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bergamasca

[Italian ber-gah-mahs-kah] /Italian ˌbɛr gɑˈmɑs kɑ/
noun, plural bergamasche
[ber-gah-mahs-ke] /ˌbɛr gɑˈmɑs kɛ/ (Show IPA)
1.
a fast dance similar to the tarantella.
2.
the music for this dance.
Origin
1580-1590
1580-90; < Italian, noun use of feminine of Bergamasco of Bergama
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Encyclopedia Article for bergamasca

lusty 16th-century dance depicting the reputedly awkward manners of the inhabitants of Bergamo, in northern Italy, where the dance supposedly originated. It was performed as a circle courtship dance for couples: men circled forward and women backward until the melody changed; partners then embraced, turned a few steps, and began again. The rustics in Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream perform a bergomask.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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