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folk dances from WW1

GUEST,FloraG 09 Jan 14 - 03:38 AM
Les in Chorlton 09 Jan 14 - 05:43 AM
Mo the caller 09 Jan 14 - 05:54 AM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 09 Jan 14 - 03:24 PM
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Subject: folk dances from WW1
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 03:38 AM

I thought it might be nice to do a few WW1 dances this year as a contribution to the commemoration. Trouble is - Im not sure which.
Anybody got any ideas on any dances new to the period, or what would have been most popular in the decade?

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Subject: RE: folk dances from WW1
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 05:43 AM

erm ....... I think we are all struggling to know what to do and to undertsand why it happened in the way that it did

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Subject: RE: folk dances from WW1
From: Mo the caller
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 05:54 AM

Cecil Sharp published the Country Dance book in 1909, dances he had collected. His followers were actively promoting these dances before the war.
He says he only found dances in longways formation.Some are for a whole set (and he suggests varying the number of times certain parts of the tune are played according to how many are in the set), some are duple minor (two couples dance together for one turn and finish in each others places - then repeat with another couple) or triple minor (3 couples dance together, end with couple 1 in 2nd place, 2 becomes 3 in the next set, 3 dances as 2 with the same 1 and a new couple).

Cecil Sharp says that 'among traditional dancers' the dance duple and triple minor dances start with the top 2 or 3 couples only and the first couple brings everyone in as they move down the set. I knew that was how it used to be done, but hadn't realised that this persisted into the 20th century.

There is an interesting version of Galopede which seems a bit of a hybrid between whole set and Duple minor. The A1 & A2 are forward & back, cross over twice (just like the Community Dance Mannual version), but instead of the partners swing in B there is a swing and change for pairs of couples. Then in C top couple swing down to bottom as usual.

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Subject: RE: folk dances from WW1
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 03:24 PM

I notice that FloraG asks for dances, not specifically folk dances. Yes, by 1914 folk dancing was becoming popular - morris, sword, the few traditional dances that Sharp collected and his interpretations of Playford. Still largely confined to a small group of people though, and mostly middle classes, and mostly in the classroom rather than for "fun".

The Military Two-Step was just over a decade old by the start of the war, Alexander's Ragtime Band had recently been composed, the tango was already becoming popular but the big hit of 1914 was the Foxtrot, which Irene and Vernon Castle popularised.

Victor Silvester later wrote ...
"When war came, the most popular form of relaxation for the men on leave was a dance... The fascinating lilt of the Foxtrot tunes and the informal nature of the steps appealed so much that in a few months the Foxtrot swept all other dances except the Rag off the ballroom floor."

So, there you have it ... keep watching Strictly Come Dancing!!


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Mudcat time: 14 November 10:41 AM EST

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