"violet_214 " wrote:
> I am just taking a moment to introduce myself; as I have newly
> discovered your group.
> I am not an SCA member as of yet, but I am
> very interested in learning more about the group as a whole. As I
> also love to dance; I would like to learn more about the style of
> dance from the Medieval and Renaissance period.
Well, I'll talk to anyone about historical dance, and I'd be glad to discuss the
SCA, too, if I can be of assistance. Renaissance dance is just one of many
activities one may pursue in the SCA (and happens to be the focus of this list).
If you would like to pursue some research on your own, we have a couple of links
off the Caerthen Dance Practice web page (Denver, CO):
Only three links are there, but each of these has a great many further links.
Unfortunately, there's not much to learn about medieval dance - they don't seem
to have written any decent descriptions (none that have come down to us,
anyway). We only have general descriptions of lively (or stately) dances, done
in a circle (or procession). It's not much to go on.
There are numerous sources for renaissance descriptions, however, starting in
1445. I am familiar with most of these (generally), and know the details from
some of these (check our repertoire from our web page "play list"). The primary
sources for renaissance dance are:
15th c. Italian (Domenico and his students Ebreo and Cornazano) - 1450 to about
bassa dance mss. (primarily Toulouse and Brussels) - 1445 to about 1530
16th c. French (Arena and, especially, Arbeau) about 1530 and 1589
The Old Measures (several English mss. from about 1570 to about 1670)
16th c. Italian (Caroso and Negri) 1580 to 1603
and, getting into the baroque:
17th c. English Country dance (Playford, 1651-1728)
These sources include balli, basse, branles, pavans, almans, measures, pavans,
galliards and tourdions, balletti, cascarde, and canarii (plus more), not
including ECD. More obscure are Gresley (England c. 1500) and some of the
Galliard manuals of the 16th century.
It occurs to me that I should probably write up a timeline for these dances with
general descriptions of their characteristics. Until then: The balli are for
specific numbers of dancers (often two, but sometimes 3, 4, 5, or more), and are
noted for using two or three tempi and for their typical "chasing and catching"
figures. The almans, bassa dances, measures, and pavans are processional dances
for couples. Branles are line dances for as many as will (sometimes in
couples), and can be done in a circle. Galliards and tourdions (which are just
fast, low galliards), usually for a couple, are lively jumping, kicking, and
hoping dances noted for showy solos and for their characteristic cadence "one,
two, three, four, and five" as in "my - coun - try - tis -- of thee" (same tune
as "God Save the Queen," which was originally a galliard). The Canary is a
lively new dance (in 1580), involving stamping and a characteristic tune.
Balletti and cascarde are again set dances for a specified number (often one
couple, sometimes 3, 4, 5, etc.), and are noted for multiple figures, often
moderately complex, using a large step vocabulary. English Country dances from
the early 17th century are characterized by fixed set sizes (typically three
couples, but sometimes two or four couples), and an archtypical verse and chorus
structure, where the verses usually progress: up a double and back, siding, then
> I am writing to you from Juneau, Alaska where we have
> a small but faithful group. Thank you for letting me have the
> opportunity to "listen" in on your conversations. Diane
I'm afraid I don't know anyone else up your way (these days), but if we can help
answer any questions, please ask away!
Keith / Guillaume S:}>
Denver / Caerthe