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3.1.3 Double entendre

Another subtlety is the ambiguity of "e siam rimasti in gara" (we stayed in the contest) because the couple are either theatrically in mock rivalry with one another, as is emphasised by the connection with the "e siamo rimasti in pista" (we stayed on the floor) of four lines earlier, or they are in a dance hall competition, or both.

Such ambivalent use of words is in fact quite a typical feature in Conte's lyrics and is also the key to the refrain and title of this song, for, as mentioned previously, in Italian "dancing" is also the-now somewhat old-fashioned-word for discotheque or dance-hall. Conte makes full use of all its distant possibilities by inserting it, and pronouncing it, as a foreign word in the midst of a completely Italian text.

3.1.4 Formal devices

As the song progresses the music intensifies, and this allows for a corresponding heightening of expressive intensity and density of images, but also in the formal devices: "I ballerini che lo fanno / un p˛ per professione,/ un p˛ per vera vocazione, / hanno un passo di ossessione / e sanno bene che l'azzardo / Ŕ lieve come il leopardoů"(The dancers who do it a little by profession, a little by true vocation, have a pace -or "step"- of obsession, and they know well that the gamble-or "the dare"- is as light as a leopardů). A sudden use of exaggeratedly repeated sounds in rhyming couplets ("un p˛...un p˛, e...e...e, professione...vocazione...ossessione azzardo..leopardo, figure...sfumature") is designed to hammer out the obsession of the dancers and the beat they follow, as is the use of the rhythmic parallels: "professi˛ne, vocazi˛ne, ossessi˛ne" and "sÓnno bŔne che l'azzÓrdo / liŔve c˛me il leopÓrdo"

3.1.5 Uses of hyperbole

At this point the protagonist is losing his concentration, and gradually losing touch with the dance, but he is still caught up in the action even though his head is elsewhere. He explains that: if in his step an uneasiness has been noticed, and a great bow, it is because he was closed to a distant city, all of mother-of-pearl, silver, wind iron and fire. As in the opening of the song, we have the use of dramatically heightened images, in this case the effect is expressionistic, as for the uneasy dancer, the overpowering dance has become a series of great bows that are so pronounced he has reached this distant city of an ancient elemental quality.

This kind of hyperbole is certainly something that we do come across from time to time in the composer's repertoire (the song L'avance, looked at in the previous article has some other examples), but it is generally used only on particular occasions, almost as a secret weapon, never therefore within close distance to a second occurrence, and only where it is not judged too strong for the musical context.

 

 

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