Catherine Turocy Planning Ahead, photo by Catherine Andrako

Catherine Turocy Planning Ahead, photo by Catherine Andrako

Sarah Edgar, Dancer and photo by Jacqueline Chambord

Sarah Edgar, Dancer and photo by Jacqueline Chambord

Renouard Gee in Turocy's 'The Three-Legged Dance,' inspired by Gregorio Lambranzi (1716). Photo by John Mazarak

Renouard Gee in Turocy’s ‘The Three-Legged Dance,’ inspired by Gregorio Lambranzi (1716). Photo by John Mazarak

Photo by Julie Lemberger

Photo by Julie Lemberger, Dancer left to right: Sarah Edgar, Catherine Turocy, Rachel List

Join  Catherine Turocy this summer at the Santa Barbara Historical Dance Weekend and Weekend Plus to discover the many faces of Baroque dance from noble to social to grotesque.  August 20-25, 2015 at UCSB .  Begin the day with a yoga warm-up on the beach and then choose your style.  Are you a maniac for the minuet? A Vanquished lover? Are you curious about the way the Savoy was danced in 18th century France?  …And why all these masks, postures and gestures…is this “early” body language? No matter what level of dance experience, you will be delighted with the fun and challenged intellectually in every muscle of your body.  Click here to read a musician’s experience of one of Turocy’s workshops:The New York Times

ingredients-uncut-for-webWe are all looking forward to Guest Artist Alan Jones teaching at our workshop this year!  He begins with his special one-day intensive Of Banquets and Balls looking at an 18th century cookbook where the recipes are set to dance music popular at the time.  The dances in the book are familiar to historical dancers and the one we will be exploring this year is published with more than one choreography, L’Aimable Vainqueur. 18th century copies of this dance were circulated all over Europe and the colonies.  The recipe for this dance is a mussel base broth. Mussels are in the news in Santa Barbara this year: Flexing Muscles Over Mussels


Alan will also be lecturing about the 18th century cookbook and the dances referenced in the recipes.

Going into the late 18th century and early 19th century ballet repertoire, Alan will teach an unknown ballet never seen in the United States, the Pas de Terpsichore.  Click this link if you missed our earlier posting on this Be a Part of History…

Terpsichore by Antonio Canova, 1812

Terpsichore by Antonio Canova, 1812

Click her for the Class Schedule

BNP_Russia copy

Richard Powers has helped initiate a renaissance of interest in historical dance in Russia.  Three years ago, Richard presented his historic dance reconstructions in Moscow, and since then interest among Russian historical dancers has increased to the point where he can no longer accept all of his invitations to teach there.  In the past year Richard has taught five week-long workshops in Russia—in Kirov, Samara, Chelyabinsk and two in Moscow.  There are now over one hundred historical dance organizations in Russia, with about 6,000 members.  Russian historical dance organizations have also translated several of Richard’s papers into Russian.

We are delighted to have him teaching our students at the Santa Barbara Historical Dance Weekend and Weekend Plus this year.

Click to see the Russian evening news report on his work:

I. Shirley Wynne Scholarship, Dancer Ann Pidcock recipient

A new scholarship has been established in the name of Dr. Shirley Wynne (1928-2013). She was a dance historian, teacher, choreographer and stage director who pioneered recreations and reconstructions of Baroque dance in the United States as well as bringing these works to the stage.  Her first production of Jean Philippe Rameau’s Pygmalion in 1969 with conductor, Alan Curtis, may have been the first staging in America.

Ann Pidcock in her own words: Head shot

“I am a professional dancer and yoga teacher based in London. At dance school I was lucky enough to study baroque with Chris Tudor and this began my love for historical dance.
My first job out of dance school was a Baroque Minuet filmed for the Kelvingrove museum in Glasgow. We rehearsed with Philippa Waite and I continued on with Baroque classes to deepen my knowledge. More recently I have danced for the Alan Rickman feature Film, ‘A Little Chaos’.
I now attend Quadrilles Club with Chris and Ellis Rogers at Cecil Sharp house. I find their wealth of knowledge of the dances so inspiring. My hope is to continue to expand my knowledge of the different eras in as most thorough way possible.
Since 2014 I have been in partnership with The Wallace Collection and the Geffrye Museum performing and teaching historical dance.
It has been a wonderful experience as its meant we are able to share some of this wonderful history with younger generations and those interested in other aspects of the era. The enthusiasm I’ve experienced from people’s response is so heartening and leads me to want to spread these dances further and in more detail.
The authentic portrayal of and preservation of technique in these dances is really important and I would love to deepen my knowledge so that I could contribute information of this for future projects.
I feel that there is so much more for me to learn and I am excited at the prospect of having the connections already set up to make sharing this a reality.”
In addition to all of her wonderful qualities, Ann is a British Wheel of Yoga teacher and she will be conducting our sessions of Yoga on the Beach!
The Santa Barbara Historical Dance Workshop is grateful to Robin Woodard and Catherine Turocy, both students of Shirley Wynne, for making this scholarship possible.
II. Scholarship given in the name of Edith Rosenblatt, Dancer/Actress Francesca Bridge-Cicic recipient

From Catherine Turocy: Edith Rosenblatt (1925-2014) was a wonderful elementary school teacher , mother and mother-in-law.  I will always be grateful to my father-in-law, Edward Richman, for bringing Edie into our lives.  Lila Richman had died in 1999 and my own mother had passed away in 1997 and I had no mother of experience to talk to when facing questions of raising two boys. I will always be indebted to Edie for her love, kindness, compassion and common sense. She passed away in August of 2014 and this scholarship is given in her honor to mark this anniversary.

