Dancing the Garden Path, a Cosmic Choreography will be a two hour exploration into the symbolic meaning behind the geometry chosen for court dances of the 18th century as well as period garden designs based on the same geometric principles. The class will open with a brief explanation of metaphors associated with geometric shapes and will use the La Gavotte de Roy as a springboard for embodying cosmological theory. The purpose of the class is to grasp the intangible nature of the past in asking from a period perspective, “What were they thinking!” This class marks the 300th anniversary of Louis XIV’s death. It also looks at a court dance most likely performed by the young boy, Louis XV, as he claimed his rightful place in the Bourbon dynasty.
About the Video (description credit, Barnard IMATS)
From Parquet to Parterre is a video lecture developed to enhance the Barnard College course, “The Golden Age of Versailles: an interdisciplinary course that focuses on the vibrant cultural life in and around the court of Versailles during the reign of Louis XIV (1661-1715). The course, taught in French by Laurie Postlewate of the Barnard French Department, features a number of digital components to emphasize the conversation at Versailles between multiple disciplines. “
“Parquet” refers to the patterned ballroom floor where complicated geometric dances were a part of an evening’s entertainment and “Parterre” is the distinct garden space designed with the same basis in geometrical forms. Both were used in social intercourse in Baroque society. Catherine Turocy, Artistic Director of The New York Baroque Dance Company is the guest writer and narrator. She discusses the philosophical origins of art with its social and moral importance and demonstrates the reflection of these ideals in both dance and garden design. Through demonstrations by professional dancers of her company (Caroline Copeland and Olsi Gjeci) and student dancers from Barnard, Ms. Turocy examines connections between the geometry used in 17th/18th century choreography with configurations of garden design by André Le Nôtre. She discusses the philosophical origins of art with its social and moral importance, and reveals how both dance and garden design reflect these ideals. The video concludes with a momentous event in our own time, a look at the 2015 installation of the fountains at The Water Theatre Grove in Versailles by sculptor Jean-Michel Othoniel. One begins to understand how these designs are still of primary interest today.
From Parquet to Parterre is the first in a series of video projects to be developed for “The Golden Age of Versailles” by Laurie Postlewate and Barnard’s IMATS (Instructional Media and Technology Services) with funding from COOL, the Committee for Online and On-Campus Learning, at Barnard College. This video is available for educational and noncommercial use, with attribution. (Catherine Turocy and Barnard College, 2015) Please email email@example.com for more information on other videos and lectures of The New York Baroque Dance Company. For a complete listing of video credits please refer to the final minutes at the end of the video.