Archive for the ‘General News’ Category

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/

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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.

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From our Artistic Director, Catherine Turocy

I invite you to see us live in person or live on the internet. Matthew Ting, Carly Fox , Marques Furr, Sierra Noelle Jones and I will be dancing March 20th with the Dallas Bach Society in Dallas at Zion Lutheran Church on Lovers Lane and Skillman. Covid inspired me to put together a concert of masked character solos, thus the name of the concert: Les Caractères de la Danse.

As Pierrot, I will be performing Les Caractères de la Danse with music by Jean Fery Rebel.. Other characters include Apollo, a Bacchante, an Ostrich, a man with 3 legs, Harlequin and Columbine, a Blindfolded Juggler and a village woman carrying someone on her back in a basket.

Click here for more information and tickets: http://www.ticketdfw.com/presenters/dallas-bach-society/

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January 2021 News

This new book focused on medieval dance in religion and culture by Kathryn Dickason is a revelation. Although there are no dance notations or even dance manuals from the Middle Ages there are still sources to investigate to discover attitudes toward dancing, when and where it occurred and what part of society was dancing. The depth of research and analysis by Dickason is astounding. I very much appreciate the numerous footnotes and bibliography which allows one to get deeper into the subject and to get an overview of thought from other scholars working in this rare corner of historical dance. I would advise you to buy your copy soon before the price triples which has been my experience with other books of this nature
.Link to the Table of Contents
Dancer Olsi Gjeci
In our Dance of the Month classes for January we are studying a “dance game” choreographed by Pecour and published along with the 1700 edition of Chorégraphie. This dance is the French gigue, La Contredance. Our last Saturday in January will focus on the use of the head and arms and the leanings of the body in bringing this work to life. What is it like to be coached by Catherine Turocy if you are a dancer in the New York Baroque Dance Company? Attend our class and find out!
What is Dance of the Month?
Our Dance of the Month begins with a new dance every month. In the following Saturdays we continue with the dance. If you missed the first class you can still take the second, third and/or fourth classes and enjoy the warm-up, learn the figure which is being taught that day and partake in the discussion and look at the notation at the end of class. If you study the whole month you end up with an in-depth understanding of the structure and musicality of the work. If you can only drop in on occasion you have an active and fun dance class with discussion at the end.
Registration and Payment
When: Every first Saturday of the month from 3:30-5PM Eastern Time Zone.
Cost: $10 per class

Our 2021 Dances
forDance of the Month
from now through June

January 2: La Contredance
February 6: Le Rigaudon des Vaisseaux 
March 6: La Bourgogne 
April 3: La Savoye  
May 1: La Forlana 
June 5: La Conty 

Upcoming Workshop:

Historical Dance Society presents Working with the Sources
Workshop 1: La Belle Danse: Baroque Court & Theatre Dance in Beauchamp-Feuïllet Notation – French collections and sources27-28 February 4.30-7.30 PM GMT each day (11.30 AM-2.30 PM EST)

Workshop 2: La Belle Danse: Baroque Court & Theatre Dance in Beauchamp-Feuïllet Notation – English collections and sources6-7 March 4.30-7.30 PM GMT each day

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From Our Dining Room to Yours…

Wednesdays:  New York Baroque Dance Company Zoom Class at 12 Noon EST, Open Levels Baroque Dance Practice Class, Drop-ins are welcome. Taught by Caroline Copeland to benefit the Dancers Fund. Class is free but donations are appreciated. Join our Face Book Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/NYBDCZoomClass/?source_id=79845890269

Baroque Beauty Workout on Wednesdays at 1:30pm EST is an exercise class to Baroque music which focuses on muscle tone for correct posture, balance and a graceful carriage of the body. Burn calories while shaping your body, finding correct posture, and learning how to move with your own grace and confidence.


Saturdays: Dance of the Month directed by Catherine Turocy from 2:30-4 Central Time… A new Dance begins every first Saturday of the month with an option to continue to learn the entire dance. More Information and Registration

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Marcea Daiter, Catherine Turocy and Valery Shelton Tabor

Join us this weekend on Sunday, August 9th and experience Haitian, Cuban, French,Spanish and English culture fused into one dance form, the contredanse of the late 18th century in the French colonies. Marcea Daiter and I have been working since we first met in the late 1990’s, producing workshops and performances inspired by colonial artists in the Caribbean including Joseph Boulogne also known as the Chevalier de Saint Georges. We are delighted to have her again at our workshop on zoom.

