The maxixe is a sort of two-step or polka from Brasil. It was popular for a short time in the 1910s. There are descriptions of the steps in various American dance manuals, sometimes with the advice that the dance seems more appropriate for performance than for social dancing. In his book Dances of Today (Philadelphia 1914), dance instructor Albert W. Newman gives this maxixe sequence, to be done to the popular tune "Dengozo." Through a sequence, dancers learn the basic steps of a dance and some good ways to combine them. The dancers can then rearrange the steps to improvise their own dance.
Want to know what Argentine Tango might have looked like 100 years ago? We have been working our way through the 1916 dance manual El Tango Argentino de Salón by Nicanor Lima of Argentina. Our plan is to make a series of video demonstrating the steps and styling. Here is the first.
This is our second video in the series on early Argentine tango. We demonstrate some basic step combinations: pasos de tango acompasados (SQQ rhythm), vueltas (traveling turns), molinetes (turns in place), and pasos laterales (side steps).
In our third video on early Argentine tango (according to Nicanor Lima), we illustrate some more advanced step combinations: pasos pique acompasados (an ornamental step), ochos (figure-8s), and sentadas (pauses).
Chapter 12 of Lima's book deals wtih medias lunas---symmetrical figures in which the same steps are repeated on one side in one direction then on the other side in the opposite direction. This video, 4th in our series, covers the medias lunas consisting of all slow steps.
Continuing our presentation of Chapter 12 of El Tango Argentina de Salón by Nicanor Lima (ca. 1916), this video shows the medias lunas containing some quick steps.
Here is the final video in our series on Nicanor Lima and early Argentine tango, covering Chapters 13-15 of Lima's book. We discuss the problem of the missing figures called terminaciones (endings). And we show three complete dances following Lima's method.
Brives "Menuet Congo"
is the earliest (1779) of the three documented congo minuets. In the timing of the steps, Brives departs from the earlier Baroque style. He places the plié or bend on the downbeat, whereas earlier dance masters like Rameau has the dancer rise on the downbeat.
In fall 2015, we reconstructed this dance from The Extraordinary Dance Book TB 1826, an anonymous manuscript held in a New Zealand library. It's interesting in that it is the latest of three documented "congo minuets"---dances for a solo couple that have the form of a classical minuet but are done with contre-danse steps in duple meter. It's also our first posting in regency costume.
Here are a trio of late Renaissance dances by the most well-known Italian dance masters of the time.
means "Love Nest." It tells the story of a relationship from the initial formal meeting (pavaniglia), through flamboyant courtship (galliarde) and playful newly-wed period (saltarello), to the conflicts and resolutions of a mature relationship (canari). We hope you enjoy this mini-drama from Fabritio Caroso's Nobilitá di Dame (1600).
from the book Il Ballarino by Fabritio Caroso (1581), is a type of dance called passo e mezzo, where the dance steps are essentially variations on the pavan and the music consists of variations over a repeated chord sequence. We learned this dance from our New England friend Susan de Guardiola.
"So Ben Mi Chi Ha Bon Tempo"
may be translated "I know who's having a good time!" It is a balletto from Le Gratie d'Amore by Cesare Negri (1602). Parts 1 and 3 (in duple meter) are based on pavan steps; part 2 (in triple meter for the same tune) is a galliard. We learned this from Julia Sutton's video, Il Ballarino.
Ragtime Hesitation Waltz
We found this arrangement in Volume II of the series How to Dance Through Time by Carol Teten. We loved its simple elegance and wanted to make our own video of it.
With music by Johann Strauss, Jr., and choreography by Jason Bonuš, this is one of our favorite dances.
We performed this 1920s dance with Lexington Vintage Dance at the public library in Corbin, Ky. The tune is "Steamboat Stomp" and the choreography is by Joan Walton.