Francesca Bridge-Cicic

Picture of: Francesca Bridge-CicicFrancesca originally trained as a dancer at the Paris Conservatoire and continued her training at Drama Centre London and The Vahktangov Institute Moscow in classical acting. She works as a dancer, choreographer, movement director, director and actor worldwide. Theatre credits include: Company Member / Movement Director, Cannibal Valour Rep Season, Owle Schreame Theatre Company; Rosalind, As You Like It, RADA Studios & Stratford-Upon-Avon summer Shakespeare festival; Juliet, Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare’s Globe; Sonya, Uncle Vanya, Vahktangov Studio Theatre, Moscow and Woman#1, Beckett’s, Play, The White Box Project; Film credits: Anastasia, Caviar II and Amanda, Essays in Love. Other credits include: Venus and Choreographer, Venus & Adonis, Kings Place, London; Solo Dancer, The Significance of Costumed-Bodies – A Study of Tanztheater Wuppertal, Dance Film, Principle Dancer, FlatPack an Opera in Ikea; Katherine, Running Spies, Talk Radio and Director, Hunting Cantata 208, by J.S. Bach, Stockholm Bach Festival. Francesca currently teaches movement for The Court Theatre Training Company.
III. Work/Study Scholarship, Dancer Althea Fultz, recipient
Althea will be the “on- location administrative assistant” when she is not busy taking classes at the workshop.  A former student of Regine Astier, she is fluent in French and easily reads Feuillet notation. She is also a multi-era dancer with a wide range of interests.  In her own words: ” Over the course of my life I have been involved in a variety dance genres, whether it be swing dancing, Baroque dance, Ballet, etc. I have developed a great appreciation for the historical aspect of dance; or maybe a better way to express it, is that I have found that the experience and understanding that develops for one type of dance, greatly informs the way one might approach another. One of the greatest intellectual (and physical) gifts anyone ever gave me was my experience with Baroque dance: I was taught not only technique and practicalities, but the notation and history behind the dances. Recently, I was able to decipher the Baroque notation for a dance called Ballo Secondo, as well as learn to dance it. The privilege of looking at and understanding a piece of art that no one has seen for centuries is inexpressibly rewarding. This joy of dance and interest in the intellectual aspect –for lack of a better word— sticks with me, and greatly increases the vim and physical control I have in other forms of dance. Therefore, I would like to take this workshop because, other than simple curiosity (the class on gestures particularly interests me), I feel that experiencing and thinking about a variety of dance forms exponentially increases the quality and enjoyment I find in dancing.”


jean-cesar-fenouil-mademoiselle-marie-salle-as-the-french-terpsichore-engraved-by-petitExpressive 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

Time: 3-5

Fee: $16


Listen to excerpts of the music online



Pas de Terpsichore, Reconstructed by Alan Jones especially for our students

Access to this little known pas de trois reconstructed from the Montargis Manuscript by Alan Jones Alan Jones Biography is of great interest to dance departments and professional dance companies. Technically challenging, yet accessible to intermediate-level ballet students, it debunks the myth of early ballet as being simple in nature.  Its length is about four minutes.  This dance will be taught at the Santa Barbara Historical Dance Workshop, produced by The New York Baroque Dance Company (NYBDC). Our work on this pas de trois represents the first reconstruction ever performed from the Montargis Manuscript.

Compiled by at least four anonymous French dancing masters between 1790 and 1815, the Montargis Manuscript is preserved at the library of the Paris Opéra, where it is catalogued as C. 515, Chorégraphies de divers ballets réglés sans doute au Collège de Montaigu. This is a little known document on dance training in provincial France during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic periods. Fragile pages bound in white calfskin include descriptions for numerous hornpipes and other danses de caractère, notes on the allemande and the waltz and a few short ballets of pastoral and noble character. Among these is a Pas de Terpsichore in which the muse of the dance instructs her disciples who obediently repeat her every movement. We will also explore the world of expressive gesture using melodies recommended by the manuscript to evoke various dramatic moods for story ballets: naïve joy, misfortune, threats, etc.

A parallel class will be taught by Catherine Turocy exploring gesture and expressive body postures as seen in period publications of Gilbert Austin and Carlos Blasis. These two classes offered over a 5 day period will inform the dancers on the early ballet style of the 19th century.

