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Second rehearsal for May 5th

Submitted by Katherina Weyssin on April 20, 2012 - 12:33pm

Once again, we spent the whole evening rehearsing for our upcoming performance at Somervell Presbyterian's Daytime Concert Series, on May 5th. Two rehearsals to go . . .

[I'm adding notes after each rehearsal - some changes made after viewing site]

Present: Katherina, Anna, William, Katherine, Caterine

Confirmed playlist

(using modern names to avoid a proliferation of Katherines)

Sound: Ludwig von Regensburg

Photography: William de Wyke

Rehearsal notes


Angela and David will dress as men. Katherine, Shannon and Nadia will dress as women. All in late-16th C clothing if possible.

  • Katherine - red velvet gown (or black doublet and skirt - decide at last rehearsal)
  • David - blue velvet suit
  • Shannon - pale blue woolen gown
  • Angela - blue suit
  • Nadia - Angela's blue linen gown

Dress rehearsals:

Next week (April 26th, City) please bring farthingales, petticoats and corsets, as appropriate. (Angela, please bring a farthingale and both your corsets, for Nadia to try).

The following week (May 3rd, Birkdale), please bring full garb for our final rehearsal. I will book the room from 7pm, if possible, so that we have time to dress before the class starts.

Please make sure your garb fits and is in order *before* the final rehearsal, as you'll only have one night to make adjustments after that.


All of this is subject to last-minute changes once we've seen the space (a church auditorium, with space both on a small stage, and between stage and front row of chairs). Please know the order of dances, who you're dancing with, and where you need to be.

When we're not dancing, we'll retire to the same place each time (though sometimes on stage and sometimes beside it): Shannon, Angela and Nadia to the left of the stage (from audience' perspective), Katherine and David to right. (See "diagrams" below).

As always, you're performing all the time, whether or not you're dancing. Walk calmly to your dance. Riverenza at the end, pause for a moment, and retire without rushing. Take stairs slowly. While others are dancing, watch attentively and without fidgeting or any conversation (however quiet). If something goes wrong, smile and keep going. If someone else does something wrong,  go with the flow and don't talk about it until we've left the venue. De-briefing happens when we're out of garb and off site.

We are the second performance of three. We will be very visible during the other two performances, and will attract attention with our costumes. Please make an effort both to be and to look attentive, and of course, no talking (however quiet or unobtrusive).

Please sit in the order in which we will dance Pinagay (Katherine closest to stage, then David, Nadia, Angela and Shannon).

1. Pinagay

Everyone dances. Four repeats.

We will use this to move into area in front of the stage, after we're introduced, but before I do any talking.

back wall




The music (from Danse Populaires Francaises) has four repeats. The internal structure for each repeat is: double, kick, double, 3 kicks, 2 doubles (LR), 2 doubles (LR) . We will start at the left, near where we have been sitting (from audience' point of view), and move across the front of the stage. Moderate steps (neither tiny nor large). Be guided by me.

When the dance stops, pause for a moment then walk quietly to your next position.

David will assist Katherine up the stairs, then move to starting position for Contentezza.

Shannon, Angela and Nadia will walk around to the stage, to stand near the back steps, at the side of the stage).

Talking #1 - introduce Contentezza and Bella Gioiosa

I will introduce us from the centre of the stage, then join David for Contentezza. Music starts when David and I are facing, holding both hands.

2. Contentezza d'Amore

David and Katherine

 S A N




Katherine in verse 2 to aim for centre back of stage. Puntate and Riverenze in subsequent verses angled toward front corner. Back to centre in sciolta. Riprese to left large (change places, plus a bit), riprese to right small, end facing front. Riverenza and return to own end.

Puntate: count 1-&-2-& (step on 1, move weight slowly forward through -&-2-, close with sink and raise on -&). Don't angle these too strongly. If you need to reduce the length of a passage, use tiny passi and seguiti.

Passi and seguiti: flat steps in the passi, minimal flanking; up on toes for seguiti, ending flat.

At end of dance, David and Katherine retire to starting position, on stage.

3. Bella Gioiosa

Shannon, Angela, Nadia

Start climbing stairs once the music for Contentezza is complete, and David and Katherine have started to move off. Angela, go first and assist Nadia and Shannon if required (decide between yourselves in advance).

Once on stage, proceed as in rehearsals.

Note: this dance will be centred on the carpet. Sorry!




S       N



Start with a riverenza in balzetto (pause, pause, raise-and-lower left foot, jump in place; start and end with feet together).

