Dancing with the New London Assembly

I frittered away a lot of the free time I had today on napping
and eating. I did manage a pretty full practice session, where I
played parts to some of the music we’ll be doing in the
Collegium.

And at the reception after the orientation session, I
introduced myself to the collegium director and told him how much
I was looking forward to playing serpent with the group. He turns
out to have spent an afternoon drinking with Christopher Monk, so
he says he’s looking forward to having a serpent. The director of
the collegium loud winds looked right through me and walked away
when I tried to introduce myself, though, so I can’t tell whether
he’s as serpent-hostile as some of the other loud wind coaches.

Dancing

So the only workshop-specific thing to do was the English
Country Dance after the reception. I was a little dubious about
it, since they billed it as being for experienced
dancers. (They’re having a dance program this year, so there are a
lot of experienced dancers.) And
the demonstration they gave at the orientation certainly did less
teaching and calling than I’m used to.

But I went anyway. The caller certainly did less than at other
dances I’ve been to, but the other dancers are quite good at
filling in if you need it. There was one dance with a
particularly unfamiliar “hey”, where you had to either count
something I didn’t know how to count, or know where you were
supposed to end up by some algorithm I hadn’t absorbed. Luckily,
my partner knew what she was doing. I was starting to get it, and
thinking it must be about time to end since even I had figured it
out, but it went on for two more times.

Unfortunately, my brain isn’t up to learning patterns and
listening to music at the same time. So I can’t tell you how
wonderful the music by Emily O’Brien, Shira Kamen, and Jacqueline
Schwab was, even though they’re all very good and I’m sure it was.

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