Vita di Cholino, by Giovannino Two men and one woman. Difficulty = Level 2

Steps:Sempio (in 4), Doppio (in 4), Piva (in 4), Continenza (in 4), Ripresa (in 4), Reverenza, Mezavolta, Voltatonda, Hey.

Starting Position
Start: Man 1 on left, Woman in middle, Man 2 on right, holding hands, facing up the hall.
Verse I (all verses are 4 bars in 4/4)

Verse 1, Bar 2
[Introduction of two bars (plus pick-up) on accompanying music]
1Continenza Left, Continenza Right.
2 Woman Sempio Left, Sempio Right ending with a Mezavolta Right.
as Men Sempio Left, Sempio Right backwards.
3-4 Ripresa Left, Ripresa Right. (Men are facing up the hall and Woman is facing down, in a triangle. Men are separated from Woman by about 4 steps.)

End of Verse 1
Chorus (3 bars in 4/4)
1Woman and the man to her right (Man 1 this time) Reverenza Left.
2Woman and the man to her left (Man 2 this time) Reverenza Right.
3Voltatonda (Doppio Right, clockwise).
Verse II

Verse III, Bars 1-2
1-2Woman and Man 1 take right hands and circle each other with Doppio Left and Doppio Right.
3-4Woman and Man 2 do the same, with left hands.
Chorus (as before)
Verse III
1-2Doppio Left, Doppio Right ending with a Mezavolta Right. (Men are now facing down the hall, Woman up.)

Verse IV, Bars 1-3
3-4Ripresa Left, Ripresa Right.
Chorus (For this chorus, Man 2 will Reverenza first)
Verse IV
1-3Doppio Left going forward and to the left, Doppio Right going forward and to the right, Doppio Left going forward and to the left and ending with a Mezavolta Left.

Verse IV, Bar 4
4Doppio Right, coming together. (The dancers are in a small triangle, close enough to touch, Men facing up the hall, Woman down.)
(For this chorus, Woman and Man 1 touch right hands while reverencing, and Woman and Man 2 touch left hands.)
Verse V
1-48 Pive, starting on the Left foot, doing a Hey, Woman and Man 1 start by passing right shoulders. (The dancers end as they started the hey, in a small triangle, Men facing up the hall, Woman down.)

Verse V, Start of Hey
1Woman and Man 1 Reverenza.
2Woman and Man 2 Reverenza.

Last Chorus, Bar 3
3Woman Voltatonda (Doppio Right, clockwise),
asMen Doppio Right ending with a Mezavolta Right. (Dancers end side by side, facing down the hall, Man 2 on the left and Woman in the middle.)


Light - Two-bar introduction. Works with this reconstruction. The music is played five times, enough for one time through the entire dance.

We know of no other recording that matches this reconstruction. The song related to the dance does appear on a number of recordings, and consists of the music used for the verse and chorus, and then another eight-bar section, all usually repeated three times. In order to make them usable, a lot of splicing would have to be done.

Dance Notes

This dance appears in NYp, and also, as la Vita, in Il Papa, which is the only source to mention the choreographer. A dissimilar version for two dancers is included in Ngm. This reconstruction is based primarily on NYp.

Verse I

Bar 2: In NYp the woman is to do two sempii fioretti, while the men do a small reverenza and two steps backwards. This has been simplified to two sempii. The performance of the sempii fioretti is uncertain, but is presumably some sort of ornamented sempio, and may be related to the fioretto of the sixteenth century. If it is preferred, the men can do a short reverenza (taking half a bar) and then two steps backwards, instead of the two sempii.

At the end of the bar the men are instructed to put the right foot forward. This is perhaps to emphasize that they should have their weight on the right foot. If they are to actually shift weight onto the left foot and move the right foot forward, they would be on the wrong foot for the following ripresa left, so the instruction has been ignored.

Chorus: The feet upon which the reverenze are done is not specified in NYp, but in the dance Moza di Bischare, which has a nearly identical chorus, the first reverenza is done on the left, and the second on the right. Il Papa also has the woman doing the first on the left, and the second on the right, but gives the first man as doing his on the right, and gives no mention of the foot used by the second man.

Verse II and Verse III: The doppii are actually "doppi ghalopati" in NYp. The steps are described differently in Il Papa. If a galloped doppio is preferred, the following works well:

Repeat: Neither source calls for a repeat, and the music for the dance has already been played five times, so we decided not to have one. This does leave the dancers facing opposite to the way they started, and the men have reversed sides.

Music Notes

The music is a modified version of the song "La Vida de Culin", from The Musical Manuscript Montecassino 871, edited by Isabel Smith and Kanazawa. In order to fit the dance, four bars are needed for the verses, with three bars for the choruses. The music in Smith and Kanazawa has eight, six, and then twelve bars. The last twelve bars were dispensed with, and the note values for the rest were halved, resulting in the four and three bars required. As well, the bar lines were moved, so that the dance starts with a one note pickup, rather than the first bar beginning with a rest.

Note: The arranged version of this music is written in 14 bars rather than 7 with doubled note durations to avoid the 32nd notes. Odd-numbered bars have dotted bar lines to help show where the 7 bars of this dance go. We felt this would be easier on musicians playing from the sheet music later in this book.