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dancing to a ballad

Jack Campin 26 Feb 13 - 06:13 PM
Manitas_at_home 27 Feb 13 - 04:00 AM
Manitas_at_home 27 Feb 13 - 04:08 AM
Doug Chadwick 27 Feb 13 - 08:17 AM
Sandy Mc Lean 27 Feb 13 - 08:18 PM
Manitas_at_home 28 Feb 13 - 03:48 AM
breezy 28 Feb 13 - 05:03 AM
Brian Peters 28 Feb 13 - 07:34 AM
Mr Red 28 Feb 13 - 09:49 AM
Dorothy Parshall 28 Feb 13 - 11:50 AM
meself 28 Feb 13 - 12:39 PM
GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1 01 Mar 13 - 02:58 AM
GUEST,leeneia 01 Mar 13 - 09:21 AM
Desert Dancer 01 Mar 13 - 10:49 AM
Desert Dancer 01 Mar 13 - 11:41 AM
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Subject: dancing to a ballad
From: Jack Campin
Date: 26 Feb 13 - 06:13 PM

We know "ballad" comes from "ballare", "to dance".

This is the first time I've seen people doing a real folkdance to what we would ordinarily call a ballad (and a very long one at that):

Sinklars vísa


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Subject: RE: dancing to a ballad
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 27 Feb 13 - 04:00 AM

It seems to have the whole community involved.


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Subject: RE: dancing to a ballad
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 27 Feb 13 - 04:08 AM

This one needs to be danced to
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwBaBNK5r-w


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Subject: RE: dancing to a ballad
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 27 Feb 13 - 08:17 AM

At the 2010 Mudcat Eurogathering in Iceland, we met, by chance, a choir from the Faroe Islands in a bar in Reykjavik. We were dancing the dance, shown in the first clip, at one o'clock in the morning.

DC


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Subject: RE: dancing to a ballad
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 27 Feb 13 - 08:18 PM

In school many years ago I learned that a ballad was a poem that told a story. It seems to have little or anything to do with dancing.


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Subject: RE: dancing to a ballad
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 28 Feb 13 - 03:48 AM

I met a lady from West Africa at a party where people were doing party pieces. She was asked if she had a song but explained that she couldn't sing as she was too old to dance.


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Subject: RE: dancing to a ballad
From: breezy
Date: 28 Feb 13 - 05:03 AM

might stop some folk nodding off,
then again it might enduce a heart attack if its a marathon.
best bet is to dance part, rest part.
then go for a drink ,
visit the loo,
and if it hasnt ended by the time you return,
have another drink.

reenactment could prove fatal.


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Subject: RE: dancing to a ballad
From: Brian Peters
Date: 28 Feb 13 - 07:34 AM

Bára Grímsdóttir and Chris Foster gave a very interesting workshop at Chippenham Festival a couple of years ago, in which they explained the Icelandic tradition of dancing while singing ballads - which is a living tradition in some remoter valleys - and taught the participants some words of Icelandic, then had everyone dance in a circle while singing the choruses. A very interesting experience.

Sandy MacLean: you're quite right that ballads are songs that tell stories. The association of the word with dancing led some ballad scholars to believe that this was at one time the way ballads were performed in Britain, but that theory eventually fell from favour. Even so, having had that Icelandic experience, I find it quite easy to believe that a ballad with a second and fourth line refrain, like 'Lay the Bent to the Bonny Broom', might well lend itself to being danced.


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Subject: RE: dancing to a ballad
From: Mr Red
Date: 28 Feb 13 - 09:49 AM

Breton dances sometimes have the "call & reply" feature. Dancing and singing by all who dance. I think they have their own name, rather than Andro or Hanter Dro (etc) which would translate to the "Call & Reply".

I would sing if I could speak French, but the dances are simple enough.


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Subject: RE: dancing to a ballad
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 28 Feb 13 - 11:50 AM

Most of what is referred to as International Folk Dancing, seems to be done to "ballads". The stories, when translated, can be sad, humourous, romantic. The simpler dances may be done by whole villages, often through the streets, with all ages involved. Less chance of a heart attack if you have been doing this all your life.

Where it is available, I have done IFD two or even three times a week. Very good exercise. I made sure the leaders knew that my goal is to die while dancing. Just push me a side and keep on dancing.

More than most music, I felt connected to those peoples who have been doing these dances for hundreds of years. At a Polish dance workshop in rural New York State, I looked at the back of the room where a woman stood with her bucket of mushrooms, in tears to be hearing the music of her country and to see people dancing the dances of her country. She had been collecting in the woods and was drawn to the music. What a thrill for her, and for the leaders, to meet each other and speak Polish.

Music can so unite people!


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Subject: RE: dancing to a ballad
From: meself
Date: 28 Feb 13 - 12:39 PM

Hundreds of years?! It must be VERY good exercise ... !


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Subject: RE: dancing to a ballad
From: GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 01 Mar 13 - 02:58 AM

I've been doing a little research on the Sigurd The Dragon Slayer legend for a draft of an urban fantasy novel retelling the story, and turned up some information on a Faroese ballad-cycle based on the legend. Here's a clip of a chain dance being performed to the first ballad in the cycle, "Regin Smidur" (Regin The Smith), named after a character from the story. What's really interesting is that this telling of the legend is significantly different from the one I know.      

"Regin Smidur" Faroese chain dance


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Subject: RE: dancing to a ballad
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 01 Mar 13 - 09:21 AM

Thanks for the link, Jack and Morwen. It's interesting and it's good to see people singing and dancing together.


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Subject: RE: dancing to a ballad
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 01 Mar 13 - 10:49 AM

Yes, thanks. These are very cool.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: dancing to a ballad
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 01 Mar 13 - 11:41 AM

MorwenEdhelwen1's link has a nice long description.

Also, Faroese dance @ Wikipedia

Kvæði @ Wikipedia (Kvaedi) -- on the ballads themselves. There are some useful English-language links there.

The Association for Faroese Dance has some more videos and info. Unfortunately, both the "EN" and "DK" translate buttons don't lead to anything. :-\

A commenter on one video says,
"Here in Belgium/Flanders we also have the 'Roelantslied', a 12th century Middle Dutch translation of the original 11th C French 'Chanson de Roland'.
The dance was very common as well over here, known as the 'rondedans' or 'reidans'. But it sort of fell into disuse throughout the years.
I never realised the song/poem had travelled as far as the Faroese islands. "


~ Becky in Tucson


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