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A: Langres, Grand Est, France

Using an Early Dance Notation, Jehan Tabourot Describes Late Renaissance Dance

Pages from Orchésographie.

Pages from Orchésographie.

In 1588, writing under the anagrammatic pen name of Thoinot Arbeau, French cleric Jehan Tabourot published Orchésographie et traicte en forme de dialogve, par leqvel tovtes personnes pevvent facilement apprendre & practiq uer l'honneste exercice des dances. Par Thoinot Arbeau demeurant à Lengres, at Langres, France. Tabourot's manual, written in the form of a dialogue between a dancing master and his student, provided critical information on social ballroom behavior and on the interaction of musicians and dancers for this period. The book included an early dance notation system that correlated the music to the dance steps.

"Orchésographie discusses a full spectrum of late Renaissance dance including the galliard, pavane, branle, volta, morisque, gavotte, allemande, and courante" (Library of Congress, Dance Instruction Manuals, where you can page through a virtual facsimile of the 1589 printing at this link, accessed 04-05-2009).

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