preparation for your event. While it is possible to teach dances at a revel, it is far more enjoyable for there to be enough familiarity with the dances that no teaching is required, or simply a quick reminder of the choreography.


It is, of course, possible to contact one of the experienced dance masters in the kingdom at the last minute to run your revel, but this should be the exception rather than the rule. An experienced cook from another group may be able to produce a good feast on a moment’s notice, but far better to give the aspiring cooks in the hosting group an opportunity to hone their craft so that they may achieve mastery in their own right.




Originally published at Lorenzo's Workshop

peteyfrogboy: (Default)

In the course of preparing for an event, there are many things that require advance planning and work before the appointed date arrives. If there is to be a feast, a head cook must be selected, who will plan what dishes will be served, test the recipes, buy the food, and perhaps cook some things before the feast itself. Artisans may spend weeks or months creating decorations, site tokens, tourney prizes, and the like. Teachers must prepare their classes and create instructional materials.

Though it usually comes at the very end of the event and is a time for joy and relaxation, a dance revel benefits just as much from such attention. Just as the other event staff is chosen well ahead of time, your dance leader should be appointed early enough that they can plan ahead for the dancing. If there is to be live music, this makes it much easier for the musicians to be prepared, whether they are from your own group or from further afield. More importantly, if the dance list is created and posted along with the other event information, there will be ample chance for those attending the event to learn unfamiliar dances or refresh their memories.

Just as the populace of the hosting group may be involved in the cooking and serving of feast, the creation of decorations and prizes, and other tasks that contribute to the success of an event, so too can they be involved in preparation for the dancing. A pre-determined dance list is an excellent way to focus the instruction at your local dance practice, or to get a local practice started in preparation for your event. While it is possible to teach dances at a revel, it is far more enjoyable for there to be enough familiarity with the dances that no teaching is required, or simply a quick reminder of the choreography.

It is, of course, possible to contact one of the experienced dance masters in the kingdom at the last minute to run your revel, but this should be the exception rather than the rule. An experienced cook from another group may be able to produce a good feast on a moment’s notice, but far better to give the aspiring cooks in the hosting group an opportunity to hone their craft so that they may achieve mastery in their own right.

Mirrored from Lorenzo's Workshop.

peteyfrogboy: (Default)

So the Barony was contacted a few weeks back by a homeschool group in the area that was looking for someone to teach them some dances that they could incorporate into a Robin Hood play. I drove down to McDonough this evening (along with my faithful apprentice Serafina) for the class, not exactly sure what to expect. Since they would be performing the dances without any ringers later, I decided to stick to some pretty simple stuff that would still be fun and look good on stage: Gathering Peascods, Queen’s Alman, and Montarde Bransle.


There were a couple dozen kids there, from about 6 to 18 (plus several spectating parents), and they were all very attentive and excited. We spent 3 hours learning and drilling the dances, with a little Ballo del Fiore thrown in to shake things up before the final run-through. By the end they were able to make it through everything with hardly any calling from me, so I think that if they get to practice a few more times they should have no problem. I had a really good time teaching, and hopefully a few of them will come see what the rest of our game is about. I think any of them would be great to have around.




Originally published at Lorenzo's Workshop

peteyfrogboy: (Default)

So the Barony was contacted a few weeks back by a homeschool group in the area that was looking for someone to teach them some dances that they could incorporate into a Robin Hood play. I drove down to McDonough this evening (along with my faithful apprentice Serafina) for the class, not exactly sure what to expect. Since they would be performing the dances without any ringers later, I decided to stick to some pretty simple stuff that would still be fun and look good on stage: Gathering Peascods, Queen’s Alman, and Montarde Bransle.

There were a couple dozen kids there, from about 6 to 18 (plus several spectating parents), and they were all very attentive and excited. We spent 3 hours learning and drilling the dances, with a little Ballo del Fiore thrown in to shake things up before the final run-through. By the end they were able to make it through everything with hardly any calling from me, so I think that if they get to practice a few more times they should have no problem. I had a really good time teaching, and hopefully a few of them will come see what the rest of our game is about. I think any of them would be great to have around.

