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Also known as: 

Alexandresca, Allessandrescha, Alesandrescha, Alsandresca, Alisandrescha, L'Alisandrescho; in doi, in due, in dua

Dance Type: 
Number of dancers: 
About this choreography: 
Reconstructed 2006 or 2007.

Begin side by side,  holding customary hands. This reconstruction has 28 tempi, or 56 if it is danced twice.


V (s right, d left, turning over left shoulder)  (1 1/2 tempi)

mv (half turn to right, ending improper - the woman is now in the leader's position)  (1/2 tempo)

rr cc

       repeat, exchanging roles, and ending proper

ssd (right hands, circling)

ssd (left hands, circling)          

dd (going in opposite directions), ending with mv right (no extra time)

rr R facing

m, approach with 2 tempi of saltarelli

mzr (woman only), and take ordinary hands, with the man leading

rr R


This dance is found in the 1463 treatise by Guglielmo Ebreo, in all six copies of his later treatise (written after he had converted to Christianity and changed his name to Giovanni Ambrosio), as well as in one other MS. There are some differences in these descriptions:

No MSS explicitly call for the couple to take hands in the first section. I have assumed this as the default starting position for bassadanze.

Five MSS give the Volta tonda indicated above, turning left with a sempio right and a doppio left, which takes one-and-a-half tempi; the other three MSS call for a Volta del Gioioso; which takes two tempi. In the first case I use the remaining half tempo for the meza volta, in the second I would perform the meza volta in the vuodo at the end of the Volta del Gioioso, allotting in no extra time. Thus the two descriptions become very similar in practice, and can be performed at the same time.

Only one MS calls for the couple to touch hands when circling, another two call for them to touch shoulders.

After the couple has separated with two doppii, two MSS call for the meza volta to be performed "jumping on the right foot" ('saltaty sul pie dyrytto'). One MS repeats the instruction when the woman makes a meza volta after the tempi of saltarelli.

Only two MSS call for the scosso (movimento) before the saltarelli; this reinforces my belief that the scosso doesn't have a tempo of it's own, but is performed in the vuodo after the Riverentia, and is simply the introductory rise in the first saltarello. One MS omits the saltarelli (and scosso) altogether.

 Two extra passages are given in only one MS:

1. After circling left, and before separating with doppii:  repeat the circling passage, both left and right,  R, s backwards, mv (end opposite, or facing opposite directions), rl, V(sr sl) r(end opposite, or facing opposite directions)

2. After the tempi of saltarelli:  V (sr sl) r, R (touching right hands)

Five MSS say that the dance repeats from the beginning, two adding that the woman leads in the repeat. One says that after they have repeated the dance the couple should dance the saltarello together.

Where riprese come in pairs one is to the left, and one to the right. The situation is not so clear with continentie; for various reasons, I believe they are also done one to the left and one to the right.


Bassadanze are danced to generic music. This reconstruction requires twenty-eight tempi, or fifty-six, if the dance is repeated. If nothing more appropriate is available, Alesandresca may be danced comfortably to Alenchon (a French Basse Danse which has thirty tempi) if one of the extra tempi is taken up with an initial riverentia.