When Tuscany used to circle dance
The traditions that have survived abroad
Along the Apennine chain, an orchestra was synonymous to a party: since the beginning of the last century, groups of musicians have trekked hundreds of kilometers to reach far off and secluded towns to perform at parties and weddings. The most widespread dances on these occasions were the “Monferrina” or “Manfrina”, a circle dance done in pairs, and the “Veneziana”, a courtship dance, also done in a circle in which dancers and steps alternated. In the final part of the Veneziana, called the “affair”, the circle was broken and every couple danced on their own, with the women who slowly stepped away from the men and the men who stayed in front of the women signaling them to get closer. The Veneziana, whose origins are uncertain, has survived till recent times in foreign communities originating from the province of Lucca. This is just one example of how popular traditions are a marker for one’s ethnic origins.