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moresca (moresco), morisca (morisco). A Moorish dance. Apparently the name (which was common from the 15th to 17th cents.) did not carry any fixed implications as to rhythm or style. Often it was applied to any rough-and-ready grotesque dance employing animal costumes, etc. In Arbeau's Orchésographie (1588–9), it is said that some performers blacked their faces to resemble Moors and wore bells on their legs; this has led to speculation that the Eng. Morris dance is a derivation.