Thursday, October 11, 2001

from Monday, October 1, in response to a query reaching for some good news from mon pere on our family yahoo: in spite of the current political situation, what are you celebrating?
Just today I'm celebrating the fact that dancers in LA have thrown their first annual Playford Ball, a fancy-dress party version of social English Country Dancing, named for a fellow who started publishing heaps of dance instructions and their tunes in 1651. It's a living dance tradition, with dances in the 'style' being written and taught to the current moment (often Playford Balls will center on a theme or period within this continuous history - someone is putting together a Louisiana Purchase Ball in the South, and choosing dances that were popular in that era and that part of the world.) Saturday's dance in LA didn't really have a period theme, but was named St. Michael's Madness and featured the dance Michael and All Angels - which were chosen last spring by the dance coordinators for the date the dance was held (St. Michael's Day on the liturgical calendar) -- but which turned out to be deeply and richly significant in the light of the last few weeks, as the dance was written by Fried de Metz Herman and set to a tune by Purcell, just as the Gulf War was heating up, as a prayer "please God don't let this be the start of world war three" (having come of age and survived WWII), and English Country dancers have been gathering together in their regular dance series and classes worldwide and doing this dance and the dance, Peace be With You, in the past few weeks, as a prayer for peace.
It felt Appropriate.

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