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EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages

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The Sandman 18 Jul 10 - 07:46 AM
GUEST,Les from Darlo 18 Jul 10 - 08:01 AM
Tug the Cox 18 Jul 10 - 09:54 AM
Leadfingers 18 Jul 10 - 10:58 AM
Manitas_at_home 18 Jul 10 - 11:16 AM
RTim 18 Jul 10 - 11:27 AM
Steve Gardham 18 Jul 10 - 11:42 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 18 Jul 10 - 11:44 AM
The Sandman 18 Jul 10 - 12:17 PM
George Papavgeris 18 Jul 10 - 02:55 PM
greg stephens 18 Jul 10 - 03:01 PM
greg stephens 18 Jul 10 - 03:06 PM
The Sandman 18 Jul 10 - 03:16 PM
GUEST,Calculatrice 18 Jul 10 - 03:20 PM
greg stephens 18 Jul 10 - 03:21 PM
Ralphie 18 Jul 10 - 04:54 PM
oggie 18 Jul 10 - 05:03 PM
The Sandman 18 Jul 10 - 05:11 PM
Ralphie 18 Jul 10 - 05:34 PM
The Sandman 18 Jul 10 - 05:53 PM
The Sandman 18 Jul 10 - 05:55 PM
GUEST,Nick EFDSS 19 Jul 10 - 04:34 AM
mattkeen 19 Jul 10 - 04:45 AM
Les in Chorlton 19 Jul 10 - 05:04 AM
SteveMansfield 19 Jul 10 - 05:56 AM
Les in Chorlton 19 Jul 10 - 06:17 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 19 Jul 10 - 06:36 AM
GUEST,PeterC 19 Jul 10 - 07:00 AM
GUEST,Ed 19 Jul 10 - 07:29 AM
The Sandman 19 Jul 10 - 07:29 AM
GUEST,Nick EFDSS 19 Jul 10 - 08:28 AM
The Sandman 19 Jul 10 - 08:31 AM
SteveMansfield 19 Jul 10 - 08:51 AM
SteveMansfield 19 Jul 10 - 08:53 AM
GUEST 19 Jul 10 - 09:28 AM
The Borchester Echo 19 Jul 10 - 09:28 AM
Jack Campin 19 Jul 10 - 10:08 AM
GUEST,Nick EFDSS 19 Jul 10 - 10:18 AM
mattkeen 19 Jul 10 - 10:37 AM
Steve Gardham 19 Jul 10 - 02:00 PM
Jack Campin 19 Jul 10 - 02:06 PM
The Sandman 19 Jul 10 - 02:27 PM
The Sandman 19 Jul 10 - 02:29 PM
Vic Smith 19 Jul 10 - 03:06 PM
Steve Gardham 19 Jul 10 - 03:42 PM
GUEST,Connoisseur 19 Jul 10 - 03:55 PM
The Sandman 19 Jul 10 - 04:12 PM
oggie 19 Jul 10 - 06:00 PM
Robbie H Thomas 19 Jul 10 - 06:53 PM
Mo the caller 20 Jul 10 - 06:38 AM
matt milton 20 Jul 10 - 06:51 AM
The Sandman 20 Jul 10 - 08:11 AM
Jack Campin 20 Jul 10 - 08:29 AM
Old Vermin 20 Jul 10 - 08:54 AM
The Sandman 20 Jul 10 - 09:08 AM
mattkeen 20 Jul 10 - 09:24 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 20 Jul 10 - 11:26 AM
GUEST,Ralphie 21 Jul 10 - 01:16 AM
Manitas_at_home 21 Jul 10 - 08:10 AM
Billy Weeks 21 Jul 10 - 08:51 AM
Steve Gardham 21 Jul 10 - 04:54 PM
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Subject: EFDSS ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Jul 10 - 07:46 AM

what have been the advantages and disadvantages for English Folk song, since The Folk Song Society amalgamated and became a part of the EFDSS?.