Class Description:

Haitian/Cuban Baroque Dance Class 

When Africans were brought to Haiti and Cuba as slaves, they carried their rituals and cultural traditions. Songs and dances from many parts of Africa mixed and fused, creating new expressions as they began to incorporate French and Spanish colonial culture. Daiter is one of the few dancer/scholars working with this historical material which she will share with students through her dance class.

This class will be followed by a lecture from Joan Walton whom we are delighted to have as a teacher at our workshop for the first time!

Lecture: Fusion dances, when two cultures collide.

African dance/Colonial dance and its evolution in the New World. Both North and South America participated in the transportation and enslavement of Africans in the Americas. The resulting fusion dance forms evolved into dramatically different forms from North to South America. Trace the history of the Samba, the Lindy Hop, and other fusion forms as they evolve from the complicated combinations of African and European dances.

Tuition for the workshop is only $25. For more details and to register click here: https://nybaroquedance.org/historical-dance-at-play-welcome-home/

The NYBDC hopes to continue its work in this area: https://nybaroquedance.org/gallery-and-videos/soiree-baroque-en-haiti/

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James Weaver 1937-2020
“Weaver turned the Smithsonian Institution and its extensive collection of historic musical instruments into a center of the early music movement”  David Von Drehle, Washington Post
I met Jim while still a student at Ohio State University in the early 1970’s and dancing with the Baroque Dance Ensemble directed by Shirley Wynne. He housed us in his “barn” studio in the country during our visits to Washington, DC. Through his program at the Smithsonian he produced some of the first Baroque dance concerts and opera ballet in the United States. In fact, the first performance of The New York Baroque Dance Company was with Jim at Canal Square in Washington DC, August of 1976. As I danced the Passacaille d’Armide to his harpsichord a loud motorcycle drove past our outdoor stage . Even though I could not hear the music, we never dropped a beat. Many years went by and we reconnected this past October for a performance he produced called “Keyboard and Key Moves” at the Memorial Art Gallery at Eastman in Rochester, New York. Joined by harpsichordist Lisa Crawford and NYBDC member Alexis Silver as well as organist Stephen Kennedy, we gave the first of what we thought would be annual presentations. I am sad our rekindled friendship was so short-lived. On April 16 he died of Covid-19.
Catherine Turocy
Chrystelle Trump Bond 1938-2020
by Caroline Copeland, Associate Director of the New York Baroque Dance Company
In early May, we lost a true devotee to history and a fabulous educator; a scholar and a professor of the highest order, Professor Emerita, Chrystelle Trump Bond.  Like many of us, she had her feet in multiple epochs at once but never harbored any prejudice towards one form of expression over another. Her egalitarian style of teaching was equally passionate no matter what the topic.
At Goucher College, Dance studies were originally tied with the Physical Education wing. So just like our Renaissance Dancing masters hundreds of years earlier, Professor Bond created the case for Dance as an art and academic discipline. Chystelle presented to the Dean a body of dance literature and notation; she won her case, creating the Goucher College Dance Department in 1975.
Professor Bond went on to Chair the Dance Department and also founded Chorégraphie Antique, a historical dance group comprised of students and local citizens. Generations of Goucher “girls” and, eventually, “boys” have fond memories of Chrystelle dashing down the corridors in her signature uniform of black tights, t-shirt, white socks, and white jazz shoes. She taught Anatomy and Kinesiology, Dance History courses, Dance Criticism, as well as social dance history practice class. Her zeal and energy seemed boundless and in each class her spirited imperative was that EVERYTHING we studied was essential knowledge.
On a personal level, she lit the fire of history in me and encouraged me to explore the world of Baroque dance. It never occurred to me that I could create a career in embodied historical practice! I passed through that door and still wander in its vast and intricate world where so may disciplines interact in lively and meaningful dialogues. It is because of Professor Bond that I truly understand the concept of a Liberal Arts education. And it is because of her that I am living the life I never thought to have but cannot imaging exiting without.
Chrystelle’s first Baroque steps were taught to her by Wendy Hilton and through Professor Bond, Goucher College hosted many historical dance workshops in the 1980’s and 2000’s.  In 2009, The New York Baroque Dance Company presented the last of these events where Professor Bond proved to be an enthusiastic student, always questioning, always earnest. Over our last lunch together, she turned to look at me and said, “Well, it is up to you now.” And by me, she means us.
Find your passion and persevere. This is her extraordinary legacy to all she touched.
Chrystelle recommended Caroline for a scholarship to our summer workshop in Napa, California in 1996 and Caroline has been with us ever since. I am forever grateful to Chrystelle. (Catherine Turocy)
Judson Griffin 1952-2020
What a shock it was to hear of Judson’s illness and then to hear of his death days later. Judson played violin and viola for my husband’s 2 orchestras, Concert Royal in NYC and the Dallas Bach Society. We have fallen out of touch with him over the past decade as he became more involved with his own group and other projects. This is part of the life of performers. We have intense, almost family-like ties in our youth…growing together as people and artists. Eventually careers become successful and we are performing more with different groups, then people move out of town and fewer and fewer experiences are shared. Looking back to 1994-95 when Judson was on tour with our group in Germany and then Italy, we had the good fortune of renting a car with him for our visit to Italy. With our sons (ages 1 and a half and almost 4) Judson would be the fifth passenger. Early on he decided he would be the third child in the car rather than the third adult which resulted in much laughter and many jokes. This was Judson, an oblique sense of humor. Jim took this picture of us at the car…even though Judson was the third child, he was the best at packing the trunk with instruments and suitcases. In 2006 we had the opportunity to work with him at the Connecticut Early Music Festival bringing Mozart’s Les Petits Riens to life. We did not expect this to be the last time. We miss him and regret there was no time for a last exchange of words. He did not die of Covid-19, but perhaps his illness would have been discovered earlier if all doctor appointments could have taken place instead of being postponed. he passed away on May 27th.
Catherine Turocy
Michael McCraw 1947-2020
Michael McCraw was one of the first members of Concert Royal directed by James Richman and this is when I met him, in 1976. When Jim and I married in 1977 he was the Best Man at our wedding in Ohio. We were sorry to see him move to Europe in 1979 and always welcomed the rare occasion to re-connect. We did spend 5 days together in Venice in 1989 and this is one of the photos you see taken by Jim. When Michael moved back to the States and eventually landed as a professor at the University of Indiana in Bloomington we were able to renew our friendship and artistic collaboration with performances of Pygmalion and a program dedicated to Moliere and Lully. However, distance and busy careers and family have a way of limiting bonds of those who are living in another region. He was a man who loved life, a loyal friend and an artist who illuminated music. I am so grateful to his dear friends Wendy Gillespie and Elisabeth Wright who watched over him these last years and kept his spirits up. I am sure Michael would prefer I honor him by linking all of you to this witty and insightful podcast, The Bad Boy of the Bassoon, so well crafted by Wendy. Michael passed away of Covid-19 on May 30th.
Catherine Turocy

