Il Ballarino

By Fabritio Caroso, 1581

Translated by Lady Clara Beaumont (Rebecca Kletnieks)

This project is a first-draft translation from Italian to English of Fabritio Caroso’s ‘Il Ballarino,’ a dance manual published in Italy in 1581.   What I am presenting here is a direct, word-for-word translation made using a transcription created by Lord Orlando De’Medici.  The dictionary I used while translating was ‘Queen Anna’s New World of Words,’ by John Florio, published in London in 1611.

‘Il Ballarino’ was written as two books, the first being a list of steps and instructions for performing them, and the second being instructions and music for dances using those steps.  Both books are included in this translation.  I have done my best to include the entire text, including the author’s discussions and poetry.  For the poetry, I have tried to stay as close to the original meaning as possible, rather than attempting to stay true to the rhyme scheme or meter.  Original rhyme scheme is included for anyone who might be interested.

Over the next year, I intend to make a second draft of this translation available to our Barony, and the Society as a whole, by refining it and publishing it online.  In the meantime, many of the steps and dances have been reconstructed and taught at the  Barony of Carolingia’s Accademia della Danza and at dance practice.

Since this is a work in progress, questions, comments, corrections, and suggestions are always welcome - I can be contacted at

Many thanks to Master Justin du Coeur for his patience and assistance during the completion of this project.

Book 1 - Introduction and Steps

Book 2 - Dances

Dance Reconstructions