Please note I am not denigrating the EFDSS, simply asking a question.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES
From: GUEST,Les from Darlo
Date: 18 Jul 10 - 08:01 AM

I stopped being a member of EFDSS years ago when they started being very PC and 'multi ethnic' rather than 'doing what it says on the tin' and promoting English folk song and dance. I'd hate to think The Folk Song Society has been swallowed up by them completely.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 18 Jul 10 - 09:54 AM

Loaded question...both societies merged into one bigger one, archives for both field are kept at CSH, and in the VWL.The magazine reflects bothfields. The balance of any activity will br coloured by interests and activities of members....if some are mainly interested in social dance, then that is what they will promote.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES
From: Leadfingers
Date: 18 Jul 10 - 10:58 AM

There WAS a time when EFDSS was far more DEAFASS , but thgings have changed in recent years I am glad to say .
I let my membership lapse when my local area organised a Dance For Dancers for Folk Day ! Some way of promoting Folk to the masses THAT way !!


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Subject: RE: EFDSS ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 18 Jul 10 - 11:16 AM

Dick, are you old enough to have noticed any difference when the two societies merged? Are you a member of EFDSS? Were you ever a member of the Folk Song Society? Were you ever a member of EFDSS? Would you consider joining and raising a motion at the AGM to split the society into two societies with non-overlapping remits? Is such a thing possible? Is such a thing practical? Is such a thing desirable?

Answers on a post-card to...


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Subject: RE: EFDSS ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES
From: RTim
Date: 18 Jul 10 - 11:27 AM

I have, after many years (like over 40!), recently become a member of the EFDSS - Because I think they are doing great work, particularly with song.

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Jul 10 - 11:42 AM

There have been periods in EFDSS history when the song has been swamped by dance, but any society is normally led in its policies by the majority of its members. Whatever happened in the past the current state of play seems very balanced and I don't think either side can complain. Of course if like me you are involved in both aspects you get the best of both worlds! The current state of affairs of the society seems very healthy and I am proud to be a member.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 18 Jul 10 - 11:44 AM

My impression is that the EFDSS of today is a very different 'beast' from that of 2 or 3 decades ago. It now appears to be a very modern, conscientious organisation which takes its responsibility to the folk arts very seriously indeed.

Having said all that I'm not currently a member - mainly for economic reasons. I'm on a limited income and I'm a member of several other societies - all of which, of course, charge annual membership fees; the EFDSS membership fee is relatively expensive (although I'm sure that it's value for money). I also think that to get the best out of membership it helps to live in London.

Still, I wish the Society well and hope that it continues to keep up the good work.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Jul 10 - 12:17 PM

"Dick, are you old enough to have noticed any difference when the two societies merged? Are you a member of EFDSS? Were you ever a member of the Folk Song Society? Were you ever a member of EFDSS? Would you consider joining and raising a motion at the AGM to split the society into two societies with non-overlapping remits? Is such a thing possible? Is such a thing practical? Is such a thing desirable?"

Answers on a post-card to.
1.I wasnt born
2.NO,but where is the relevance.
3. no, it merged before i was born
4.YES
5. 6 . 7 .8.I was asking a question, why reply by asking me the question.
   your tone is a little aggressive, why cannot this be discussed amicably.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 18 Jul 10 - 02:55 PM

Like RTim, I eventually joined just over a year ago, because I think that they are doing a great job these days. I am unable to compare it with how things were in the past, and to be honest I am not particularly bothered about that. I am more concerned with their actions now and looking ahead to the future.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: greg stephens
Date: 18 Jul 10 - 03:01 PM

Since none of us, I imagine, were born when the events actually took place that the Good Soldier Schweik refers to: perhaps he(or somebody) could recount the background to this so that we could give our ill-informed opinion?
I do (like a lot of people) have plenty of opinions on the activities of EFDSS over the last 50-odd years, as I have been extremely involved in them.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: greg stephens
Date: 18 Jul 10 - 03:06 PM

I may have been exaggerating whn I suggested that none of us were born when these events took place. I have just looked it up, and it happened in 1932. Well, I am damn sure neither I nor the Good Soldier were around, but some others may have been! If so, let's hear the lowdown.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Jul 10 - 03:16 PM

Here is my original post,
what have been the advantages and disadvantages for English Folk song, since The Folk Song Society amalgamated and became a part of the EFDSS?.

