Orchesography
Last updated: 17.12.19
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Printed: 1995 Author: Thoinot Arbeau
Publisher: Dover Publications Inc. ISBN: 0486217450
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Amazon Review
Reviewer: mariannep from Gran Canaria, Spain
A book to have if you're interested in Renaissance dance and which is especially useful for beginning dance reconstruction as it's quite accessible. It contains a translation of the whole text by Thoinot Arbeau (published in 1589) translated into English, plus notes and a set of modern notation for the dances. The text is structured as a dialogue between an old dancing master and his young student and contains descriptions of steps, various dance trivia and some social context info, and usually the music, choreography and possible variations (though not all of these for every dance). Many of these dances will be known to dancers of early music yet you could be surprised to learn that many so-called Arbeau dances do not follow his text much. Additionally there's quite a scope for improvisation along the guidelines given. The dances include many branles, a couple of pavanes and basse dances, tourdion and galliard variations, etc.