On Fri, Apr 6, 2018 at 2:52 PM, K Panton via Callers <
> Warning: rabbit hole ahead.
> Colin: I read your text for your workshop. All useful stuff and you do say
> more than "treat your partner as a neighbour".
> Re Michael Fuerst's quote, I agree that end-effects are what they are and
> they are not (necessarily?) the point of the dance, but they sometimes must
> be dealt with head-on. Example: I have tried to make any sense of the end
> effects in the dance The Hobbit http://www.quiteapair.us/calli
> ng/acdol/dance/acd_283.html . I think it's a great dance - if you can
> avoid the ends - but I'll be [darned] if I can make it around the end
> successfully. I've tried calling it, walking thru at a callers workshop
> with several experienced dancers and none of us could make sense of the
> end-effects. We were missing some magical key to understanding (perhaps
> guarded by Smaug). "Go where you are needed" wasn't going to work. Nor were
> the other rules. Sometimes, it seems, the end-effects must be taught just
> as the dance. No easy feat.
In a workshop setting, you probably didn't have as many dancers as a normal
contra set and ran into end effects all the time; this can definitely push
the experience for the dancers from manageable (where people in the middle
can help out the end-effected) to unrecoverable (where everyone is lost),
in my experience.
Here's what Larry Jennings wrote in Give and Take in the theory section
(ML23, End Effects):
"In most cases, however, a neutral twosome should position themselves
across from each other so that the set will have alternating men and women
as the twosome gets reincorporated. If it is not obvious how to plan for
this, it is usually sufficient for the twosome to *scramble* to get the
disposition of dancers at the end of the set as much like the rest of the
set as possible."
This is fine advice for 95% of dances, but it can be challenging to figure
out on the fly.
I recall reading something, possibly from Jim Saxe on this list (and maybe
from Larry Jennings?), about how in most dances without out-of-minor-set
interactions, you come back into the set (and have no full minor set of 4
dancers) once - after progressing to the end. But in dances like The
Hobbit, where you leave the minor set once, you actually come back in to
the set 3 times. So the question for us as callers is, how do you
succinctly teach how to handle all of these situations? Dancers often can't
remember 1 instruction for end effects; 3 is right out.
In The Hobbit, here are the 3 places you come back in. Let's call the top
couple "couple 1", and if someone is waiting out above them, call them
0. as couple 1 (with nobody out), top of A1
The start of the dance - it's a regular improper dance. Couple 1 should
come in as usual (gents left, ladies right).
1. as couple 1 (with nobody out), B1: pass through to original neighbor
If there's no couple 0, couple 1 goes out in the pull by in A1. We can
figure out that couple 1 should come in as usual (gents left, ladies right).
2. as couple 0, A1: pull by to previous neighbor
This is the couple that just went out at the top. They have to come back in
with gents on the right, ladies on the left! However - this is the key - if
they treat their partner as neighbor at the end (box the gnat, pull by),
they end up in the correct place.
All this is to say that the advice for this dance should be "dance with
your partner as neighbor at the end", because it turns out that works for
all the situations here.
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