Please note I am not denigrating the EFDSS, simply asking a question. if someone can answer the questions, rather than go off on tangents it would be appreciated.
for example if you are interested in whats happening now, give us the facts and point out the advantages.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: GUEST,Calculatrice
Date: 18 Jul 10 - 03:20 PM

Even someone who had been a particularly precocious 12-year old folk enthusiast in 1932 would now be 90. Are there many Mudcat readers of that vintage?


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: greg stephens
Date: 18 Jul 10 - 03:21 PM

"for example if you are interested in whats happening now, give us the facts and point out the advantages"
Well, like I said I am very interested in the EFDSS now. But I honestly haven't the slightest idea how the merger in 1932 impinges on the present situation, either to its advantage or disadvantage. I wasn't here. Neither were you. But it may be very important. perhaps you could indicate why you have raised this very abstruse bit of history?


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: Ralphie
Date: 18 Jul 10 - 04:54 PM

To answer the original question.
1 Advantages to Folk Song.....Immeasurable
2 Disadvantages to Folk Song.....Zero.

It's a very loaded and deliberately contentious qustion In my opinion.
The world is a hugely changed place from the 1930s. Barriers have been broken down by all forms of technology, Virtually everyone I know is involved with both song and dance. And with the current regime running EFDSS the future looks rosy to me.
Yes C Sharp house is a cranky old building, but the people inside it are not.
The improvements in the last decade or so have been immense. Long may they continue.
Only point of dissent...
Get rid of that bloody mural in the main hall!


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: oggie
Date: 18 Jul 10 - 05:03 PM

The current incarnation of the EFDSSis doing great benefit to to Folk Song, Folk Dance and Folk Music.

I came to folk through dance, then I sang, now I play more music. All three are welcome within the EFDSS umbrella and long may it continue.

If Dick thinks there are disadvantages perhaps he would like to spell them out?

Steve

PS What is done is done, I have this mental image of the FSS saying that concertinas were only meant for dance music so of course you can't sing with them and as for guitars... The only true folk song is unaccompanied and harmonies don't exist in the "tradition".


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Jul 10 - 05:11 PM

I have not statedan opinion ,neither is the question loaded.
as to it being an abstruse bit of history, well, if that is the case, It seems that most of the posters so far think its was a good idea, and seem to be celebrating the fact the societies merged.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: Ralphie
Date: 18 Jul 10 - 05:34 PM

Well then Dick
If the majority of (admittedly) a small number of posters here are perfectly satisfied with the status quo regarding the current set-up of the EFDSS, why exactly did you pose such a pointless question un the first place? Have you had some sort of falling out with the organisation?
And how pray would (if you so wished) a schism between the two halves of the EFDSS be accomplished?
In other words. What is the point of your question, if you have no opinion? Funny old way to spend a sunday night, if you ask me.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Jul 10 - 05:53 PM

Ralphie, I dont think the question is pointless, the point is what have been the advantages or disadvantages ,no one has answered that yet, has it enabled more money to be sent on promoting folk song? , than would have otherwise been the case.
judging from posters replies, it seems that recently more emphasis has been put on song.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Jul 10 - 05:55 PM

Ralphie,I have been spending most of my evening playing music, but if I had decided to spend my evening some other way ,that would be my business.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: GUEST,Nick EFDSS
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 04:34 AM

'I stopped being a member of EFDSS years ago when they started being very PC and 'multi ethnic' rather than 'doing what it says on the tin' and promoting English folk song and dance. I'd hate to think The Folk Song Society has been swallowed up by them completely.'

A couple of points - First, when I joined EFDSS last September, I was told that it would be depressing to read comments on Mudcat about EFDSS because everyone wants to knock us. I have actually found, in the main, the opposite to be the case and am particularly pleased to read the tone of this thread.

Second - Les of Darlo - please rejoin - we are 100% about promoting the tradition, but we are equally happy to have the opportunity to promote to any of the 'multi ethnic' communities who make up this extraordinairy country.

And, despite everything you read in our lovely media, we always get a very positive response to these activities. The 'pc' approach is to NOT give them access to English culture, but to assume that all they want is their own cultures. We recently undertook a project with Somalian women who were offered the chance to be involved in some form of dance - they were asked what they wanted and they said 'we are in England, we want to learn English dance' - ironically,the real problem is the ignorance of the English people who don't know then how to access it.

