There are occasional requests on this forum for a dance to be identified, which got me thinking.


As with, I’m sure, many callers, I have a number of dances that I’ve come across, often at dances, where I know neither the name nor the author.  I like to honour the choreographer by mentioning their name and the name of the dance when I call it, but I can’t do this if I don’t know it.


It is usually relatively easy to find the author if you know the title, using Michael Dyck's excellent Contradance Index, but without a title it becomes a much bigger task.  An “obvious” solution would be a magical web page that lets you put in the dance and to reward you with the name and author.  Apart from the massive logistical challenge of creating and maintaining such a database, this seems morally dubious as some authors prefer not to publish their work.


So what can we do?  We could all ask on [Callers] but we’d soon get fed up with the forum being taken over.  I wondered about a “please identify this dance” (sub-)forum, similar to the many ”ask the expert” forums (fora?) you see in the IT community.


Do members have any thoughts about this?  Will it work?  How do we get people on it? What are the issues?  Is there a batter / alternative approach?


Over to the Hive Mind.