[Callers] What is the best contra dance(s) ever written?
jim.saxe at gmail.com
Sat Dec 1 10:27:06 PST 2012
Here are some more requirements for your list:
* It must not have a shadow swing. (Imagine having to swing every
time through with someone you didn't choose [shudder].)
* It must not have any gypsy figures. (Forced mock flirtation--yuck!)
* The ladies chain must be over and back. (All those one-way figures
in dances these days seem somehow incomplete.)
* It must not have any "over and back" figures. (Bo-o-o-oring.)
* It must not have a gents chain (too often danced awkwardly).
* It must have a same-sex swing.
* It must not have a same-sex swing.
* All the figures and transitions must be comfortably familiar.
* It must have at least one excitingly novel figure or transition.
* It must have a special tune that fits it like a glove.
* It must have lots of partner interaction, not just a (balance and)
* It must separate dancers from their partners and then reunite them
in a surprising (but comfortably familiar) way.
* It must not have out-of-minor-set actions that make for confusing
* It must start in improper formation with "New neighbors balance
* It must end in Becket formation with "Partners balance and swing".
[BTW, if we only get to pick three best/favorite dances, no two should
start or end the same way.]
* It must be the dance I dance with a superbly skilled partner (who
is also oblivious to any of my own imperfections).
* It must be the dance where my first-time-dancer partner's eyes
On Nov 30, 2012, at 2:58 PM, Jonathan Sivier wrote:
> So far this has been a list of favorites, and they have all been
> great dances. However Michael asked for the name of the BEST DANCE
> EVER WRITTEN, not our personal favorites. While I don't have a
> candidate dance to put forward at this time, I do think I can list
> some criteria which could be used to judge the dance. Here is my
> list of requirements.
> 1. It must be smooth with great flow.
> 2. It must be bouncy and energetic with lots of balances.
> 3. It must have at least 3 swings (partner, neighbor and shadow).
> 4. It must have several gypsy figures.
> 5. It must be an equal dance.
> 6. It must give the actives a chance to shine, while the 2's
> appreciate them.
> 7. It must have all the usual glossary figures; stars, circles,
> allemandes, do-si-do's, etc.
> 8. It must have a ladies chain.
> 9. It must have a gents chain.
> 10. It must have contra corners.
> 11. It must have a hey.
> 12. It must have 4 Petronella balance and turn figures.
> 13. It must not require more than one walk-through, even for
> absolute beginners with no experience at all.
> 14. The caller must be able to drop out after no more than 3 times
> through the dance with no effect on the set.
> 15. It must work equally well with reels, jigs, hornpipes, slip
> jigs, or any other tune the band decides to play, including crooked
> 16. It must be traditional, with lots of historical significance.
> 17. It must be modern, with all the latest bells and whistles.
> That's all I can think of at the moment. I'm sure others will
> have additional requirements. As I say I can't think of one offhand
> that fulfills these needs, but I look forward to dancing it at the
> next dance I go to.
> P.S. ;-)
More information about the Callers