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A leading force in the revival of 18th century ballet, challenging aesthetic conventions and bringing forgotten masterpieces to new audiences in what The Guardian has called “a whirlwind of desperately needed fresh air.”

 

Thank you to our dancers from over the years appearing in this collage: Thomas Baird, Michael Barriskill, Patricia Beaman, Brynt Beitman, Deda Christina Colonna, Justin Coates, Caroline Copeland, Seth Davis, Letizia Dradi, Sarah Edgar, Karen Eliot, Carly Fox Horton, Carlos Fittante, Jorge Fuentes, Junichi Fukuda, Stephanie Grover, Olsi Gjeci, Joy Havens, Timothy Kasper, Rachel List, Jason Melms, Hugh Murphy, Glenda Norcross, Valerie Shelton Tabor, Alexis Silver, Matthew Ting, Andrew Trego, Meggi Sweeney Smith, Catherine Turocy, Ani Udovicki, Seth Williams, Timothy Wilson, Gregory Youdan

Thomas F. DeFrantz will be a guest at The New York Baroque Dance Company workshop, Historical Dance at Play: Welcome Home II. Marcea Daiter and Loris Beckles will join Thomas on a dance panel of choreographers who use their experience and understanding of the legacy of their own history as African Americans to create new work.

This short video from Thomas speaks to the place of history and dance history in contemporary choreography with a reflection on social justice.

Loris Anthony Beckles, Artistic director of the Beckles Dance Company, is from Guyana, South America. Loris has studied ballet, modern dance, jazz and a taste of African dance; performed with lots of companies including the Syracuse Ballet Theater, Capitol Ballet, Eleo Pomare Dance Company, Joan Miller Dance Players and the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble (now Ailey II).  He has taught in the U.S., the Caribbean and in Europe; and choreographed just about wherever he stayed long enough.

The New York Baroque Dance Company is excited to have him as part of the panel of choreographers who will talk of their experiences, the legacy of African American dance and how history affects their own new works. Thomas DeFrantz and Marcea Daiter will join Loris on this panel.

Join us in our August workshop and hear more from Loris! Historical Dance at Play: Welcome Home II

Sarah Edgar, Associate Director of The New York Baroque Dance Company, will be talking about her experience as stage director/choreographer for what may be the only 18th century opera which has come down to us, composed by Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Sainte-Georges.

Sarah Edgar speaks about her presentation for our next zoom event, Historical Dance at Play: Welcome Home II

Please join us at Historical Dance at Play this August 20-21-27-28 to hear more from Sarah Edgar and about the latest historical dance activity in our world.

In the NYBDC Welcome Home II Zoom workshop August 20, 21, 27, 28, 2022, Caroline will be speaking on the topic: Bringing Baroque and earlier concepts into our ballet practice today. In this short video clip she gives us insight to her teaching practice. Enjoy!

“With Turocy Feuillet gift” This is Ann, sending me a photo of the gift I gave her for her 100th birthday. I notated a dance I created for her which followed the pathway of her initials, AHG. This was a standard 18th century way of offering tribute.

I first became aware of Ann Hutchinson Guest as a student of Labanotation under Lucy Venable while attending The Ohio State University. Her Labanotation handbook clearly explained the system and with the help of Lucy Venable, I understood the value of reading and writing in dance notation and the value of movement analysis which goes hand-in-hand with writing. Later, I read Ann’s book, Dance Notation, the process of recording movement on paper. What an incredible discovery to know that over 100 systems exist!

My first in-person meeting with Ann was in the fall of 1980. I was in residence in London for 10 months on the Bicentennial US/UK Bicentennial Exchange Fellowship. Through Lucy Venable I was able to get an introduction to Ann and, sure enough, she invited me to her home in London. We had over an hour long conversation about dance and then Ann invited me to look at her collection of nearly 200 dances in 18th century dance notation developed by Beauchamp, Feuillet and additional dancing masters at the court of Louis XIV. (Of course, this took several visits.) In the 1980’s it was not easy to get into the rare collections of the major libraries of Europe. Ann’s collection represented years dedicated to her research and accumulation of xerox copies and microfiche of notated dances from different countries. I was still at the beginning of my career. To have access to this material was a godsend. She allowed me to take copies of these notations to begin to build my own library. Within a year I had read through all the dances and began to form an idea of Baroque choreographic style. I also used the notations as a springboard for my own choreography. Ann did not realize it at the time, but her generosity catapulted me into the search for answers defining dance theory and practice of the 18th century. I was already established as a performer of historical dance, but her passion inspired me to pursue my own path of practical research as related to performance production. She, too, was a dancer with a strong performance background who embraced the intellectual challenges of dance notation and movement analysis and this was the passion we shared which kept us in touch over 4 decades.

A piece of wisdom I learned from Ann, and am still using in my own company, came from a dance conference where we were both delivering papers. I attended her presentation where she discussed her latest reconstruction. Looking at the video of the dancers, I was impressed by their ability to grasp the style in such a short study session. I asked her how she achieved this and she summed it up in one word: improvisation. She explained that if a dancer can improvise in the style it means they have embodied the basic principles of the dance style and can therefore bring this fluidity of understanding to the performance of the specific dance. So simple, so brilliant and so Ann.

Ann, I will miss you. I am so grateful for our friendship and please know I think of you every time I ask a new dancer in our company to simply “improvise!”

