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Dance ResearchThe Journal of the Society for Dance Research$
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Richard Ralph

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780748635849

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748635849.001.0001

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The Barriers: From Combat to Dance (Almost)

The Barriers: From Combat to Dance (Almost)

(p.91) The Barriers: From Combat to Dance (Almost)
Dance Research

Jennifer Nevile

Edinburgh University Press

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

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