So please rejoin as the more members we have the more money we have to address this.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: mattkeen
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 04:45 AM

I rejoined a couple of years ago and believe the Society is doing great positive work now


Hi Nick (Matt from sunny Northampton)


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 05:04 AM

I'm a Rambler, I'm a rambler from Manchester way ................

and about 3 months ago I met a man who was on the Mass Tresspass on Kinder in 1932! So I feel sure some people may be about who could have been in the FSS or the EFDS in in1932

L in C


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 05:56 AM

I was, quite frankly, horrified by the didactic, bombastic and insular attitudes of many of the EFDSS people I met when I first got into ETM in the late 70s. Over the years the organisation has changed out of all recognition, has done brilliant recent work and has more in the pipeline, and I'm now proud to be a member and supporter.

I'm personally more interested/involved in the dance and music side of ETM than the song side, but as far as I can ascertain there is no imbalance or bias in the weighting currently given to those aspects of the scene by EFDSS. Projects are funded and maintained across the interest areas, recent outreach projects such as that described by Nick have incorporated elements of all the different strands, and I'm not aware of any rumblings of discontent from one 'side' or another. From what I see as a current member, the days of 'Dance Earnestly And Forget About Song' are long gone and good riddance to them.

However I know nothing of the politics and horse-trading that no doubt accompanied the 1934 merger, so, like other contributors, I can't really answer Dick's question, because I don't know what the future of the FSS would have been had it not merged into part of the new EFDSS.

So that's probably a way to progress answering the OP, if anyone can take the trouble to shed any light on the history of the merger ...


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 06:17 AM

Is it true that after 1932 one faction wanted carry folk music forward in one country whilst others believed that it could only be achieved on a world wide scale?

Clearly the former faction won out and the latter fled to ....... erm ......... Mexico?

L in C


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 06:36 AM

"Dance & song" doesn't trip off the tongue in the way "song & dance" does, and it runs contrary to the way in which the phrase would be generally used in everyday usage. So the choice appears, to my mind, to represent a conscious and deliberate one.

I'd be curious to know who decided the name of the 'English folk dance and song society' and to what extent the choice of which discipline would 'come first' in it's title, was representative of the relative importance of song and dance within the society at the time.

This post could sound daft, but there have been plenty of squabbles of such seemingly petty details within other marriages.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: GUEST,PeterC
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 07:00 AM

''I stopped being a member of EFDSS years ago when they started being very PC and 'multi ethnic' rather than 'doing what it says on the tin' and promoting English folk song and dance.'

I can't say that I have noticed this trend in EFDSS. Are you perhaps making the common mistake of assuming that events run by outside organisations that hire halls in CSH are EFDSS events?


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 07:29 AM

I'd be curious to know who decided the name of the 'English folk dance and song society'

From here:

"In 1924, Cecil Sharp died, and the English Folk Dance Society set about a fund-raising campaign for a memorial building to serve as the national headquarters. Cecil Sharp House was opened in 1930, and Sharp's replacement as Director of the Society, Douglas Kennedy (married to Helen Karpeles) invited the Folk-Song" Society to merge to form the English Folk Dance and Song Society.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 07:29 AM

Nick EFDSS, Thankyoufor your post,
this thread is an excellent opportunity, for EFDSS to let mudcat and the world know what they are doing., how much dance and song they are in fact promoting.
It is a pity that some other contributors have to be so defensive , and rude.
I would be interested to see how much money is allocated to each.
there is no beter way of dispelling myth[ the english dance and forget about song society], than providing facts that prove this wrong , if for example song gets as much financial support as dance, it clearly is a good thing that the two societies are joined.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: GUEST,Nick EFDSS
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 08:28 AM

Hi Matt from Northampton - Hope you're well - if you're wandering in the direction of Cambridge or Sidmouth (from Monday 2nd) this year come and say hello - we have EFDSS stands at both events - anyone else from Mudcat is obviously very welcome as well.

