[Callers] More zigzag videos (was Re: ???? Looking for Author of Dance -dancers adjust)

James Saxe via Callers callers at lists.sharedweight.net
Sat Mar 25 15:16:16 PDT 2017

I wrote

> I haven't found any other videos of "Cows Are Watching", ...

but on looking back through recent messages, I see that Vicki Morrison
mentioned one she made with Cis Hinkle calling at Mentone.  Here it is:


And here are a couple more:


And here's a video of Rick Mohr's "Laura's Zigzag":


Michael Dyck's contra dance index


cites sources for instructions for "Cows Are Watching" and "Laura's Zigzag",
and also for "Weave the Line", which I mentioned in my previous message (and
also for thousands of other dances).

Y'all can watch the videos, read the instructions, and draw your own
conclusions about how practice compares with theory, and about whether
there are any cases where you'd want to expend effort changing that.


> On Mar 25, 2017, at 1:20 PM, James Saxe <jim.saxe at gmail.com> wrote:
> The dance "Cows Are Watching" can be seen in this video.
>     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kz8C4THCx2I
> You can all watch for yourselves and judge how long dancers are taking
> for the various parts and how leisurely or rushed the action appears
> to be.  It seems to me that men are usually starting their allemandes
> sometime between beats 13 and 15 of B1, and more often a shade before
> beat 14 than a shade after.
> According to the YouTube timer, the time for 12x64 beats of music (from
> a beat near the start of the videao to a beat at the same point in the
> tune near the end) is about 6:20, giving an average tempo a little over
> 121 b.p.m.  The hall is not crowded, so dancers have ample space for
> the roll-away in beats 5-8 of B1.  In some cases, but not all, dancers
> appear already to have started to veer ("zig") left by beat 8.  The
> general skill level of the dancing is pretty high, with only occasional
> mind lapses and not a lot of fumbling around or confusion about what to
> do next.  Perhaps the typical timing of the zig zag would be different
> with a different tempo of music, a more crowded floor, or a different
> mix of dancer skills, or with a caller who made a big point about
> asking dancers to take a full four beats to zig left.
> I haven't found any other videos of "Cows Are Watching", but here's a
> video of "Weave the Line":
>     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8peDGz-zkc
> It seems to me that dancers are completing the sequence
>     Veer (zig) left past current neighbors
>     Veer (zag) right to face next neighbors and keep veering
>         right to pass them
>     Veer left to face third neighbors
> pretty much within the first 8 beats of A2, though they may sometimes
> be stealing a beat from the figure before (circle left) and/or from
> the figure after (do-si-do third neighbor). 
> --Jim
> On Mar 25, 2017, at 11:43 AM, Jerome Grisanti via Callers <callers at lists.sharedweight.net> wrote:
>> I tend to think of the zig as four beats and the zag as four more. Four total would be zesty or rushed, depending on the crowd and music.
>> Jerome
>> On Friday, March 24, 2017, Tom Hinds via Callers <callers at lists.sharedweight.net> wrote:
>> I believe that zig left, zag right normally takes 4 beats.  If the dancers zag a little farther so men can easily take a left hand that would take an additional 2 beats for a total of 6 counts.  I'll confirm the timing this Saturday.
>> For me there's this issue of how much we ask the dancers to adjust.  It seems that asking dancers to adjust is common in English and perhaps less common in contra.
>> Tom
> <snip>

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