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How to dance a tarantella

GUEST,Dazbo 20 Nov 06 - 06:21 AM
The Fooles Troupe 20 Nov 06 - 06:31 AM
GUEST,Mr Red - who looooooves Breton dancing. 20 Nov 06 - 06:37 AM
Joybell 20 Nov 06 - 03:59 PM
lady penelope 20 Nov 06 - 04:03 PM
ClaireBear 20 Nov 06 - 04:18 PM
GUEST,Dazbo 21 Nov 06 - 03:40 AM
ClaireBear 21 Nov 06 - 10:21 AM
M.Ted 21 Nov 06 - 03:43 PM
NH Dave 21 Nov 06 - 04:08 PM
ClaireBear 21 Nov 06 - 04:26 PM
M.Ted 21 Nov 06 - 04:52 PM
GUEST,Dame Trott 22 Nov 06 - 02:14 AM
Dazbo 22 Nov 06 - 05:13 AM
ClaireBear 22 Nov 06 - 11:38 AM
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Subject: How to dance a tarantella
From: GUEST,Dazbo
Date: 20 Nov 06 - 06:21 AM

I believe there are various sorts of tarantella (such as solo, couple, circle and line (like an An Dro)) in various time signatures (such as 2/4, 6/8 etc).

Can any Mudcatters out there describe how a circle tarantella would be danced (with steps described) to a 6/8 tune (of which I've got plenty). Basically what I'm after is enough to get a group of experienced folk dance friends to be able to a reasonable facsimile of a proper Italian Tarantella (they already dance a fair selection of European dances).

I found a few clips on YouTube and they are helpful but not enough detail is visible to put together a complete dance.

Cheers


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Subject: RE: How to dance a tarantella
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 20 Nov 06 - 06:31 AM

First: catch your spider...


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Subject: RE: How to dance a tarantella
From: GUEST,Mr Red - who looooooves Breton dancing.
Date: 20 Nov 06 - 06:37 AM

On the Web!


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Subject: RE: How to dance a tarantella
From: Joybell
Date: 20 Nov 06 - 03:59 PM

We are doing a fake Tarantella in our current Pantomime. I just told the cast to lift one arm after the other and leap in the air landing on alternate feet - in time to the music. Then add a few twirls. (Only one cast member is actually a dancer.) It loooks good. We'd all seen a real Tarantella on film at one time or another.

Here in Aus. Lola Montez wowed us in the 19th century - on the goldfields, with her fake Tarantella. It involved searching among layers of clothing for a spider and exposing selected bits of her body. She was a sensation, I hear. Then George Coppin did his parody dance as Billy Barlow. The ghosts linger in some of our minds.
Good luck Dazbo.
Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: How to dance a tarantella
From: lady penelope
Date: 20 Nov 06 - 04:03 PM

Mmm, I've not seen anything other than anecdotal descriptions of 'the tarantella' and a lot of arguments over what the dance is or isn't. Most of the descriptions site it as being a soloist's dance and of a frenzied nature.

I've never heard of it being described as a group dance with set steps. But I've never really gone into the matter in any great depth, mostly it's come up during searches for temple dancing.

Interesting....


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Subject: RE: How to dance a tarantella
From: ClaireBear
Date: 20 Nov 06 - 04:18 PM

The second "Neapolitan Tarantella" instructions sheet linked to from this page is to be danced by couples arranged in a circle. Is that what you mean?


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Subject: RE: How to dance a tarantella
From: GUEST,Dazbo
Date: 21 Nov 06 - 03:40 AM

I understand that there is a couple dance and group dance version of the tarantella from an Italian website (it was in Italian but Babel Fish gave an understandable translation of the general types and time signatures used), also there are clips on YouTube discribed as tarantella that show a group dancing (I know this may be highly unreliable but the music sounds like what I'd call a tarantella i.e. fast 6/8). There is an excellent clip of a man dancing a tarantella Calabrese(sp?) for a solo version.

ClairBear, thanks for the link but my work pc (the only access I currently have) won't let me access it. Any chance someone could cut and paste the relevent bits here for me?


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Subject: RE: How to dance a tarantella
From: ClaireBear
Date: 21 Nov 06 - 10:21 AM

Alas, it is a PDF -- and not the kind of PDF I can extract text from, either. I could e-mail it to you, though. I don't imagine you can PM me an e-mail address as you're doing guest postings, but if there's any way you can get me an e-mail address, I'd be happy to send it along.

