Petit Riense, unknown choreographer. Two men and one woman. Difficulty = Level 1

Steps:Doppio (in 4), Piva (in 6), Ripresa (in 6), Reverenza, Voltatonda. (The doppii in this dance are done to 2 bars of 6/8 music, which results in what sounds like one bar of 4/4.)
Start: Man 1 on the left, Woman in the middle, Man 2 on the right, side by side facing up the hall, holding hands. (This dance may be done by any combination of genders.)
Section I (8 bars in 6/8, played twice)

Starting Position
[Two-bar introduction on accompanying tape]
1-8 (twice) 16 Pive starting on the Left.
Section II (4 bars in 6/8, played three times)
9-12 Man 1 4 Pive, starting on the Left.
9-12 (2nd time) Woman 4 Pive to catch up to Man 1.
9-12 (3rd time) Man 2 4 Pive to catch up.
Section III (2 bars in 6/8, played three times)
13-14 Man 1 Doppio Left.
13-14 (2nd time) Woman Doppio Left to catch up.
13-14 (3rd time) Man 2 Doppio Left to catch up.
Section IV (2 bars in 6/8, played three times)
15Man 1 starts a Reverenza Right, turning to Woman and descending.
16 Man 1 rises,

Bars 17-18
as Woman starts a Reverenza Right, responding to Man 1.
15 (2nd time) Woman rises,
as Man 2 starts a Reverenza Right to Woman, turning toward her.
16 (2nd time) Man 2 rises.
15-16 (3rd time)All Reverenza Left. (Man 1 and Man 2 are facing towards the center.)
Section V (8 bars in 6/8)
17-18 Doppio Left, backwards, and away from each other, Man 1 going to the left of the group, Man 2 to the right.
19-20 Doppio Right, towards each other.
21-22 Ripresa Left, Ripresa Right.
23-24 Voltatonda (4 Steps, starting Left, counterclockwise), ending facing forward.
(Dancers are as they were to start the dance, side by side, facing up the hall.)

Teaching Notes

If the overlapping reverenze in Section IV are difficult, a simpler version is to have Man 1 and Woman perform a reverenza together (Bars 15-16, 1st time), then Man 2 alone (Bars 15-16, 2nd time), then all three of them together (Bars 15-16, 3rd time).

It can also be useful to explain the overlapping reverenze as similar to "The Wave", popular at late 20th-century sporting events, only descending instead of rising, (and without the characteristic arm motion.)

When teaching people who are used to English country dance, Bars 21-24 can be taught as a set and turn, which will result in the same basic figure.


Between - Three-beat introduction. Works with this reconstruction. Dance played twice.

Danzare - Short introduction. Works with this reconstruction. Plays dance twice.

Forse - Two-bar introduction. Plays dance three times, and then Section I again at the end. Works with this reconstruction.

Mesura - Short introduction. Section I starts with the drum. Works with this reconstruction. Plays dance twice.

Dance Notes

This is given as a ballo francese, as is the dance Amoroso.

The dancers are referred to as el primo, el secondo and el terco, and later as el primo, quello di Meco and quello ultimo. Because these are all masculine, this may mean that the dance was to be performed by three men, but in a very similar dance, Belfiore, in the same manuscript (PnA), the three dancers are also referred to as il primo, il secondo and il terco, where they are lo primo homo, la dona, and l'altro homo in PnD. This reconstruction presumes that the dancers in Petit Riense are also two men and a central woman, but any mix of genders works just as well. In Belfiore the first man is on the left and the woman in the center, so the same setup is presumed here.

Section IV: The original instructions are for the first dancer to reverence to the second, who responds, the third dancer to reverence to the second, and then all three to reverence. This reconstruction presumes that these reverenze each take two bars, as the doppii in the previous section each took two bars. This section consists of a two-bar phrase played three times, so there is theoretically time for three reverenze, but four are called for in the choreography. One solution is to have the woman do her reverenza at the same time as Man 1, but this does not continue the pattern of Man 1 then Woman then Man 2 performing the same action, which occurred in Section II and III, and which seems to be called for in this section. Another solution would be to add a fourth repetition of the music, but this is not supported by the source, and it would also go against the musical pattern of the other sections. A third solution would be to have each reverenza only take one bar, so the four reverenze would take two repeats of the music, but this also goes against the musical pattern of three repeats. In having the woman start her reverenza before Man 1 ends, and still be finishing it when Man 3 begins, this reconstruction keeps both the choreographic pattern and remains true to the source. However, there is no evidence for such a syncopation, and it is probable that if there were another source for the dance, some other solution would be found to be true.

No foot is given to perform the reverenze on. Since the last step performed was a doppio left, the right foot is free for the first reverenza, so this was chosen. The next step done in the next section is presumably also a doppio left (it is not actually specified, but is followed by a doppio right), so the second reverenza should be on the left. This necessitates an uncomfortable change of foot for Man 2, but this is also expected in the dance Vita di Cholino, so is acceptable. If preferred, Man 2 can do both his reverenze on the left.

The original instructions do not mention turning while doing the reverenze, but this reconstruction has the men do so, to put them into position to back away from the group in the next section.

Section V: The eight bars of this section have to fit two doppii, two riprese, and a voltatonda. Since the doppii clearly take two bars each in Section III, they are assigned the same here This leaves one bar each for the riprese, and two bars for the voltatonda, which is the official timing of these steps, but for the riprese, at least, it feels odd having them suddenly performed in one bar each, where the doppii, which theoretically takes the same time as a ripresa, were just performed in two.

Bars 23-24: No step, or direction, is given for the voltatonda, but it is stated that it begins on the left foot. We chose the four-step voltatonda (see Voltatonda in the Step Section), but another solution is to use two pive.

Music Notes

We made no changes to the music from that included in PnA (other than interpreting an ambiguous character below the second section as a "3", which is what is required by the dance).