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Thursday dancing

Submitted by Katherina Weyssin on March 14, 2014 - 9:51am

Open hour: 

  • Earl of Essex Measure
  • Lorrayne Almain
  • Black Almain
  • Danse de la Haye / Hay Branle - for eight to music for La Caccia
  • Rostiboli Gioioso

The Hay Branle for eight was fun, but long. We made it to about the 7th repetition before we lost track of where we were.

After refreshing the basic choreography for Rostiboli, we spent some time on ornament:

  • ombreggiare: shading - accompanying a foot with the same side of the body
  • ondeggiare: waving - the slow rise and fast fall with each step
  • diversita di cosa: varying things - making pairs of riprese dissimilar
  • varied floor patterns: using the space in different ways, varying the structure (e.g. man departs twice)
  • turning the man under the woman's arm

We also discussed (and tried) some variants on plain saltarello: walking, in place of fast saltarello doppii, and some turns and jumps.

Participating: Katherina Weyssin, William de Cameron, William de Wyke, Katherine of Glastonbury, Vettoria, Anna de Wilde, Ian, Elena

Advanced hour:

Anna and Katherina took a few minutes at the start to begin rehearsals for the 17thC Masque Cupid and Death, and in particular the Host's Entrance (a solo for Anna). Then:


We continued to work on just the three cuts passage and thrust passage, but this time with things in our hands for the first time. We're still looking for suitable wooden swords, so we used dowel, and a motley assortment of bucklers. As predicted, things we'd thought well-learned became more uncertain once we were holding real items.

The footwork and blows came together nicely through the evening; we did not try exchanging places.

Some ideas and drills we found useful:

  • perform the passage in a line in front of the mirror, against imaginary opponents, to begin to make the movements of our swords more similar
  • keep the sword moving almost all the time, with similar speed throughout
  • movements as large and swoopy as they can reasonably be (i.e. in time to music, without hitting anything you shouldn't)
  • connect with swords angled across the body/horizontally as well as vertically: easier on wrists, allows larger/more dramatic movements, safer (can't hit partner even if you try)
  • bounce off your partner's sword

Participating: Katherina W, William de Cameron, Vettoria of Glastonbury, Katherine, Anna

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