[SCA-Dance] Renaissance Ball & Caroso's first book, Il Ballarino, 19 July, Australia

Aylwen Garden aylwengg at gmail.com
Wed Jul 9 21:08:51 EDT 2008

Dear all,

Following on from last month's very successful evening of Restoration
era dance, song, theatre, dress and food, we are going to be taking
everyone back this month to the very beginning of our social dance
traditions with our mid-winter Renaissance ball on Saturday 19th July
at St Johns Church Hall, Constitution Ave, Reid, Canberra.

As always, period costume is entirely optional, but we'll have the
whole band (with new flute player Jesse!) and dance-leading crew in
full Elizabethan garb and offering a wonderful program of music and
dance from period dance manuals – together with a very special guest
appearance (read on to the end!).

Nearly all the following dances will be lead for everyone (a couple
just played for uncalled dancing):

>From the 15th century manuscripts of Domenico and Ebreo we will enjoy
Pizochara (you'll feel you're doing a modern country dance!) and
Prigionera (where you take turns taking your partner prisoner).

>From Arbeau's 1589 manual we will enjoy some simple fun Branles in
circles and lines (e.g. Branle de l'Ecosse with a Scottish style to
it, Branle de la Haye with one of the earliest reels recorded and
Branle de la Montarde with some fun leader changing), a high flying La
Volta, a wild 'Spanish' Canario, a pavan/galliard combination and a
very amusing dance game La Courante.

>From that most famous and ground breaking of late 16th century Italian
dancing master, Fabritio Caroso, we will enjoy the galliard mixer Il
Piantone, the quick and fun La Castellana, the mock combat of Barriera
('at the barriers') and the romance of Nido d'Amore ('Nest of Love).

>From the slightly later work of Cesare Negri we will enjoy the dizzy
Alta Mendoza, and the set dances Bizzaria d'Amore ('The Strangeness of
Love'), Il Pastor Leggiadro (The Happy Shepherd) and Villanico (The
Country Dance).

>From the London Inns of Court manuscripts (late 16th – mid 17th
century) we'll put together suite of 'The Old Measures' Tinternell,
The Ould Almain, The Queen's Almain, Madam Cecilia's Almain and the
Black Almain.

Scattered all through the evening will be some of the wonderful social
English Country dances from the first mid-17th century Playford
Dancing Master edition - e.g. Argeers, Have at thy coat old woman,
Jack a Lent, Mage on a Cree, Nonesuch, Parson's Farewell, Spanish
Gypsy, Woodicock – and that strip the willow ancestor – Trenchmore.

And that guest appearance? As many will know, the Earthly Delights
Historic Dance Academy, in addition to its very comprehensive library
of dance manuals in facsimile form, has been judiciously building up
its collection of original dance manuals as well. We made a show of
some of the early 19th century dance manuals at our Jane Austen
Weekend a few months ago and have felt this coming Renaissance ball
might be the right time to make a public show of our most precious
book… and no doubt one of the most precious books you will find
anywhere in Australia – an original, first edition copy of Fabritio
Caroso's first book, Il Ballarino (The Dancing Master), Venice, 1581.
Apart from two much smaller French works on bassedance, this is the
earliest printed book on social dance known to exist - and it doesn't
just deal with one dance form in a rudimentary way, it contains
detailed descriptions of dozens of different dances in different
styles, each with musical score and full page illustrations of dancers
in starting positions, all together with rules on dancing, notes on
steps and advice on behaviour. It was a book which was very
influential in its day and this ball will be a very very rare chance
to see the work for yourself.

Finally, to celebrate mid-winter we'll all be treated from the kitchen
to Aylwen's famous hot spiced-apple juice.

Please do spread the word around, and to hear more of our activities
join our email group at http://groups.google.com/group/dance-news

All the best,

John Garden

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