On Mon, 29 Apr 2013 14:13:47 -0700, Alan Winston wrote:
I think of good English (in the US sense) as robust
(with bursts of
slipping and skipping as appropriate), never mincing or plodding
even to slow tunes, with movement from the chest, unafraid to use
lots of space.
Then I will happily agree with you, but I have the feeling that
you're in a minority. I was once due to call for an English group
somewhere in the States and a woman was leading a Beginners' session
before I started. She told them "All English is slow and gentle",
and people who know me will be surprised to hear that I DIDN'T leap
up and shout out "No it isn't"!
US English is where I had my first exposures to
Cumberland Square Eight, Bonnets So Blue, Nottingham Swing, and
Steamboat, although I'll agree that these are rarely done.
And I'll admit that they're rarely done in England too. I still call
Morpeth Rant, but I hear band and dancers saying "Haven't done that
If I have this right, one might plausibly see Mayfair
With Care (selected as examples of Modern English, although I now
realize that they're both in more-or-less Historical style) at a
Zesty Playford evening. Is that right?
Yes indeed. I've seen Rhodri Davies do my dance Oxford Circus at a
Zesty Playford session, and I think of it as very much in the
Playford style with the three introductions of Up a double and back,
Siding and Arming. In fact I'm going with genuine historical stuff
(1651- 1775) for my Zesty Playford session at Eastbourne Festival
this weekend. Similarly I'm doing the Playford Ball using all dances
from The Dancing Master - in other words published by John Playford,
Henry Playford and their successor John Young. Most callers are not
so fussy, but my view is that there's such a variety of style,
energy, rhythm, formation and music in The Dancing Master that you
really don't need to throw in dances by Pat Shaw, Gary Roodman or
Fried Herman (or even Colin Hume) to make a good programme.