Schottische Gavotte

I suppose this could be considered the next post in a very stretched-out series covering American "gavotte" variations for the late nineteenth century schottische; my first post on the topic appeared almost ten years ago.  I'm glad I put this one off a bit, however, since my experience since then with reconstructing, dancing, and teaching rackets has given me a better appreciation for how this "gavotte" variation works.  Essentially, it's two halves: a slow schottische turn and a racket.  It's kind of beautiful.

The Schottische Gavotte, like so many other variations, is found in M. B. Gilbert's book of couple dances, Round Dancing (Portland, Maine, 1890) and in G. W. Lopp's La Danse (Paris, 1903).  Gilbert does not attribute it.  Lopp attributes it to Gilbert.  Lopp also lists it as 3/4, but since it is under schottische, notated like a schottische (in 4), and has a given metronome speed of 76 beats per minute in schottische time, I think that 3/4 is an error and it is intended to be in 4/4.  Other than that, the two descriptions agree nicely and the reconstruction is quite simple and straightforward.  The gentleman starts with the left foot, the lady with the right....[beautiful synergy of schottische and racket behind the cut]

The Columbia

I seem to be doing an impromptu schottische mini-series this week; here's another interesting little variation from M. B. Gilbert's Round Dancing (Portland, Maine, 1890) and G. W. Lopp's La Danse (Paris, 1903).  The Columbia, like the American Gavotte, was adopted by the American Society of Professors of Dancing at their New York meeting in the September of 1886, as mentioned in my post on that dance.  Unlike the American Gavotte, it is perfectly clear that it belongs in the schottische category, and like the Schottische Gavotte, it shows distinct influence by the racket.  It is attributed to dancing master E. C. Spink.  Gilbert and Lopp's descriptions match each other nicely.

The dancers start in normal ballroom hold, the gentleman facing the wall and the lady facing the center, with the gentleman starting on the left foot and the lady on the right.  Their steps move in parallel.

The Columbia (four measures of schottische 4/4 time)
   1&234    Slide-close-slide, cut, leap (along line of dance without turning)
&1234       Close-slide, cut, cut, cut (turning halfway on the last two cuts)
&1&234    Close-slide-close-slide, cut, leap (along line of dance without turning)
&1234       Close-slide, cut, cut, cut (turning halfway on the last two cuts)

Repeat the third and fourth bars indefinitely....[more how-to notes behind the cut]

Military Times

Military Times is one of the many, many, many little couple dance variations included in both M. B. Gilbert's Round Dancing (Portland, Maine, 1890) and George Washington Lopp's La Danse (Paris, 1903) but not, so far as I can tell, to be found in any other period source.  I'd mentioned it (negatively) in passing many years ago when I wrote about the other "military position" variations in Gilbert, but hadn't ever published a reconstruction.  In the interest of being thorough, and since I feel more positively about it now than I did eleven years ago, here it is!

Military Times is attributed by Gilbert to Ralph Warren of Denver, Colorado.  Like the other dances with "military" in their names, Military Times begins with the dancers side by side, the lady on the right, the gentleman's right arm around the lady's waist and her left hand resting on his shoulder or upper arm.  Their free arms can hold a gentle curve at their sides, or (French style), her hand can hold her skirt while his rests at his waist, palm out.  Unlike those other "military" dances, however, Military Times has both dancers beginning on the same foot, the left.  The reconstruction of the dance is fairly straightforward, though some performance details have to be filled in, given the brief (Gilbert) and confusing (Lopp) descriptions available.

A quick summary of the dance is that the dancers perform four measures of gentle skipping steps followed by the lady doing two full turns of reverse waltz while holding right hands with the gentleman, who travels along with her.  This is an unusual example of an underarm turn in the nineteenth century...[details and thoughts behind the cut]