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Comparing Lioncello for two and for three

Katherine Davies
March 2015

Part of a larger comparison of 15th-century Italian dances that exist in versions for different numbers of people.


Can be danced successfully to the same music (explicitly stated - sul medesimo canto vechio, 'to the old tune' - in PnD).

This pair is somewhat closely related, but not nearly so similar as, say El Gioioso. Some steps (e.g. the contrapassi) are present in both dances, and some figures are varied in systematic ways (e.g. a section where the man leaves and woman catches up being replaced by one where both men leave then the woman catches up); but other sections are more varied. The entire bassadanza section is quite different: some similar themes, but the steps and and figures don't align in the same way to the music, and no step or figure is exactly the same.

"Lioncello Novo" is perhaps best seen as a new composition to the old music, taking many choreographic elements and themes from Lioncello Vecchio; rather than the same dance varied for three.

Initial positions
  Two people Three people
Genders man-woman  man-woman-man
Starting position standing side by side, holding ordinary hands  standing side by side, holding hands
  man and woman switch places, and roles, for repeat

of the two versions that mention repeating,

one has the woman continue in the middle,

one specifies doing the dance twice so the woman returns to place


Steps and Figures
Steps   Figures    
Two people Three people Two people Three people Misura (music)
six tempi of saltarelli 2 tempi of saltarelli OR 3 contrapassi advance together, side by side


advance together, side by side quadernaria  
doppio (4 altogether)  woman leaves, men catch up: repeat
movimenti 8 tempi of pive man, then woman responds woman circles the man on the left, then the man on the right, in shape of an "S"
saltarello largo / doppio man goes around woman in half circle
  repeat figure with movimenti, saltarello, with woman leading
4 sempii, doppio 3 saltarelli / 3 doppii  man leaves men leave with two doppii, voltatonda with third, end facing away from woman
(repeat) (repeat)  woman catches up woman catches up, end with mezavolta: now side by side, facing opposite way to men
3 contrapassi    man leaves  men going one way, woman the other, end with mezavolta to face
(repeat)   woman catches up  as above, end side by side, woman still facing opposite direction to men 

2 sempii, 2 doppii; twice

(6 tempi)

doppii (4 altogether) 

(4 tempi)

man leaves, woman catches up

starting in a line, woman facing opposite direction to men:

woman doppio, then men, then woman, then men; end in mezavolta to face



2 riprese (7,8)(12, 13)

2 riprese (5,6), 2 continenzie (7), riverentia (8) to left then right, side by side, holding hands (repeated after advance below) all facing one another
2 sempii, 2 doppii (9-11) doppii (4 altogether) (9-12)

side by side, holding hands, advancing together (then riprese again)

woman towards men, then men towards woman, repeat

men mezavolta at end of last double, so all are in line, side by side

  riverentia (13)  

all together, side by side

movimenti   man, then woman responds woman, then men respond