Re: Fascinatin' Rhythm [Debate]

N. Bannister - L. Maners (landn@AZSTARNET.COM)
Tue, 13 Feb 1996 15:46:00 -0700

[In responding to Michael's post, I've taken the liberty of not
forwarding his original post, to help those of you with little
disk/screen space]
Once again the idea of command emerges as differentiating dance from
drill, yet many dances have internal leadership (a square or contra dance
has external leadership). Most Eastern European line dances, which are my
area of interest, have a definite leader. Or, if they don't, the leader
of a particular dance is the one who's paid the musicians to play that
piece. More often, dance leadership and participation is strictly ordered
and often kinship based (at least in E.E.), alternating male/female (in
mixed dances) in order of relationship. This is particularly evident at
Balkan weddings.
There is some sense in which dance reinforces the group's co-ordination
(look at the !Kung interlocked-leg-hopping circle dance for example, but
I don't see any evidence that dance movements serve social
co-ordination. I think it is pretty clear that military drill is a
product of a particular form of socio-cultural organization; a very
interesting question is whether military drill appeared in non-European
societies-I'm thinking about the ranks of terra cotta soldiers in China
as I write this,was their arrangement a reflection of military order or
simply for reasons of space? Any of you archeologists/Sinologists have an
idea? I'm also thinking of the Zulu impi, which was apparently as much a
social organization as it was a regiment.
Anyway, just a few thoughts, Best Regards