However to respond the to Good Solder's question - it's impossible to give an answer to how money is split between song and dance (and music for that matter). This is not to be evasive but you can appreciate that if we promote, for instance, a dance with live band, we wouldn't cost it on the basis that some of the money comes from a dance pot and some from a music pot; similarly we dont' cost our own time, whether it be on marketing, education or the Libray on the basis of what particular artform we are working on at any one time. We are simply a single entity and look for any opportunity to promote all aspects of folk song, dance and music.

It is very possible that you will have seen more activity on the music front this year because the Arts Council money we were awarded was specifically for music, but next year, being the centenary of the English Folk Dance Society, will see us more involved in dance projects including a partnership with the Inter Varsity Folk Dance Festival in Bristol.

We have a pretty new staff team here (with the exception of very long serving Library Director) and I can honestly say that we come to this with no preconception of any artform having a precedent over the other - they are all equally important to us.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 08:31 AM

thanks,Nick for your response.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 08:51 AM

this thread is an excellent opportunity, for EFDSS to let mudcat and the world know what they are doing., how much dance and song they are in fact promoting.
It is a pity that some other contributors have to be so defensive , and rude.
I would be interested to see how much money is allocated to each.


I'm not aware that anyone qualified to answer your queries in sufficient detail is a regular on Mudcat - I've seen Nick's posting above, and Derek Schofield, editor of the (excellent) magazine, occasionally also comes in as a guest, but that's about it as far as I can tell.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 08:53 AM

Ah, crossed over with Nick's post, never mind.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 09:28 AM

sfmans said:-
"Over the years the organisation has changed out of all recognition, has done brilliant recent work and has more in the pipeline, and I'm now proud to be a member and supporter. "


Ditto me.
I would think that the above quotation describes my position perfectly.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 09:28 AM

I've often gazed at the Ivon Hitchens mural which adorns the now grandly-named Kennedy Hall in C (can't find the sharp symbol on this keyboard) House and speculated on how to extricate it without the building falling down. Not that this wouldn't be a Very Good Thing as long as the insurance was up to date, but the "work of art" wouldn't be worth much if the chunks of plaster got smashed. Particularly amusing would be the point where someone realised that couldn't get it through the door . . .


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 10:08 AM

Got a link to picture of that, for those of us who've never been inside the building?


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: GUEST,Nick EFDSS
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 10:18 AM

From our website 360 degree views of all our main spaces. You will need flash to view.

http://www.efdss.org/front/building-tour/building-tour/25


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: mattkeen
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 10:37 AM

Hi Nick
See you in Sidmouth


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 02:00 PM

The vast majority of folk festivals in Britain (England if you like) since the 60s have married dance and song very well. I can't off the top of my head think of a well-known festival on the circuit that doesn't have both. How far-sighted of old Douggie!


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 02:06 PM

I just had a look at that mural - holy shit.

What did it cost?

WHY????


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 02:27 PM

Steve, Broadstairs used to be dance orientated, even in the 1980s.
Wimborne and Eastbourne International,are dance festivals.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 02:29 PM

sorry, wimborne is both but describes itself on its home page as a dance festival


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: Vic Smith
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 03:06 PM

GUEST
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 09:28 AM

was me.
Vic


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 03:42 PM

So thousands of them then!


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: GUEST,Connoisseur
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 03:55 PM

Don't knock the mural - 's an important historical work of 20th C. British art.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 04:12 PM

I can't off the top of my head think of a well-known festival on the circuit that doesn't have both. How far-sighted of old Douggie!
your words Steve,
Eastbourne international is for dancers, I seem to remember Felixstowe [now defunct]used to be a dance festival.
intervarsity folk dance festival
morland scottish cuntry dance week.
clog fest fetival
international pipe and tabor festival, not many I agree., but youasked do you get


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: oggie
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 06:00 PM

Sword Spectacular and DERT are dnce only but who cares?

IMHO this is non controversy and just another attempt at EFDSS bashing.

Steve


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: Robbie H Thomas
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 06:53 PM

In reply to Jack Campin's query on the CSH mural- a bit of history is on the Tate Gallery website - http://tinyurl.com/2vrd66d

On Hitchins himself -
- http://tinyurl.com/39ulbxo
- http://www.waterman.co.uk/pages/biography/31.html
- http://venicebiennale.britishcouncil.org/people/639

As a good few of you will know, I am currently an EFDSS Board member and, as such, please note that the following are my own personal views and opinions.

