The Scottish Dance of Tarcento, Italy

This dance was re-discovered in 1952 on papers held at the Udine library in the Friuli region of Italy. This was drawn to the attention of a folk dance group in Tarcento by Professor Corgnali, the library director. By the time I was researching this dance the documentation had disappeared from the library and Professor Corgnali had died.

The dance is thought to represent the Union of the Crowns of England and Scotland in 1603. Successive figures of the dance take the shape of
1. St. Andrew’s Cross.
2. St. George’s Cross.
3. The outline of a flag.
4. The two lines of succession.

The description and figures given here are my description of the dance which was demonstrated to me by the Tarcento dancers in 1969. They refer to the dance as a “Scottish Minuet”.

Robert Donald.


Web site of the Tarcento Folk Group which lists "The Scottish".

Photos showing the Friulani costumes worn by the Tarcento Folk Group.

Music: Part 1 : Part 2 : Part 3


Dance Instructions.

Danced by 8 couples.

The Steps: free arms of couples set to hands on hips.

a) Man: (Begin with feet together, pointing forward)
Weight onto left foot and lift right foot slightly behind (1 beat of music). Weight back onto right foot (1 beat) then weight onto left foot while kicking right leg straight forward (1 beat). Weight back onto right foot (1 beat), bringing left foot raised slightly in front (1 beat). Weight onto left foot (1 beat). Weight onto right foot (1 beat) and cut leg left foot (1 beat) (but keeping knee and leg straight forward, not to side as in contemporary Scottish dancing).

Lady: As for man starting with opposite foot.

NOTE: Similar to a bastard pas-de basque, man to left, lady to right, done at half normal pas-basque tempo.

b) Right arms linked at elbows, couple walks round each other VERY SLOWLY for 4 steps. Then 3 hop steps as follows:

step onto right foot, hop on right foot and beat left foot. step right foot, step left foot, hop left foot, beat right foot, step left foot, step right foot, hop right foot, beat left foot.

Then repeat with left arms linked

NOTE: This is like a 2 bar right hand Strathspey followed by 3 Polka steps all DONE AT HALF NORMAL SPEED

c) Same basic movements as step a). However lady moves across partner on first transference of weight (kick 1, therefore done with outside leg) and back with 2nd cut position. Man also moves slightly in opposite direction. Basically is step a) sideways with double change of place.

d) Similar to step b). Except no linking of arms and instead of jumps, there is a clap in place of the hop. Men clap under raised leg, ladies above the head. Men clap first under inside leg, then outside etc (there is still a hop).

Sequence of Dance

Starting position. Diagram1 for Scottish dance of Tarcento

From initial formation to 2nd formation use 4 a) steps.

In 2nd formation use step b). Diagram1 for Scottish dance of Tarcento
From 2nd formation to 3rd formation use 4 a) steps.

In 3rd formation use step b). Diagram1 for Scottish dance of Tarcento

From 3rd formation to 4th formation use 4 a) steps.

In formation 4 use d) step. Diagram1 for Scottish dance of Tarcento
From formation 4 to formation 5 use 4 a) steps.

In formation 5 use d) step. Diagram1 for Scottish dance of Tarcento
From formaticn 5 to formation 6 use 4 c) steps (2 steps to position, 2 on spot).

In formation 6 use b) step. Diagram1 for Scottish dance of Tarcento
From formation 6 to final formation use 4 c) steps.

Final position for bow/curtsey. Diagram1 for Scottish dance of Tarcento

In general, except for last sequence, it takes 2 sequences of step a) to reach new formation position then remaining steps done on spot.

This description written down at Tarcento 12/4/1969 by Bob Donald

Photos

costumes from Friulani costumes from Friulani