Cecilia Nocilli

Cecilia Nocilli

Hanna Kiel Fellow
The «Fondo Andrea Francalanci» and fifteenth century dance music: Renaissance and postmodern theory and performance practice


Cecilia Nocilli (PhD Valladolid, 2008; Laurea Cremona/Pavia, 1997) was visiting scholar at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (2002) and the universities of Torino (2001) and Bologna (2000). She has taught music history, music analysis, performance practice and dance history at the University of Valladolid (1999-2016) and the Escuela Superior de Arte Dramático de Castilla y León (2006 – 2015). Her work focuses on Renaissance music theory applied to dance, the rhetoric of the music and the body and Derrida’s deconstruction applied to performing arts. Her publications include El manuscrito de Cervera. Música y danza palaciega catalana del siglo XV (2013); Coreografare l’identità. La danza alla corte aragonese di Napoli, 1442-1502 (2011); La disciplina coreologica in Europa: problemi e prospettive (2010).

Project Summary


Recent studies have suggested that the italian theorists of fifteenth-century dance did not have the appropriate training to allow them to write their treatises. My research aims to answer essential questions regarding the subject matter: Who has composed the treatises’ dance music? Why is the music theory of dance treatises so divergent from that of music treatises? Were the much-discussed musical proportions of the dance “misure” as incomprehensible in the fifteenth century as they still seem to be today? This project focuses on two lines of research: the first concerns conducting an updated analysis of the music theory of proportions applied to “misure” in fifteenth century dance treatises. The second involves a close examination of the implications of its interpretations during late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries through a firsthand study of Andrea Francalanci’s musical and choreographic reconstructions held in the Berenson Library.