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Hofstra University

Contributed by Rachel

From April 6-9, a group of 12 Hofstra University dance majors performed a suite of Baroque dances that I put together as part of the Junior class’ repertory project. We rehearsed during the fall semester, took a break over the holidays, and picked it up again in February, getting ready for the Spring faculty dance performance. (more…)

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Performance at the Winter Garden

The New York Baroque Dance Company will perform at the World Financial Center, the Winter Garden in New York on February 9, 2006 at 12:30 pm. The performance, titled “Courting an English Lady Proper and Improper”, will include dancers Caroline Copland, Tim Wilson, Seth Williams, Seth Davis, Jason Melms, and Sarah Edgar. The performance will also include Judson Griffin on violin and Paul Shipper on lute, recorder and voice.

In 18th century England, dance was instrumental to winning the heart of a lady. Courting an English Lady reveals the secret code between the sexes in ballroom and stage dances. Performing dramatic, comedic and country dances, costumed dancers accompanied by live music on period instruments, will demonstrate the proper and improper ways to woo a winsome heart. The audience will be taught a country dance to The Old Bachelor by Henry Purcell.

The performance is free to the general public. The World Financial Center is located in Lower Manhattan’s Battery Park City. The World Financial Center is bordered by West Street, the Hudson River, Vesey and Liberty Streets.

Program follows:

Courting an English Lady, Proper and Improper

The New York Baroque Dance Company
Catherine Turocy, Artistic Director
Dancers: Caroline Copeland, Sarah Edgar, Seth Davis,
Jason Melms, Seth Williams, Timothy Wilson
Musicians: Judson Griffin, violin and Paul Shipper,
voice, recorder, lute

I. Introduction

II. A Chacone by Mr. Isaac (or “How to be an English Lady”)
danced and reconstructed by Sarah Edgar from “An Essay for the Improvement of Dancing” by E. Pemberton, London, 1711
music: Anonymous

III. A Chaconne from Amadis (or “How to be an English Gentleman)
danced and reconstructed by Seth Williams from a Collection of Dances from the Stage choreographed by Anthony L’Abee and published
in London circa 1725
music by Jean Baptiste Lully

IV. An Ecchoe by Mr. Groscort (or ” Battleground of Courtship”)
danced by Sarah Edgar, Timothy Wilson and Jason Melms
reconstructed by Sarah Edgar from “An Essay for the Improvement of
Dancing” by E, Pemberton, London, 1711
music: Anonymous

V. An Entertainment of Dancing from the Island Princess (or “Courtship Progresses)
danced by Caroline Copeland and Seth Williams and reconstructed by Seth Williams from Kellom Tomlinson’s personal workbook (London dancing master first half of the 18th century)
music: Henry Purcell

VI. A Song and Sung Dance (or “Reflections on Love and Beauty)
danced and choreographed by Caroline Copeland
music by Henry Purcell

VII. Sarabande for Two Men (or “If Love Fails, Friendship Prevails)
danced by Seth Davis and Seth Williams and reconstructed by Seth Williams from Kellom Tomlinson’s personal workbook
music: Jean Baptiste Lully

VIII. Sprightly Country Dances (or “The Origins of the Mixer” as seen through “The Old Batchelor” and “Short and Sweet”)
danced by the Company and reconstructed by Timothy Wilson from John Playford’s Collection of Country Dances published, updated and and republished in London since the 1600’s.
music by Henry Purcell.
IX. Country Dance Lesson for the General Public followed by a Question and Answer period

Costume design: Marie Anne Chiment
website: www.nybaroquedance.org

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Here is an update on the Village Voice issue that we raised on this blog a few postings ago:

Dance/NYC has been monitoring the Village Voice situation closely and has found that it is still unclear that the current publisher and senior editors will remain at the Voice once the merger is completed. Thus, we are waiting for clarity since it would be ineffective and counter-productive to raise an issue with editors who might well be gone in the next few weeks.

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Audition Notice!

The New York Baroque Dance Company is conducting a FREE workshop for PROFESSIONAL DANCERS. All dancers must audition for the workshop.

The audition is scheduled for Saturday, January 7th from 4-6 at the Lower Studio at the 92nd Street Y located at Lexington Avenue and East 92nd Street in Manhattan.

Two men and two women from the workshop will be chosen to join our company-in costume- to demonstrate two 18th century c ountry dances at our February 9th lecture/demonstration taking place at lunchtime in the World Financial Center in NYC. The free class instruction from the workshop plus the performing opportunity are offered to you as compensation for your participation in the lecture/demonstration. (Please note that not everyone who passes the audition and takes the workshop will be in the lecture/demonstration.)

The purpose of the workshop is to stimulate interest among professional dancers in historical dance and to develop new dancers for historical performances with our company and others. We will be able to accept 10-12 dancers for this workshop.

Classes will be from 5:30-7 on Wednesday nights, January 18, 25, February 1 and February 8. Description:
1. Caroline Copeland will teach the first class and introduce Baroque style, technique and step vocabu lary. There will be an exploration of mirror symmetry as experienced in excerpts from a danse a deux published in the first quarter of the 18th century.
2. The second class will be taught by Sarah Edgar and Tim Wilson, focusing on bouree and rigaudon step combinations which will be used later in the country dances. Beaten ornaments in cadence phrases of duple meter will be covered.
3. The third class will cover both country dances to be learned for the lecture/demonstration.
4. In the fourth class students will refine these dances and learn proper bows, walking, taking of hands, how to stand, etc. – all in the 18th century manner.

