In 2017, I decided to establish Lorg Press. Lorg is Scottish Gaelic for ‘footprint’ and ‘to seek’. I was compelled by the idea that archived dance descriptions need to be published, and dances brought back to life, so the current generation of dancers can access the steps and enjoy the act of dancing them. Thus, I use the motto ‘Bringing the past into the present’. Using a mix of the written word, drawings and photographs, and links to suitable video clips available online, Lorg aims to achieve this objective. These dance descriptions represent the legacies of dancers, teachers, and researchers who have gone before us. It would be a pity if these precious heirlooms were no longer actively used or accessed.
Documents Do Not Dance is the title of Swedish dance ethnologist and colleague Mats Nilsson’s recent book (2016). In it, he compares the act of ‘dancing’ to ‘dances’, examines archival methods, and wrestles with the concepts of tradition and intangible cultural heritage being alive and used. These issues are also intertwined in the core intentions of Lorg.
Lorg is about continuity. The aim is to share archived materials and notations of dancing so they can live again, and in the process, allow readers to offer their own interpretations of the materials. Bring the footprints of the past into the present by seeking new ways of interpreting them! Keep the act of ‘dancing’ alive!
Online and soft-cover publications in print or forthcoming include:
—A Story to Every Dance, an overview of the lore connected to various Scottish solo dances. Published in November 2018 and is available as downloadable pdf and softcover print book.
—Hebridean Step Dancing: the legacy of nineteenth-century dancing master Ewen MacLachlan, which examines and describes solo dances in the Hebrides, particularly from the teaching of Fearchar MacNeil of Barra. Published in July 2019 and is available as downloadable pdf and sprial bound print book.
—Dancie John Reid of Newtyle, a biography and analysis of dance notebooks of this Angus dancing master (forthcoming 2021).
—Dance Legacies of Scotland: The True Glen Orchy Kick, which traces historical descriptions and recollections of percussive step dancing in Scotland, including analyses of step structures and onomatopoeic terminology labelling step motifs, written in collaboration with Jennifer Schoonover. Published by Routledge 2021: https://www.routledge.com/Dance-Legacies-of-Scotland-The-True-Glen-Orchy-Kick/Melin-Schoonover/p/book/9780367489472