The combined Kingdom Arts & Sciences and Royal University of Meridies event took place over the weekend in Americus, Georgia, on the campus of Georgia Southwest University. While some people have issues with sites where classes and activities are spread over a fairly large area (at least four different buildings at this event), I really didn’t find that it bothered me.
Lady Francesca and I entered the performing arts category of the A&S competition with Contrapasso, an Italian dance published in 1581 by Fabritio Caroso. I know there were some video cameras trained on the stage during the competition, so I’ll have to see if I can get clip of us performing the dance and host it somewhere. Contrapasso is a dance for an unspecified number of couples, and dancers get to interact with each other quite a bit during the dance. Caroso described the dance we did last year, Laccio d’Amore, as an “encounter”, which we took to be a sort of “first meeting” in our interpretation. We danced Contrapasso as a “courtly love” expression between two people who have a romantic interest that they can’t really pursue except on the dance floor. That should give a few gossips something to drone on about.
We scored 18 out of 20 this year, which is just about as good as we could have expected to score. We lost one point on difficulty, which is better than I expected, since Contrapasso really isn’t a terribly difficult dance, and I couldn’t increase the difficulty without learning Italian and doing the translation myself. We also lost one point on artistry for not being dressed appropriately for the period: Francesca and I both wore modern shoes. I guess the quest for period footwear will have to begin if we want to get that last point.
Mistress Miramah asked those of us who taught RUM classes (I taught Contrapasso and Ballo del Fiore for a 16th century Italian dance class) to write an opinion of how combining RUM with KA&S worked. I didn’t manage to get it to her at the event, so I’ll share it with the world (in addition to emailing her a copy).
While combining the A&S competition event (KA&S) with the A&S teaching and learning event (RUM) sounds good in principle, I don’t think it works very well logistically, especially for those of us involved in the performing arts. RUM needs experienced teachers, but the A&S competition ties up many potential teachers in performances and/or judging. Consequently, the dance class schedule at this event was pretty light; I don’t know how classes for other performing arts were affected. Furthermore, a lot of the performing arts entrants will miss the chance to attend RUM classes that they would like to take because of conflicts with the performing arts competition schedule. Where someone (like me) chooses to both teach a class and enter the competition, the combined event creates a further scheduling headache for the event organizers, who need to somehow reconcile potential conflicts between the class schedule and the performance schedule.
If attendance or a shortage of calendar dates is driving the desire to combine RUM with KA&S, my good Lady wife Fjorleif suggested that combining RUM or KA&S with some other event that was less likely to create conflicts might be more feasible. For instance, she suggested that either event might generate fewer logistical issues if combined with the Kingdom Fighters’ Collegium. I’m not sure whether that would be a good solution, but it is certainly another possible experiment.