Domenico da Piacenza

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Domenico da Piacenza (c. 1400 – c. 1470), also known as Domenico da Ferrara,[1] was an Italian Renaissance dancing master. He became a very popular teacher with his students – most notably Antonio Cornazzano and Guglielmo Ebreo da Pesaro – who both later became successful dance masters. At a time between 1452 and 1463 he received the Order of the Golden Spur.


Piacenza was born in Piacenza, Northern Italy in around 1400,[2] and was the first known dancing master to have left published dance instructions.[3] He began teaching dance in around 1440 and is believed to have taught elements of dramatic mime and elaborate dance.[2] He taught future dance masters Antonio Cornazzano and Guglielmo Ebreo da Pesaro.[4]

He moved from Piacenza to Ferrara during Leonello d'Este's tenure as marquis of the city between 1441 and 1450.[5] Between 1452 and 1463 Piacenza received the Order of the Golden Spur, and is believed to have been knighted by Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor. In April 1455 he composed a dance for the wedding between Tristano Sforza and Niccolò III d'Este's illegitimate daughter Beatrice.[4]

In late 1455 he choreographed dances for the wedding between Ippolita Maria Sforza and Alfonso II.[4] In the 1450s or 1460s[2] he published De arte saltandi et choreas ducendi about dancing and choreography, the oldest surviving European guide on dancing.[3] It gives instructions on various dances and also outlines what is required to be a good dancer.[2] He identified that successful dance consisted of many techniques: an understanding of musical tempos, knowledge of the prescribed steps, manners, agility, the ability to moderate ones movements, overall control of the body, and speed.[4] Piacenza died in around 1470 in Ferrara, Northern Italy.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Il "De arte saltandi et choreas ducendi" di Domenico da Piacenza. Edizione e commento. Longo. 2014. ISBN 978-88-8063-791-2.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Domenico da Piacenza". Oxford Reference. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Court dances and spectacles". Britannica. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d "Domenico biography" (PDF). Dancemaster. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  5. ^ "Domineco da Piacenza" (in Italian). Treccani, Italian culture. Retrieved 1 August 2015.

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