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Probably Not What They Were Aiming For

All this coverage of Michael Jackson's death got me thinking. I should design a course (for when I have a Ph.D and a teaching job) about dance in popular culture. You could include stuff on mass media, Nijinsky, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Busby Berkeley, Elvis Presley, Broadway musicals, American Bandstand, teenage dance crazes, Michael Jackson, the image of the dancing male body, break dancing, dance marathons, Wheaton College, all sorts of things.


ETA: Oooo, and bhangra, too! Jazzercise, folkloric dance troupes, drag . . .

The ETA Strikes Back: meggins suggests adding So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing With The Stars to the curriculum.

Comments

jelazakazone
Jun. 27th, 2009 08:40 pm (UTC)
It sounds fairly reasonable. Do you really manage to get through six songs in a hour (that's what we'll have).

The only issue would be that neither of us is particularly familiar with the alto part. Can we just call it good if we can cover three parts between us?:)

Just out of curiousity, why do you think it's important to include the history of Sacred Harp? Is that your inner ethnomusicologist speaking?:)

Have you ever lead a workshop with someone else? It seems like it might be interesting for people to hear us sing a couple (with the two parts) at the end (or maybe at the beginning?) that are a bit more complicated.
frenchpony
Jun. 27th, 2009 08:51 pm (UTC)
Do you really manage to get through six songs in a hour (that's what we'll have).

Depends on your group. It's better to have more songs than you need than to run out of songs and have to twiddle your thumbs to fill up the hour, though. I would photocopy plenty into the packet. The beginning of the book is good for having two tunes on some pages, which also helps.

The only issue would be that neither of us is particularly familiar with the alto part. Can we just call it good if we can cover three parts between us?:)

Some songs you can, since a lot of the earlier ones were originally written in three parts with the alto added in 1911. But then there are the ones that were originally in four parts, which is most of the fugues. Honestly, the alto lines aren't that hard to learn, so practice them up a few times before you go.

why do you think it's important to include the history of Sacred Harp?

"What is this thing?" "Who does it?" "Why do they do it?" "Why is it called Sacred Harp?" "Where did it come from?" "Where do people sing it?"

Those are the questions that your overview should be able to answer, because those are the questions that people confronted with this funny-looking music will ask about it.

Have you ever lead a workshop with someone else?

Sorta kinda. At WisCon, lcohen did most of the who what where when and why speech, then handed off to me for Introduction To The Notes And 45t. Splitting up jobs like that could be a good thing to prepare ahead of time.

What parts do you and dh sing?
jelazakazone
Jun. 27th, 2009 09:36 pm (UTC)
Ok! I think we'll do it. Thanks for the guidance and inspiration:)

Did you and lcohen sing any songs together, just two of you?

I'm a treble and he's a tenor, although sometimes he can sing bass.
frenchpony
Jun. 27th, 2009 11:01 pm (UTC)
It wasn't just me and lcohen at WisCon! It was the full Peculiar Four quartet, consisting of me, lcohen, canyon_lady and rhobike. We started off our demo with a song by just the quartet (84), and by that point we'd attracted enough people, and we launched right into the workshop.
jelazakazone
Jun. 27th, 2009 11:04 pm (UTC)
Ah, well, I'm not sure who will be there, but we will certainly try to have someone join in who could sing the alto part. Sounds like your workshop was fun!
frenchpony
Jun. 27th, 2009 11:08 pm (UTC)
If one of the experienced class members is an alto, that's all you need. Just learn the alto line well enough to lead the class in singing it, and let her prop up the rest of her bench. It's not that hard to learn alto.
lcohen
Jul. 2nd, 2009 05:06 pm (UTC)
ms. pony and i have done 178 (africa) together just the two of us, upon occasion, though not that occasion--that's a song that works beautifully with two parts.

p.s. on ordinary days, i am a treble and fp is a tenor.

Edited at 2009-07-02 05:07 pm (UTC)
jelazakazone
Jul. 2nd, 2009 05:59 pm (UTC)
Great. Thanks for the added info:) I'm used to hearing songs with just those two parts because that's what we do when we're home and singing. We haven't got the girls singing Sacred Harp yet.

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