Some of the earliest dance treatises come from Italy and were written in the second half of the 15th century by dancing masters working at the Courts of the great ruling families of Northern Italy such as the d'Estes, Gonzagas and Medici. For the first time we have descriptions of the social dances performed at these courts, though the writers often assume a prior knowledge of technique and leave out much that we would like to know today. Although Antonio Cornazano was not a dancing master, he was an enthusiastic amateur, and his work gives us valuable insights into the interpretation of steps such as saltarelli and piva, as well as some poetically descriptive detail on style, presentation, and technique. Most of these early Italian sources are only available in manuscript form, and up to now none have been translated in full. This book will therefore be an invaluable addition to the library of all dance scholars and historians, as well as being of great interest to dance students wanting to know more about the origins of their art.
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