[SCA-Dance] marque pied, marque talon

Lisa Marx shusmarx at yahoo.com
Fri Jun 4 12:43:12 EDT 2010

I think it's important to clarrify the meaning of "against" in English since it can mean "touching" or it can mean "opposing."  The French contre tends to indicate opposition, not closeness.  I would agree with Henry's interpretation of contre in the case of marque pied as "beside/alongside" rather than "touching."  Note that the description for marque talon only indicates the part of the foot, not its proximity to the other foot.  Can we even assume that because the description of marque pied contains the term, that it applies to marque talon as well (intended as a rhetorical question)?

Reminds me of the word-for-word verses phrase-by-phrase arguement from my translating classes..."faict ladicte marche" to me would mean "the one that is said to walk/march" instead of "does the step."  It's a richer meaning, though still quite similar.

Anyone interested in turning this into a Letter of Dance article?

Elisa von Sophey
aka Elize da Nizza

From: Alexander Clark <alexbclark at pennswoods.net>
To: C. Timar <cctimar at member.ams.org>
Cc: sca-dance at sca-dance.org
Sent: Thu, June 3, 2010 11:57:49 AM
Subject: Re: [SCA-Dance] marque pied, marque talon

As usual, one should beware of "literal" translations of prepositions.
"Contre" may be translated as "against", but it may also be translated
as "across from"/"on the other side from", a sense that is not clearly
indicated by "against". Said of feet, I think it could actually mean

In practice, I take it that one springs onto one foot, and touches the
other foot next to that foot, by either the toe or the heel, with the
point of contact being alongside the middle of the supporting foot.
The feet are close to each other but not necessarily touching. For
Arbeau's Canary, where there are one of each of these in rapid
succession, I would hesitate to assume either that there should still
be one spring for each touch, or one spring to begin the sequence of
two touches. Maybe the spring could potentially be dispensed with when
one is already on the supporting foot? Springs don't seem to work as
well in the Canary is in the Tourdion in which these steps were
introduced, but YMMV.

Henry of Maldon/Alex Clark

On 6/3/10, C. Timar <cctimar at member.ams.org> wrote:
> On 3 June 2010 01:25, Tiffany Brown <teffania at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I find myself confused by Arbeau's marque pied and marque talon.  I'm
>> working from Mary Stewart Evan's translation as my french is
>> non-existant.
> Here are the original (from Library of Congress scan) and my translation.
> p. 44 recto:
> Arbeau.
> Aulcunesfois l'vn des pieds eſtant getté & poſé pour ſouſtenir le
> corps, on marche du bout de l'arteil de laultre pied, contre celuy qui
> eſt a terre: Et ce mouuement s'appelle marque pied, ſçauoir marque
> pied droict quand l'arteil du droict faict ladicte marche: Et marque
> pied gaulche, quand l'arteil du pied gaulche faict ladicte marche.
> Sometimes, one foot being cast and positioned to support the body, one
> steps on the tip of the toe of the other foot, against the one that is
> on the ground. This movement is called "marque pied" ["foot mark"].
> Know it as "right marque pied" when the toe of the right foot does the
> step, and "left marque pied" when the toe of the left foot does the
> step.
> Quand au contraire on marche du tallon de l'vn des pieds, l'aultre
> pied eſtant getté, pour demeurant ferme, ſouſtenir le corps de celuy
> qui dance, ceſte ſorte de mouuement ſe nomme:
> When, on the contrary, one steps on the heel of one foot, the other
> foot being cast to remain firm, to support the body of the one who
> dances, this sort of motion is named,
> p. 44 verso:
> Sçauoir marque-tallon droict, quand le talon du pied droict opere, &
> marque-talon gaulche, quand le talon du pied gaulche y eſt employé
> It is known as "right marque-talon"  ["right heel mark"] when the heel
> of the right foot does it, and "left marque-talon"  ["left heel mark"]
> when the heel of the left foot is used.
>> [Evans'] translation is:
>> "Sometimes, when one foot has taken the body's weight and is placed in
>> position to support it, the toe of the other foot is brought close up
>> against the foot on the ground. This movement is called margue pied, to
>> wit , marque pied droit when the right toe performs the movement and
>> marque pied gauche when the left does."
>> (With translator's notes that the French implies you hop or jump onto
>> the supporting foot, rather than step.)
> The French is "getté" which I am translating as "cast."  The modern
> ballet step is described by the Brittanica as: "(French jeté:
> “thrown”), ballet leap in which the weight of the dancer is
> transferred from one foot to the other. The dancer “throws” one leg to
> the front, side, or back and holds the other leg in any desired
> position upon landing." (Brittanica online).
> While Evans occasionally introduces questionable assumptions into her
> translation, "casting" or "throwing" your foot suggests some movement
> more than just a step.
> That's as much as I can really say about the postures in question.  I
> generally assume that the text is by Arbeau himself, with a  few
> errors by him and more by the typesetters, while the illustrations are
> by some artist, rendered by a woodcut engraver.  The artist may know
> as much about dance as Arbeau does, but may not, and both the artist
> and engraver may be introducing errors.  How reliable you consider
> each is a question of your judgment.
>    -- Charles the clerk, Ealdormere
>        cctimar at member.ams.org
> ________________________________________________________________
> To send mail to the entire list, be sure sca-dance at sca-dance.org is listed
> in the To line of any response.
> To Unsubscribe send mail to: sca-dance-request at sca-dance.org
> ________________________________________________________________
To send mail to the entire list, be sure sca-dance at sca-dance.org is listed
in the To line of any response.

To Unsubscribe send mail to: sca-dance-request at sca-dance.org

More information about the Sca-dance mailing list