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Il Conto del Orco (Ballarino)

Dance Type: 
Number of dancers: 
About this choreography: 
Reconstructed 10/2003; updated 2003. Thanks to Nicola Rooney (Emma of Wolvercote) for pointing out the ambiguity in the direction of the trangi.

Start facing each other, not holding hands, but close enough that you could.

First verse: Rx  minima, 3 S in a wheel (turning clockwise)

    Chorus: 3T, rlr, 2Tg forwards (or back - there's some debate about this); SP turning over left shoulder,Cad

Second verse: 5S in a wheel; chorus

Third verse: Man alone: doppio forwards, 2P rl backwards, 2T rl, 2R rr; both do chorus

Fourth verse: Woman's solo - woman does as man did in third verse

Fifth verse: 2P, S in a wheel (clockwise); repeat to other side

doppio forwards, 2P rl backwards, 2T rl, 2R rr; chorus

final riverenza outside music


The structure of this dance is rather like that of a cascarda.

It's not entirely clear whether the trangi are to be done forwards or backwards. I've vacillated over the years, but currently do them going forwards.

Il conto del Orco  (literally "the tale of the Orc") is an unusual name, well out of the usual range of "Amoroso"s and "d'Amore"s. I presume it's reference to the "orc" in Orlando Furioso: the accounts of the rescue of various heroines from the sea-monster  would have been familiar to Caroso's readership, and bring the title more in line with his usual romantic style.

About this translation: 

Translasted 10/2003.

Translated from a transcript of Caroso's Il Ballarino, with assistance from John Florio's 1611 Italian-English dictionary.


Anonymous balletto, in honour of that most illustrious and excellent Lady, the Duchess of Traetto.

Turning to face, they begin with a Riverenza ordinaria, then they do three seguiti ordinarii in a wheel similarly, with three trabuchetii facing, beginning with the right: then they do two tranghi flankingly, one with the left, the other with the right, with one seguito Spezzato turning to the left, and a cadenza a piede pari.

In the second time they do the passage in a wheel with five seguiti ordinarii, and then as in the variation above beginning with the trabuchetti.

In the third time the man alone does a doppio forwards with the left; then two riprese grave to the right; three trabuchetti with the same, with two passi backwards; two trabuchetti gravi a pie pari, beginning with the right, then all as in the first variation.

In the fourth time the Lady alone does the same as the man did in the third time.

In the fifth time they do together two passi gravi; one seguito ordinario to the left; they do the same to the right by the other side; they do the doppio forwards with the other steps from the variation that the man did alone: then they conclude the Ballo by doing a riverenza facing in the same manner as they began.