Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Cosi Fan Tutte

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

Cosi Fan Tutte (J8x32) A 32 bar jig for three couples in a four couple longwise set. Murrough Landon

1-4 1st couple dance half a figure of eight down around 2nd couple and end taking promenade hold in the centre facing 2nd man.
5-8 1st couple dance half a reel of three across in 2nd place with 2nd couple giving right shoulder to 2nd man. 2nd woman ends in 1st place on the opposite side.
9-12 1st couple dance left hands across with 2nd man. 1st man drops hands early and makes a wide loop to end in 1st place on the opposite side. 2nd man retains left hand with 1st woman and turns a bit extra to take her in promenade hold on his right, both facing 3rd man.
13-16 2nd man with 1st woman dance half a reel of three across in 3rd place with 3rd couple giving right shoulder to 3rd man. 3rd woman ends in 2nd place on the opposite side.
17-20 2nd man and 1st woman dance left hands across with 3rd man. All end on the opposite side: 1st woman crosses to end in 3rd place facing out as 2nd and 3rd men make a wide loop into 2nd and 3rd places respectively (though 2nd man may slightly anticipate the turn which comes next). 1st man turns down to face 2nd man. The men are in the order 1,2,3 and the women 2,3,1.
21-24 1st and 2nd men also 3rd and 1st women turn one and half times with the right hand. 1st couple both end facing in and up.
25-32 All dance reels of three on the sides with each couple crossing up to their own sides when dancing up through 2nd place. 1st couple start by doing this on bar 25, 3rd couple on bar 27 and 2nd couple around bar 31. The corners preferably end the reels with extra loops into place.

All end on their own sides in the order 2,1,3.

(Dance Crib compiled by the deviser, Murrough Landon, CC BY-SA September 2017 (revised 2019))


Dance Instruction Videos

Cosi Fan Tutte - Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

The title of this dance, Cosi Fan Tutte, comes from Mozart's wonderful but flagrantly sexist opera (from a libretto by Da Ponte) which suggests that all women are faithless and will readily attach themselves to a new man once their former partner is off the scene. It seemed a good excuse for a dance where 1st woman has most of the fun (1st woman abandons her original partner and dances with the other men).

Recommended Music:
Tune: The Belfast Almanac (traditional).
Suitable recording: The Hazel Tree (Colin Dewar: Special Requests Vol 7).

(Dance Information compiled by the deviser, Murrough Landon, CC BY-SA Feb 2019)


Così fan tutte, is an Italian-language opera buffa (comic opera) in two acts by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart first performed on 26 January 1790 at the Burgtheater in Vienna, Austria. The libretto was written by Lorenzo Da Ponte who also wrote Le nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni.

The short title, Così fan tutte, literally means "So do they all", using the feminine plural (tutte) to indicate women. It is usually translated into English as "Women are like that".

The words are sung by the three men in act 2, scene 3, just before the finale; this melodic phrase is also quoted in the overture to the opera.

Cosi Fan Tutte Opera - Information Video

Cosi Fan Tutte Image
Cosi Fan Tutte
Playbill Of The First Performance, Burgtheater, Vienna, 1790


Dance Information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence.
Text from this original Cosi Fan Tutte article on Wikipedia.
Image Copyright (cropped) Unknown [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

Back to the top of this Scottish Country Dancing Instructions 'Cosi Fan Tutte' page