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Some thoughts on performing Marchesana


There's much room for playing with timing, accent and volume on the three frappamenti. The most obvious option might be to use the same rhythm one would for stepping in a double, but there's no reason to be confined by this. Many other rhythms are possible. One can choose to echo one's partner or contrast. If several couples are dancing at once they can stamp alike or not; some contrast here can be pleasant, though it's most dramatic with only one couple dancing at a time.


When we circle one way and then the other, I often like to move in a little closer for the second part - increasing intensity. In this dance, the reverse may work better: circle rather closely for the first ssd, then separate somewhat (while also beginning the circle back) in the single ripresa right, and circle at greater distance in the second ssd. That leads nicely into the concluding sempio (in Domenico's version) where the woman retreats as the man advances: they've been close, they've introduced some distance, will they close it or separate further? - a difference of opinion ... then they momentarily close the difference before instead passing and separating during the two doppii.

This can be a formal set of figures - lovely, familiar, but not emotional - or a beautiful and interesting interplay between the dancers. It's all about the acting, not the feet.

Circling a little further apart while taking the same size steps means that you don't get quite as far around as when circling close together: that's perfect, as it tends to leave dancers well-aligned for the linear separate-and-return section.

Final salto and posada

Exactly what happens isn't clear, but whatever it is, there's plenty of time to do it in. dopio su lo pe sinistro alintorno saltando su lo drito facendo una posada

... a double on the left foot turning around jumping on (or onto) the right doing a pose

If the jump were intended to be part of the double, on the final beat of the double, I would expect it to be on the left. As it's on the right, I presume it's larger, and has its own music - and indeed there's an extra half-tempo. Exactly how the doppio, salto, and posada run together isn't clear, but there are many good options: one can hop on the right foot, land, and pose with the left in front; one can jump off the left onto the right; one can land, then rapidly change which foot is in front so there is movement into the posada.