Thoinot Arbeau is the anagrammatic pen name of French cleric Jehan Tabourot (March 17, 1519, Dijon - July 23, 1595, Langres). Tabourot is most famous for his Orchésographie, a study of late sixteenth-century French Renaissance social dance.
The manual provides critical information on social ballroom behaviour and on the interaction of musicians and dancers.
Orchésographie is available online in facsimile and in plain text. There is an English translation by Mary Stewart Evans, edited by Julia Sutton, in print with Dover Publications. It contains numerous woodcuts of dancing and musicians and also includes many dance tabulations in which extensive instructions for the steps are lined up next to the musical notes (though this is misrepresented in some modern editions), a significant innovation in dance notation at that time.
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