Buried deep in the British Library is a unique manuscript from 14th century Italy containing a rare glimpse into an instrumental music tradition. Wild and exotic, long and complex these eight 'Istanpittas' are precious gems in the medieval repertoire. The name  'Istanpitta' comes from the word 'Estampie' which was a well known simple dance form in 13th century France. However these Italian pieces have long been the source of controversy as it is hard to imagine how these fascinating and intricate instrumentals can be choreographed with what knowledge we have of dance technique of the time. Although the innate power and rhythm of the music means it is very easy to dance to the music with the freedom and expression granted to us in the 21st century. 

For this concert the ground breaking medieval group, Mediva, has teamed up with leading dancer/choreographer, Kendra Walsh, to see how a contemporary dancer responds to the energy and beauty of the music, trying to use modern means to capture an essential quality of the medieval dances and  to explore the myth ......  'Istanpitta' - to dance or not to dance......


Ann Allen shawm
Baptiste Romain fiddle
Marc Lewon lute
Michelangelo Rinaldi organetto
Michael Metzler percussion
Kendra Walsh dance


© Ann Allen 2013