We had a quick run through Pavaniglia - the dance we practiced intensively over summer, and performed at CF - and talked through our performace, what went well, where we fell down. Overall, we're pleased with how we did, and want to keep this one ready to perform again.
We talked through the ball at CF - which dances worked well, how we'd change both the ball and the way we danced.
- For dances that only a few people know, it's important to find a partner early (before the ball, if necessary); also, consider well in advance who is likely to know what, so you go in with a 'shortlist' of people to ask
- For dances with regional variations, be prepared to go with the flow!
- We all liked having the herald announce the dances for the whole set at the beginning of each set, as well as announcing the individual dances. In future, we might do that before the break (i.e. at the end of the previous set), so you can spend the break finding partners. E.g. replace "there will now be a short break before the third set" [10 mins] "we will now begin the third set, which consists A, B, C and D; please take your partners for dance A" with "there will now be a short break; in about ten minutes we will return to dance the third set, which will consist of A, B, C and D" [10 mins] "please take your partners for A, the first dance of the third set"
- None of us liked feeling cramped in the more complex dances. Even with 4-8 couples on the floor, some of the 15th and 16th C Italian balli are rather difficult - you end up spending more time avoiding other dances than interacting with your partner, and the beautiful patterns are not apparent to onlookers. The solution: dance them twice, in quick succession. It will take only a little longer and the dancing will be more beautiful. For dances like galliards, we could perhaps ask the musicians to play for longer, but couples to dance for less than the full dance - dance for a while, then withdraw to watch others dance, or watch for a while, then join in.
In the hour after the open dance class Mistress Katherina Weyssin looks at some more difficult material with her advanced students. All are welcome to stay and watch; participation is by invitation, and may depend on the style.