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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

March 19 in Dallas!

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by Francois de Troy

The Duchesse du Maine. portrayed above in the Astronomy Lesson by François de Troy, was a patron of the arts in France. Born as Anne Louise Bénédicte de Bourbon (1676-1753), she suffered from a lame arm and dwarf-like stature; she was abused as a child; and at 15 years of age she was forced to marry a man she did not love. Both she and her husband were later imprisoned for their political views in a battle for the Regency after the death of Louis XIV.

However, despite these challenges, she developed her salon in the early 18th century where she created a liberal environment which contributed to the “salon culture,” transforming politics, culture and art.

In our March 19th appearance with the Dallas Bach Society we are celebrating the month of March, dedicated to women.

Featured works on the program are:

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The Cantata: Jonas (from Cantates Françaises sur des sujets tirés de l’écriture) by Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre and sung by Julianna Emanski.

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The Sonata in D minor also by Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre
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Les Caractères de la danse with music by Jean-Ferry Rebel, choreographed as a duet in the manner of Marie Sallé by Catherine Turocy and danced by Caroline Copeland and Roberto Lara.
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*Apollon, La Nuit, et Comus with music by Nicolas Bernier, stage direction and choreography by Catherine Turocy and performed by members of The New York Baroque Dance Company: Brynt Beitman, Julia Bengtsson, Caroline Copeland (Assoc. Dir. of NYBDC), Roberto Lara, Glenda Norcross and Matthew Ting.  Julianna Emanski, Hunter Birkhead and Joshua Hughes will be the soloists singing this charming work.
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We hope you are able to join us for our debut at the Moody Performance Hall in the Arts District in Dallas, Texas.
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*A Word from the Choreographer:
Some of the dances for Apollon, La Nuit, et Comus are actually period dance notations from the early 18th century which have been adapted to the music.  In order to give the air of authenticity and a keener sense of the aesthetic, I have asked Caroline Copeland to learn a sarabande from an unpublished collection of dances as well as a musette from Mr. Siris.  In both cases I asked her to simply dance the choreography straight to the music.  Then, I coached the decision making as we played with density of steps and musicality.  I would not have attempted this process with anyone else in the cast but Caroline, because she has a deep understanding of the style.  I admire her talent and instincts and I follow the practice of the 18th century which is to give those dancers with the most experience, the most freedom in their solos. For the final trio of “Unissons Nous,”  I based the dance on the Minuet by Mr. Shirley, published in 1711. This is my personal acknowledgement to my Baroque dance teacher, Shirley Wynne.

BEDfest2019-flyer_v2 (1)

 

Sarah Edgar leading the NYBDC and friends in a dance at Mark Morris Dance Center

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jennifer Meller
Phone: 323-791-6769
Email: jenbeast@gmail.com

Announcing the very first Bay area Early Dance Festival on January
20, 2019, 8pm at the ODC Dance Commons in San Francisco,
California.

The BED Festival is the brainchild of local dancers Carlos Venturo
and Jennifer Meller, who met at a baroque and renaissance dance workshop in 2012 and decided something needed to be done about the lack of resources for the study and practice of historical dance forms in the Bay Area.

Jennifer and Carlos plan to produce the festival of workshops and
performances every two years and to include a widening range of
dance styles and historical periods, workshops for musicians, and
sessions for the exchange of ideas around community-building,
preservation, fresh approaches, with a special interest in exploring
the connections between early dance forms and modern dance. It
will be held in January which is usually a quiet time for teachers and
students, and a nice time to visit California for those in colder
climates.

The first BED fest will consist of one low-key performance by
participants of a weekend baroque dance workshop January 18-20
held in Studio B at ODC. The workshop is taught by Catherine
Turocy, artistic director of The New York Baroque Dance Company
(NYBDC) and recipient of this year’s Isadora Duncan Award for her
reconstruction of 1745 opera “Le Temple de La Gloire” at
CalPerformances.

