[SCA-Dance] Suggestions for 2 couple dances?

Atro Kajaste Atro.Kajaste at iki.fi
Fri Oct 10 18:01:22 EDT 2008


On Thu, Oct 09, 2008 Elisabeth Fairchild wrote:
> Good afternoon! I am participating in a holiday Renaissance dinner 
> theater at a local university. We are hurting for dancers this year. As 
> of right now, we have 4 guys and 2 girls.
> In the past, we have already done these two couple dances: Rufty Tufty, 
> Heartsease, Argeers, and Bizzaria (spelling?). We'd like to do something 
> different, rather than the same old thing.
> Would anyone have a suggestion for a 2 couple dance or two that we could 
> do? Preferably English Country.
> We're also in need of finding an Italian dance to do as the presentation 
> dance. In the past, we've done Torneo Armoroso and Rostiboli Gioso.

I don't have too much to add anymore -- most of what I could have said has 
already been said by others, and I can simply just second them. Especially 
the idea of also considering three-person dances.

On the ECD side, the two-couple dances have indeed all been mentioned. 
Personally I like Parson's Farewell and Saint Martins. And with your 
current gender mix, I would really recommend Confesse. Originally it's 
written for two lords and four ladies, but it works just as nicely the 
other way around.

On the Italian side, speaking of 15th century dances...

Yes, Mercantia would certainly make a good show. (You're still one lord 
short of Sobria, though... that one can also be a real show-dance, but it 
is written for 5 lords and 1 lady. ;-)

As mentioned, there's Vercepe for three lords and two ladies, and Anello 
is great for two couples.

For three people, one of my personal favorites is Voltati in ca Rosina. 
But the already-mentioned Petit Vriens, Belfiore, Vita di Cholino and 
3-person Rostiboli Gioioso are good as well.

If you're willing to consider early Italian bassedanze, there are some for 
one couple (many of which work fine for X couples in a line), some for 
three persons (some of which could be done with two sets on stage), and 
some for two couples.

Going onwards to 16th century dances...

If you have done Bizzarria d'Amore and Torneo Amoroso, then something like 
Allegrezza d'Amore (which is for three) shouldn't be too hard either.

And from Caroso's Il Ballarino comes one of my all-time favorite dances: 
Contrapasso, or Contrapasso "vecchio in due". (There are several related 
dances called Contrapasso, but I mean the non-Nuovo one, written for one 
couple, from Il Ballarino.) It's written for one couple like most of 
Caroso's dances, but in my experience it works surprisingly well not only 
with one, but also with two, three or X couples in a line. And it can 
easily be quite entertaining and showy as well.

On Fri, Oct 10, 2008 Justin / Jane & Mark Waks wrote:
> I've also recommend, given your gender balance, thinking about one or 
> two Italian *three*-person dances. [...] So you may want to think about 
> tossing one of those into the mix, and choreographing it for two sets. 
> (Not as accurate, to be fair, but possibly good for a show...)

Not just possibly, but very likely. Depending somewhat on the dance, of 
course. (But then, of course I am biased, because I'm the one who's been 
doing this kind of choreographing for our own dance group's shows...)

   - lord Adrian Möhkö, a dancer from barony of Aarnimetsä, Drachenwald

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