Proceedings of the Known World Dance Symposium 2007
Artistic Director, Seattle Early Dance
From M.F.Caroso, Nobilta di Dame, 1600
Balletto for one couple
Dedicated to Their Most Serene Highnesses, Don Ranuccio Franese and D[onna] Margarita Aldobrandina, Duke and Duchess of parma, Piacenza etc.
Start: Gentleman and Lady stand opposite facing each other without holding hands.
A Riverenza lunga
A’ 2 Continenze breve, LR
B Take right hands:
1 Passo Trangato L
2 Zoppetto on L, raising the R foot
& A Passetti presti in Aria with the L
5-6 Groppo L (pick up L foot)
7-8 2 Passetti presti in Aria RL
9-10 2 Fioretti LR (have changed places with your partner)
11 Drop hands: 2 Passi Minimi LR, turning to the left
12-13 2 Fioretti LR
14 2 Passi Minimi LR
15-16 1 Saffice L, turning your left hips in (flanking)
B’ Take left hands: Repeat B to the other side beginning with the right foot
C Face each other, take both hands, 2 Continenze breve
The gentleman drops the lady’s right hand, and taking her customary hand, Riverenza
A 1 Passo Trangato L
2 Zoppetto on L, 2 Passi in Aria R,L (keep R foot raised after zoppetto)
3-4 2 Fioretti
5-6 2 Passi L,R
7-8 Saffice L
A’ 1-8 Repeat A to other side, beginning with the right foot.
B 1-2 2 Passi forwards L,R
3-4 Groppo L
5-6 2 Fioretti L,R
7-8 2 Passi L,R
9-12 2 Seguiti Spezzati L,R
13-14 2 Fioretti
15-16 Saffice L to left side
B 1-16 Repeat B to other side, beginning with the right foot.
C 1-2 2 Passi Minimi L, R
3-4 Seguito Spezzati L
5-6 2 Passi Minimi R, L
7-8 Seguito Spezzati R, and then drop hands
9-16 2 Seguiti scorsi in an S shape,
facing towards each other at the end (one having gone to one end of the room,
the other to the other end).
In the first of 4 galliard patterns do:
1 Passo L
3 Passo R (both these steps to the left)
4 Trabuchetto L
5 Sottopiede with right foot
1-2 Fioretto with left foot
3 Trabuchetto with right foot
4 Sottopiede with left foot
1 Balzetto to the left
2 Sottopiede with the right foot, and immediately dropping your left foot:
3-4 2 Passi Presto in Aria (first with the right, then the left)
5-6 Fioretto with the left
1-2 Fioretto with the right
3-4 With the left foot which is now raised, a Mezza Riverenza L
5 Sottopiede with the left foot
Now repeat the above variation to the other side, beginning with the right foot.
In the First Four Patterns do, taking Right hands:
1-6 Seguito Ordinario L (to meet)
1-6 Seguito Ordinario R, (turn 1/4) ending in a Mezza Riverenza “dropping hands while kissing the aforementioned hand.”
1-6 + 2 Seguito Scorsi in an S shape, turning left and then right, one going to one end of the room, the
1-6 other to the other end, facing towards each other at the end with a Mezza Riverenza. (So that the Man is at the foot of the room and the Lady at the head).
1 Trabuchetto L (right foot raised behind)
2 Sottopiede with the right foot
3-4 Fioretto with the left
5 Trabuchetto R (L foot raised behind)
6 Sottopiede with left foot
1-2 Fioretto with the right
3-5 Groppo L (pick up left foot)
1-2 Fioretto L
3-4 Fioretto R
5 Passo Presto L backwards
6 Passo Presto R backwards
1-3 1 Mezza Riverenza in the manner of three beats of the little bell
4 Sottopiede with the L foot
Finish with the left foot slightly forward.
Take left hands, repeat the above 2 variations. (From the 2 Ordinari and Scorsi. The Man will now be at the head, and the Lady at the foot of the room). Start the second variation with the right foot.
Then do 2 Passi Puntati, and taking hands in the ‘usual courteous manner,’ do a Riverenza Lunga.
1 Passo Presti left
2 Passo Presti right
5-6 2 Fioretti LR
7-8 Spezzato L
Repeat as above, beginning with the right foot.
Drop hands and do 2 Spezzati turning to the left. Then:
2 Fioretti forward (LR) (facing partner)
1 Saffice L, with left hip in.
Repeat above, beginning with the right foot to the other side.
Do the following to the left, beginning with the left foot:
2 Fioretti LR (facing partner)
2 Trabuchetti LR
2 Passi Presti (1/4 turn to left)
1 Spezzato L
Repeat to the right, beginning with the right foot.
To the left, and then to the right:
1 Trabuchetto L (facing partner)
Do 2 Spezzati LR flanking forward, 2 Passi Puntate LR, then a Riverenza Breve.
Note: Caroso was the only dancing master to use the term ‘saltarello’ despite its popularity as a musical form. It dates back to the fourteenth century, and often follows a galliard in balletto suites. Like a galliard, the saltarello is a fast triple time dance, but it does not follow the ‘five step’ pattern of the galliard, nor does it follow the choreographic form of alternating variations and walking patterns between two dancers.
“Do eight canary patterns to this canary music, always two for each foot (that is, two with your left foot, and two with your right) and repeat this once for each foot.”
Two Tempo di Canario LL
Two Tempo di Canario RR
Two Tempo di Canario LL
Two Tempo di Canario RR
For above, do Seguito Battuto di Canario.
The Lady claps both hands of the gentleman once with both her hands.