Nadia: at the end of your solo, turn only part way, so you look at Angela, instead of between Angela and Shannon. This will lead well into the joust.

Final verse: dance 3 seguiti battuti (heel-toe-stamp) and one final stamp (right foot), instead of a fourth seguito battuto. It sounds cleaner, and allows you time to start your riprese without rushing.

heel-toe-stamp (L) heel-toe-stamp (R) heel-toe-stamp (L) STAMP (R)

No grimacing at the end! Make a calm, unhurried Riverenza, pause for a moment, and then withdraw without rushing.

If you need to cover space/fudge in "spezzato cadenza", use the spezzato to do it. Don't jump forwards in cadenze.


Talking #2 - introduce La Nizzarda and Petit Riens

Katherine will step forward to talk. David remain where he is. Shannon, Angela and Nadia go down stairs while Katherine talks, and line up for Petit Riens (Ange first if necessary to offer a hand).

Once talking is done, Katherine will step back to beside David. Music starts when Katherine is in place, beside David, holding ordinary hands.

4. La Nizzarda

David and Katherine

See my website for more detailed notes on choreography. [Note: we're actually going for a slightly simpler format than the suggestion given on my website].

To begin, Katherine steps back from where she has been speaking.

  • The first walking section is done in a short arc, ending facing the audience, in "our" half of the stage.
  • Face the audience for the first sottopiede section (save for jumps)
  • complete turn during recacciate section
  • repeat sottopiede still facing (i.e. at right angles to original orientation)
  • complete turn again in recacciate
  • open out to repeat small arc for repeat of dance: second section is performed still near centre, but in "their" half of stage

We'll probably end up on and off the carpet. Be aware of the effect of carpet on trains (catches, instead of sliding).

5. Petit Riens

Nadia, Angela and Shannon

Nadia leads the first verse, then Angela, then Shannon.

We'll do this on the space in front of the stage, so the audience get a closer look at us and our costumes. There is a gap no less than about 2m wide between stage and chairs, and the chairs are arranged such that there are three larger spaces in that, one to the left, one to the right, and one right in the centre. So weave as rehearsed, and centre one 'fancy bit' in each space. Then weave back to side of stage.

Don't try to weave between chairs or up aisles - there isn't space without snagging dresses, etc.

Weave around the room for the 16 pive, but end your 4 piva alone in "your section", so the "fancy" part of the choregraphy takes place in a different part of the stage for each repeat.

There's an extra 16 pive at the end of the music. Nadia will lead around the stage and back to place.

S A N (start and end here)

Nadia's verse            Shannon's verse               Angela's verse


Keep smiling, interact with your partners. Don't try to make the floor-pattern too complicated - gentle sweeping curves rather than tight turns - and keep pive fairly small, so you don't pull each other around.

Talking #3 - introduce Chiara Stella and Charlotte

Katherine to centre to talk.
David stays where he is.
Nadia and Shannon come up stairs to back corner during talking. Angela stay at ground level (or on stage to hand S and N up, then back down).

6. Chiara Stella

Shannon (man) & Nadia, David & Katherine

Starting positions:


N                                                         K

S                                     D


Positions for most of dance, after 8 spezzati in a wheel (which will take you about 3/4 of the way round the circle):


S                                     K

N                                                        D



Avoid jumping forward on the cadenze. If you need to edge closer in, use the spezzati turning, or angle the riprese a bit, or make the trangi really flanking. If you can't take hands in the final verse until the end of the passi, that's better than reaching.

Both couples take place for Chiara Stella. Be aware of edge of carpet - you will be dancing over it sometimes (sorry!).

After the music, a calm final riverenza, pause, and move into place for Charlotte, taking hands:

  • David will step around Katherine, ending between Katherine and Shannon
  • Angela will climb stairs and step into place between Shannon and Nadia

We will dance Charlotte *before* any final words / bows / applause.

7. Charlotte



Three repeats.

Small steps. We will stay on stage, and progress only a very little to the left, if at all.

When the music stops, keep holding hands.

Final talking

Katherine will step forward to thank the audience, then step back into line (taking David's hand) for a bow (and applause, we hope).

We will then drop hands and walk off. Katherine will start by dropping David's hand, drop hands as soon as this happens (you will see or feel it). Turn right, and follow Nadia off stage by the back stairs and back to our seats (Shannon and Nadia having changed places).

No talking until after the final performance, the organist. De-briefing happens after we leave the venue.

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