16th Century Italian Dance1
16th Century ItalianDance
Century Italian dances are, generally speaking, the most complex of the different types of renaissance dance. There are two main authors of the sixteenth century dances that are done in the SCA, and several minor ones.
Caroso and Negri
The two main dance writers of the time were Fabrito Caroso, and CesareNegri. They described dances that were similar in style, but had theirdifferences between the two authors.
in 1581, and
Nobilta di Dame
in 1600.Nobilta contains many of the same dances as Il Ballarino, however many of them have changed or updated choreographies. There are a lot of newdances in Nobilta.
Cesare Negri published
Le Gratie d’Amore
in 1602. This contains danceswhich are in general more complex than those in either of Caroso's works.It is a very large volume, containing a section on dance etiquette, a largesection on galliard variations (including a “kick the tassel” galliard whichwas used as a contest dance) and a section containing dances in a similarstyle to Caroso’s.
Because Caroso and Negri wrote about dances of the same or similarstyles, they used similar steps in all of their dances. Unfortunately,Negri's description of some steps is different to Caroso's descriptions in afew places, and so creating a “step dictionary” of the two authors will leadto some problems. The consensus amongst most dance researchers is touse Negri's step descriptions when dancing Negri's dances, and to useCaroso's step descriptions when dancing Caroso's dances. It is thereforeimportant to know which of the two dance masters' balli one is dancing.
Of these three books, only Nobilta di Dame and Le Gratie d’Amore areavailable in translation. Check the bibliograpy for more details on how toget copies of these books. There is a current internet project being done totranslate Il Ballarino, but it is not yet complete.
There were other writers of the period – Livio Lupi da Carravagio whopublished a fairly large book in 1600 (reprinted in 1607) dealing withgalliard, tourdion, and canary variations. Propero Luti de Sulmonapublished a book in 1589 containing galliard variations only.