SOURCES, REMARKS, OBSERVATIONS, AND PERHAPS DIFFERENT INTERPRETATIONS OF “NEW”
DANCE MANUALS TO BE CONSIDERED AS AN ADDENDUM OR SUPPLEMENT TO PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED WORK (1984) OF
R. CWIĘKA - SKRZYNIARZ
A CONTINUING WORK IN PROGRESS NOT IN A CERTAIN TOPICAL OR THEMATIC ORDER BUT ONLY ARRANGED IN A CHRONLOGICAL ORDER — THERE ARE OVERLAPPING CATEGORIES
Readers Note: Original material is in italics and surrounded by quotation marks. Side-by-side or immediately following is the translation for foreign language material.
© R. Cwieka 2006
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Here are some Swedish sources. Basically they do not add absolutely new of a technical nature to our investigations.
1846 AHLANDER STOCKHOLM
This is a little pamphlet of thirty-six pages dealing with the Mazurka. 1The author gives us an insight to the dance world of Scandinavian of this time. It is more like a literary work: like a novelette. Here are several of his paragraphs:
One ought not to doubt that the dance can still be improved.
Following the unheard of success that polka had enjoyed among us, one felt it reasonable the believe that the Mazurka, which followed in her footsteps, would pass without any special notice, just like so much else that is new and follows in the footsteps that was new yesterday. However, in this case people fooled themselves in saying that the Mazurka is nothing but a continuation of the Polka. The two constitute essentially different types of dances, there being no similarity between them, except for the fact that the Mazurka [came to us] after the Polka . . . Early on, young students are learning through dance in private schools; people mention the Mazurka in whispers only; it is offered beforehand. Already one has seen rehearsals of it in many of our most distinguished drawing rooms, which never are the last, — one can be sure of that — whenever there is a opportunity to introduce a new fashion. In a word: the Mazurka promises to be as loudly applauded as its predecessor, the Polka, but no less so than the Quadrille, although in a completely different way — this dull Quadrille, for which we openly show our dislike.
After this the author speculates about how dances relate to the character and political condition of people, here, contrasting Poland and Russia and the manner of dancing between the Polish aristocracy and peasants.
One knows the splendid figures of the Mazurka follow each other without stopping: there can be no delightful conversations, such as during the French Quadrille, where such delightful conversations can make it somewhat tolerable. The Mazurka is danced constantly, without stopping. Can one imagine how surprised the government-minister was when he had to participate in this forceful dance, as a group of young, handsome men made circle around his wife; enjoying her indescribable amiability and flirtatious generosity. The poor man had surely wanted to stay and listen to the animated conversation, but that was impossible since he was incessantly compelled to dance by the orchestra, which from the bandstand seemed to shout to him to do every step: Go on! Go on! 2
The author then has a list of steps which are the same as those of Cellarius except in reverse order. One or the steps is different in that it is a variation on the Pas Glisse. Ahlander named it, “Pas allongé.” On count three the man does either a heel-click or strikes the floor with the foot. Either way, it is a variation and hereby, of some considerable age. 3
REAAB 1847 STOCKHOLM
Although this dance manual is in Swedish and was published in Stockholm the title-page indicates to us that the author was a dance teacher in Prague. The very title itself, “Slowanka,”shows a direct Slavic influence. Is this strange? Perhaps. But let us keep in mind that the period 1846-1847 was a period of upheaval and violence in Eastern Europe. Maybe Reaab was forced by events to leave Prague.
His small book is mostly figures. He does have a phrase which reveals his Slavic connection. In describing the usual couple turn he states it to be, “Holupiec à place.” 4, Recall that Prague was one of the major cities of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. Reaab probably knew of Hłasko in the dance capital of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, Vienna. Also recall that the term Hołubiec was stated to be the term, for this couple turn in Galicia which was art of the Empire and not far from Prague.
GJÖRCKE 1850 STOCKHOLM
There is nothing unusual in this work except that the author states in his very first sentence that although the Mazurka is a Polish Dance it came to Sweden by way of Russia “as all our commodities do.” 5
APELBOM 1888 STOCKHOLM
There is another Swedish dance manual from 1885.6 It is by a woman. It is a collection of one hundred figure-sequences and only mentions the Mazurka in a cursory way. The step descriptions are the same as Ahlanders.