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Contentezza d'Amore (Ballarino)

Dance Type: 
Number of dancers: 
About this choreography: 
Reconstructed in 2003. Revised 2006, 2011.

Start facing, holding both hands.

First verse: opening honours


2 continenze (LR)

4 riprese L(all to the left, circling your partner)

4 riprese R (all to the right, circling your partner)

2 continenze, LR, at the end of which the man drops the woman's right hands (so they are left holding ordinary hands)


Second verse: woman leaves

The woman leaves the man, with:

2 Puntate, LR

2 Passi, LR

Seguito ordinario L

then the same steps (2 puntate, 2 passi, seguito) starting on the right.

Both do:

2 Puntate, one forwards (L), one backwards (R)


[note: in the past, I've often had the woman turn to face here. Now, I simply have her take a slightly curved path, so she ends turned a little to her left, so she can look over her left shoulder, make her Puntata flankingly to her left, and interact with her partner comfortably without actually turning around]

Third verse: man catches up

The man catches up with the woman, using the same steps she used in the second verse. He takes her ordinary hand, and they do the puntate forwards and backwards and the riverenza side by side.

Fourth verse: circling

The woman alone walks in front of the man, in a crescent shape, ending on his left, facing forwards, using:

2 passi, LR

seguito ordinario L

2 passi RL

seguito ordinario R

The man alone then repeats the same pattern and steps, ending to the left of the woman, facing forwards.

He takes her ordinary hand, and they do the same pair of puntate, forwards and backwards, and a riverenza.

Fifth verse: walk side by side

Face, take right hands, change places with two puntate (LR).

Release hands, and walk yet further down the room (i.e. woman continuing to turn right, man turning left, after they change places), even (i.e. neither one ahead of the other), but a little further apart than usual, coming to meet again at the end, with:

6 seguiti ordinarii

Take both hands for the 2 puntate, forwards and backwards (you'll get quite intimate here), and the riverenza.

        - sciolta: the music will change to a faster triple-time -

Take left hands, change places with 2 seguiti spezzati.

Drop hands, return to the middle of the room (i.e. go in the opposite direction to verse 5), equally but a little separate, as in verse five (this time the woman will need to turn right, and the man continue to the left), with:

6 spezzati

Then take both hands for:

8 riprese L (all to left, circling your partner)

8 riprese R (all to right, circling your partner)

4 trabuchetti

Then the man drops the woman's left [sic] hand for the final riverenza.



This dance is also described in the Chigi MS. The "Contentezza d'Amore" in Caroso's later book, Nobiltà di Dame is not the same dance, though it is related, and uses the same music.

The ending is unusual, in that the man drops the woman's left hand, so at the end they are not holding ordinary hands. I'm not sure what choreographic effect Caroso was aiming for here (assuming it's not just a slip).

About this translation: 

Translated 2003, updated 2006.

Translated from a transcription of Caroso's Il Ballarino.


Contentezza d'Amore  ( The Joy of Love)

A Balletto by Maestro Battistino;

In praise of the most distinguished Lady Portia Ceri dell'Anguilara Cesi, Marquess of Riano.

They will stand facing, holding both hands taken, as is shown in the picture, and do together a Riverenza and two Continenze, with eight Riprese, four to the left, and four to the right, and another two Continenze. Then the man will release the right hand of the lady, and they will do a Riverenza together facing each other somewhat.

In the second time [through the music], the lady, walking alone, will do two Puntate gravi, two Passi, and one Seguito Ordinario, beginning with the left foot. She will do the same, on the other side, going to the end of the room, turning to face the man in the final Seguito. At the end of this they will do together  two Puntate gravi, one forwards with the left foot and the other backwards with the right, and a Riverenza with the left.

In the third time, the man alone will do the same things that the lady has done, and when he arrives at the head of the room, where he will find her, he will take her by the customary hand, and they will do together two Puntate, one forwards and one backwards, with  a Riverenza, as above.

In the fourth time, she will walk in front of the man, in the shape of a half moon, doing two Passi gravi, and one Seguito ordinario, beginning with the left, and the same on the other side, placing herself to the left of the man. The man alone will then do the same, and returning to his place, will take the ordinary hand of the lady, and they will do together two Puntate gravi, one forwards and one backwards, with a Riverenza, as above.

In the fifth time, they will take right hands, and they will do two Puntate; then releasing [hands], they will exchange places, and the lady will by the left hand and the Man will by the right, and walking a little distant one from the other but always equal, they will do six Seguiti ordinarii; and when they reach the end of the room, they will take both hands, as they did in the beginning of the Ballo, and they will do two Puntate, one forwards and one backwards, with a Riverenza. 


In the sixth time, taking left hands, they will do two Seguiti spezzati. Then, letting go and walking equally, as above, they will do another six, and when they reach the other end of the room, they will take both hands, and do sixteen Riprese, the first eight to the left, the others to the right. After this they will do four Trabuchetti presti, beginning everything with the left, then the man will release the left hand of the lady, together they will turn themselves to face, and put an end to the Balletto with a Riverenza.