Mirrored from Lorenzo's Workshop.

peteyfrogboy: (Default)

We had the first Thursday dance practice tonight. Turnout was small but enthusiastic. We briefly discussed Ebreo's aspects of "perfect dancing", then moved on to the dancing. We did Lorayne and Black Almans, some bransles (Pinagay, Charlotte, and War) and Amoroso. Hopefully we will get some more people next week!
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I've returned safe and sound from another Pennsic. It was a busy war this year, so hopefully I won't forget anything important. I got to take [livejournal.com profile] serafinalamanni to her first Pennsic, which was a lot of fun.

All The Gory Details )
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Yesterday was the Saltare Collegium, and I danced until I hurt. During the various schedule shufles leading up to the event, I inadvertently dropped one of my own classes, so I only had one to teach first thing in the morning. It was well attended despite the usual tendency for people to not show up for the first class of the day. I went to [livejournal.com profile] andrevarigaldi's Whirligig class and [livejournal.com profile] indywind's Gresley and "how to run a local dance practice" classes as well. Most of the classes seemed well attended, and everyone I asked said they were having a good time. Serena's sideboard was very tasty and I don't think she had to take anything home with her. The revel went reasonably smoothly, despite a spectacular leg cramp during Belfiore that put me on the bench for the last few dances. My shoes were not doing well when I got there, and I danced them to death over the course of the day. Fortunately, I'll be able to get a new pair at Pennsic!
peteyfrogboy: (Default)
Found this interesting article while looking for something entirely unrelated:

Performing for strangers: Women, dance, and music in Quattrocento Florence
peteyfrogboy: (Default)
South Downs 12th Night was fun last night. It was a bit chilly in the hall, but it was a nice space with enough room for the (many!) children to run around without getting too much underfoot. The food was excellent, though by the time I had wrangled the children and got through the line some things were gone.

I didn't have a planned ball list, but it was a good crowd all the same. We had large and/or multiple sets until the very end of the night. Here's what I can remember doing, in rough order of appearance:

Dance List )
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I spent a large chunk of today fiddling around in Flash to make a little movie to illustrate the timing I use for 15th century Italian doubles in bassadanza (6/4) and quadernaria (4/4). Before I go to bed, I present it for you here.

Edited to add: It now includes sempii and doppii in bassadanza, doppii and saltarelli in quadernaria, and saltarelli and pive in their own misure. Unless I go back and add some descriptive text to the start of each movie, I think I'll leave it be for now.

Magna Faire

Dec. 6th, 2009 04:05 pm
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So we went to Magna Faire this weekend, and it was big fun. Camp Grandma wasn't available this time, so we ended up taking the boy with us For a 2-year-old, he was very well behaved, though he was still a handful.

Recap )
peteyfrogboy: (Default)
Serafina and I went up to Silver Hammer this weekend. The weather was alternately wet and cold, but aside from that it was as lovely an event as I've come to expect from Thor's Mountain. I taught a dance class in the afternoon, which was well attended, and ran the ball in the evening. I was happy to see a wide variety of folks come out on the dance floor, and was quite impressed by some of the footwork I saw. In between the two bouts of dancing was the feast, which was excellent and tasty, not to mention promptly delivered.

I started the weekend by going to a step class at the gym with [livejournal.com profile] adelavanbrugge and getting a new membership. Between that and all the dancing I'm worn down to the bone, but hopefully repeated attendance will improve things. For now I am tired and need to get to bed early.

Wet Tower

Sep. 20th, 2009 11:03 am
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This weekend we went to Red Tower, and it was wet. It didn't rain actively during the day on Saturday, but in the afternoon and evening it started up again. The event had a Roman theme this year, for which I was grateful, as it meant I got to wear a nice linen tunica instead of my usual sofa.

