In 2021, the Alamire Foundation, the Royal Library of Belgium, and AMUZ (Flanders Festival Antwerp) joined forces to launch a research project on Margaret of Austria’s basse danse manuscript.
The famous dance manuscript is one of the flagships of the Royal Library of Belgium’s collections and is considered one of the highlights of Habsburg-Burgundian culture for both its content and its presentation. The manuscript is an important source for the music and choreography of the ‘basse danse’, one of the central types of courtly dance from the period around 1500. However, what makes this source a truly extraordinary piece of heritage is the exceptional black parchment on which the text and notes were notated with brilliant gold and silver ink.
On the occasion of this VGP Foundation funded project, today the Alamire Foundation is proud to present a brand new documentary about the basse danse manuscript. It is also in the process of preparing a facsimile, a study, and an exhibition, as well as an exclusive dance performance, all to be presented in the near future. In the documentary, international experts and performers Adam Bregman, Véronique Daniels, Adam Knight Gilbert, Ann Kelders, Marc Lewon, Grantley McDonald, and Lynda Sayce offer a surprising glimpse into the research on the dance, music, and codicology of this manuscript.
Starting today, the documentary Basses Danses can be viewed for free in Dutch, English, or French on alamire.tv, the Alamire Foundation's virtual platform featuring film productions on plainchant and polyphony.