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Also known as: 

La Reale, Riale

Title translation: 
Dance Type: 
Number of dancers: 
About this choreography: 
This reconstruction, and the associated discussion and music, are by Patrick Bowman (Ludwig von Regensburg). Used here with permission.


Sempii LR; Doppii LRLR; Ripresa L

Sempii RL; Doppio R; Riprese LR

Sempii LR; Doppio L; Riverenza R

Sempii RL(backwards); Riprese LR (note weight-change); Continenze LRLR




Discussion of Reale and Lauro taken from one of Patrick's class handouts.

Two Italian Bassadanze


Ludwig von Regensburg (Patrick Bowman)


The bassadanza was an important style in fifteenth century Italy. It was called bassa because, in contrast to the saltarello, jumps and hops were not a characteristic feature of the style (although they were not entirely absent). Of the four Italian dance styles bassadanza has the largest repertoire of possible movements, however the two described below are amongst the simplest examples. Unlike balli, bassadanze are danced to generic music. This music is in compound duple (usually written in 6/4). In describing the rhythm of the steps I shall count like this: 1ra2ra, emphasising the two beats in the bar. For exampe, an instruction to take two steps, one with the left foot on the first beat, one with right foot on the second beat, would look like this:L..R.. (or “Left r a, Right r a”).


First, a definition,

Tempo: a unit of time used in 15th C choreographies. It is the time required to perform one doppio and often corresponds to one bar of the music.


Now, an interpretation of the necessary dance steps, assuming the step is done on the left foot. The extension to the right is obvious.

Sempio: One step with the left foot. The sempio usually occurs in pairs like this: L..R... Two sempii take one tempo.

Doppio: Three steps: L.RL.., the second step taking less time than the first or third. Any number of doppii can occur in a sequence. One doppio takes one tempo, by definition.

Continentia: A sideways sempio taking one half tempo. Continentia usually occur in pairs, which I shall interpret as being a step left, then right.

Ripresa: A sideways doppio, taking one tempo. Riprese often occur in pairs, one left then one right.

Riverentia: Draw the left foot back while bending the right knee. Takes one tempo.

Volta del Gioioso: A full turn over the left shoulder using two sempii (starting on the right foot) then a ripresa right. As far as I know this is only done to the right.


The first dance, Reale, comes from Guglielmo Ebreo’s De Pratica seu Arte Tripudii, the second, Lauro, is included in a couple of partial copies of De Pratica.


Reale (Attributed to Domenico), a bassadanza in 18 tempi.

Sempii LR; Doppii LRLR; Ripresa L

Sempii RL; Doppio R; Riprese LR

Sempii LR; Doppio L; Riverenza R

Sempii RL(backwards); Riprese LR; Continenze LRLR


Lauro (Attributed to Lorenzo de Medici), a bassadanza in 23 tempi.

Sempii LR; Doppii LR; Riverentia L

Riprese LR; Sempii LR; Doppio L; Ripresa R; Continenze LR

(Take right hands) Sempii LR; Doppio L (Take left hands) Sempii RL; Doppio R

Riprese LR; Sempii LR; Doppii LRL; Volta del Gioiosa R; Riverentia L