The festival will include performances by special
guest dancer Sarah Edgar, associate director of NYBDC, and live
music provided by Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale
educational director Lisa Grodin leading students from San Francisco
Music Conservatory.

Gregory Youdan and Meggi Sweeney Smith

 

Covered by news in Japan!

January 5, 2019 Dance of the Month with Meggi Sweeney Smith

Continuing her lesson on the gavotte, Meggi says: “We will use our physical practice to help one another confidently embody the weight shifts and quality of ease that are part of this form while expanding our listening practice and understanding of Bach’s French Suites!”

Have you recently googled gavotte? There are so many descriptions of the dance as a kissing dance, a dance from the Alps, a moderate dance, a fast dance, a dance which was usually followed by the minuet…but what is it, really? Looking at a particular time period and composer helps to bring clarity and this is what Meggi will be offering on January 5th. Class will begin with a warm-up and then move into step sequences and patterns. This will be an energetic class and a good way to start the New Year! All are welcome. Pay at the front desk.

Time: January 5, 2019 from 3:30-5:30, Studio B

Place: Mark Morris Dance Center at 3 Lafayette Avenue in Brooklyn

Cost: $17

Haiti and the NYBDC
From today until January 30 th
5% of your donation to the NYBDC
will go to  Dance to Save Lives  in Haiti.

Click Here  to donate online to NYBDC via PayPal

Background:
Marcea Daiter (pictured above) and I have been friends since the 1990’s and share a passion of dance history.  Marcea’s research into the dances of colonial Haiti has inspired our work together in classes, workshops and performances orbiting the historical figure of the Chevalier de Saint George as well as unearthing information about standard French social and theatrical practice in colonial Haiti. The main opera house in Haiti employed racially mixed casts and when the Revolution came (1791-1804), many of these artists migrated north to the US, traveling and performing in the southern coastal states like Florida and the Carolinas as well as Louisiana.
Today’s artists in Haiti are struggling for materials and even the very basic necessities; we would like to help them.  Honoring our work together with Marcea Daiter, the board of The New York Baroque Dance Company has decided to contribute a portion of our  end of year fundraising drive  to “Dance to Save Lives”, a Haitian arts organization.
Dance to Save Lives:
Marcea has guided our goodwill to the Haitian artist, Dieufel Lamisére, Artistic Director/HaitiDansco. He has been a colleague of Marcea’s these past five years. He opened several free schools under the organization “Dance To Save Lives,” a non-profit project that offers free professional dance training, art education and shelter to children and disadvantaged youth from the poorest areas. In addition to dance training, the group’s members have been provided with daily meals, transportation costs and merit-based scholarships. Mr. Lamisére has also offered shelter for those temporarily in need. Out of his personal funds and with the help of some of the money he raised for DTSL, Mr. Lamisére significantly contributed to school expenses for several of his ‘children.’  Unfortunately, circumstances have caused him to move from Jacmel to another location, Ville Du Cap-Haitian, North Haiti and he is starting from scratch. Last summer, some of Marcea’s colleagues went to Haiti and participated in a Haitian dance workshop he sponsored which was a success, but between the recent hurricanes and earthquakes, life in Haiti has become even more challenging for Mr. Lamisére and his organization.
Thank you!
In honor of our shared artistic heritage, we thank you in advance for joining us in the spirit of community which goes beyond our borders. By donating to The New York Baroque Dance Company this season, 5% of your contribution will go towards Mr. Lamisére’s organization “Dance to Save Lives”.  And if you are curious about NYBDC projects please click Projects in Development
Sincerely yours,
Catherine Turocy (Artistic Director) and fellow NYBDC Board members Caroline Copeland and Sarah Edgar (Associate Directors), Rachel List and Laurie Postelwate

Caroline Copeland backstage at Drottningholm

The New York Baroque Dance Company provides an important entry into the world of Baroque dance and music for its company dancers. Trained by Catherine Turocy, Artistic Director and Associate Directors Caroline Copeland and Sarah Edgar in period performance technique, the dancers are also encouraged to be involved in projects outside the company.  Reading the dance notation, developing their research skills and expanding their knowledge of the general culture from the period are skills the dancers must pursue on their own. These skills are not learned in a dance rehearsal. However, dancers do gain insight into these skills through their NYBDC performances. Being a good dancer does not automatically mean one is equipped to stage direct or choreograph…but it is a start!

