woensdag 7 april 2010

Alice in Wonderland


(met dank aan Georgia Horton)

Sorry voor mijn afwezigheid van afgelopen week. Het was drukdrukdruk en ik slaagde er dus niet in om mijn stukje voor de blog af te werken. Daarom vandaag een extra royale portie.
Toen we recent nog eens samen op de trein zaten schoot mijn geliefde in de lach. Ze las net het 10de hoofdstuk van Alice in Wonderland getiteld "De Kreeften Quadrille". Ze moest uiteraard even onwillekeurig aan mij denken. Waar dansgeschiedenis als vreemde hobby al niet goed voor is. Het is niet helemaal absurd natuurlijk dat je in een 19de eeuws boekje het woord "Quadrille" tegenkomt, maar hier gaat het toch wel om een heel aparte introductie op het dansgenre dat eens de balzalen van heel de aardkloot overheerste:

The Mock Turtle sighed deeply, and drew the back of one flapper across his eyes. He looked at Alice and tried to speak, but, for a minute or two, sobs choked his voice. “Same as if he had a bone in his throat," said the Gryphon; and it set to work shaking him and punching him in the back. At last the Mock Turtle recovered his voice, and, with tears running down his cheeks, he went on again:

“You may not have lived much under the sea—” ("I haven’t,” said Alice)—"and perhaps you were never even introduced to a lobster—" (Alice began to say, “I once tasted—” but checked herself hastily, and said, “No, never”) “—so you can have no idea what a delightful thing a Lobster-Quadrille is!”
“No, indeed,” said Alice. “What sort of a dance is it?”
“Why,” said the Gryphon, “you first form into a line along the sea-shore—”
“Two lines!” cried the Mock Turtle. “Seals, turtles, salmon, and so on: then, when you’ve cleared all the jelly-fish out of the way—”
“That generally takes some time,” interrupted the Gryphon.
“—you advance twice—”
“Each with a lobster as a partner!” cried the Gryphon.
“Of course,” the Mock Turtle said: “advance twice, set to partners—”
“—change lobsters, and retire in same order,” continued the Gryphon.
“Then, you know,” the Mock Turtle went on, “you throw the—”
“The lobsters!” shouted the Gryphon, with a bound into the air.
“—as far out to sea as you can—”
“Swim after them!” screamed the Gryphon.
“Turn a somersault in the sea!” cried the Mock Turtle, capering wildly about.
“Change lobsters again!” yelled the Gryphon at the top of its voice.
“Back to land again, and—that’s all the first figure,” said the Mock Turtle, suddenly dropping his voice; and the two creatures, who had been jumping about like mad things all this time, sat down again very sadly and quietly and looked at Alice.
“It must be a very pretty dance,” said Alice timidly.
Enz. enz.

Het merkwaardige aan dit verhaal is, dat er ondertussen uiteraard een echte dans bestaat die de naam draagt van Lobster Quadrille.

De beschrijving van de passen gaat als volgt:
Count Steps
8 Heads forward and back
8 Sides forward and back
8 Heads lobster1 your opposite
8 Sides lobster your opposite
16 Ladies starfish2 once around; pick up your partner
16 Grand starfish3 all the way home
8 All Lobster your partner
8 Lobster your corner by the left
16 All grand right and left
8 Heads lobster your opposite
8 Sides lobster your opposite
16 Promenade your partner to another set
1 Turn by the right with both hands raised
2 Right hand star
3 Partners side by side, ladies in the middle with a right hand star
(Choreographed by Ken Marcus, Denise Winter, and Bill Donaldson for the VSCS)

En uiteraard komt de dans ook voor in de recentste Burton film:


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