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Italian folk dance

Monferrina is a lively Italian folk dance in 6/8 time named after the place of its origin, Monferrato (Montferrat) in the northern Italian region of Piemonte (Piedmont). It has spread from Piedmont throughout northern and central Italy, including Lombardy, Romagna, Friuli and Bologna, and even into Switzerland. In Piedmont, it is usually accompanied by singing and is danced by several couples.[1]

The dance starts with two circular promenades by couples arm-in-arm using a lively march step. The individual couples then join both hands for a cross-step with bent knees. The dance often contains bows and mimed teasing and coaxing.[1][2]

The dance goes under several different names: Monferrina di Friuli, Monfrenna bulgnaisa (from Bologna), Monfrenna mudnaisa (from Modena), Giardiniera or Jardiniere and Baragazzina.[1][3]

Sachs takes the two part structure of the dance, a procession followed by a couple figure, as indicative of its antiquity along with other Italian folk dances of this type such as the Trescone, Giga and Bergamesco.[4]

English Country Dance

A Monferrina was an 18th-century country dance, named for its Italian place of origin, which became popular in England around 1800 under the names monfrina, monfreda, and manfredina. It was a lively dance to music in 6/8 time. Collections of music for the dance include Wheatstone's Country Dances for 1810.[5]


  1. ^ a b c Opera Nazionale Dopolavoro (1931). Costumi, musica, danze e feste popolari italiane. Roma: Edizione O.N.D..  
  2. ^ Galanti, Bianca M. (1950). Dances of Italy. New York: Chanticleer Press. p. 7–8.  
  3. ^ Ungarelli, Gaspare (1894). Le vecchie danze italiane ancora in uso nella provincia bolognese. Rome: Arnaldo Forni. p. 64,67,71.  
  4. ^ Sachs, Curt (1963). World History of the Dance. New York: W. W. Norton. p. 278. ISBN 0-393-00209-8.  
  5. ^ "Monferrina" in Don Michael Randel, ed (1986). New Harvard Dictionary of Music. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-61525-5.  

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