The New York Times published a very good overview of her life and contributions. Here is the link: Ann Hutchinson Guest

August 20-21 and 27-28, 2022

We are so excited to offer a Welcome Home II zoom workshop this August! Among the teachers on our team are Deda Christina Colonna, Edmund Fairfax, Sam Gosk, Millicent Hodson, Bruno Benne and more. In fact we are literally in the planning stages but have already received a wonderful response from the historical dance field in joining us for Welcome Home II. If you would like to be on our mailing list for this event, please contact me by email at cturocy@gmail.com.

Yours,

Catherine Turocy

Our focus in this legacy zoom event hosted by Eventbrite on January 22, 2022 at 11 CST will pay tribute to Nathalie Krassovska and her influence on members of the New York Baroque Dance Company (NYBDC) who carry on her inspirational understanding of classical body attitudes and port de bras. Although ballet style has changed its carriage of the arms and tilts of the head from the 18th century to our own time, dancers continue to need sensitive training in complex body placement, imbuing angles of the head with expression and dynamically shifting within a small movement range. It is an artistic effort and responsibility on the teacher’s part to pass on these techniques to the students. Once the subtlety is learned, the dancer can use this tool and apply it to many styles of dance.

Born in St. Petersburg, Krassovska danced with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, the London Festival Ballet and worked with Bronislava Nijinska, Balanchine, and many more. NYBDC dancers Glenda Norcross and Brynt Beitman and Marci Hall, former NYBDC administrator, are all former students of Krassovska . Hear what they have to say from their first-hand experience with this amazing woman. Using an interview format as well as reading a tribute from Brynt, Catherine Turocy will lead this oral history event.

This is a free event and we invite all to attend. You will be sent the link closer to the event once you have registered. If you are able to contribute, donations are appreciated. The first $800 will go towards the Nathalie Krassovska Memorial Ballet Scholarship fund administered by the Dance Council of North Texas and remaining donations will support NYBDC workshops.

Donate

Julia Sutton

On August 13th, 12-1:30 pm Pacific Time, the first virtual event of our workshop, Historical Dance at Play: Dance Through Time, will honor first generation teachers in early dance in the United States. Wendy Hilton, Shirley Wynne, Julia Sutton, Ingrid Brainard, Angene Feves, Sandra Noll Hammond and Richard Powers will be celebrated by today’s teachers in the field who were introduced to historical dance by these groundbreaking scholars.

Wendy Hilton


Although Wendy Hilton is actually a 3rd generation teacher from England, she was a pioneer in early dance once she moved to the United States in the 1960’s. Linda Tomko will talk about her work with Wendy including the Stanford summer workshop, Pendragon Press and more. Shirley Wynne studied the sources directly in the 1960’s (she choreographed Rameau’s Pygmalion in 1969). Avoiding being mentored by others, she wished to develop a unique perspective. 

Catherine Turocy will speak about her work with Shirley in the 1970’s as a student at The Ohio State University and then as a member of her Baroque Dance Ensemble, the first professional Baroque dance company in the US. 

Sandra Noll Hammond

Sandra Noll Hammond was inspired by the work of these first generation teachers and she, herself, became a pioneer in the research and reconstruction of early 19th century ballet technique and performance. The early dance scene was a small group when it started and there was a lot of interplay between the teachers. Additional speakers for this event are Talitha MacKenzie on Julia Sutton, Debra Sowell on Ingrid Brainard and Carol Teten on Angene Feves and Richard Powers.


We hope to see you at this virtual event! Registration Here

Richard Powers
Ingrid Brainard on left, photo taken by Richard Powers at Castle Hill Festival

Justin Coates at our Santa Barbara workshop, photo by Mariel McEwen

We are busy preparing for our first Hybrid workshop which will be hosted by Marin Ballet in San Rafael, California. It opens with a virtual Zoom conversation where leaders in our field reminisce about the 1960’s-1980’s beginnings of the early dance movement in the United States. Hear about Shirley Wynne, Wendy Hilton, Ingrid Brainard and others. This will be on August 13th.

On Saturday and Sunday we will be teaching 15 in-person students in the courtyard of Marin Ballet on a special canopied platform where we will all be able to breathe fresh air and dance together. At the same time these classes will be broadcast live via zoom for those who are not able to join us this summer.

We are looking forward to this new design for a summer workshop. How will this format move into the future. I do not know…but your involvement this year could give us valuable feedback for planning.

I hope you will join us! Read more at https://nybaroquedance.org/historical-dance-at-play-crossing-borders/

When the lockdown came for Covid-19 we knew we had to do something to keep our community together and to offer a respite from the daily forecasts of doom. It was Caroline Copeland, an Associate Director with the NYBDC who stepped up to the plate. She offered a free weekly zoom class on Baroque Basics which would be of interest to the beginner as well as the advanced students. Her compassion and love of historical dance was a balm to all who joined the New York Baroque Dance Zoom Class. On this, the day of the 60th class, Caroline has created this video to say thank you for joining us. In turn, we wish to thank Caroline for her steady presence in our lives.

Donations through this class are going to the Dancer Fund to help the NYBDC dancers who have been left with no work because of cancelations due to Covid. https://www.paypal.com/donate/?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=AXNPMX4KZXFJJ&source=url&fbclid=IwAR1C7lT1_WNBA98fUWW4hZo4pP5ajmxujnpSyVyzwGhzalEn6Q9vutiV_YE

Please keep watch on our calendar as work begins to come in for 2022.