Jones, Alan. "Balli e Banchetti." In Tanz in Italien, italienischer Tanz in Europa 1400-1900. Für Barbara Sparti (1932-2013). 4. Symposion für Historischen Tanz Burg Rothenfels am Main, 25.-29. Mai 2016. Tagungsband, edited by Uwe Schlottermüller, Howard Weiner and Maria Richter, 113-120. Freiburg: "fa-gisis" Musik- und Tanzedition, 2016.
A Renaissance ball was never an isolated event, but was always given together with a banquet or supper and customarily followed by a collazione of light refreshments. This alone is reason enough for dance historians take interest in the developing field of culinary history. In the particular case of sixteenth-century Ferrara, two cooking professionals (scalchi or maîtres d'hôtel) offer rare information on how balls, choreographed interludes and other entertainments functioned in the context of an aristocratic meal. Cristoforo da Messisbugo (Banchetti, 1549 and subsequent editions) and Giovan Battista Rossetti (Dello Scalco,1584) describe many dozens of festive meals at the Este court over the course of several generations. The highpoint of Rossetti's career was at Urbino, in the employ of Lucrezia d'Este, to whom Caroso dedicated the passo e mezzo Ardente sole. After considering the general structure of different meal types in Renaissance Italy (banchetti, cene, pranzi, desinari) the presentation will focus on two that are particularly interesting for their choreographic elements. Among the questions on which Messisbugo and Rossetti shed light: When did a ball begin, and when did it end? What instruments and dance types were favored? How were theatrical dances incorporated into a meal? How were the performers costumed, and how did they make their entrances and exits?