In reply to the Good Soldier..

I would contend that the single greatest advantage gained by both song and dance from the joining together of the Song and Dance Societies is the national folk arts archive held by the EFDSS in Cecil Sharp House in the shape of the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library.

Without the existence of this archive - which I believe is of national importance - the histories of both the British folk song and dance revivals would have been very different indeed ...

So, to answer the Good Soldier's question directly..

The advantage to traditional English Folk Song from the amalgamation of the two societies is that folk singers and musicians have an archive - the Vaughan William Memorial Library - where they can research that tradition and find inspiration - for example, there's a real thrill in reading Cecil Sharp's original diaries and in looking at his original song transcriptions.

The disadvantage is that the existence of that very archive depends on the financial health of a small and otherwise unimportant charity.... the English Folk Dance and Song Society.

As a Scot I am staggered by the fact that the most important traditional folk arts archive in England (the VWML) is supported by a small society whose support of that archive is funded in its entirety from the Society's membership income, the income from the hire of its headquarters building and donations and grants from private trusts.

My folk background is in song, music and dance and, as many of the current Board have similarly diverse folk backgrounds, this means that, in my opinion, the current EFDSS Board is pretty well-balanced with no one area of the folk arts predominating - which hasn't always been the case in the past.

Whatever one may think of EFDSS's historical past (and I've got plenty of my own views), the fact remains that, over the years of its existence, the Society has maintained and grown the VWML archive on behalf of the English nation. For that very fact alone, everyone interested in English traditional folk music, song, dance or any other of the English folk arts should be supporting EFDSS - either by donation or by becoming members - or preferably both.

If the EFDSS were to disappear, the entire VWML archive might well either leave these shores, disappear into storage or become a collection in a University library. The thought of that happening and of English singers, dancers and musicians losing daily public access to the VWML archive - anyone can just go up to the front door of the VWML and walk in - is one of the major reasons that I got involved so deeply in EFDSS.

EFDSS today is a very different organisation from that which it was 5, 10, 15, 20 or even 50 years ago. The past is just that - the past, and it is high time that everyone who cares about English traditional folk arts stopped moaning about EFDSS's past and got involved in shaping its future, whether by joining the Society or donating to it.

EFDSS members are incredibly important to the future of EFDSS and the VWML. If an arts organisation has to rely entirely on funding from the public purse or private trusts then, unless that organisation is incredibly lucky, the time inevitably comes when that funding dries up and the organisation is forced to fold. Its membership is what has enabled EFDSS to survive and, in order for EFDSS to move forward and to do what needs to be done, that membership needs to grow.

EFDSS hasn't got everything right yet - it takes time for things to happen - but it is moving well along the way to becoming the folk arts organisation that it can and should be. Of course it will make mistakes and upset some people along the way - such is the nature of life - but the most important thing is that EFDSS is on the move.

To succeed, EFDSS needs and (I believe) deserves not only the financial support, but also the involvement of everyone who professes to care about the traditional folk arts of England.

Sorry for going on a bit but, like my fellow EFDSS Board members (and here I feel that I can speak for them), I am passionate about the importance of the existence of the VWML and the work of the EFDSS, both to those who watch and/or personally participate in the English folk arts and to the nation as a whole.

Robbie


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: Mo the caller
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 06:38 AM

If the people who say that certain festivals are 'dance' are meaning to imply an inbalance favouring dance at festivals, I would say that most festivals are'song' with a bit of Morris and Ceilidh added.

My favourite Chippenham has everything (as far as I can see). You could Social Dance from morning till night if you had the stamina. Learn about song and singing. Play in sessions or learn new tunes in workshops.
Oh, and lazily watch display teams and listen to concerts and maybe be inspired to do it all better.

Not that EFDSS directly organises festivals these days, though I suppose its work past and present inspires and supports them.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: matt milton
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 06:51 AM

As someone who had never heard of the EFDSS up until 4 or 5 years ago, I think it's a wonderful institution.

I can pinpoint it back to one particular great jamboree of an event organised by Sam Lee and Joe Buirski of the Magpie's Nest at Cecil Sharp House. I think the efforts of Sam and others really have brought traditional music to a wider audience.