Claire


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Subject: RE: How to dance a tarantella
From: M.Ted
Date: 21 Nov 06 - 03:43 PM

Years ago, I was acquainted with Elba Gurzau, who was an expert on Italian folk dances. She studied in Italy, and received a commendation from the Italian Government for her work in teaching and organizing performing groups in the US. She passed on three years ago, but her book, Folk Dances, Costumes, and Customs of Italy was recently revised and is available hereItalian Folk Arts Federation of America Books and Videos, as are some other instructional materials.


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Subject: RE: How to dance a tarantella
From: NH Dave
Date: 21 Nov 06 - 04:08 PM

OK, here it is. Good luck.

Dave



FOLK DANCE FEDERATION OF CALIFORNIA RESEARCH COMMITTEE:
Lucile Czarnowski, Harmer Davis, Clarice Wills, Henry Glass, Alice Jameyson
SICILIAN TARANTELLA
(Italian)
Legend tells that the Tarantella with its wild turns was done to relieve the maddening pain of the tarantula's sting. Encyclopedia Britannica states more correctly that this dance derives its name from the Italian city of Taranto, in Apulia.
There are numerous versions of the Tarantella. The one listed below is as done by a majority of Federation groups. Using Mary Hinman1s version as basis, Barbara Hirschfield began to teach the dance to the Berkeley Folk Dancers. When she was called away, the remainder of the arrangement was completed by Constance Moncharsh. The steps were arranged in order to fit the specific record.

MUSIC: Records: Victor 25 - 0043-A, "Sicilian Tarantella
Victor 20-3189-A, Sicilian Tarantella"
Festival 3601, Victor 420-0208, Folkraft 1173
Piano: Hinman, Mary: "Gymnastic and Folk Dancing" Vol. IV.
FORMATION: Sets of four, cpl 1 in front of cpl 2, all facing music. Carry tambourine.
STEPS AND Step-hop*, Chasse (slide)*, Heel and Toe*, Hop*, Skip*, Buzz Turn*
STYLING: Change Step: Leap on R ft at the same time kicking L ft straight forward (ct 1); quickly change ft kicking R ft fwd (ct 2) and so on. Strike tambourine directly in front once for each count.
Music in 6/8 or 2/4 time. Count 2 beats to a measure.
MUSIC (6/8 or 2/4) PATTERN
Measures INTRODUCTION
A 1-4 Stand, hands straight up, shaking tambourine.
I. STEP-HOP-SWING AND CHANGE STEP
5 Step R, swing L ft fwd and across and hop on R.
6 Repeat, stepping L.
7-8 4 change steps starting R.
1-8 Repeat step-hop-swing and change sequence twice more.
(Repeat)
II. HOPPING TO SIDE
B 1-2 With wt on L ft, lift P knee high to the side (keeping R ft close to L knee), keep it up and hop 4 times twd R. R hand on hip, tambourine in L overhead.
3-4 Stamp on R, turn R 4 counts, using buzz step. L hand on hip. R hand stretched low to P holds tambourine.
5-8 Repeat hops and turn to L.
1-8 Repeat whole sequence to R, then L.
(Repeat)
III. SQUARE
All face out from corner. Both hands overhead.
C 1-2 Slide R (CW) 4 slides to next person's place.
3-4 Stop at new corner to do 4 change steps, starting R ft.
5-8 Repeat all until each person has returned to original place.
1-8
(Repeat)
IV. SKIP ACROSS
Ptrs face, both arms raised.
D 1-2 Skip 4 to ptr!5 place, passing R shoulders
3-4 Stop to do 4 change steps in place.
5-6 Skip bwd passing R shoulders to original places.
7-8 Do 4 change steps.
1-8 Repeat whole sequence.
(Repeat)
V. MATCHING FINGERS
M kneel on L knee facing ptr while W stands. Both have L hands on hip.
E l Both slap R knee (ct 1), then raise 1 finger (ct 2).
2-4 Repeat 3 times, raising different numbers of fingers each time.
5-8 W start R, 4 two-steps around M (CW), returning to place.
1-8 Repeat whole sequence.
(Repeat)
VI. BACK TO BACK
M rise. Ptrs stand back to back with R shoulders touching, arms overhead
F l Tap L toe across P, return L ft to place.
2 Tap R across L, return to place.
3-4 Turn R with 4 short buzz steps, remaining back to back, making 1/4 turn CW.
5-8 Repeat 3 more times in all - to end in own place.
1-8
(Repeat)
VII. HEEL AND TOE
In original pos, all progress to R.
B 1-4 Hopping on L ft, moving to R, touch K heel (ct 1), toe (ct 2) alternately on floor. Continue for 8 cts. L hand holds tambourine, R on hip.
5-8 Stamp R and turn R with 8 buzz steps. L hand on hips, R stretched to side with tambourine.
1-8 Repeat whole sequence to L.
(Repeat)
VIII. FACE PARTNERS - HEEL AND TOE
Partners face.
C l Hop on L ft, extending R heel swd (ct 1), tap K toe in front of L (ct 2). Tambourine in L hand.
2 Repeat above step hopping R, extending L heel and toe. Tambourine changed to K hand.
3-4 Ptrs stand with R hips together, K hands around ptrs waist, L hand raised high. Hop 4 on R ft turning once CW with ptr in place.
5-8 Repeat meas 1-4 starting with hop on R, and turning CCW with 4 hops on L ft.
1-8 Repeat whole sequence.
(Repeat)
IX. SQUARE
D 1-8 Repeat square as in Fig III.
1-8
X. DIAGONAL CROSS
E 1-2 W1 and M2 skip 4 to exchange places, passing R shoulders. Hands high overhead.
Simultaneously W2 and Ml do 4 change steps in place.
3-4 W2 and Ml exchange places.
W1i and M2 do change steps in place.
5-6 W1 and M2 skip 4 backward steps to own places.
W2 and Ml do change steps in place.
7-8 W2 and Ml skip backward to original places.
W1 and M2 do change steps.
1-8 Repeat whole sequence.
(Repeat)
XI. STAR
Form star with K hands to ctr, tambourine raised in L hand.
G 1-4 Hop 8 on R ft, moving fwd.
5-8 Break star, stamp L and turn L away from square with 8 buzz steps,
R hand on hip and tambourine stretched out in L.
1-8 Repeat starting with L hand star and turning to R.
(Repeat)
XII. STEP-HOP-SWING AND CHANGE STEP
H 1-8 Repeat step-hop-swing and 4 change steps (Fig I meas 5-8) twice starting to K.
XIII. TURN AND POSE
J 1-8 R hand overhead, step to R and buzz 16 cts ending in pose with M K hand around W waist; W L hand on her hip; both outside hands with tambourines raised.
References: Hinman, Mary: "Gymnastic and Folk Dancing, " Vol. IV