1 Passo Puntato presto left
1 mezza riverenza right, touching right hands at that moment
Repeat to other side (from clapping of hands)
Two Spezzati Ordinari turning left, LR (man turns towards
foot, lady towards head).
Two Passi Presti forwards, LR
1 Saffice to left, with left hip in.
Repeat to other side
Two Passi Puntati Presti, LR, “politely taking each other by the customary hand in the usual courteous manner; and making a Riverenza Breve, finish this lovely, graceful and exceedingly beautiful dance in time to the music.”
Note: The canary always came at the end of a balletto suite. The stamping movements, a feature of canaries, show its relation to Spanish dances. The canary was a relatively new dance rhythm in Caroso’s time, and was extremely popular.
Notes by Anna Mansbridge January 2004, updated June 2007
Caroso, Fabritio. Nobiltà di Dame (1600). Translated and Edited by Julia Sutton titled Courtly Dance of the Renaissance. Dover Publications Inc, New York., 1995.
Dorothée Wortelboer, Celeste Giglio. Tactus Music, Amsterdam., 1996.
Fabrito Caroso “Nobilta di Dame” 1600, translated by Julia
Cesare Negri, “le Gratie d’Amore” 1602,
Translated by Gustavia Yvonne Kendall, 1985
Notes by Anna Mansbridge
Takes 4 beats.
Stand keeping body and legs straight.
Toes of the right foot are level with the arch of the left foot, left foot is a foot ahead.
Feet 4 finger breaths apart.
Count 1: raise left foot slightly.
Count 2: draw it back (in a straight line, toes even with right heel).
Count 3: gracefully bend knees (can raise left heel slightly).
Count 4: return left toes to right arch, gracefully raising the body.
Raise the left foot slightly, bending your left hip a little.
Move it sideways to left, with feet 4 or 5 finger-breadths apart.
Keep the head erect.
Do not drop the left shoulder, but give it a touch of grace. In adding this grace, both the gentleman and lady strut a little, and ‘contain’ themselves. From this self-containment, the term ‘continenza’ is derived.
Relax the knees slightly as transfer weight to left foot.
Draw the right foot up to left instep.
Straighten the body up gracefully, strutting slightly to the side on which you are doing it; this effect is obtained by raising your heels a little, and immediately dropping them in time to the music (peacock).
Stopped Step – ordinary walking step.
Before moving the left foot, use the hip to strut a little (as for the Continenza).
Take one step forward with left foot, thrusting it forwards so that the heel passes a little beyond the right toes.
Then stop a little, as if taking a breath. Repeat with the other foot.
Move your left foot, thrusting it forward almost in a straight line, one handbreadth ahead of your right foot, yet flanking.
In putting it down, bend both knees, separating them a little.
Raise your right heel.
Immediately raise your right foot and your left heel, putting it down in the course of the same beat.
Having done this with your left foot, thrust your right foot forward in the same way, repeating the step on the other side.
Begin feet together, or some other position depending on context in dance.
Raise both feet, one a little off the ground and the other going ahead of it.
Keep the one foot raised, and similarly raised to the side.
The term limping hop comes from the impression that you are really limping, for while one foot is raised forward, you rise, or hop along, with your standing foot.
Quick Little Steps in the Air
In the galliard sometimes called semiminims because they are done quickly, with straight legs, on the toes, and with agility and dexterity. Can be done forwards, backwards, or in the air.
Weight on right foot, left leg extended in front of body.
Cut the left foot in behind the right on a rise, spring and extend the right foot out in front, landing on the toes.
For this Saffice step you should do one Ripresa with the foot under (Sottopiede) with your left foot to the left, and a trabuccetto with the same foot, and then repeat it to the left.
Begin by standing with your left foot behind, and do a Trabuccetto to the left with this foot. As soon as you land, cross (knot) your right foot behind it.
Do another Trabuccetto to your right with that foot, crossing your left foot behind your right.
Then do another as you did the first time, but now putting it in place of your left, do one step under with your right, simultaneously raising your left foot somewhat forward. This is how to end the Groppo.
Do a step with the left foot, thrusting it forward a half step, but flatly, 2 finger-breadths apart from the right, on the first beat.
Put the right toe behind the left heel (foot under) at the beginning of the second beat.
Raise the left foot gracefully, keeping leg and body straight, them let it fall straight down.
Small scurrying steps on the balls of the feet.
Begin by raising your left foot and taking half a step forward, with the rest following, always with agility and on your toes. Note that when the lady does them, she should make no noise with her chopines, should hold herself erect, and should not pass her left toe beyond the middle of her right foot. Her feet may be no more than two fingerbreadths apart.
The Foot Under
First take one trabuchetto to the left with the left foot and raise the right foot behind (right toe at the hell of the left).
Put the right foot in the place of the left foot, staying on the toes with the heel raised.
Raise the left foot out in front, like a kick.
Stand with the feet together, or a little apart.
Move to the left with a little jump, landing lightly on the toes of the left foot. Bring the right foot within two fingerbreadths of the left. Be careful not to place it on the ground, and keep both legs straight.
Then repeat with the right foot.
Take note that you should move your hips with a slight swagger in any falling jump, and move with bodily agility and nimbleness.
It is called a falling jump because in doing the small jump and then drawing the foot near the other, you move as if you were staggering, because when you lean to the left and hold your right foot up, you seem to be falling over.
Raise left foot forward (swish heel on ground) in front, away from and higher than the right, 4 or 5 fingerbreadths.
Draw toe of left foot back along ground, bending knee raising it behind.
Close with a slight stamp.