In 2017, I decided to establish Lorg as my research hub, and Lorg-Press as a means of spreading my research beyond academic journals and other outputs. 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 and related historical accounts 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  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, histories, 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 forthcoming in mid-2018 onwards include:

  • A Story to Every Dance, published October 2018, and available in both digital download (pdf) and softcover book format. The book is an overview of the lore connected to various Scottish solo dances.
  • Dancie John Reid of Newtyle, is a biography and analysis of dance notebooks of this Angus dancing master. Online video content is planned for this project.
  • Hebridean Step Dancing: the legacy of dancing master Ewen MacLachlan, which examines and describes solo dances in the Hebrides, particularly from the teaching of Fearchar MacNeil of Barra. Online video content is planned for this project.
  • 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 labeling step motifs, written in collaboration with Jennifer Schoonover.

The Lorg-press Shop is open as of October 1, 2018.

Mats Melin,

See also for my biography.