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Vocabulary for Canary

Following a request for a "starter vocabulary" for someone learning the canary for the first time. There are much more detailed descriptions of the steps on their individual pages, same for the parts of the dance - this is just a way to get them all in one place and jog the memory.

   plural aka called as description length
canario canarii canary, canaries, Il Canario, Canarios   Genre of dance, popular across Europe from mid-16thC, characterised by stampy improvisations and a syncopated rhythm  
Parts of the dance
 mutanza mutanze variation, solo  

A more-or-less showy solo, often improvised. In canaries, you and your partner often take turns doing mutanze for each other.

one or more complete strains

 passeggio passeggii passage, walking section, promenade  

What you do when you're not doing mutanze. In the canary: the turning passage, and the stuff when both parties are moving - circling, separating, changing ends, etc.

In other dance-types it can also be the plainer steps that you do while you're watching your partner do a mutanza (in canaries you usually stand still to do that).

one or more complete strains

turning passage   passeggio involta  

How you cue the begginning and end of a mutanza: four spezzati turning in place.

Two take up one strain.

half a strain (2 phrases, 8 bars)

strain   repeat, time through the music  

16 bars of canary music - once through the tune

Sometimes there is a 17th bar pause at the end.

Mutanze come in units of 1, 2, 3, 4 or more strains.

16 (or 17) bars, 4 phrases

phrase   4-bar unit  

4-bar phrase that's the basic unit for improvisation. Four of them make up one strain.

4 bars, 1/4 of a strain

Beginning and end - honouring your partner
 ordinary hands   proper, as you usually are   man and woman stand side by side, man on the left, woman on the right, man holds woman's left hand in his right  
 riverenza riverenze  honour, reverence riverenza -back-down-up  honouring your partner at the beginning and end of your dance. A specific move, doesn't involve a bending-at-the-waist bow. 8 bars (half a strain), usually
 continenza  continenze    step-across small step sideways, part of the sequence of honouring your partner, usually they come in pairs, next to a riverenza 4 bars (1/4 strain), usually
Steps in passeggii   
spezzato spezzati seguito spezzato (broken sequence), ~ schisciato al canario (sliding ~ in the canary), ~ schisciato in saltino (sliding ~ with little jumps)



 The normal step you use to get yourself from place to place in passeggii.

A single with an up-and-down ornament at the end.

Ornaments specific to canaries: audible sliding/scuffing with the feet, optional little hops at the end.

 2 bars

(i.e. 2 in a phrase, or 8 in strain)

Steps in mutanze
 seguito battuto seguiti battuti beaten sequence, battuto (this is a bit ambiguous, can just mean stamp), seguito battuto al canario, canary step




 The characteristic step for Canary mutanze: if in doubt, do this.

 1 bar

(i.e. 4 in a phrase, 16 in a strain)

 battuto battuti stamp, tap stamp a stamp or tap with the foot (or sometimes hand) can easily fit 2-4 in one bar
 passo passi step step a step - plain it varies
 scorso scorsi seguito scorso  scorso lots of little steps up on the toes, often done in circles 4 bars (but it can vary)
 trabucchetto trabucchetti trab, jump trab

A small jump to the side, landing up on the toes of one foot. Often found near riprese.

 usually 1 bar, or 1/2 a bar
 ripresa riprese      A small step to the side. Often found near trabucchetti. 1 bar (four per phrase)
ripresa minuita riprese minuite heels-and-toes heels-toes-heels-toes sliding sideways step, putting heels together, then toes, in turn 2 or 4 bars (one or two per phrase)
meza riverenza meze riverenze passing reverence meza riverenza little reverenza / bow - passing acknowledgement of your partner either as a short step, or done as part of the end of another step (e.g. at the end of some scorsi)