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Contrapasso Nuovo (Ballarino)

Dance Type: 
Number of dancers: 
About this choreography: 
Reconstructed 7/2007.

Three couples, standing in a circle, looking in.
Alternate men and women; stand close enough together that you could easily take hands with
the person on either side of you (don't take hands yet).


1-2    Riverenza L, to all the other dancers. Don't hold hands.
3-4    2 Seguiti ordinarii LR turning left. Each dancer turns out of the 'wheel' in a small anti-clockwise circle; ending back in place.

First "Passeggio":

1   2 Passi LR to left, in a wheel - along the 'rim' of the large circle
2   Seguito semidoppio L, to left along wheel. Finish this facing the centre of the circle
3   2 Passi RL to right along wheel
4   3 Trabuchetti RLR, facing centre again

5-8  Repeat the passeggio (on the same side - go to left again).

During the three 'mutanze' (variations) you work your way slowly around the circle, men going clockwise, women anticlockwise. At the end of the third mutanza you will be back with your original partner (though you might not be where you started on the circle).

First Mutanza: HANDS

1-2   Take right hands with partner.
Change places with 2 Passi LR, and a Seguito ordinario L

3-4   Take left hands with next person.
Change places with 2 Passi RL, and a Seguito semidoppio R

End facing the centre of the circle

"Chorus":  the "Flanking passage"

1-2   2 Seguiti ordinarii LR flankingly backwards, out of the circle
3-4   2 Seguiti ordinarii LR flankingly forwards, returning to place

Second Mutanza: ARMS

1-4 Repeat first mutanza, but taking right arms with the next person, then left arms with your partner (who will be the next person you encounter).
5-8 "Flanking passage"

Third Mutanza: BOTH HANDS

1-4 Repeat first mutanza, but take both hands with next person, and both hands with the person after that. You still pass by right shoulders the first time, then left shoulders.
5-8 "Flanking passage"

The Slow Chain:

A hey, or chain, using six slow seguiti ordinarii to get all the way round the circle. These seguiti take twice as long as the ones in the "flanking passage". Again, men go clockwise, women anticlockwise.

1-2   Take right hands with partner. Change places with one slow seguito ordinario L (seguito grave).
3-4   Take left hands with next person. Change places with one slow seguito ordinario R (seguito grave)
5-12  Take hands and change places another four times, with four more seguiti. You will end next to your partner, in your own place, facing into the circle.

1-4   Riverenza L, 2 Continenze LR facing into the circle
5-8   "Flanking Passage"


1     2 Passi LR forwards, into circle (take small steps)
2     Doppio presto L forwards (replace this with a seguito ordinario if you like)
3     take hands with the people on either side of you, 2 Passi RL backwards, returning to place
4     2 Riprese to right; release hands
5-8  "Flanking Passage"
1-2  Turn to your partner, take right hands, Riverenza L
3-4   Turn to the person on the other side, take left hands, Riverenza R

Final Flanking Passage - with a twist

5-6   2 Seguiti scorsi, RL, flankingly backwards, moving to right first, then left
7-8   2 Seguiti scorsi, RL, flankingly forwards, moving to right first, then left

After the music finishes make a last graceful Riverenza to all the other dancers.



Dances called 'Contrapasso' occur in many sources, in versions for one couple (where it's a
processional dance) and for three couples (in which case it's done in a circle). The characteristic
features seem to be: changing places using the progression - hands, arms, both hands; the figure -
two seguiti flankingly backwards, two flankingly forwards; heys, or chains (in the versions for
three couples), and the 'turn in the Contrapasso' – a figure-eight done with four seguiti (not used in
this version).

If you find it difficult to remember when to use seguiti ordinarii, and when seguiti semidoppii, or
doppii presti, you can use seguiti ordinarii throughout: in this dance, the figures are more important
than the steps. However, the semidoppii are pretty, if you can manage them, and can actually make
it easier to change directions at the end of movement.

Condensed version, for calling: 

Three couples in a circle.


  • Riverenza
  • 2 seguiti ordinario turning in place

First "Passeggio":

  • 2 Passi, seguito semidoppio - to left, in wheel
  • 2 Passi, 3 Trabuchetti - to right
  • repeat

First Mutanza: HANDS

  • right hands with partner
  • 2 passi, seguito ordinario
  • left hands, next person
  • 2 passi, seguiti semidoppio
  • flanking passage 

Second Mutanza: ARMS

As above, right and left arms

Third Mutanza: BOTH HANDS

As above, both hands.

The Slow Chain:

Slow hey with six slow seguiti ordinarii. Right hands with partner to start.

  • Riverenza, continenze
  • flanking passage


Second Passeggio:

  • Into the circle and out with
    • 2 Passi, doppio forwards - take hands
    • 2 passi backwards
    • 2 riprese right
  • flanking passage


  • Riverenza to partner, right hands, left foot
  • Riverenza to person on other side, left hands, right foot
  • flanking passage - use scorsi

Final Riverenza after the music.