La Nizzarda (Negri)


There are any number of possible reconstructions for this balletto1, as Negri describes it in fairly vague terms. This is one I adapted from a fairly old reconstruction, which I liked despite some fairly bold assumptions it made, because it fitted the music very well.


Figure 1

1 - 3


Step left, step right, jump left, cadenza.

4 - 6


Repeat, starting on the right foot.

7 - 12


Repeat bars 1-6 above.


Figure 2

To start this part of the dance, the couples should turn to face each other and hold both hands.


Sp Sp Sp (Left)

The man does three sottopiede to his left, the lady does three to her right.



Join feet and jump quickly into the air, landing on both feet, and remain facing each other ready for the next part.

3 - 4


Repeat bars 1 - 2 above, moving to the man’s right (the lady’s left).

5 - 8


Repeat bars 1 - 4 above.


Figure 3

The couple should still be facing each other for this part of the dance. Step towards each other very slightly at the end of the last part of the dance. The lady places her hands on the man's shoulder, the man holds the lady around the waist. Again, both parts are done together.


(Man) RcL

The man does a left recacciata -- hop onto toes of the right foot, raising the left foot behind you. Kick the left foot in behind and slightly under the right heel, kicking the right foot off the ground.

(Lady) RcR

The lady does a right recacciata.



The lady jumps off the ground, projected upwards by the man. The man does a quarter turn to the right carrying the lady around, in the style of a Volta step.

3 - 8


Repeat the entire sequence above 4 times, doing a complete 360° turn in 8 bars.

9 - 12

Figure 2 repeat

Repeat bars 1 - 4 of Figure 2 (beginning with the sottopiede to the man’s left).


Repeat Figure 3

Repeat Figure 3, then the dance repeats once more from the beginning.

If you think of Figure 1 as “A”, The first half of Figure 2 as “B” (i.e. Without the repeat in bars 5 – 8), and the first 8 bars of Figure 3 as “C”, then the dance structure is ABBCBCB (repeat).


This is a very quick and lively dance. I found it easier to learn with the music written out in front of me. It was only after a few passes through that I realised how fast part B really is (it's a fair bet that it's twice as fast as you first think it is when you read the steps and hear the music).


1For example, see Dolmetsch Historical Dance Society, "Il Ballarino"; Dixon, "Nonsuch Early Dance Series".