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Video from the Vault and News!

I hope you enjoy our video from the vault this week! Three of the artists from this production appeared in the original production of Christie’s Atys a year later… Ann Monoyios and Howard Crook sang the leading roles and Ken Pierce joined Ris et Danseries as a dancer. The NYBDC has mentored lead artists in the fields of early dance and music, especially opera-ballet, since 1976.

Today our NYBDC is grateful to Gibney and the Mark Morris Dance Center for helping us continue our rehearsals and classes in a supportive and affordable space. But most of all, both centers act as a meeting place and catalyst for dance innovation and study. As artists, we value the opportunity to randomly bump into other choreographers, dancers, teachers, actors and musicians in the lobby or warm-up areas where we are able to share ideas and catch glimpses of works in progress as dancers of all styles prepare their work.

Most recently we were preparing Scylla et Glaucus dances for the April 15th premiere in San Francisco and the Versailles premiere April 25th. We are sorry it was cancelled/postponed because of the coronavirus.  Here is a glimpse of the sarabande rehearsal at Gibney 280 Broadway:

Both dance centers are suffering from being closed during the pandemic. If you are able, please make a contribution to Gibney  and/or Mark Morris Dance Center

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Minister of Circe designed by Marie Anne Chiment

Minister of Circe designed by Marie Anne Chiment

Scylla and Glaucus,  April Premiere in San Francisco and Versailles

by Jean-Marie Leclair (1697–1764)
Tragédie en musique with one prologue and five acts on a libretto d’Albaret, created in 1746 in Paris.


