Ballroom Dance > Len Scrivener?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by elgin47, Mar 25, 2010.

  1. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    inter-library loan. this one came from the seattle public library. i can't extend my loan for it, i can't request it again for another 3 months, so i'm going to photocopy the bits i want to be able to revisit til then.
  2. hereKittyKitty

    hereKittyKitty Administrator Staff Member

    Why were his ideas controversial? I'd love to know!
  3. jofjonesboro

    jofjonesboro New Member

    For one thing, Scrivener didn't think very much of Alex Moore as a ballroom expert. Scrivener never actually mentions Moore by name in his writings but it's clear from context that Len felt that Alex lacked a true understanding of dance movement.

  4. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    He became quite vocal for e.g. about V.W. ( its content ) ; and his views on Judging.Also, his thoughts about technique, such as, there are no absolutes .

    I really liked and agreed with his thoughts on judging comps, believing that " ties" , were quite acceptable and justifiable .

    One has to put these thoughts into context; many of the original " designers " of tech. and theory were still alive, and his views on things often clashed with the "establishment" .

    One thing that did upset him was, he hated the fact that people placed their "worth" in him based on his Tango, saying " I do 3 other dances just as well ! " .

    The partnership between he and Nellie from a teaching perspective worked very well. She generally worked with Beginners, and Len, the more" advanced " couples .

    And this, which wouldnt sit well with todays competitors, he really did not want any of his students taking with other teachers ( I did , but never mentioned it ).

    An afterthought..the difference between Len and the most of the high profile people of the day? , he would make his opinions public , and THATS what I believe upset/annoyed the establ.
  5. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    This is one of the most enjoyable threads I have read on Dance Forums. I just wanted to thank everyone for sharing. I don't know much about Len, but I am much more interested in learning more. I hope some of those who have shared might tell some more stories. Please. Please. Please! :)
  6. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Heres a funny one ( i think )... a friend of mine was due to start his lesson with Len , and was warming up dancing F/trot . Len had his chair turned to the wall, with feet propped against it.. he turned around and said " And what was that ? " the reply " A F/trot ".. Len.. " It will never make it ! " .

    And this classic.. ( which I was there to see and hear ) Len and Nellie had been invited to do a Demo. at the Palais after winning the " Star "(?) or the" British"(?) in the early 50s, ( a custom ) .

    At the conclusion of the "4", he attempted to place Nellie into a curtsey.. she apparently had other ideas, and what he didnt realise, being right in front of the stage, the "mic. " was still live, and he could be heared whispering, and I quote " get down ya big cow ", which of course resulted in the biggest laughter one can imagine . Funny term actually, because Nellie was very slim .
  7. rbazsz

    rbazsz New Member

    The knowledge and experience of the people on this forum is truly remarkable! I have no idea who Scrivener is but enjoyed reading all the stories.
  8. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Len and Nellie are icons of the ballroom world , dancing from the late 30s thru to the mid 50s ; he is credited ( along with Henry Jacques ), of formulating the interpretation of Modern day Tango as we see it today.

    A 3 times british champion in the golden age of ballroom .

    Revolutionary in his thinking, and ,his lectures were nearly always standing room only . He discussed topics that many, for whatever reason, glossed over. Things like "facial expression" and "silhoutte " . He was a master with word description and made things crystal clear ( even if you didnt agree.. and many didnt ) .
  9. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    I know there are many more on this site who have as many stories as do I.. maybe they may eventually contribute .
  10. btfgus

    btfgus Member

  11. ireniecat

    ireniecat New Member

  12. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Nellie is on Scrivs left . Funny the commentator mentioned Jock, just had a long discussion with one of his nieces.. must let her know . Also Wally Fryer , noted for his Q/Step .

    PS.. I saw that event ... and, thanks to the poster
  13. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    The "Star " thats mentioned , is the comp. that was named after the newspaper in London .
  14. hereKittyKitty

    hereKittyKitty Administrator Staff Member

    Which competitors modeled their dancing strictly after Len Scrivener? Who were some of he and Nellie's most famous students?
  15. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    One only has to look at the amats and pros of the 60s on , to see the influence Len had on Tango alone ,and that still exists today, as do many of his theories .As they say.. pick a name !. In all fairness, Lens approach was greatly influenced by Jacques .

    I doubt there that was hardly a top amat. couple in that time period, who had not had coaching with Len/Nellie, sometime in their careers ( many times un-beknown to their primary teacher! ).

    As I recall, I believe the Cullips and Eric Lashbrook were 2 of Lens at one period . Both were British Amat. champions in the 50s . Jim became a a well known teacher with Olive,in LA in the early 60s, and his son ,was a U.S. champion.

    A larger testament to his stature in the industry were probably his lectures, very often sold out, with standing room only, with Pros and Amats attending.

    And to remember, at this time there were names in profession that still resonate among dancers, the likes of Thiebault, Binnick ( his adversary ) Jacques, Fryer and even Irvine coming in to his own, all, for whatever reason, never seemed to have the same impact ( Irvines achieved that distinction later on ) .

    An aside note ; last time I was in London before returning here, was in 1983 . I was giving a coaching lesson, and on one side of the room was Jaques the other Richard Gleave, talk about trying to concentrate and distraction !! .

    I actually chatted with Henry; he was to me, always quite un assuming and easily approachable .
  16. Linda Forskitt

    Linda Forskitt New Member

    I have been enjoying reading all the posts Nellie Duggan was my husbands great Aunt. I have been trying to find out if Nellie and Len where married or not.
  17. btfgus

    btfgus Member

    If you enjoyed the last clip, I'm sure you will get much pleasure from this one:

    tangotime and hereKittyKitty like this.
  18. Linda Forskitt

    Linda Forskitt New Member

    Oh what a great clip !!
  19. Linda Forskitt

    Linda Forskitt New Member

  20. Linda Forskitt

    Linda Forskitt New Member

    My mother in law is your cousin, she remembers them well her dad was Mick Duggan Nellies brother. She remembers going to watch them dance, but never new if they ever married ?

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