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The Society of Folk Dance Historians (SFDH)

Bergamaska

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BACKGROUND

Information: A dance.

Old peasant dance in fast duple time, from the district around Bergamo, Lombardy. Said to reflect the character of Bergamo residents, egotistical, cunning, and "possessing in a high degree the faults and virtues of the typical rustic. From these characteristics developed the Harlequin of commedia dell'arte." ~The Dance Encyclopedia. Harlequin is then described as mocking and grotesque. Mentioned in Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream. Usually staged to Mendelssohn's Midsummer Night's Dream incidental music.

–The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Ballet

Translation: Dance from Bergamo

Pronunciation: BER-ga-mas-kah

Other names: Bergamask, Bergomask, Bergamasco, Bergamasque

Region: Renaissance Europe

Meter: 2/4

Formation: Couples in a circle. Men move forward and women move in opposite direction in two circles. The music changes and couples embrace, perform a few couple turning steps, and begin again.


POSSIBLE RELATED DANCE


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