Soon after I started calling, Steve Schnur asked me to share calling responsibilities at a new English dance. To stimulate dancer interest, we agreed to each present at least one unfamiliar dance each month. With my small library, and impatience at poring-over dull dances, I soon turned to composition as an interesting and creative solution to sustain my end of the deal. Many thanks are due to the long-suffering dancers of that group for enduring my early years of experimental choreography.
My first creative effort served as a tribute to our college group’s leader. It combined elements of Playford, Scottish country, and Morris dancing — set to music adapted from Haydn and Prokofiev ! It’s now easy for me to recognize most choreographers’ early attempts: ingenious dances weighed-down with more creative ideas than they can support.
I learned quickly, and developed a knack for incorporating clever wrinkles without disrupting dance flow. Still, most of the results were not dances that we wanted to return to over and over again. Those come (for me) only by tempering flashes of inspiration with patient labor, openness to change, and luck …
To kindle enthusiasm is surely my goal in leading and devising dances. I hope that you find assorted delights in the dances assembled here, whether they be moments of rapture, satisfaction in achievement, or simply opportunities for play. Thanks for your efforts to share the pleasures of dancing !