This past summer Alexis Silver was the choreographer for the new Aquilon Music Festival in Oregon.  She worked on the fully-staged opera premiere of La Chûte de Phaëton, a commedie en musique, from 1694. For a fuller account of the festival and its activities Click here.

Olsi Gjeci taught his first Baroque dance intensive in Lisbon, Portugal on July 30th. Currently he is expanding his research into dance notation, often involving his wife, dancer Diana Seabra as his partner. Olsi is a true “citizen of the world” and is having an incredible impact on dance through his web platform UMUV.  An experienced modern dancer (formerly with Trisha Brown) as well as an accomplished modern dance choreographer himself, we are looking forward to Olsi’s deeper journey into the Baroque!

Last April Brynt Beitman choreographed a solo and performed for the City Choir of Washington in their tribute to Maestro Shafer’s fiftieth anniversary as a conductor in Washington, DC.  Already a contemporary choreographer, it is exciting to see Brynt’s interest in combining the new with the old.

Looking back, I first met Sarah Edgar as a scholarship student at our summer workshop in Napa in 1998. She has accomplished so much since then. Be sure to catch her work as stage director at the end of September for Handel’s Serse at Haymarket Opera in Chicago.

 

Louis XIV as Jupiter from a ballet

BALLET OF THE SEVEN PLANETS WORKSHOP
Taught by Catherine Turocy
Where: New Mexico Ballet 10410 Comanche Rd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87111
When: July 23-27, 9:30am-12:30pm
Cost: $150.00
Hosted by New Mexico Ballet and funded in part by the Dance Preservation Fund of The Ohio State University
for more information call Mariel McEwan 323-578-0846
Dance as Science: In the magnificent and opulent court entertainments of Louis XIV, early ballet was considered both an art and a science. The body was trained as a highly functioning instrument of artistic expression revealing the movements of the soul within the dancer. Through both the lines of motion felt within the body and outside the body… whether executing a dance phrase or in creating spatial geometrical patterns of choreography on the stage, through thiese lines, the dancer spins the story of the ballet.  These lines of geometry were part of a larger aesthetic ruled by measurements believed to be at the heart of universal harmony and joining the earth with the heavens.
As a dancer, I have used the philosophical concepts of the  body being the microcosm of the macrocosm of nature and in harmony with the golden ratio. Perhaps the secret behind my performance persona comes from this ability to use the body both physically and dramatically within this structure which is still valid in dance performance today.
The workshop will take students through early ballet concepts of theory, technique and performance practice. The morning session will look at technique and complicated dance phrases. Using a smaller movement range than we do today, students will experience a heightened sense of fine motor skills. They will be able to add this new mastery of the muscles to their modern training thus enhancing their abilities to add a subtle air or color to their own performance practice.
The morning session will use music from the Ballet of the Seven Planets as well as additional music. We will also look at opera text using the aria of Venus to see how expressive movement and pantomime can be combined to enhance the sung text. Ballets in the 17th and 18th cenuries often wove together the sung and danced air to make a suite.
The 9:30-12:30am sessions will be my chance as a choreographer to experiment with phrases and to begin to set the Ballet of the Seven Planets as I would like to use it in the planetary dome show. After breaking for lunch, from 1-2pm  I would like to train specific dancers on how to coach the period dance style with the notion that they could eventually use material learned in the workshop to enhance an educational outreach class touching upon the origins of ballet. This afternoon session is a separate class from the workshop.   Poster at right can be downloaded: