Literally: Eleanor’s Dance for Five People with Four Ribbons by Lady Helena Hrolfsdottir
Nicknamed: Fettuccine for Five
This is a dance I choreographed in Spring of 2019. You are free to dance it, teach it and play the music within the SCA as long as I am credited. Enjoy!Helena (Penelope Millar)
Many of the courts of the major city-states of 15th century Italy hosted a dance master and musicians. Learning to dance was seen as one of the important skills of the nobility, demonstrating grace and poise not accessible to the common folk. Often, when a child of the household was in their late teens and judged skilled enough by the dance teacher, a dance would be written for them to perform at a major feast to show their accomplishment of this skill. This is Eleanor’s dance – and although it’s taken her a little longer to be accomplished than most – she is excited to show her abilities. (I wrote a little about the process of writing this dance on my blog.)
I thought it would be fun to write up the directions in Italian in a similar style to the historical manuscripts. Yes, that is my excuse for all of the run-on sentences. I have inserted the Italian directions in italics after each relevant section in English.
Starting position: in a line, each person has passed their ribbon (held in right hand) to the person in front of them (holding in left hand) with “Eleanor” at the front of the line. She does not have her own ribbon, only the end of the next person’s. I will refer to the leader of the line as “Eleanor” and the others by their starting positions in line, #2 through #5.
Il ballo d’Eleanor con quatro fettuccie per cinque persone. Imprima, tutti persone sono in fila e Eleanor e a capo di fila e nota chi tutti tengono i fettuccie.
Entrance (Music Section: A1, 7 measures)
- As a line, 8 pive into the center of the room (4 measures)
- Continue with 4 more pive to make a shape where #2 through #5 make the corners of a square and “Eleanor” is between #2 and #5 (2 measures)
- “Eleanor” drops the ribbon and takes 1 closed double (1 quaternaria doppio) to the center of the square leaving the followers in a square (1 measure)
Essi fanno otto pive davanti e fanno quatro pive in un anello. Eleanor lascia andare la fettuccia e fa un doppio al centro di anello.
Arches (Music Section: B1, 2 measures)
- “Eleanor” does a voltatonda del gioioso (slow turn)
- At the same time, #2 and #3 take 2 singles (2 sempii) towards each other, take the end of each other’s ribbons, and take 2 singles (2 sempii) back, creating ribbon arches
- #4 and #5 do the same as #2 and #3
Eleanor fa un voltatonda gioioso e allo stesso tempo gli altri fa due sempii davanti e si prendono la fettuccia l’un per l’altro e poi fanno due sempii indrieto formandi archi con le fettuccie.
Solo (Music Section: A2, 5 measures)
- “Eleanor” does 9 pive in a figure 8 through the arches, starting forward, then left, then back through the left arch, then through the right arch, then back and around and forward to place
Eleanor fa nove pive a forma di un figura otto iniziare in avanti e termina nel suo posto.
Theft! (Music Section: B2, 4 measures repeated)
- “Eleanor” takes 2 small steps (2 continenze) left under the left arch (1 measure)
- “Eleanor” takes a ribbon end from #2 and #3 (left hand ribbon) one at a time (1 measure)
- “Eleanor” takes 2 small steps(2 continenze) right back to center (1 measure)
- “Eleanor” and #2 and #3 riverenza (bow) to each other (1 measure)
- ** Repeat the whole section with right arch and persons #4 and #5 **
Eleanor fa due continenzi a sinistra, prende le fettuccie, fa due continenzi a destra e riverenza. Elle fa lo stesso a destra. E nota che Eleanora ha tutti le fettuccie, due per mano.
PinWheel (Music Section: C1, 5 measures repeated)
- There is 1 measure in the music for a little hop and turning to face the correct direction
- “Eleanor” circles in place while #2-5 do 4 saltarelli in a clockwise direction (4 measures)
- Music repeats: 1 measure to switch ribbons to left hands and half-turn to face the other direction
- “Eleanor” circles in place while #2-5 do 4 saltarelli in a counter-clockwise direction (4 measures)
Tutti fanno la salta, e quelli sullo anello fanno quatro saltarelli a destra e nota che poi loro passare la loro fettuccia alla mano sinistra mentre si mezavolta e dopo loro fanno quatro saltarelli a sinistra tornando da dove hanno iniziaro.
Drama (Music Section: B3, 4 measures)
- “Eleanor” does a movimento and drops the ribbon ends (1 measure)
- #2-#5 movimento and transfer ribbons back to their left hands (1 measure)
- “Eleanor” does a closed double (quaternaria doppio) forwards out of the center of the square (1 measure)
- #2-#5 turn over the left shoulder (volta) while waving their ribbons (1 measure)
E nota che poi Eleanor fa un movimento e lascia cadere le fettuccie e gli altri fa un movimento e passare la loro fettuccia alla mano destro e dopo Eleanor fa un quaternaria doppio avanti e poi gli altra fanno un volta a sinistra con quatro passi agitando le loro fettuccie.
Assemble the Snake (Music Section: C2, 5 measures)
- There is 1 measure in the music for a little hop and turning to face the correct direction (1 measure)
- #2 (back left of the square) takes 1 saltarello to #5 (back right) and hands them the end of their ribbon (1 measure)
- #5 (back right) takes 1 saltarello to #3 (front left) and hands them the end of their ribbon (1 measure)
- #3 (front left) takes 1 saltarello to#4 (front right) and hands them the end of their ribbon (1 measure)
- #4 (front right) takes 1 saltarello to “Eleanor” and hands them the end of their ribbon (1 measure)
**Note that the new line order is Eleanor->#4->#3->#5>-#2.
Tutti fa un salto e nota che colui che e dietro a sinistra fa un saltarello a destra e consegnare la loro fettuccia a colui che e dietro a destra, poi colui che e dietro a destra fa un saltarello avanti e consegnare la loro fettuccia a colui che e anteriore sinistra, poi colui che e anteriore sinistra fa un saltarello a destro e consegnare la loro fettuccia a colui che e anteriore destro, poi colui che e anteriore destro fa un saltarello avanti e consegnare la loro fettuccia a Eleanor. Tutti sono in fila ora tenere le fettuccie e Eleanor e a la capo.
Piva Snake (Music Section: A3, 7 measures)
- This section takes place in 12 pive total
- The line starts moving forward until it has straightened out, about 4 pive
- Piva snake: “Eleanor” turns over the right shoulder and goes under the ribbon between #4 and #3, then continues weaving in and out of the line while doing pive
- Line follows until all are through and going the other direction and the music ends
E nota che tutti fanno dodici pive avanti e nel mezzo Eleanor volta a destra e tesse attraverso gli altri e gli altre sequire e che sono in fila ancora si ferme.
I also wrote and arranged the music for this dance. I don’t have a ton of composition training and experience, but I judge it a success considering how much of an earworm it turned out to be. Music that sticks in your head and makes you want to dance was my goal.
- PDF Score of the Music
- MP3 file of a computer-generated recording of the music
- Blog post explaining my process and thoughts in creating and arranging the music