Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Catering to Dancers

TS 08 Jun 04 - 11:25 AM
The Borchester Echo 08 Jun 04 - 12:00 PM
Sarah the flute 08 Jun 04 - 12:01 PM
Snuffy 08 Jun 04 - 04:58 PM
GUEST,Arkie 08 Jun 04 - 06:11 PM
Mr Red 08 Jun 04 - 06:29 PM
M.Ted 08 Jun 04 - 09:24 PM
Sorcha 08 Jun 04 - 11:10 PM
wysiwyg 08 Jun 04 - 11:18 PM
The Fooles Troupe 08 Jun 04 - 11:40 PM
Auxiris 09 Jun 04 - 08:23 AM
s&r 09 Jun 04 - 08:41 AM
Mr Red 09 Jun 04 - 05:24 PM
breezy 09 Jun 04 - 06:37 PM
Compton 09 Jun 04 - 06:56 PM
GUEST,Claire 09 Jun 04 - 06:56 PM
Seamus Kennedy 10 Jun 04 - 01:07 AM
GUEST,noddy 10 Jun 04 - 07:00 AM
sian, west wales 10 Jun 04 - 08:03 AM
breezy 10 Jun 04 - 10:09 AM
Steve Parkes 10 Jun 04 - 11:51 AM
wysiwyg 10 Jun 04 - 12:38 PM
ToulouseCruise 10 Jun 04 - 02:06 PM
The Fooles Troupe 10 Jun 04 - 08:22 PM
LadyJean 11 Jun 04 - 01:10 AM
fiddler 11 Jun 04 - 04:05 AM
GUEST,Crystal 11 Jun 04 - 11:21 AM
GUEST,Peter from Essex 11 Jun 04 - 02:34 PM
Compton 13 Jun 04 - 07:12 PM
GUEST 13 Jun 04 - 07:32 PM
fiddler 14 Jun 04 - 01:40 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:







Subject: Catering to Dancers
From: TS
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 11:25 AM

A moment of venting for me if you don't mind; Some shared opinions could help aswell. How do other musicians feel about catering to the needs of Irish/Scottish Dancing? I had the "honour" of helping out the local Comhaltas awhile back, performing for one of their Ceilidhs.

After my set I decided to sit in (playing the bodhran)with their band of merry men and women and play while the dancers from the class did their thing. I have played for Irish dancers many times, and have become accustomed to the glares and sneers from the seasoned dancers when a tune isnt quite fast or slow enough. I learned at this session however that they instill this in even the youngest of students.

I was most impressed to see the very sneers and glares coming from girls as young as 10 when something wasnt just right.

So, there, thats my venting. I've decided I dispise playing for the needs of dancers. I'll stick to playing for the drunks who enjoy shouting "..and she was.." and "...right up yer kilt..."......Slainte!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Catering to Dancers
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 12:00 PM

Why not skip the odd half bar then enjoy watching them trip up?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Catering to Dancers
From: Sarah the flute
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 12:01 PM

I think the main problem is that they are often used to practicing to a CD or tape and the steadyness of recorded music is hard to reproduce live. If they are keen to impress its easier to blame the musos isn't it. The main problem I often face as a caller at ceilidhs is the divided audience where half want to be told the steps and the other half don't and then the half that don't won't dance if its called and the other half won't dance if its not called. I've lost count how many times that happens. Anyway I reckon at the end of the day its all down to individuals. I reckon that even at Comhaltas events if you go often enough until your music becomes the norm that they are used to dancing with, it will be OK.

