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Belriguardo (for two)

Also known as: 

Belreguardo, Belrighuardo, Riguardo, Berequado, Berisghuardo

Dance Type: 
Number of dancers: 
About this choreography: 
Katherine Davies, March 2015

This is a plain processional dance for a couple, side by side, holding hands.

Saltarello misura

The musicians will play 12 or 16 tempi in saltarello misura. Dancers do 11 or 15 steps, accordingly.

  • 11 or 15 saltarelli, starting on the left foot, then stop
  • ripresa (R) (optional)

Bassadanza misura

These 11 tempi are danced with bassadanza steps in bassadanza misura:

  • 4 doppii (LRLR)
  • 3 contrapassi (LLL)
  • 2 sempii (RL)
  • 3 contrapassi (RRR)
  • 2 riprese (LR)

The following steps, for 8 tempi, are danced in the style of saltarello, though the music is bassadanza:

  • movimento (in the vuodo/on the upbeat - no extra music)
  • 2 saltarelli largi (LR) (slow saltarelli, because they're in the time of bassadanza)
  • 2 ripresa (LR)
  • repeat the passage: movimento, saltarelli largi, riprese

The following 5 tempi are once again bassadanza steps in bassadanza misura:

  • 2 sempii (LR)
  • doppio (L) ending in a little riverentia (no extra music)
  • ripresa (R)
  • 2 continentie (LR)
  • riverentia (R) (one full tempo)

Several sources suggest repeating, with the woman going ahead (i.e. swap sides, and the woman leads the dance on the repeat). 



This appears to have been the earliest version of the dance, and - judging from the number of sources it's represented in: 9 MSS - the most widespread.

This is also the version represented in the German source (Nurnberg MS) as Bellregwerd.


The music has an introduction in saltarello misura, then the rest of the dance in bassadanza. The dance texts call for 11, 12, 15 or 16 tempi of saltarello: the number of times the musicians play the four-tempo phrase will decide it.

Danceable recordings in my collection:

Belreguardo, Whatsoever ye will: Dance in the 15th Century, Gaita, 2008.

Lovely on the ears, easy on the feet. The sections of saltarello largo, while still in bassadanza misura, are clearly distinguished, making the choreography easier to follow.

Played twice. Starts with 12 tempi of saltarello.

Available from Gaita:

Belreguardo, Ballare et Danzare: Dances of 15th Century Italy, Mediva, 2011.

Smooth and lovely. The bassadanza section is smooth throughout, making the saltarelli less easy to distinguish. Played twice.

Available from the Dolmetsch Historical Dance Society:

Belriguardo, Incantare, Musica Subterranea, 2003.

Very nice recording by a fine amatuer group. Saltarello largo clearly marked. Played twice.

Available from Musica Subterranea: