“Nobody today seems more qualified to reconstruct the French dances of the 18th century than this American and her New York Baroque Dance Company.” Le Figaro
Catherine Turocy, recognized as one of today’s leading choreographer/reconstructors and stage directors in 17th and 18th century period performance, with over 60 Baroque operas to her credit, has been decorated by the French Republic as a Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters. She received the prestigious BESSIE Award in New York City for sustained achievement in choreography as well as the Natalie Skelton Award for Artistic Excellence. In 1980 she received the Dance Film Association Award for “The Art of Dancing” video produced with Celia Ipiotis and Jeff Bush. NEA International Exchange Fellowships supported extended visits where she lived in London and Paris, conducting research and interacting with other artists. In the 1980’s she worked under famed stage directors Pier Luigi Pizzi and Jean Louis Martinoty.
A founding member of the Society for Dance History Scholars, Ms. Turocy has lectured on period performance practices around the world including the Royal Academies of Dance in London, Stockholm and Copenhagen; the Festival Estival in Paris and The Society for Early Music in Tokyo. She has served as consultant to Clark Tippett of American Ballet Theater and Edward Villella of the Miami City Ballet. As a writer she has contributed chapters to dance history text books, articles to Opera News , Early Music America and Dance Magazine, many which have been translated into French, German, Japanese and Korean. A chapter in Janet Roseman’s book, Dance Masters: Interviews with Legends of Dance, published by Routledge is dedicated to her work. Books in which Turocy has authored chapters include: Moving History/Dancing Cultures: A Dance History Reader; Creating Dance: A Traveler’s Guide and “Dance on its Own Terms: Histories and Methodologies,” eds. Melanie Bales and Karen Eliot, published by Oxford and is due out in April, 2013.
As a sought after period stage director/choreographer, Ms. Turocy has worked with singers Jessye Norman, Bryn Terfel, Christine Brandes, Howard Crook, Ann Monoyios, Julianne Baird and Drew Minter. She has worked eleven years at the Handel Festival in Goettingen, Germany where she has been lauded by the international press for her ground breaking production of Handel’s Teseo in 2011. In New York, Ms. Turocy works closely with Concert Royal directed by conductor James Richman. Highlights include Gluck’s Orfeo, Handel’s Ariodante and Terpsicore, Rameau’s Pygmalion, Les Indes Galantes, Le Temple de la Gloire and Les Fetes d’Hebe,among others. In Washington D.C. she has collaborated with Ryan Brown of Opera Lafayette Orchestra and Chorus.
Internationally Ms. Turocy has worked with conductors Nicholas McGegan (Festival Orchestra of Goettingen), Christopher Hogwood (Academy of Ancient Music in London) , John Eliot Gardiner (English Baroque Soloists in London), Philippe Herreweghe (La Chapelle Royale in Paris) and Wolfgang Katschner (Lautten Compagney in Berlin).
Training professional artists is an important part of Ms. Turocy’s work with the NYBDC. Former members of the company include Ken Pierce, Thomas Baird, Paige Whitley Bauguess and Carlos Fittante, all who have gone on to start their own companies and/or careers as freelance historical choreographers. Current members of the company trained by Ms. Turocy and now active in the field as choreographers include Patricia Beaman, Caroline Copeland, Sarah Edgar, Rachel List and Ani Udovicki.
Ms. Turocy is currently on faculty at the Juilliard School in the newly formed program: Historical Performance. She is often a guest teacher at the Early Music Institute at Indiana University, Oberlin College, Curtis Institute of Music and Case Western Reserve. This February/March she has been in residence at the University of Miami directing Mozart’s Magic Flute.
Always happy to serve dance when needed, she acted as the Ad interim Chair and Dance History teacher for the Dance Division at the Meadows School, Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas from 1995-96.
She is a founding member of SDHS and a member of the Committee on Research in Dance (CORD) and CORPS de Ballet International, the Dance Council.
Catherine Turocy began her studies of historical dance as a freshman with Dr. Shirley Wynne at Ohio State University where she graduated magna cum laude. She is grateful to Lynn Dally, Peter Saul, Kathryn Karipedes, Ruth Currier, Lucy Venable, Alex Martin and Miss Betsy Widmer for their instruction and guidance during her early years. As a ballet dancer she performed with the Cleveland Ballet under Alex Martin and as a modern dancer she has performed with choreographer Mitchell Rose and in many of her own original works in NYC.