:: Title :: Commentary by Bessie Jones on old fashioned set dances
:: Genre :: interview, spoken
:: Performers & Instruments ::
Jones, Bessie
Marchand, Antoinette [vocal]
:: Setting :: Alan Lomax's apartment, 3rd Street
:: Location :: Greenwich Village, New York City (New York), New York (United States)
:: Language :: English
:: Culture :: Southern U.S., African American, Sea Islands, Georgia
:: Session :: Bessie Jones VII 10/61
:: Date :: 10/12/1961
:: Reference Information :: T986.0, Track 8 (00:07:41)
:: Original Format :: Reel to Reel
:: Session Notes ::
1 - 13 of 21 recording sessions with Bessie Jones.
:: Recording Notes ::
0 - Jones: Set calling is what they do when they have a dance. It was beautiful and people really had a good time. There is a banjo picker, a fiddle -- a real orchestra. There might be eight dancers, four men and four women, or sixteen -- eight men and eight women. There is a caller who calls out directions to the dancers. The "first dancer" is supposed to be the best dancer. There is a first old lady and a first young lady. Some of the calls are: promenade, swing your partner, shoe-fly, swing corners, promenade right and promenade left, drop back, women in the center, men hand around (and visa versa), window swing, and so on. It was the same set every time; and every time people wanted to see who danced the best. They don't do it now -- now they just chuck their partner over their head and call it dancing. You have to wear double drawers! In the old days people wore so many petticoats that they didn't need underwear if they didn't want to. For parties and church they wore hoop skirts under their dresses. The clothes they wear today are really just the same -- mary janes, harbor skirts. Hats today just sit on your head and are "made to wear, not to fit." She also talks about the way people dressed for these dances.
:: Collection :: Bessie Jones 1961-1962

 

 

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