Sarah


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Catering to Dancers
From: Snuffy
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 04:58 PM

Musicians are there to enable the dancers to perform at their best. Unless you understand that, it's pointless playing for them. Just play with yourself


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Catering to Dancers
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 06:11 PM

Music is a vital part of dance. In fact music and dance are really two units of one single thing. When the music and movement merge, it is a beautiful thing to do, watch, and hear. There are some dancers, and very likely musicians, who never learn this. Those dancers view dance as something they do and music is played while they perform their dance. A good many of these dancers have learned to dance with recordings and memorize their movement. There are times that movement has no relationship with the music except it may be fast, or slow, etc. My experience with dancers and musicians has been those who engage in their art for the joy of engaging in their art are usually a pleasure. Those who engage in their art for some other reason such as they think its cool, or they like wearing pretty dresses, or they love the sound of taps so much they wear them up the aisle and to the bathroom, or maybe their mothers love seeing their darlings in pretty dresses, etc. are usually a pain.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Catering to Dancers
From: Mr Red
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 06:29 PM

You may find they are more friendly at E-ceilidh
(that's English Ceilidhs - discussion and thread drift I see looming large in my rear view mirror).
Lots of English dances, Scottish, Irish, French, even Cajun. It all depends on the bands and by and large we don't patronise the band or frequent their gigs if we don't like them. Requests are more likely comments from the floor - but we are a braod church and there are nay-sayers amongst us - but they are drowned-out by the sheer joy of others. Count the smiles.
The thing about E-ceilidh as it exists at the moment is that it is about fun and not about tradition, precision, formula or what is right. It is in the best way a living tradition and as such is somewhat fluid.
AND if we sneer at all it is at the notion of Squares and Contra, Playford and Morris - in the nicest possible way you understand - there is a lot of cross-over. We frequently dance Sir Roger de Coverly who was well known to Mr Playford though he would probably tut at our dancing!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Catering to Dancers
From: M.Ted
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 09:24 PM

The tempo must be right for the dance to work, which is the reason that many, if not most, professional dance companies work to recorded music. Of course, recreational dancers may not be as demanding, but they are also less able to adjust their dancing to vagaries in the beat. It is always best if the lead musician, and at least a few of the other musicians are dancers, though long experience in playing for dancers makes that unnecessary(however, it tends to turn non-dancing musicians into dancing musicians)--

Often, in the world of pop dance music, you will see a drummer wearing a headset--this is a way to get musical cues, including tempo cues, and it might not be a bad idea. Of course, live dance music often increases in tempo during the dance, as the energy of the dancers builds, and working with a click track might take a bit of the fun out, but--


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Catering to Dancers
From: Sorcha
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 11:10 PM

Thread drift.....well, in my limited experience, a ceidlih has not really been one. IM(nsh)O that means a house party where everyone is welcome to join in. That has NOT been my experience. The ones I have been to I would call concerts...with scheduled performers. No open comers at all. I would love to go to a real one...much more like a session. Regarding the dancers, Pity the live musicians who play for Feis Contests...each time through the tune MUST be exactly the same as the last time,(timing, beat, key, etc) and the same tune 3x thru all day, over and over and over again.

I once listened to St. Patrick's Day in the Morning for about 2 hours at a dance contest. I gave up then and was GLAD!!! I was not the musician playing for them.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Catering to Dancers
From: wysiwyg
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 11:18 PM

LOL. We tell people who love to play out of the Fiddler's Fakebook as if it's sheet music that if they are having trouble playing the tunes well, it's cuz they need to play them as DANCES, at dance tempo.

We have one caller who dances, calls, and teaches at the same time, using one of those headsets. He perks up the band temp when it's needed. Maybe your caller(s) (do ya have them for your kinda dance?) could help fix the tempo and the mutual expectations...

Not to worry, tho-- if you don't please the dancers you'll fall off the list of invitees.

~Susan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Catering to Dancers
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 11:40 PM

... and then they can go back to happily dancing on their own to recorded music...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Catering to Dancers
From: Auxiris
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 08:23 AM

May I, as someone who does not dance and who does not play for dancers either, venture a remark? It's hard for me to imagine that dancers would actually PREFER to dance to recorded music. Seems to me that there must be a certain amount of extra excitement in dancing along with music made by a live band, or am I missing something?   

cheers,

Aux


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Catering to Dancers
From: s&r
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 08:41 AM

We have arguments in the band from time to time re 'skip/hop timing. I've observed that young fit skilled dancers move a fair distance with a lot of energy when the tempo is a bit slow - great. More formal dancers prefer smaller steps and a quicker tempo. The answer is to know your audience and know what will please them.

