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Orchesography: 16th-Century French Dance from Court to Countryside Paperback – Jul 21 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; 1 edition (Aug. 18 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486217450
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486217451
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 16.8 x 1.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,182,559 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
A book to have if you're interested in Renaissance dance and which is especially useful for beginning dance reconstruction as it's quite accessible. It contains a translation of the whole text by Thoinot Arbeau (published in 1589) translated into English, plus notes and a set of modern notation for the dances. The text is structured as a dialogue between an old dancing master and his young student and contains descriptions of steps, various dance trivia and some social context info, and usually the music, coreography and possible variations (though not all of these for every dance). Many of these dances will be known to dancers of early music yet you could be surprised to learn that many so-called Arbeau dances do not follow his text much. Additionally there's quite a scope for improvisation along the guidelines given. The dances include many branles, a couple of pavanes and basse dances, tourdion and galliard variations, etc.
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Format: Paperback
This is the best translation from French into English of Arbeau's book. It gives descriptions of the steps to each dance form in details enabling the reader to actually learn to dance such dances : bransle, corante, pavane, gaillarde, to name only a few. The Laban dance step transcriptions are most useful. Steps for specific dance form are easy to find quickly. This book is strongly recommended to anyone who wishes to know how to dance Renaissance dances.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 11 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
A great resource for Renaissance French dance April 26 2000
By Marianne Perdomo Machin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A book to have if you're interested in Renaissance dance and which is especially useful for beginning dance reconstruction as it's quite accessible. It contains a translation of the whole text by Thoinot Arbeau (published in 1589) translated into English, plus notes and a set of modern notation for the dances. The text is structured as a dialogue between an old dancing master and his young student and contains descriptions of steps, various dance trivia and some social context info, and usually the music, coreography and possible variations (though not all of these for every dance). Many of these dances will be known to dancers of early music yet you could be surprised to learn that many so-called Arbeau dances do not follow his text much. Additionally there's quite a scope for improvisation along the guidelines given. The dances include many branles, a couple of pavanes and basse dances, tourdion and galliard variations, etc.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Let's Go To The Hop! Sept. 7 2011
By Kittybriton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
More than forty years since it was first printed in this translation, with the addition of a Labanotation appendix describing the dances, this remains one of the most important references for anyone interested in renaissance dance described characteristically for the period, in the form of a dialogue between a professor and his visitor, a returning student seeking advice on dance as a means of social interaction and particularly courting. Of almost equal importance to the descriptions of the dance steps are the tunes, presented in the original mensural notation. And many of these tunes should be familiar to anyone who has at least heard Peter Warlock's "Capriol Suite", derived from these pieces.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
An essential for Renaissance Dance Feb. 12 2010
By John Sowerby - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Originally published in the late 1500's, Orcheosgraphy is a wonderful look at period music and dance, in a well translated version. If you have any interest on either of the two, then you should have this book in your library.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Not for the dabbler ... June 17 2008
By sally shopper - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the translation of a historical manuscript. For those who wish to immerse themselves in the study of medieval dance, this book is essential. But for those who simply wish to recreate a dance or two from this period for theatrical or entertainment purposes, this book would probably be overkill. The language throughout the text is well translated, and not too difficult to follow, but it contains a lot of references to musical theory and the descriptions of dance steps are sometimes a bit vague. I find it to be a wonderful reference, but not terribly useful as an introduction to medieval dance to those who are not already familiar with the language and a certain amount of music theory of that time.
Classic Text in a well published format June 2 2013
By E.D.Jay - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
You either need Thoinot Arbeau's Orchesography or you don't.

This is an old text in a new(ish) publishing format. If you have a reason to consult a centuries-old dance manual, this book is for you! (If you don't, why are you reading these reviews?)

The binding is solid and looks as though it will last. The material inside captures dance from the Medieval/Renaissance ages.

Labanotation for the Renaissance!


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