• Posts
  • RSS
  • ◂◂RSS
  • Contact

  • Repertoire Size

    September 18th, 2013
    calling, contra, music  [html]
    When I go to call I bring 29 contra dances. I usually call around 12 slots at a night, and 15 of these 29 are almost all I ever call. This means that at a given night I'm going to be calling mostly the same dances I would call any other night. This works because I rarely call a venue I've called within the last six months, and people have a short memory for dances.

    The advantage of keeping my primary repertoire compact is that I really know these dances. I know what works in teaching them and what doesn't. I know the parts that flow well and don't need much calling and the parts that I'll need to stay in just a bit longer for. I know what range of music they work with. I know where I need to watch closely, prepared to jump in and disambiguate a circle vs long-lines. I need the cards but can call nearly from memory.

    This also goes for playing with the Free Raisins. This summer on tour we played a different city each evening, so a repertoire of ten favorites and ten alternates worked well. This is a luxury that we're going to have to give up: we're starting to get booked for events where we'll need to play closer to 35 sets over a weekend.

    This clearly requires working up new sets, and we've been doing that. (At the Scout House this Thursday we'll be premiering two of them.) But a set on its own isn't enough, it needs to age a little. We need to play it many times, get into it, really figure out what it can do. Some ideas come at practice, but playing live is when we do our best work.

    This is the real difficulty in expanding our repertoire: we can't just play our best sets. To have three dozen sets that we're proud of we need to give them all time to develop at dances. This means intentionally rotating through and not always playing the set that's the best fit for the moment and dance. In the long run this means we'll have more good options when the caller shows us a dance card, but for now it's difficult.

    Comment via: google plus, facebook

    Recent posts on blogs I like:

    What should we do about network-effect monopolies?

    Many large companies today are software monopolies that give their product away for free to get monopoly status, then do horrible things. Can we do anything about this?

    via benkuhn.net July 5, 2020

    More on the Deutschlandtakt

    The Deutschlandtakt plans are out now. They cover investment through 2040, but even beforehand, there’s a plan for something like a national integrated timetable by 2030, with trains connecting the major cities every 30 minutes rather than hourly. But the…

    via Pedestrian Observations July 1, 2020

    How do cars fare in crash tests they're not specifically optimized for?

    Any time you have a benchmark that gets taken seriously, some people will start gaming the benchmark. Some famous examples in computing are the CPU benchmark specfp and video game benchmarks. With specfp, Sun managed to increase its score on 179.art (a su…

    via Posts on Dan Luu June 30, 2020

    more     (via openring)


  • Posts
  • RSS
  • ◂◂RSS
  • Contact