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What's In A Name

by Sandi & Dan Finch

Roundalab has a Golden Classic titled Cario Mio. There seems to be a problem, though, with that name. Cario is not a word in Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, or French, cuer Annette Woodruff points out.

Annette, who lives in Belgium, thinks it should be renamed to Caro Mio. Caro Mio means “my dear, my darling.” “Keeping Cario Mio is as shocking as using “my dearling” as the title,” Annette has said.

To add a complication, there are six other dances called Cario Mio. The name appears to come from the record all of them were choreographed from, Star 128, that was called Cario Mio.

Annette noted that her research shows there is one dance that gives its music source as the same Star record but is correctly title Caro Mio, in spite of the music source. Additionally, another two dances refer to the Ross Mitchell version of the same music, and both the cue sheets and music are correctly titled Caro Mio.

The issue has come up now because Roundalab members will be deciding this summer whether to approve a “standardized” cue sheet for Cario Mio. The dance was written in 2002, a Phase II waltz by Yasuyo Watanabe of Japan. It became a Golden Classic after being voted onto the Roundalab Classics list for five years. All Golden Classics have approved Roundalab head cue sheets. RAL started doing that in 1990 to help teachers work with older cue sheets, often written only in step cues.

The proposed standardized cue sheet for Cario Mio lists the music source as both Cario Mio, Star 128, and Caro Mio, from Ross Mitchell’s 25 Top Waltzes album.

The original music, from which the Star record and the Ross Mitchell music were taken, is titled Caro Mio and can be traced back to Handel. Versions are found on Pavarotti’s repertoire list.

Questionable translations aside, what does it matter what you call a choreographed dance? By whatever name, the cue sheet should list the source of the music, with enough detail spelled out so that you can find the source even if the name of the music is different from that of the dance.

“I’m not giving up on [changing the name] Caro Mio because it’s nice music that deserves respectful identification,” Annette wrote to Roundalab Standards.

She does have a way of getting changes made. “I had to fight patiently for a long time to eventually get Apres l’Etreinte properly spelled,” she wrote. That phase III+1 foxtrot/two step was written to music by Engelbert Humperdinck called After the Lovin’. The choreographer decided to translate that to French. It showed up originally as Apres l’Entriente. The problem here is that “entriente” is not a word, according to Annette. Round Dance Magazine further complicated the issue by deciding that the non-French-speaking needed some help and added under the name on its published version of the cue sheet “Aprey Laytrant.”

“Isn’t that awful. And simultaneously, very funny,” Annette wrote.

There was also an issue with Rainbow Connections, a Phase IV waltz by Jim & Bobbie Childers. They had permission from Ross Mitchell to use the music--called Rainbow Connection.

Rod and Susan Anderson were writing a phase VI version to the same music about the same time, Bobbie recalls. The two couples discussed how to keep the two dances from being confused. Bobbie said she liked the idea of Rainbow Connections “to connect all of us as dancers.” The Anderson version became The Rainbow Connection.

We could go on. Lots of choreographers find the original music names too long. It shouldn’t matter, as long as the original source of the music is identified on the cue sheet. As much detail as possible should be used because many versions of a song can be found online, depending on when it was recorded.

We used the music, Sam You Made The Pants Too Long, twice. Once we called the dance, Sam’s Pants, for a phase VI foxtrot, and then we named the phase IV version (our Hall of Fame dance) Sam’s New Pants. The cue sheet for both of them references the source of the original music, Casa Musica’s Ballroom Fantasy CD.

We did it again when we used Anne Murray’s Make Love To Me, using that name for the phase IV west coast swing and calling the phase VI version Make Love To Me Again. The full name of the music was printed on each cue sheet.

Annette’s concern is slightly different. Saying “cario” vs. “caro” may seem like a small issue, but to a person versed in French, it is troubling enough to campaign on an international level to make the change. She has recruited a Japanese cuer to try to get Watanabe’s agreement to change the title.

The misspelling of an English title doesn’t happen very often because somewhere, someone will notice and change it, she said. “Foreign titles? Far fewer people around who might notice.”

“Americans live in a country so large that they don’t need to get interested in another language,” Annette wrote. “Once faced with a foreign word, why would they care whether the word is right or wrong? This is why I am very much against using foreign titles and I’m begging everyone to translate the titles into English before publishing. There’s nothing wrong with After the Lovin’--and everyone can spell it,” she added referring back to Apres l’Etreinte.

Using foreign words can be a trap, Annette added. “Etreinte” as used in the lyrics correctly translates to “the loving” but an “étreinte” means simply a “hug,” she explained. A big difference to anyone involved in it. She signed off her note to us with “Big hug (Grosse Etreinte)” to make the point.

From a club newsletter, February 2022, and reprinted in the Dixie Round Dance Council (DRDC) Newsletter, March 2022. Find a DRDC Finch archive here.


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