July 4th:

Got up a little before I had intended, got ready (with a few crossword puzzles in the middle while waiting for a shower), and showed up in the McDonald Wing room about half an hour early for the 10am class. I used the extra time to do a little bit of research on the 3rd chorus of Lull Me, and came to the conclusion that keeping in the "crosses" and "turn their own" makes the dance break.

John Garden's 2 hour class was great, because he not only taught us a handful of dances that we basically already knew, but he had us think about them - about why we do the steps a certain way, about the flow of a dance, about the flow of the steps, about the "story" of the dance, which can help reconstruction a great deal. He has obviously thought a great deal about these things, and he has knowledge from other dance traditions and even concurrent traditions in other countries to compare the dances to. The local (Lochac/Australia) groups have been using a particularly odd version of "siding" (they basically side both sides in 4 beats, which means that they can only step up, step back, step up, step back, and then they do it all again for the other half of the siding), which John was able to shoot down pretty darn convincingly (especially when Del tried to pull Fouriere (sp?) out as the reason they do it that way, and John showed him the photocopy of Fouriere's first book from 1709 that very clearly and explicitly indicates that siding is what we do siding as (which also shoots down Cecil Sharpe's version where you pass around behind the person you're siding with, which Cecil actually recanted later in his career, but the notion had spread too far for him to get the dance community to change), including alternating directions. It is true that 1709 is well past any definition of period, but that's not the only, or even the best, reason to do siding basically the way I was taught.

John's class ended with him teaching Newcastle, which is a very problematic dance because Playford's directions are ambiguous to the point of utter confusion. But John had an anonymous manuscript from the British Library that described a simpler, clearer version that obviously is the same dance, but is less ambiguous. So we did a blend of the two versions, using Playford where his flowed better, and the mms where it was clearer.

After John's class was over, I singled out my challenger on Lull Me and showed her why I thought that keeping those few words in makes the dance fail. Together, we dragged 8 people over to be our "salt and pepper shakers" (a favorite substitute for people when figuring out dance figures), and tried the 3rd chorus as written. We worked on it a little and even making a few more assumptions than are written down, the end result is that the couples end up not only in different places, but reversed from where they started.

My challenger had to rush off to an appointment, so after walking through the dance for John, I went off to lunch. It was another slow day in the dining room, which was nice since I was half an hour late. The food was good again, and today they had the heaters on in the room.

After lunch, I returned to the McDonald Wing room for Trahern's class on Mixed Up Playford, another 2 hour class. It turned out to be much the same as what he taught 2 years ago, not that I remembered any of the dances perfectly (except for Friar and the Nun). He ended up with the same kinds of "for as many as will" dances (limited participation, progressive with verses, progressive without verses), and threw in a few more (Half Hanikin, in which everyone progresses every verse, and Dargasson, which has a stranger set up but is basically a three-figure progressive).

After the class, there was some more discussion in the room, and then I went off to the Barriera class half way through, and sat and watched. After that, I managed to tag along with a group heading up to King Street for dinner. King St is a bit of a hike away, but it has restaurants galore. We chose a Turkish Pizza and Kebab place, and the food was pretty good.

Afterwards I returned to the room and changed into a combination of garb, turning the purple doublet inside out to made it green, and wearing the purple tights from Saturday and the purple undershirt and green hat from Sunday. We had a good band (unlike Sunday), and a reasonable number of people on the floor. I did a high percentage of the dances, and had a good time (we also did Fine Companion as the 2nd dance of the night, and I did Bizzaria d'Amore with Del and Mara and Uracca, and didn't screw it up). We got through every dance in every set that Del had put together, which was pretty cool. We also selected (provisionally) where KWDS6 will be - both Trahern from An Tir and Darius from Ealdamere wanted to submit a bid, and the popular vote by cheer was a tie, so the two of them were goaded into a Galliard-off. Both of them did really well, but finally, Darius conceeded. KWDS6 will be in the Seattle area in 2007 (provisionally), with Ottawa/Toronto in 2009.

After the dancing, we put the tables and chairs back in place for breakfast, and then sat around for a while chatting, drinking, and snacking. I had intended to cut out half way through the sets, but ended up staying in the dining room until about 12:30 (FYI, I'm writing this at 9:30 am on the 5th). I got my suitcases mostly packed, and went to bed.

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