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COLLECTION Identifier: BER-6

Andrea Francalanci papers


The collection includes papers documenting the career of Andrea Francalanci, Florentine dancer, musician, teacher, choreographer and scholar specialized in Italian Renaissance dance.


  • 1971 - 1994

Language of Materials

The bulk of the collection is in Italian, French and English. Other languages include Latin, German, Dutch, Bulgarian, Catalan, Spanish, Norwegian, Greek, Japanese and Slovenian.


12 linear feet

The bulk of the collection consists of professional papers.

Series I, Productions, includes materials regarding AF’s main choreographic works created for European and American productions (programs, brochures, choreographies, notes, music scores, clippings, correspondence, photographs, project descriptions and related material. The Series also includes a Subseries dedicated to programs for television and to sound recordings. The last Subseries is dedicated to AF’s unrealized projects.

Series II, Study Material, reflects AF’s research interests on historical dance. The Series, divided into nine Subseries, includes transcriptions, photocopies of 15th to 18th century dance treatises, and notebooks; it also includes preparatory material pertaining to his thesis, notes, music scores, and texts related to Baroque dance and bibliographies. The Subseries Dance Reconstructions mostly includes AF’s own reconstructions of fifteenth and sixteenth century dances and related material such as music scores and texts.

Series III, Music Scores, divided into four Subseries, shows AF’s musical interests and knowledge, in particular for Renaissance and Baroque, and gives an idea of his activities as musician. Materials include printed and manuscript sources of fifteenth-century dance music; printed music for one or more instruments, and miscellaneous vocal and instrumental music from Gregorian chant to Erik Satie.

Series IV, Conferences and Writings, includes AF’s own published works and other unpublished material.

Series V, Teaching, consists of papers reflecting AF's intense activity as a teacher in Italy and abroad between 1984 and 1993. Folders include flyers, programs, newsletters, lists of participants and correspondence.

Series VI, Correspondence, includes correspondence with colleagues, producers, institutions, associations and universities worldwide.

Series VII, Photographic material, comprises photographs and negatives showing AF and other dancers, musicians, and students during performances and workshops. A Subseries is dedicated to slides, including those used by AF for presentations.

Series VIII: Clippings, includes mostly reviews and publicity materials issued between 1976 and 1994 about AF and his group Il Ballarino, the Gruppo di Danza Rinascimentale di Roma, Ensemble Armonia Antiqua and other ensembles and dance companies.

Series IX: Biographical Material, includes mostly programs, brochures, flyers, posters, some photographs and clippings on AF’s performing activities (1978-1994).

Biographical / Historical

Andrea Francalanci was born in Florence on August 16, 1949. Dancer, musician, teacher, choreographer and scholar of the theory and the performance of early dance, he was one of the first Italian scholars to devote himself to the rediscovery of Renaissance dance, subsequently becoming one of Europe’s leading experts on dance in the Italian Renaissance. While attending early music courses at Urbino as a recorder player, he met American-born dance historian Barbara Sparti and became interested in early dance. He graduated from the University of Florence in 1982 with a thesis entitled La danza di corte nel Quattrocento italiano. In 1983 he obtained the diploma of Licentiate in Early Dance from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.

From 1978 onwards he participated in the most important music festivals of the time, particularly those dedicated to early music and dance. In 1983 he founded his own dance company, Il Ballarino, named after Fabritio Caroso’s dance treatise. He collaborated with music directors Sergio Balestracci, René Clemencic, Alan Curtis, Gabriel Garrido, Philippe Herreweghe, Andrew Parrott and Anthony Rooley, among others. He also collaborated extensively with Francine Lancelot and her Baroque dance company, Ris et Danseries, of which he was also guest choreographer. A regular participant in conferences devoted to early dance, he produced several scholarly writings.

His work for television includes choreographies for Mantova Festa a corte, a Rai Uno special production of 1988, featuring stars of the international dance set such as Margot Fonteyn, Rudolf Nureyev, Carla Fracci and others, and forLa Pellegrina: The Florentine Intermedi of 1589, a 1989 Thames Television production that won the Prix Italia in 1990.

A much sought-after teacher, he gave courses and workshops in the main centers for early dance. He was Visiting Professor at the Centre de Musique Ancienne in Geneva and regularly taught Italian Renaissance Dance at the Sorbonne. Andrea Francalanci died in Paris, at the height of his career, on January 14, 1994.


The collection is arranged in nine series: I Productions; II Study and Research Material; III Music Scores; IV Conferences and Writings; V Teaching; VI Correspondence; VII Photographic Material; VIII Clippings; IX Biographical Material.

Acquisition Information

Donated by AF’s mother, Luciana, on July 3, 1995.

Processing Information

The collection came to the Biblioteca Berenson partially arranged by dance historian Marina Nordera.

Andrea Francalanci papers, 1971-1994: A Finding Aid
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Biblioteca Berenson, I Tatti - The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies Repository

Via di Vincigliata 26
Florence 50135 Italy
+39 055 603 251
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