You are here


Vocabulary for Canary

Following a request for a "starter vocabulary" for someone learning the canary for the first time. There are much more detailed descriptions of the steps on their individual pages, same for the parts of the dance - this is just a way to get them all in one place and jog the memory.

To learn hard mutanze: record a calling track for myself

I'm trying to work the man's mutanze from the passamezzo in Caroso's Il Ballarino into my feet, and the words to call it them into my brain, so that I can teach them.

I find it hard to learn both at once, so this is a useful technique for me.

Some thoughts on performing Marchesana


There's much room for playing with timing, accent and volume on the three frappamenti. The most obvious option might be to use the same rhythm one would for stepping in a double, but there's no reason to be confined by this. Many other rhythms are possible. One can choose to echo one's partner or contrast. If several couples are dancing at once they can stamp alike or not; some contrast here can be pleasant, though it's most dramatic with only one couple dancing at a time.

Long passamezzo recording

I have several lovely recordings of Caroso's passamezzo music, but none that are long enough for his dance. No more!

I've digitally altered the track Dolce Amoroso Fuoco from the CD Il Ballarino by the Broadside Band. (Dolce Amoroso Fuoco is a choreography by Caroso that uses the same music that he uses for his passamezzo choreography.)


Descriptions of Tordiglione or Tourdions exist in:

Dance a better passamezzo: mess with the rhythm in mutanze

This is something I'm learning to do: I'm practicing, and I hope that with a lot more practice I might become good at it. It's fun.

The floor-patterns (and partner-interactions that follow) and variety of steps in the mutanze of the passo e mezo are often delighfully varied, and really fun. The rhythm - or the most obvious rhythm - can get a bit boring.

Dance a better passamezzo: partner interaction

I'm a wee little bit obsessed with passamezzi at present.

A lot of the passamezzo mutanze don't look wildly interesting on paper. Many of them feel ok in solo practice, but nothing special. Any many of them - even the simplest - come spectacularly to life when danced with a partner, who is doing the passegio.

Dance reconstruction - how can you tell when you've got it right?

Thought for today:

  • "This movement is consistent with those words: it does not contradict any statement made in the text I'm studying" is reasonable, but weak evidence.
  • "Those words are a natural way to describe this movement" is much stronger evidence.

Asymmetry in Caroso

A thought:

Caroso's two books show a strong (and increasing) personal preference for symmetry. He likes figures done on the left side to be repeated on the right. If one person does something, the other should do it too, for balance. He prefers even numbers of repeats (so you can do something the same number of times on the left and the right).

Temporary class venue - October 2016

Avondale Lions Hall is being painted, and won't be accessible for the next few weeks.

So: my first three classes for term four this year, starting tonight (October 13th) will be in Blockhouse Bay, at the local primary school (thanks, BHB primary!). Email or sms me for details. 



Subscribe to RSS - blogs