“It is an honor not only to be chosen as the stage director and choreographer for this new production, but to also bring ten dancers from The New York Baroque Dance Company with me to San Francisco and Versailles, is a dream come true.”

Catherine Turocy, Artistic Director

Glaucus, designed by Marie Anne Chiment


Véronique Gens:  Circé
Chantal Santon-Jeffery:  Scylla
Judith Van Wanroij:  Vénus, Témire, Dorine
Aaron Sheehan: Glaucus
Douglas Williams:  Chef de Peuple, Licas, Hecate

Les Chantres du Centre de musique baroque de Versailles (conducted by Olivier Schneebeli)
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
Nicholas McGegan Musical: conductor
The New York Baroque Dance Company
Catherine Turocy: Stage director and choreographer
Marie Anne Chiment: Costume designer
Pierre Dupouey: Lighting and video designer
Antoine Fontaine: Set designer



Jean-Marie Leclair, at 49, composed his first (and single) opera, Scylla and Glaucus, created at the Académie Royale de Musique in 1746, and performed seventeen times to great acclaim… A meteoric work strongly influenced by Rameau, this opera is undoubtedly one of the achievements of French 18th century.


Plot: To gain the love of beautiful and chaste Scylla, Glaucus calls the magician Circe to the rescue: but she falls in love with him, dragging the trio into an implacable and dramatic spiral, ending in tragedy for all and Scylla’s metamorphosis into a deathly rock. This beautiful score (with irresistible choruses and dances), where virtuosity serves a gripping plot, will be premiered in a “historically informed” staging and choreography in San Francisco, conducted by Nicholas McGegan.

Coproduction: Centre de musique baroque de Versailles, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale. Scores realized by the Centre de musique baroque de Versailles with surtitles in French and English

Who is Jean-Marie Leclair?

The son of a skilled haberdasher and amateur musician, Leclair was born in Lyon on May 10, 1697, one of six siblings, five of whom were also to become musicians. He is often called “the elder” to distinguish him from a younger brother also known as Jean – Marie who enjoyed a musical career in their native city. Nothing is known of his early masters though we do know that for a decade Leclair performed both as a dancer and a violinist. His stage debut most certainly took place early in life, for at age nineteen he wedded a ballerina of the Lyon Opera, Marie – Rose Casthanie. Soon thereafter we find the man who was to become the most travelled French musician of his day in Rouen; in 1722 he joined the Teatro Regio of Turin as premier danseur and ballet master. For all of his responsibilities he found time to compose three intermezzi for Semiramide, an opera by Giuseppe Maria Orlandini.

Leclair came to Paris in the fall of 1723, (take me to article, http://www.early-music.com/what-is-early-music/jean-marie-leclair-1697-1764/)

Nereid design from 17th century

Buy Tickets for San Francisco: https://philharmonia.org/2019-2020-season/scylla-et-glaucus/

Buy Tickets for Versailles:


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Dance of the Month at Mark Morris Dance Center in Brooklyn, 3:30-5:30pm with teacher/choreographer, Catherine Turocy and live music by Isaac Hutton. Cost: $17

What are we teaching?  The Tambourin from Scylla et Glaucus in Act V!

go to 2:38:52 for the music


From January 16-February 20, 1986 The New York Baroque Dance Company was in residence at the Opera de Lyon where I was the choreographer for this beautiful opera by Jean Marie Leclair. Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists under the direction of John Eliot Gardiner [conductor] collaborated with us on this first modern day production of the opera. Philippe Lénaël was the stage director and our glorious production won le Prix Claude Rostand (Critic’s choice for the Best Lyrical Opera Production of the Year).

From Catherine Turocy…

“What many people forget is that the dancers were half from The New York Baroque Dance Company and half from Ris et Danceries. This was an experiment on my part to see if we could combine our forces and have as many dancers as chorus members on stage…eventually… trained in the technique. La Compagnie de Danse l’Eventail director, MarieGeneviève Massé, was one of the dancers from Ris et Danceries. Sadly, my invitation to Ris et Danceries was never reciprocated, and, as the company has now disbanded (1980 to about 1995),  I am no longer anticipating an invitation.”

The internet was not active in 1986 and it is impossible to find even a program from the 5 performances given in Lyons.  The NYBDC files are currently in storage but hopefully we will be able to re-discover the cast list before too long.

Happily we are returning to France for performances at Versailles April 25 and 26, 2020:

link to information


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