Il Saltarello - typical Marche dance

Younger members of La Cucuma, Amandola show what they can do.
Younger members of La Cucuma, Amandola show what they can do.

The Saltarello is the most common of the folk dances in Le Marche. The farmers danced on any occasion that provided an excuse - at the end of the harvest, the threshing of the grain or the scartocciatura (removing the unwanted leaves from the corn cobs). The dancing would start on the threshing floor accompanied by the sound of the accordion and the drum which beat the time.

 

There were three variations - a) where the male stood in the centre, stamping his feet in admiration of the women who rapidly danced around him; b) where the dancers approached one another and, side by side, continued to beat out the rhythm with their feet, taking several steps forward and then returning to the starting point; c) the "round" where the dancers chased giddily in a circle.

 

Everyone danced the Saltarello regardless of age, and it was not unusual for the older dances to make a special show of their agility, endurance and skill. 

 

Im Amandola, La Cucuma is one of the folklore groups that continues the tradition of the saltarello at festivals and in the theatre.

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