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Daye, Anne. ""After the Manner of Italy": Tracing the Influence of Italian Dance Culture on Late Renaissance England."

Daye, Anne. ""After the Manner of Italy": Tracing the Influence of Italian Dance Culture on Late Renaissance England." 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, 33-42. Freiburg: "fa-gisis" Musik- und Tanzedition, 2016.

While Italian culture and language were highly admired in England, evidence of specific transmission of dance culture is scant. Nevertheless, for the first time, surviving details will be uncovered and analysed. Records are full enough of the development of the masque to identify traces of Italian input: from the initiative of the young Henry VIII, through its regular occurrence in the festival culture of the Elizabethan court, to the sophisticated reinvention of the genre under the Stuart monarchies. Individuals, whether princes, noblemen, diplomats, dancers, designers or musicians, will emerge as key to the transmission of Italian practice to the Tudor and Stuart courts. The paper will also investigate the use of Italian texts known to have circulated at the time. The paucity of dance records in England limits what can be deduced with regard to dance style, but from the brief records of the masque revels, the social element of the show, we can also identify which aspects of Italian dance practice failed to develop in England. Another intriguing dimension of Stuart dance theatre, in both Scotland and England, is the performance of characters and situations from the moresche and commedia dell'arte genres. While we have little evidence of visits by commedia troupes to the British Isles at the time, there was nevertheless widespread appreciation and imitation of this popular Italian theatre, as is clear from contemporary drama. This paper will present evidence from masque and antimasque of dance performances in the commedia style.

Year of publication: 2016

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