I spent the day wrangling the kids, with varying levels of success. [livejournal.com profile] adelavanbrugge got to do a good bit of socializing during the day, so hopefully I performed my duties in an acceptable fashion. They seemed to have plenty of fun playing with the other kids and wreaking havoc, and didn't get exceptionally muddy. I also kept them during court, which meant I missed Adela being inducted into the Order of the Red Raven, the baronial service order.

After court she and the kids went home, and I started in on my half of the event. Feast was tasty, if not exceptional, and the company was lovely. After feast, I set up the pavilion for the revel, which was my primary focus for the event (surprise surprise).

The Masque )
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Sometime last year, THL Miramah asked me to help her with a secret project. She's lost a lot of weight recently, and wanted to play a little trick on her husband Guillaume. Her plan was to show up at the masked ball at Lusty Month of May this year, wearing a late period Italian gown (as opposed to her usual T-tunics) and dance with him (she had never done any dancing), to see how long it took him to figure out it was her.

The Dance )

The Dress )

The Result )

Brain Cram

May. 21st, 2009 07:13 am
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Last night at dance practice I remembered the difference between "practice" and "class". A "class" is when you know what you're doing and impart that knowledge to others in an intelligible fashion. "Practice" is when you bungle your way through a simple dance for an hour until you get it beaten into your brain. Villanella, you will not defeat me!

I'd like to learn to play the tune on the recorder, to further drill it into my head, but the arrangements I've found so far don't really sound quite like the recordings I've got. Not sure what to do there.

In other news, I got around to putting together an SCA resume for myself. Yes, it looks all pompous, but if you can't blow your own horn on your resume, where can you?
peteyfrogboy: (Default)
Lusty Month of May was a lot of fun this year. I conned [livejournal.com profile] greetpg into coming up from Florida for it, and she brought [livejournal.com profile] indywind and [livejournal.com profile] tlh_in_tlh with her to make a road trip of it. They all crashed at the house Friday night and we caravanned down in the morning with the kids.

The Morning )

The Afternoon )

Feast )

Dancing )
peteyfrogboy: (Default)
When I learned Chirintana from Mistress Judith some years ago, she made a point of saying that the last figure (a long line of people, being led by the person on the end) should not be done in the style of "tangle bransle". I must admit that I am weak, and every time I lead the dance it devolves into such silliness. In my defense, I present this image, from a 14th century fresco in Siena (coincidentally the same place that the source material of the dance is from). In the lower right hand corner is a group of ladies dancing, and one end of the line appears to be looping through itself. It may just be the line going under an arch made by two other people, but the position of the people on that end of the line makes the former case seem more likely.

Best Line

Jan. 18th, 2009 06:35 pm
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The best comment I got after my dance class on Saturday: "I used to hate dancing, but now I don't." Yay!
peteyfrogboy: (Default)
Just got back from doing the dance practice in Tuscaloosa with [livejournal.com profile] andrevarigaldi. It went very well, though attendance was less than I'd hoped for. We had about 10-12 people from Tuscaloosa and Huntsville, which was still enough to do pretty much any dance we could think of. We covered a whole lot of dances over 6 hours or so of teaching, and everyone seemed to have a good time.

We'd like to try doing this again next summer, and hopefully hit two different places. We'll need to do better at getting the word out, but I think the concept is sound. I took a few pictures, which can be seen here.
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I've finally gotten a time and place set up to hold a regional dance practice. If any of you are within day trip distance of Tuscaloosa, come on down! Here's the email I sent out to the lists and A&S officers:

Western Regional Dance Practice
Hosted by The Incipient Shire of Okeborne Keep
July 26, 2008
Tuscaloosa, AL

The Incipient Shire of Okeborne Keep will be hosting a regional dance practice on July 26, at the (air conditioned!) campus of the University of Alabama. The goal of this is to give the members of all nearby groups a chance to get together and learn some easy dances without the distractions of a full blown event. Garb is optional.

Classes will cover basic steps, simple dances from all the major styles of SCA dance, and the history and context of dancing in the Renaissance. There are no music activities planned, but musicians are welcome to attend.

Details and directions can be found here:

http://www.houseofpung.net/dance/rdp/main.html

--Lorenzo Petrucci

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