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How much are they linked? (Music+Dancing)

Stanron 27 Mar 11 - 01:27 PM
MRyer 27 Mar 11 - 02:57 PM
Tootler 27 Mar 11 - 04:15 PM
Stanron 27 Mar 11 - 04:17 PM
jennyr 28 Mar 11 - 06:12 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 28 Mar 11 - 07:22 AM
Mr Happy 28 Mar 11 - 08:32 AM
RTim 28 Mar 11 - 08:42 AM
mauvepink 28 Mar 11 - 08:47 AM
GUEST,Desi C 28 Mar 11 - 09:04 AM
mauvepink 28 Mar 11 - 09:56 AM
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Subject: How much are they linked?
From: Stanron
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 01:27 PM

If you take the music away from dancing do you take something away from the music?


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Subject: RE: How much are they linked? (Music+Dancing)
From: MRyer
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 02:57 PM

I'm not entirely clear on what you are asking. Perhaps this little story will provide some answer.

I'm in my 60s and have been singing folk music since I was in my 20s. I've always been attracted to songs in 3/4 time and (at least I fancy that) I sing them the best - really feel them in my soul.

When I was in my 40s I was at a week long folk music camp in Massachusetts (Pinewoods). It was the custom to have a dance, mostly contras and squares, every night after dinner before the evening program. I had been contra dancing for a number of years and was in the midst of having a couple of really enjoyable contra dances with a woman named Sarah. And then the band said they were going to play a waltz and go on a short break. As I said, the two previous contra dances had been really great and it was very awkward as I started to slink away from Sarah because I really could not waltz. She wanted to waltz and stopped me in a friendly way and asked if I would waltz with her. I told her that I had tried many times, even taking workshops on waltzing - and really couldn't do it. Undaunted, she told me that of course I could, grabbed my hand, and we started in. To this day I'm not sure why or how, but with Sarah I was able to waltz, and enjoyed it, and was able to and have waltzed ever since.

Now, here's the part that might give you a partial answer. Later that night, when I was singing a song in 3/4 time, I experienced something remarkable, because my body could feel the waltz beat in a way that I had never experienced before. And I know that I enjoyed singing that 3/4 time song, feeling in a profound way the harmony between my body and my soul. That feeling has never left.

So, I think that the music would be less without dance. I have a hard time even conceiving of dance without music.


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Subject: RE: How much are they linked? (Music+Dancing)
From: Tootler
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 04:15 PM

Music without dancing? Yes, you can have that.

Dancing without music? No not really.

Of course music for dancing can be provided by the human voice and in many cultures there is a tradition of singing for dancing.


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Subject: RE: How much are they linked? (Music+Dancing)
From: Stanron
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 04:17 PM

Nice story. I'll see if I can clarify. I played for many years in bands that played mainly for dancing. They weren't folk bands and the music was not my favourite type of music. But the sense of being part of a community activity was very strong and I got a lot of satisfaction out of seeing people dance.
Most of the music I've done in the last 20 years has been playing tunes in sessions. I like the music and the social nature of the occasions but I think it could be improved if people were able to dance when I am playing. So is there some format other than normal ceilidh (booked band, one off gig etc) where a tunes session and dancing combine?


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Subject: RE: How much are they linked? (Music+Dancing)
From: jennyr
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 06:12 AM

Now there are two questions! So:
(a) Yes, if you take away the dancing, the music loses something (unless the musicians know the dance well and feel it while they're playing, regardless of whether anyone is actually dancing - but then you haven't really taken the dance away). You can also add something, though, in that the music has more freedom to develop its own expression. I like both music for dance and music for music.

(b) In my town, we have a monthly 'Euro-session'. It happens in a largish pub, where people meet to play dance tunes, and the dancing happens in whatever space is available between the tables (how much actual allocated dance space there is varies according to venue and attendance). There's quite a lot of crossover between musicians and dancers, and it's all done very informally - recently there's also been a 'workshop' at the beginning of each session to teach some of the dances that are done frequently. I see no reason why that format couldn't be adapted to many, if not all, types of traditional dance, but I don't know how common it actually is.

I also know a couple of folk clubs where one or more of the regular floor spots are from cloggers.


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Subject: RE: How much are they linked? (Music+Dancing)
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 07:22 AM

We sometimes have some dancers come to the music session at the Gregson in Lancaster on a Thursday night. They get up and dance when we play something that they like the feel of, mainly "eurodance" style burees etc.


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Subject: RE: How much are they linked? (Music+Dancing)
From: Mr Happy
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 08:32 AM

Some seshes I've been at have had people dancing, esp clog/step dancers


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Subject: RE: How much are they linked? (Music+Dancing)
From: RTim
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 08:42 AM

I can remember a situation many years ago with my old Morris team on a tour.
We had been dancing with other teams for a couple of hours, and others on the tour were starting to not really watch the dancing any more.
So I got my team up and we danced to NO MUSIC!
Immediately - every one stopped what they were doing and started to watch us dance.

I thought it very interesting, and we did this several other times in later years with a similar affect.

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: How much are they linked? (Music+Dancing)
From: mauvepink
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 08:47 AM

You can have, and there is, dance without music

mp


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Subject: RE: How much are they linked? (Music+Dancing)
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 09:04 AM

Excellent questioon. Oh I would sat they are very much lnked, Mryer's post neary touched on the main reason, I was brought up in Ireland on a diet of my Gran's trditional music and Irish step dancing, which seems to get referred to mostly as River Dance these days. The musical timing was vital to this type of dancing. And applies easily to MRers barn/country dancing too. I've always found trad Irish musicians to have such good timing, and as these dances were taught in school as part of the cirriculum I'm sure that's the main reason.

People have always tapped their feet along to music, and feet tapping is the basis of most Folk dancing whether Irish, English or American, Europe too. Often those who listen to live music on a regular basic, tend to make very good natural dancers, I was step dancing from as early as I can reacall, winning medals at the age of 5, haven't danced for decades but I do play trad music and I'm sure the timing comes from that. But I think Dancing very much requires music though not vice versa


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Subject: RE: How much are they linked? (Music+Dancing)
From: mauvepink
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 09:56 AM

I should have explained myself a little better in my last post.

Many people dance without music and some of the dancing actually provides the rhythm they dance to. The above example of dancing to taps in Irish dancing as an example. I love the sound of a few people dancing out on a floor as the beat is something that cannot be made by any other instrument but the feet!

mp


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