Mastro da Ballo (Perugia 1614)

Spine of the Original Santucci book

Carina Ari Library Publication No. 1

Santuccis introduction page

Ercole Santucci Perugino.
Diviso in Tre Trattati con il quale ogni scolaro potrà facilmente imparare ogni sorte di Ballo, senza altra scola.

Santucci's Mastro da Ballo, the latest of the 17th-century dance manuals to have come to light thus far, consists of 474 pages divided into three treatises and includes 214 Rules for Steps and Deportment, gagliarda variations, and ten choreographies.

Santucci's step rules not only present many important variants on "old" steps but also describe others for the first time that point to a new style, suggesting a bridge between the Italian style of Caroso and Negri and the emerging French noble style.

Santucci furthermore provides an extremely clear didactic way of teaching gagliarda "cinque passi" variations, of great help and utility even today. His progression from simple to complex leads to variations that will be a challenge to the most expert dancer!

Santuccis seal

Facsimile Book Mastra da Ballo
Manuscript, Perugia 1614.
Facsimile: Hildesheim 2004.
Foreword by Bengt Häger.
Introduction by Barbara Sparti
With 9 illustrations and 2 maps.
Approx. 534 pp. Cloth.
Barbara Sparti has provided an eight-chapter Introduction in English that will be an invaluable guide to this beautiful facsimile edition, lighting and lightening the reader's way through Santucci's impressive text.

The chapters include an historical overview of the dance of the period, information about Santucci and dance in Umbria, and the history and description of the Mastro da Ballo itself.

Each treatise has its own Commentary (with an index for the steps discussed). A Bibliography and 9 illustrations and 2 maps complete the Introduction.

Related Links

German Wikipedia on Santucci
Georg Olms Verlag, Germany
Dance historian Barbara Sparti passed away