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Subject: RE: How to dance a tarantella
From: ClaireBear
Date: 21 Nov 06 - 04:26 PM

I just hate to bring this up, but that's the Sicilian tarantella, which appears to be danced in straight sets. It's the second of the two Neapolitan tarantellas linked from that same base page that's a couple/circle dance.


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Subject: RE: How to dance a tarantella
From: M.Ted
Date: 21 Nov 06 - 04:52 PM

My thought is that, given that you don't know how to dance the tarentella, anything that you hobble together from written notes is going to be pretty lame. This is especially true if you use any old 6/8 number, rather than actual tarentella music--


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Subject: RE: How to dance a tarantella
From: GUEST,Dame Trott
Date: 22 Nov 06 - 02:14 AM

Nooooooooo.
Ohhhhhhhhh.
I not like spiders......


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Subject: RE: How to dance a tarantella
From: Dazbo
Date: 22 Nov 06 - 05:13 AM

ClaireBear, I have finally got around to registering and can be pmed.

NHDave, thanks for posting that, it'll do for a start - although I'm not sure about the dancers having tambourines;-).

MTed, fear not I have some genuine Tarantella music from Italy that I've learnt (or am learning) as well as having a suitable instrument to play it on: My Baby


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Subject: RE: How to dance a tarantella
From: ClaireBear
Date: 22 Nov 06 - 11:38 AM

Wow, your baby certainly is cheerful looking! Just the thing for a sprightly tarantella, I am sure.

I'm so used to seeing those stodgy wood-and-black-leather melodeons we use for morris around these parts, that I almost forgot to put on my sunglasses before clicking on your link. Fortunately I remembered in the nick of time.

PM on the way, Dazbo.


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