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Katherina Weyssin's Classes at St Vitus 2016

Below are links to notes for the classes I'm teaching at St Vitus in 2016. Exactly what we cover may vary on the day. Many are works-in-progress, so more material appears from time to time. I love getting email about dance-stuff, and knowing that people are using what I've produced inspires me to make more - send me questions and suggestions, please!

Many thanks to Lady Helouys for inviting me and the Laurel Freedom Bus (especially William, clerk, and Nicodemus, Seneschal) for getting me here.

Contact me:


Dance with style: turning a choreography into a performance

My notes:

Tips and tricks for teaching dance

My notes:

Galliards from Compasso

We'll look at simple, one-bar variations (the mutanze scempie) from Compasso's Ballo della Gagliarda (published 1560). They're not as easy to reconstruct as the variations by Arbeau, but they're easier in many ways for beginners to learn, and more rewarding: distinctive, whimsical, memorable.

Music: most galliard music will work. I look for pieces with a clear rhythm and regular structure (phrases of 4 or 8 bars are good). Many recordings are short - repeat or lengthen. I use a recording of La Traditore that I've lengthened to about 5 minutes.  Avoid fast music - dancers need time to jump.

Canaries (update - I taught La Catena d'Amore instead - notes coming)

The structure I teach, for an exchange of variations between a couple, is based on Negri's (though similar to that in several other sources). The mutanze I'll teach will be taken in fragmentary form from several sources, but most Caroso and Negri.

Music: I like  Il Canario, on the CD "Il Ballarino, Italian dances c. 1600", by the Broadside Band. It's nearly 12 minutes and a good pace.

Passamezzo - dance

We'll look mostly at Caroso's Passamezzo from Il Ballarino, though we might do it in groups as described by Lupi, rather than in pairs. I'll teach everyone the woman's part, as it's simpler, and touch just a little on the man's part as a challenge.  It can be added easily once the basics are solid.

Music: Live - each note of the bass line is repeated four times / goes for four semibreves. Recorded: I like Dolce Amoroso Fuoco by the Broadside Band, or Dolce Amoroso Fuoco by Musica Subterranea. Neither is as long as I'd like, nor quite as fast: at some point I'll alter one. 

Passamezzo - music - improvising on a ground bass

I'm still refining my sheet-music for this, so I've not yet put it up online. If you don't get a copy in class and would like one please email me to ask for one. If you have suggestions (e.g. for clearer presentation) or requests (e.g. for a clef or transposition for a particular instrument) please ask for that too!

Dances for which the stuff we'll cover is suitable include: Ballo del Fiore, theTorch Branle, the Passamezzo, Dolce Amoroso Fuoco, and many more.

Class date: 
September 24, 2016 to September 25, 2016