The Barriers: From Combat to Dance (Almost)

Jennifer Nevile

in Dance Research

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780748635849
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671120 | DOI:
The Barriers: From Combat to Dance (Almost)

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Renaissance courtly dancing, the art The relationships between of fencing, and military drill, have recently been much commented upon. This paper explores one particular type of mock combat - the Barriers - where the spectacle moved increasingly close to choreography, but without ever quite becoming a dance itself. After a brief outline of the evolution of the Barriers, the paper concentrates on a number of late sixteenth and early seventeenth century treatises which - rather than the actual combat - all stressed the importance of the passeggio and riverenza, that is the balletic aspects of the spectacle; and placed great emphasis on grace, deportment, foot placement, and on the need to keep exactly to the tempo set by accompanying music.

Keywords: The Barriers; Fencing and choreography; court decorum; Renaissance spectacle

Chapter.  5371 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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