We did a couple of gigs with a singer who sang for one or two of the dance numbers: unfortunately he stuck an extra bar in here and there where it didn't belong. You can live with that for a song but not for a dance.

Playing too fast can be very tiring, and end up with messy dances (or falls) playing too slow is boring. Nothing IMHO is more boring however than dancing to a tape (that includes disco for what it's worth)

Stu


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Catering to Dancers
From: Mr Red
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 05:24 PM

Sorcha

E-ceilidh as it works in the UK is basically a Saturday Hop, with a booked spot - usually Morris or singing. The dancers are keen to dance all night and the bands are invariably amplified and often too loud. But they provide a venue for people who have few places to go to jive, twist, pogo or whatever they did as youngsters, but are still athletic. The age range is from kiddies to retirees with an average nearer the 50's - but an encouraging caucus of younger people.
The bands that don't provide a beat that the dancers can get into don't get the bookings. Only local folk organisations running a once a year freebie provide an open band format.
I have been to a few Squares and Contra and French but it is rare for the dancers to barrack the band, - the caller maybe.
Dances are not super complicated - we cite Squares and Contra (and EFDSS) as that end of the spectrum.
AND occasionally we hear of American S*C and it's love of comlexity.
E-ceilidh dancers often take big steps and lift their feet a lot, we find French and Irish set dancing hard as a result.

FWIW


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Catering to Dancers
From: breezy
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 06:37 PM

jacket potatos , chili or cheese with coleslaw was usually the catering for the dances that I played at.

If your're that good, speed up, then slow down until you get the facial expressions you require.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Catering to Dancers
From: Compton
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 06:56 PM

Being a sometimes Caller amd Dancer...Live Music is alwyas better BUT working with / dancing to Bands where the musicians also dance (not at the same time!!) and know the dances and the "pleasant" tempo helps an awful lot. Occasionally (really occasionally!) using recorded music (for dance clubs)..with some of the better American Contra Bands (Rodney Miller, Wild Aspagarus et al) can be preferable to a (not terribly good)Live English Band


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Catering to Dancers
From: GUEST,Claire
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 06:56 PM

If a 10 year old is snearing at you, my guess that 10 year old found it very hard to dance to your music. Ask yourself what you could do better to meet their needs. Dancers want to do their best, and if you enjoy playing for them then I suggest you talk to them and figure out what you are doing wrong. Most Irish dancers (and I thinn\k Scottish) compete to live music, but the musicians are nationally or internationally known because they play very well for dancer - ie they help them dance by being at the correct tempo, choosing tunes with a good down beat, and being consistent. It isn't easy and you may need to work at it to get better, if you want to play for them.

I would suggest using your social skills to communicate with the dancers that are snubbing you. Call them them over and ask hem what they need in your music, develop a relationship with them. "I noticed you had a hard time dancing to that one, was it too fast or slow for you?" Kids love to be asked their opinion, they would bloom getting respect from an adult - an adult that sincerely wants to make it a party for everyone.

Good luck,
Claire


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Catering to Dancers
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 01:07 AM

If I have to play for dancers, I ask them before hand how fast they want it.
I never get sneers, but occasionally one will dance past me and ask to slow it down or speed it up. No problem.

Seamus


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Catering to Dancers
From: GUEST,noddy
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 07:00 AM

a good friend of mine plays piano for ballet classes and their exams.He HAS to get it right EVERY time. He is in demand. Now thats what you call a musician.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Catering to Dancers
From: sian, west wales
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 08:03 AM

For anyone able to get to the Wrexham area on Saturday, there's a day-long workshop (10.00 a.m., The Stiwt, Rhos) which aims to get contemporary dancers working with (Welsh) traditional music / musicians and storytellers. The idea is that we lock them all in a room for a day and see what they come up with via collaborative work. We're hoping that the contemporary dance people will discover how interesting trad music can be to work with, live, and that musicians will understand the needs of dancers beyond their usual sphere of reference.

It costs £10 for the day and I'd say that it's OK just to show up at this late date, rather than contact Contemporary Dance Wales in Cardiff to register.

