Arena, Antonius de [Arènes, Antoine des; De la Sable, Antoine; Du Sablon, Antoine]
- Ingrid Brainard
[Arènes, Antoine desDe la Sable, AntoineDu Sablon, Antoine]
(b Solliès, [now Solliès-Pont, Var], late 15th century; d Saint Rémy, Bouches du Rhône, or Solliès, after 1543). French dance theorist and man of letters. In 1519 he began to study law at the University of Avignon, after completing his studies he joined the French troops that invaded Italy. Late in 1528 he returned to Provence and spent several years in Aix until he was named juge ordinaire of Saint Rémy in 1536.
The most widely read of Arena’s writings is the dance instruction manual Ad suos compagnones studiantes qui sunt de persona friantes bassas danzas de nova bragarditer (Avignon, ?1519), which also includes an account of his experiences in the Italian campaign. Its 32 editions published between 1519 and 1770 testify to its popularity. The sections on dance date from Arena’s student days in Avignon; the main subject is the basse danse as it was practised in the south of France. 58 basses danses ‘qui ne sont pas communes’ are given with their choreography in the traditional French-Burgundian letter tablature, the only difference being that the letter ‘b’ (...