Torneo Amoroso by Cesare Negri
for one couple facing each other
Reconstructed by Dafydd Cyhoeddwr with plenty of guidance and help from Margaret Roe
Music: Le Gratie d'Amore (1602), by the Ensemble La Folia
Musical note: The Ensemble La Folia has done a superb job of recreating and recording the music for this piece from the original manuscript source. There seems to be, however, one slight strangeness:
The second strain of music, which I have labeled below as B, only has seven measures in the original source, though the recorded music counts out to 8 measures (and, to the best of my ability, they seem only to have played with the duration, not added any notes).
Because the step instructions require this piece of music to be 8 measures, I would fault the original source for the lack. Bolstering this is the rather butchered nature of the lute tabulature attached to the same piece, which is missing not only notes but whole sections of music.
However, should you wish to arrange your own music from the source, be aware of this oddity (I would even go so far as to say, mistake).
Note: there is another dance by this name in Il Ballarino - it is significantly different (Negri comments that he has "corrected" the dance, in fact)
Part 1 (Prima parte)
First time A
8: Riverenza grave (2 beats per motion)
4: Circle in a wheel to the left with two seguiti spezzati
4: and a seguito ordinario (starting left, step step spez)
First time repeat A
8: Face forward, take inside hands, and do two passi puntati (right and left, 4 beats each)
4: two passi gravi (right and left, 2 beats each)
4: and a seguito ordinario (starting right, step step spez)
Part 2
First time B
8: Two continenze, left and right, then drop hands
8: Two seguiti ordinarii, starting left - "dashing" and/or "scrolling" back to your places, woman going right, man going left, returning to your original places (more or less)
(Seconda parte)
First time repeat B
8: Face forward, take inside hands, and do two passi puntati (left and right, 4 beats each)
8: then do two seguiti ordinarii (starting left, step step spez step step spez)
Part 3
First time C
4: Drop hands and change places with two passi grave (left and right, 2 beats each)
4: and a seguito ordinario (left, step step spez), face each other at the end
4: Do two riprese right and two riprese left
4: Then do two riprese right circling away from your partner, and two riprese left to face again
(Terza parte)
First time repeat C
4: Take (left) hands with a little bow, then circling to the right, do two passi gravi (left and right, 2 beats each)
4: and a seguito ordinario (left, step step spez)
4: Take right hands and circle left ("around the right hand"), do two passi gravi (right and left, 2 beats each)
4: and a seguito ordinario (right, step step spez), ending up back in your places
Part 4
Second time A
4: Drop hands and do two sequiti spezzati, left and right,
4: and a sequito ordinario (left, step step spez) to switch places
4: Continue heading away from each other, woman up the hall, man down, with two seguiti spezzati, right and left
4: and a seguito ordinario (right, step step spez), then turn to face each other at the end
(Note that there are instructions for the woman to go to the head/top of the dance, and the man to the base/foot of the dance, and to face, but there are no steps.
However, musically there needs to be something here, and by the following figures, there needs to be space between the dancers, so maybe this is how to get that.)
(Quarta parte)
Second time repeat A
4: Man does a passi puntati forward (left)
4: Woman does a passi puntati forward (left)
4: Man does a passi puntati forward (right)
4: Woman does a passi puntati forward (right)
Part 5
Second time B
4: Man does a doppio forward (left)
4: Woman does a doppio forward (left)
8: Both do two seguiti ordinarii (right and left, step step spez step step spez) arcing left away from each other a little again
(Quinta parte)
Second time repeat B
4: Man advances flankingly forward to the left with two spezzati
4: and a seguito ordinario (step step spez), then meza riverenza
4: Woman advances flankingly forward to the left with two spezzati
4: and a seguito ordinario (step step spez), then meza riverenza
Part 6
Second time C
4: Man goes flankingly away with two spezzati
4: and a sequito ordinario (step step spez)
4: Woman goes flankingly away with two spezzati
4: and a seguito ordinario (step step spez)
Second time repeat C
Repeat the above to advance once again. There are no instructions at all for this, not even hints, but something must go here.
Also note the overall pattern - after the call-and-response advances, the dancers arc away from each other. They make another try at advancing and perhaps the man isn't yet ready to engage, so he initiates a retreat. The following spiral requires that they be a little closer, so he initiates an advance again, and the dance continues.
Part 7 (Sesta parte)
Phrase D (the tempo speeds up here)
8: Wheel to the left with four seguiti spezzati starting left
Repeat phrase D
8: Wheel to the right with four seguiti spezzati starting left. By the end of this wheel, the dancers need to be two spezzati apart and facing each other (though their arms must reach each other).
Phrase E
4: Two seguiti spezzati (brevi, both because the music is faster, and because they must be small steps) forward, left and right, directly towards each other, clapping each others' right hands once for each spezzati.
4: Two seguiti spezzati, left and right, to pass each other on the left, turning to face at the end (no hand clapping in the passing)
Repeat phrase E
4: Two seguiti spezzati forward, left and right, as above (small, quick, directly at your partner), clapping each others' left hands once for each spezzati
4: Two seguiti spezzati, left and right, to pass each other on the right, turning to face at the end (again, no claps)
Part 8 (Settima parte)
Phrase F
8: Circling each other to the left, do four seguiti spezzati brevi (as above), starting left, and for each spez, clap each others' right hands, then the backs of the hands, then the front, then the back
Repeat phrase F
8: Facing each other, do four continenze brevi (small, quick), starting left, clapping each others' right hands as above, except for the last one take right hands instead
Part 9 In galliard time
(Ottava parte)
Phrase G
12: Riverenza (grave - 3 beats per movement)
12: Two continenze, left and right
Repeat phrase G
12: Take right arms and do two cinque passi around
12: Let go and do two cinque passi around the other way
Part 10 Back to the sped-up tempo of just before the galliard
(Nona parte)
Phrase H
4: In a wheel, moving to the left, do two seguiti spezzati (left and right)
4: Taking left hands, do two more seguiti spezzati (circling the other way)
Repeat phrase H
8: and two seguiti ordinarii (step step spez step step spez), the woman letting go at the beginning passi then both "dashing" or "scrolling" back to your places to end up opposite each other and facing
Phrase I
4: Both do two sequiti spezzati flankingly backward left and right
4: then do a seguito ordinario forward left
Repeat phrase I
4: Both do two seguiti spezzati flankingly backward right and left
4: then do a seguito ordinario forward right
and ripresa
This dance, as a "Lovely Tournament", is ripe for a bit of theater to be added in. The most obvious part is in the advancing and retreating sections just before the joust itself (perhaps a little intimidation that makes the man run away before advancing again?),
But also in the beginning where, after circling in part 1, then dancing side by side for a bit, the dancers dash back to their original places to "start over". They dance together again, then have a bit of a show-off ripresa-fest (an argument, perhaps?)
before circling again face to face, and then leaving each other to prepare for the joust. After the combat, perhaps they reconcile in the galliard section, circle a bit, dash once again to their original places, before the ceremonial end of the tournament itself.
Or perhaps I've simply done too many 15th century Italian dances ..
Further notes on this reconstruction