Crooked tunes don't really work well with contras. If they
want to play crooked tunes all night then you have a real challenge. If
they will be satisfied with playing one or two crooked tunes then you could
try using dances that work with crooked tunes just for those tunes.
A good caller can make many square dances fit to anything by
throwing in extra moves and longer swings. Appalachian/Running Set/Visiting
Squares are good for this as the dances are often crooked themselves. And
Appalachian/Southern Big Set always works with anything. When I call any of
those type of dances I just tell the band to keep playing anything they like
until the dancers are exhausted.
I have called a Big Set at a number of Contra Dance evenings in America and
it always seems to have gone down well as a bit of fun variety - just one in
an evening though.
But getting your dancers to accept that type of dance may not be easy, and
of course you need a caller who can call that type of dance.
John Sweeney, Dancer, England john(a)modernjive.com 01233 625 362 & 07802
for Live Music Ceilidhs
for Dancing in Kent
for Modern Jive DVDs
<organizers-bounces+john=modernjive.com(a)lists.sharedweight.net> On Behalf Of
Karlsruhe Contra Dance via Organizers
Sent: 27 June 2019 11:46
Subject: [Organizers] Contemplating Crooked tunes...
first, thanks for all of your good input about my 'swing workshop'
brainstorm. Have taken note and will definitely use some of your ideas.
My next question is perhaps less of an organizational question and more of a
calling question. I hope it is still appropriate here. Do you know of any
callers/bands who will play/call to crooked tunes. I have some old-time
musicians who like to play for me but don't seem to understand why I insist
on them playing straight tunes... (you would be correct in assuming that
they are not dancers). Also, it has started to make me feel like a party
pooper because they loooove their crooked tunes and want to play them.
I have stayed firm, but I wonder if there is a way I could humor them. I
mean, if the swing corresponds to the crooked part, the swing just goes a
bit longer, but eee. As a dancer, I just can't image it working. Or maybe I
have danced to crooked tunes without even knowing it... Does anyone do this?