Heck, just tell them that Siân sent you.

sian


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Catering to Dancers
From: breezy
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 10:09 AM

all 10 year old girls sneer and 11 year olds, 12 ,13 ,14 15 and some even older, 45, 46,


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Catering to Dancers
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 11:51 AM

I think that's just your experience, breezy!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Catering to Dancers
From: wysiwyg
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 12:38 PM

.... not really, Steve!

~Susan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Catering to Dancers
From: ToulouseCruise
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 02:06 PM

Too many sneers, not enough catering in my opinion....

Brian.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Catering to Dancers
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 08:22 PM

Hire a teenager today - hurry, before they get older and don't know everything anymore!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Catering to Dancers
From: LadyJean
Date: 11 Jun 04 - 01:10 AM

Having been a dancer (albeit an extremely bad one) I understand how difficult it is after practicing to recorded music that has been specially prepared for dancers to move to live music. If a teacher can, she should have her pupils practice to live now and then, and get used to it. But that isn't always practical.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Catering to Dancers
From: fiddler
Date: 11 Jun 04 - 04:05 AM

ReelBrew,

There is one thing in an Irish, Scottish, English or any Ceilidh (or Barn dance) Teh DAnce in Hand as I think has been said above there are two parts to this the Music and the Dance - It is a symbiotic relationship...... Sorry to use big words but it is.

If the dancers can't dance to you then it breaks down, If the Dancers do not Dance to you then it breaks down. It takes tow sidxes to make it work and only one to make it go wrong.

Away form the purist Irish Scottish position where there isn't one but it is the callers job to keep this relationship alive by watching the dancxers closely and registering the rythms correctly from the band.

When I have heard many (so called) Dance bands playing to a style you often find the y pander to the tune and not the unerlying rythm. You could successfully run a dance with only one man and a drum that is what they need. A good bunch of musicians can't often, play for dancing.

I'm not saying I (or you) fall in to any right or wrongs in relation to this Just observations after too many years calling and latterly playing for dance too! Honestly they wouldn't notice if you played the same tune all night but varied the speed or beat. Hornpipe played straight and undotted cna be construed in to a polka very easily 4/4 common time can be transopsed to a Jig - I don't suggest anyone doesa this but it would be fdun to try.

All I would say is don't walk away work out what is wrong and keep taking the tablets. Patronising little s*d I am at times!!!!

Andy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Catering to Dancers
From: GUEST,Crystal
Date: 11 Jun 04 - 11:21 AM

As a dancer I can say that Highland dance is HORRIBLY difficult if the tempo is not fast enough, but that may be because it requires you to balance demi-point which is impossible for more than about half a second. However if somone has come to play live for you then I think it very rude to look insulted if they don't play a tune exactly as you like it. Apparently a lot of high level Irish dancers are very unplesant to play for, even the 10 year olds but I can't really comment, this is herasy picked up from friends who do Irish dance.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Catering to Dancers
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex
Date: 11 Jun 04 - 02:34 PM

Fiddler's phrase "pander to the tune" does sum up quite a few bands, some of which are surprisingly popular. I just wish I had come up with it.

Actually really good dancers only need the rhythm of their own feet as in Bampton's party piece.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Catering to Dancers
From: Compton
Date: 13 Jun 04 - 07:12 PM

"Actually really good dancers only need the rhythm of their own feet"..yes but would you want a night of it??..Give me an understanding band EVERY time!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Catering to Dancers
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Jun 04 - 07:32 PM

Pity the poor guitarist. In dance bands they expect a guitarist to be the equivalent of a musical metronome: they want the chords strummed on the downbeat only. What a bore. At least a bodhran player gets to throw in a couple of eighth or sixteenth notes once in a while....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Catering to Dancers
From: fiddler
Date: 14 Jun 04 - 01:40 PM

Bodhran player - owner - player - banger - too many bad ones around - not quite as bad as having a shaky egg in the band (tongue in cheek - sorry)

*G*

Andy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 8 December 5:09 PM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.