I've read broadsheet coverage of unacompanied singing, sessions, morris dancing, rapper et al that I suspect is a direct result of the more savvy EFDSS of the last few years. And I've really enjoyed the EFDSS Saturday banjo classes I've done.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 08:11 AM

thankyou Robbie, a very helpful post.
mo the caller,

I am well awre that EFDSS do not organise festivals any ,more
"If the people who say that certain festivals are 'dance' are meaning to imply an inbalance favouring dance at festivals, I would say that most festivals are'song' with a bit of Morris and Ceilidh added."
I was attempting to answer Steve Gardhams post
I would agree, however I see no reason why dancers should not have seperate dance festival if that is what they want, if it is commercially viable, the organisers are satisfying a demand. .          " Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: oggie - PM
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 06:00 PM

Sword Spectacular and DERT are dnce only but who cares?

IMHO this is non controversy and just another attempt at EFDSS bashing."
EFDSS dont organise festivals any more, so how can it be EFDSS bashing


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: Jack Campin
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 08:29 AM

For godsake GSS LEARN TO QUOTE OTHER PEOPLE'S TEXT PROPERLY.

I have no idea what you were trying to say in that last post because I couldn't tell which were your words.

What I usually do is use the HTML tags <em> ... </em> to put quoted text in italics. Other people use ordinary quote marks. Whatever you do, it ALWAYS helps to use a blank line to set off what you're quoting from what you're saying yourself.

And ALWAYS use the Preview option to see your message the way the rest of us are going to.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: Old Vermin
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 08:54 AM

Ralphie.

The story I have heard about the mural in the main hall is this.

Some years ago, the was an intention to demolish the building preparatory to redevelopment and to relocate the Library and the Society. The single factor that stopped this happening was that the mural would have been destroyed, and it was listed for conservation.

No idea whether this is true in whole or part or just folklore.

True the mural is a tad weird.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 09:08 AM

Jack, the quotes were in" "
HERE IS ONE QUOTE.If the people who say that certain festivals are 'dance' are meaning to imply an inbalance favouring dance at festivals, I would say that most festivals are'song' with a bit of Morris and Ceilidh added.
HERE WAS ANOTHER QUOTE.
Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: oggie - PM
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 06:00 PM

Sword Spectacular and DERT are dnce only but who cares?

IMHO this is non controversy and just another attempt at EFDSS bashing."
MY REPLY to the first was.I am well aware that EFDSS do not organise festivals any more.
Myreply to the second was EFDSS dont organise festivals any more so how can it be EFDSS bashing.
JACK.can you understand that,


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: mattkeen
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 09:24 AM

I do not know about the mural being weird - this thread is though


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 11:26 AM

"Some years ago, the was an intention to demolish the building preparatory to redevelopment and to relocate the Library and the Society. The single factor that stopped this happening was that the mural would have been destroyed, and it was listed for conservation.

No idea whether this is true in whole or part or just folklore.

True the mural is a tad weird."

Firstly, sounds like the archive and the finances of the society were inadvertently saved by the mural. New fancy builds for archives or arts centres seem to have a bad habit of going tits up and costing a bomb (as well as being ugly). Secondly, I rather dig the mural!


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 01:16 AM

OK The mural stays! (If indeed it saved the buiding from re-development). How about a nice big curtain though! Apart from anything else it might improve ths acoustics on gig nights!!


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 08:10 AM

Just to protect it ffrom the light, eh Ralph?


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: Billy Weeks
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 08:51 AM

I hesitate to keep this rather pointless thread going, but with regard to the mural: I've been a EFDSSoc member since 1952 and to the best of my recollection (which, I have to confess is not so reliable as it once was) the mural was paid for by the War Damage Commission, when the Society decided that they would not claim for reinstatement of the minstrels' gallery in the wrecked hall. It is difficult to believe that any official body today would be so enlightened as to pay for a work of art when they could simply walk away saying 'Great saving for us. Thank you and goodbye'.

The quality of a work of modern art will always arouse argument, but the artist, Ivone Hitchens sems to have been fairly highly regarded for his landscapes and semi-abstracts. I believe the CSH mural was his largest single painting.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS Advantages and Disadvantages
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 04:54 PM

Welcome back, Billy!


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