So the past few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind we were given a project in which we had the create three brooches all to do with identity. This project has also been interlinked with the USA – texas – and Slovenia in which we needed to find out there equivalent of our identity research.
I began to think about what being Scottish meant to me and the one thing a chose to focus on was dance Scottish dance in particular was the one thing that was very stong in my family. No matter where we would go there would be dancing. Or we could be dancing! Scottish country with my grandparents, Highland with myself and other family members and of course the Scottish Ceilidhs that we are famous for!
I was shocked when I realised that I had been doing these dances all my life, all the way through primary school we learnt to Reel, and I realised I had no idea where these dances originated from. With further research into all three dances and how they came about I was facilitated behind the stories that each dance held. Scottish country is for those who do not know is very different from Scottish Ceilidh dancing. A Scottish Country dance (SCD) is a form of social dance involving groups of couples of dancers tracing progressive patterns according to a predetermined choreography. Although Country dancing is often considered a type of folk dancing, its original base of dancers was from the more educated and wealthy classes of the Renaissance.
Ceilidh dancing is a more relaxed, non-competitive version of Scottish country dancing. Ceilidh dancing is much less formal – its primary purpose being the enjoyment of the dance. Scottish Country Dancing is much more orientated towards being a demonstration or exhibition. Ceilidh dancing over the last 20 years have become increasingly popular with young people, particularly students, and often attract from a few dozen people to several hundred. To many of us, going to a ceilidh goes hand in hand with good company, fun times and having a laugh while you swing and jig with friends on the dance floor to great music.
But the one dance the I loved the most and the one that I felt that I was me and a real part of my identity was Highland Dance.
The story behind this dance in particular is what made me choose this dance as my focus with my project. The story that is behind the dance is that a young man was out hunting one day and when he aimed to shoot he saw the beauty and elegance of the stag when it leaped away to avoid the gun shot. He was so memorized by the pure sleek and beautiful movement of the leap that he could not bring him self to shoot. This is then represented in the dance as the dancers hold their hands up above their head as a representation of the stags antlers. This is something I was fascinated with and I loved the relationship between the hands and the stags antler they are so similar once I noticed.
So I began to draw the relationship that I saw with the hands and the antler. I like the fact that they were intertwined in some way, and wanted this to show in my work. I travelled to the Deer Centre in Fife not far from my home town. It was then that I realised I wanted to enter a bit of antler into one of my pieces to show the connection. The connection I wanted to put across was the feeling that dance connects me and my family and it is part of my identity. It brings everyone together and when the music starts everyone gets up and dances. It connects us as a family and from that me as a person. As myself if im with my family or not I feel when you dance it connects people in a way that brings people together and engages them in a way that is happy and moving as the songs we dance do date back 100s of years. each dance brings back memories of ancestors before us as the dance moves never change and the same with the tunes.Its a fun and loving way to bring both family and friends together to make them feel welcomed and just to have a good time in life. And am proud to have this as part of my identity.
These are two very different design that I felt represented myself and my identity.
Okay so now knowing my main focus and had created my two brooches for the part of my identity I was keen to find out how the USA did it! I briefly knew about line dancing from American moves and having a slight interest, so with communicating with the Texans I then realised that there was an almost identical difference between the dances done over in the US of A! This was a great excitement and as I already knew that The Highland Dance was already a massive thing in the States as well as Scotland because of the Scottish immigrants that travelled in the 18th and 19th Century. I was thrilled that I had technically got that one done and dusted!
So from there and the wondered of the internet and YouTube I began researching the two other dances that were famous in the States!
Square Dancing and Line Dancing. Immediately when researching I realised my first similarity that some people didn’t know the difference between the two danced – very like how in Scotland many people didn’t know the difference between Scottish Country and Scottish Ceilidh Dancing.
According to Line Dancing with Sharlo, line dancing consists of a group of people standing in rows of lines and performing the same dance steps simultaneously. The participants all stand facing one direction and move according to the music. Line dancing doesn’t just consist of moving your feet, it can also include pivoting to turn directions, clapping hands and sliding, depending on the song you’re dancing to. Although line dancing is done with a group of people, it’s very much an individual dance in the sense that you don’t need a dancing partner.
Unlike line dancing, square dancing typically consists of a set number of people, eight, completing various different dances as they’re assigned by someone known as the “caller.” The eight dancers typically pair up to perform the dance assignments. There are two main types of square dancing: traditional square dancing, which is danced in alteration with contra dances; and modern western square dance, which is a more modernized take on the dance.
So with this information and relationships that were very similar. I decided for my final brooch I wanted to create it very straight edge as my other brooch were very much rounded piece that symbolised the way I feel we dance as Scottish. Circular, soft smooth representing the circles in which we dance and the way we spin round in circles. Therefore for this piece I wanted to create some thing that represents a bit of the dance so of course the two words that stick out to me are square and line.I wanted to make my piece so that it was more kinetic than the last two I really felt I needed to push myself more so with it I wasn’t quite satisfied with myself yet. I decided that the brooch would be of course square the represent the name and I felt it had a very good contrast to my identity brooches and for the kinetic side I had to get some ideas and inspiration as to how to accomplish this. With the help of a little Pinterest inspiration. I had come up with the idea to create four rectangle cubes in the shape of a square with the lip open. inside would be a ball bearing in each which would move from side to side whenever worn. Because this idea was so simple I felt I needed to still have the brooch interesting so instead of the front being the main focal point I wanted to make sure the back was slightly quirkier- this im still looking into.