Expressive dance can be taught through technique. I have been exploring 18th century expression in pantomime and dramatic gesture as seen in paintings, porcelains and sculpture as well as the decorative arts. After reading Judith Rock’s book, Terpsichore at Louis-le-Grand, I began to pay more attention to concepts of “le Mouvement” and how the physical sense of adjusting the bendings of the joints were linked to descriptions of “movements of the soul.”
In reading descriptions of Marie Sallé in performance, especially the solo works she choreographed for herself, she is often described as having the ability to move the soul. Louis de Cahusac, one of her avid admirers, makes a separate listing for “Le mouvement” and speaks of “movement of the soul” in his book, La danse ancienne et moderne, ou traite historique de la danse. A La Haye (Paris) Chez J Neaulme, 1754, Original copy for sale.
Gestures and attitudes are extremely important in conveying emotion, but it is how one dances through these that gives a period look to 18th century dance which makes it different from modern dance or contemporary ballet.
My class on June 6th will be a two hour exploration into “La Gelosia” … Donal Henahan of The New York Times describes my choreography/performance:
“… there was a splendid chorus in the pit and there can be nothing but admiration for Catherine Turocy, who led her New York Baroque Dance Company in a graceful, often witty, evening of presumably authentic choreography. Miss Turocy, who recreated dances of the period from historical sources, was an expressive Terpsichore in the prologue, which asked her to register all the passions from Love to Jealousy and show intelligence at the same time – not an easy assignment.”
I look forward to sharing my historical insights as well as my experience in performing and then coaching this role over 3 decades.
Location: Mark Morris Dance Center