The Montargis Manuscript is in the form of verbal instructions, (coupé devant, grand développé, rond de jambe) The tunes are identified by the title.  Jones has already completed the musicological project of locating the scores.  The ballet music consists mainly of isolated melodies from assorted opéras comiques, plus romances and ariettes, including music from Annette et Lubin, an opéra comique of 1762, which was later made into a ballet by Noverre (then others). The melodies in the manuscript are identified with emotional content. What is fascinating in particular is the “American connection.” Of the half-dozen ballet livrets included, all of these ballets were performed in the US in the 1790’s except one.

The Pas de Terpsichore is in the form of an echo, with Terpsichore demonstrating and her disciples repeating. This dance is an opening movement to a ballet consisting of:

I) Pas de Terpsichore (melody, the sentimental song “Charmantes fleurs” by the Italian-born Antoine Albanese [1729-1800])

2) Lively ensemble dance (melody, “Vive la danse,” a lively dance in 6/8 by Stanislas Champein, a late-18th-c composer of opéras comiques).

3) Allemande, a brief but complex theatrical allemande, a fashionable dance remarkable for its sophisticated use of partnering which had a lasting influence on the Romantic pas de deux.

In the context of the workshop we would like to use the Pas de Terpsichore as a first step in recovering this ballet and in continuing the workshop’s exploration into early 19th century ballet which began with Sandra Noll Hammond in 2012 (funded by Dance Preservation Fund of The Ohio State University). We would like to work intensively on the port de bras as well as step variations which are no longer in use in today’s ballet practice.  Both Turocy and Jones will use their expertise with the Genarro Magri treatise from 1779, Trattato Teorico-Prattico di Ballo and the Auguste Ferrère manuscript to guide their interpretation of the Montargis Manuscript. In addition, there are only three generations separating Alan Jones from this period, as he studied ballet mainly with former students of Olga Preobrajenska, who studied with Marius Petipa (among others), who in turn was a student of Auguste Vestris.

If you would like to be a part of this historic event but cannot attend our workshop, kindly Contribute a tax deductible donation to cover the expenses of making a video documentation for the Pas de Terpsichore.  (Click the link or scroll to PayPal on the right side bar.)

Thank you for being a part of our dance legacy.

MarieSalle-749249Telling the history of dance is not an easy task.  I applaud anyone who undertakes such an effort. At the same time, our idea of history needs to be re-examined on a regular basis as new information comes to light.

Recently, I talked with  Mark Franko and he shared with me his review of Apollo’s Angels by Jennifer Homans. His analysis and criticism of the book is insightful. I have uploaded the review with his permission.  I am interested in our readers comments so please do respond!

Apollo’s Angels: review

Marie Sallé, pictured here, was an important choreographer/dancer in her day.  She also had her own troupe of dancers to perform her choreography.  Even La Barbarina was mentored by Sallé and performed her choreography at Sans Souci for Frederick the Great.  So far Sallé’s great accomplishments are not to be found in dance history books other than a brief mention of her gifts in dancing, and a shallow nod to her as a choreographer.  If I have missed this “yet to be written book” or even chapter, please let me know.

Jack Edwards passed away on March 1, 2015.  I was introduced to Jack by Peggy Dixon in 1980 when Jim and I were living in London on a research grant that year. In 1976 he and Peggy, among other dancers, appeared in several episodes of Dr. Who.  What a fun time this was for historical dancers.  His sense of humor, love of the theater and quick mind quickly drew me into his world of reconstruction where he seemed to be able to handle all questions of costumes, sets, dancing, acting, singing…a “jack of all trades” so to speak.  We will miss him and we will be forever grateful for the talent he has shared with us all.
Here is a photo of L’Orfeo staged by Jack and performed at BEMF.



This is Jack’s most recent bio for those who do not know him:

 Artistic Director/Stage Director: Jack Edwards
Originally trained as an actor and designer Jack Edwards has worked in the field of Baroque opera for twenty-five years. As Artistic Director of
Opera Restor’d he has directed all the company’s shows. As an independent director he has travelled the world, directing Purcell’s The Fairy Queen in Adelaide, Dido and Aeneas in Bremen, and Pergolesi’s La Serva Padrona in Nova Scotia.  


For the Boston Early Music Festival, USA he has directed Purcell’s King Arthur, Luigi Rossi’sL’Orfeo and Cavalli’s Ercole Amante which transferred to the Utrecht Early Music Festival. The Boston production of L’Orfeo was also presented at the 18th century theatre in Drottningholm, Sweden and shown on Swedish television. He directed Caldara’s Dafne in Chile for a national tour and returned in 2000 to direct Dido and Aeneas and take up a residential post at the Instituto de Musica de Santiago. As an actor he has performed over one hundred anthologies of poetry and music with many of the leading early music ensembles. He holds a teaching post in Theatre Studies and movement at the Drama Studio London.

Golf club or shepherdess crook?  Period of Charles I or Charles II of England? Come to my pre-concert lecture with the Four Nations Ensemble and discover the answer!  Facebook Event for Lecture

1635 Paulus Moreelse (Dutch artist, 1571-1638)  Lady as Shepherdess (6)

Register Today!

You won’t want to miss the summer workshops in beautiful Santa Barbara this year.  Follow this link for information and to register.

2015 Summer Workshops

1-20150128_131449 (2)