[SCA-Dance] Spanish or Iberian dances?

Jen Kennedy jen_kennedy at warpmail.net
Thu May 21 09:40:21 EDT 2009

Wholly period:
Arbeau (1589) describes a "Spanish Pavan", and Canarios attributed to
the Canary Islands (a Spanish territory) in his Orchesography, which is
widely available in a very reader-friendly English translation from
Dover Publications. The Canarios are lots of fun! A certain similarity
to later flamenco-style dance can be seen. This would be my
recommendation for an entry point into Spanish-style dance.

If you're willing to work at it just a little, or you really like basse
danse, Cervera manuscript, Spanish/Catalan circa 1496 gives basse danses
similar to the Burgundian sort. It is in shorthand, not described in
words, but it's not hard to decipher--you don't need to read Spanish, or
any words at all, for much of it: just know that 2 long lines mean a
pair of singles, and 3 little lines mean a double, and so forth. I
recommend the one called Egypciana as easy to sort out, and could share
you my "translation" to more familiar notation if you want a comparison.

Navarro's Discursos sobre el arte de Dancado ("discourses on the art of
dance") from 1642 is as period as Playford, but unfortunately for your
needs, not widely available in English translation (though one does
exist if you care to seek it out; see the webpage for the citation).
What you may be able to learn from it without reading a lick of Spanish
is that some early 17th century Spanish dance was a lot like
late16/early17th century Italian dance (not surprising, as Italy was
under Spanish control during part of this time). So if you are looking
for Spanish-flavored dances (say for a Spanish theme event), it would be
appropriate to use 16thc Italian dances, perhaps especially Spagnoletto,
Spagnoletta, or the like. (Coincidentally, some Italian dances borrow
the characteristic step of the Canario, giving further evidence of the
interrelation of these two lands' traditions)

Eoin, wishing you que nos bailamos bien! from la Florida

http://www.fastmail.fm - Faster than the air-speed velocity of an
                          unladen european swallow

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