[Callers] Becket Formation

Alexandra Deis-Lauby via Callers callers at lists.sharedweight.net
Thu Dec 10 20:21:08 PST 2015

If confronted with that bias again, one could always point out that many
improper dances if started in the b section instead, become Becket dances
and vice versa.

On Thu, Dec 10, 2015 at 8:25 PM, Neal Schlein via Callers <
callers at lists.sharedweight.net> wrote:

> Actually, I can see this.
> As others suggested, it is probably a matter of the couple's prior poor
> experiences with dances in Beckets.  That said, there are two fairly common
> tendencies in Becket formation choreography which are somewhat aggravating
> and another which absolutely drives me up a wall.  Other callers and
> dancers don't seem to mind so much, but were it possible I would completely
> avoid the dances which have the last one.
> 1. The first tendency has to do with diagonal figures, even though I like
> them myself.  They are often scrunched and uncomfortable, particularly
> right and left throughs; people run into each other.  Add to this the
> slight disorientation for someone not used to diagonal figures, and it can
> be unpleasant.  In a nice open hall, they're perfectly fine.  Not a problem
> so much with the formation as with the fact that everyone is in the middle
> all at once and it's confusing.
> 2. The second is what I like to call the "DeBecketize Manuever."  How many
> beckets start with, "Circle left 3/4 (and usually swing your neighbor" and
> end with "Partner swing on the side!"  (answer: TOO MANY)  If all you are
> going to do with the first move is take the dance out of Becket, it seems
> like a cheap trick done just to make the dance "different."  Again, not an
> inherent problem of the formation, just a problem of choreographic
> selection.
> 3. The third choreographic tendency is often tied to dances which feature
> swings at the end of the dance: *partial or non progression*.    This
> problem, unlike the others, is actually made possible because of the
> formation: such a difficulty isn't possible in a regular duple minor, and
> it drives me absolutely NUTS.  I have experienced a number of dances in
> which the caller instructs the dancers to "fudge" or "maneuver" or "sludge"
> or some such to make the dance work.  The contra doesn't actually progress
> the couples down the line, but leaves them 1/2 progressed or
> non-progressed--usually swinging partners on the outside, but not always.
> Sliding up the outside from a circle is one thing; swinging on the outside
> and fudging down the hall is another.
> The annoyance of a non-progression can be mitigated if the caller teaches
> it well (end facing across, look left and...), but to me the partial
> progression problem always jars and simply seems to be excessively lazy
> choreography.
> Beak
> Neal Schlein
> Youth Services Librarian, Mahomet Public Library
> Currently reading: *The Different Girl* by Gordon Dahlquist
> Currently learning: How to set up an automated email system.
> On Thu, Dec 10, 2015 at 6:26 PM, John W Gintell via Callers <
> callers at lists.sharedweight.net> wrote:
>> My favorite progression requires Becket  formation: circle left and then
>> slide up/down and circle with the next pair.
>> > On Dec 10, 2015, at 6:43 PM, Greg Allan via Callers <
>> callers at lists.sharedweight.net> wrote:
>> >
>> > Hi,
>> >
>> > That is a somewhat familiar story from my point of view. I dance in a
>> number of different folk dancing communities - a varied program here in
>> Winnipeg. It's quite common, as people from one group attempt to get
>> interest from other dancing groups, that some people know what they like
>> and what they don't like, and that's that. For example, people who English
>> country dance often don't like contra because of the increased exertion and
>> tempo. Personally, I'm not much of a fan of triple minor dances. Everyone's
>> got their thing. But there's always a reason for it. It could be a bad
>> experience, or it could be a stylistic feature of a region, where everyone
>> does a figure in a way you find unpleasant. Hard to say. To leave an event
>> because someone programmed something you didn't like? ... I'm not sure to
>> make of it. You don't like it you don't like it, I suppose.
>> >
>> > We don't do Becket formation here at all, really. If someone left at
>> the end of a night because of Becket formation, I would assume they didn't
>> want to start learning new things late in the evening.
>> >
>> > Greg
>> >
>> >
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