This is a rare opportunity to expand your vision and physical experience of dance. Anyone who wishes to audition must register first by email to Sarah Edgar at sarahesther2000@yahoo.com or call Catherine Turocy directly at 212-662-8829

We hope to see you there!

Happy Holidays from The New York Baroque Dance Co.!

PS: no previous historical dance training necessary and just wear class attire…ballet or jazz shoes.

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The Village Voice

Dance Theater Workshop was stunned to learn of The Village Voice‘s recent decision to cut back its dance reviews to one half page. On behalf of the artists that Dance Theater Workshop presents, the members they serve and the loyal audiences for dance, the following letter below was hand delivered to The Village Voice.

Doug Simmons
Managing Editor
The Village Voice
36 Cooper Square
New York, NY 10003

Dear Mr. Simmons,
On behalf of Dance Theater Workshop, I am writing to express our deep concern in The Village Voice’s reduction by fifty percent of coverage of dance, dance companies and choreography.

Since its founding in 1955, The Village Voice has set the standard for high-spirited and passionate reporting and criticism. Our dance community –dancers, choreographers and audiences – embrace the Voice as the premier expert on New York’s cultural scene. Its astute and savvy reviews of our performing art have helped to make dance an increasingly integral part of New York City.

We ask that you consider reinstating the full page of reviews and advance notices to ensure that The Village Voice continues to be the authoritative source and “voice” for dance in New York – the dance capital of the world.

Marion Dienstag
Executive Director
Dance Theater Workshop

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Dear Friends,

Have you ever wondered what would happen if the 18th century and the 21st century violently collided?  Wonder no longer! Ladies and Gentlemen, I am pleased to announce the opening of a spectacle that dazzles the eye and whirls the brain into a frothy mush:

Avant/Après le Déluge! Eighteenth century and postmodern baroque dances!

From sensuous and virtuosic reconstructions of 18th c. dances to Judson Church postmodernism in baroque costume to 18Th c. India Bollywood-style to French Colonial Haiti with live musicians to the rock and roll minuet to a toe-tapping clogging rigaudon!!

Here’s the nitty-gritty:

Avant/Après le Déluge

Dances by

Patricia Beaman
Caroline Copeland
Marcea Daiter
Sarah Edgar
Joy Havens
Rachel List
Seth Williams
Tim Wilson

December 2-4 at 8pm

CRS Theater
123 4th Ave, 2nd Fl
(btw. 12th and 13th Sts.)

Reservations: 212-352-3101 www.theatermania.com

This show will most likely sell out! Get your tickets today!

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The Gentleman Dancing-Master

Contributed by Rachel

I wanted to let people know about a project I’ve been working on recently. I was invited to collaborate on The Gentleman Dancing-Master , a 1672 English Restoration comedy by William Wycherly, to be performed at the Pearl Theatre from Nov. 20 through Dec. 18. The story concerns Hippolita, a fourteen year old English girl who has been cloistered in her home for the past year by her father who has adopted the strict and severe moral codes of Spain. The father plans to marry Hippolita to her cousin who has, unfortunately, adopted the foppish and affected ways of the French. Spain and France do battle in Hippolita’s English boudoir as she makes plans of her own to marry an appealing Englishman who must pretend to be a Dancing Master to save his own skin and Hippolita’s honor. It all works out in the end and is very funny along the way, with singing, dancing, swordplay, and ribaldry all mixed in. Go to www.pearltheatre.org for a complete schedule of performances including previews starting 11/10.

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Dallas, Texas

Contributed by: Tim

I am writing a little note to let everyone out there know that the company will be in Dallas Texas this weekend performing from our Handel/Sallé program. The show includes a dance suite from the opera, “Ariodante,” Sallé’s, “Les Caracteres de la Danse,” and “Terpsicore.” Appearing at the Majestic Theater, the company will be dancing to music performed by The Dallas Bach Society on Sunday October 9th at 3pm. Should you find yourself in Dallas, Texas this weekend, consider yourself invited to partake in this wonderful afternoon of music and dance.

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Armide goes to Summer Camp

Contributed by Rachel

This August I had the pleasure of performing “La Passacaille d’Armide” for the Faculty Gala at Bates Dance Festival in Maine. It was a debut for my costume, inspired by one of the NYBDC’s costumes and built by Lisa Marzolf, with a new mask, painted by William J. Totten. A dramatic, Baroque solo was new for many people in this audience. From their comments, I discovered that most people kept their focus on only one aspect of the dance – the hand gestures, for example, or the foot work. People had rather strong reactions to the mask. Some people found it “creepy” while others said they were amazed at how lifelike it seemed to become. The dance was placed in between a duet by Kathleen Hermesdorf and Albert Mathias and a solo by David Dorfman. Again, some people found this a strange mix, but others thought it was “perfect.” I love doing this solo and was very happy to be able to introduce it to a new crowd.

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Chaconne d’Amadis

Contributed by: Seth
The picture depicts a scene from Lully’s opera ‘Amadis de Gaule,’ and right now I’m reconstructing a solo excerpt from that opera choreographed in England by Anthony L’Abbe. It’s called the “Chaconne d’Amadis,” and the notation was published in 1725. The original production of ‘Amadis de Gaule,’ if you believe what the Mercure de France says (and who doesn’t?), was the ‘Oklahoma’ of its day. Its day, or rather its year, being 1684. Supposedly this was the show that finally gave dance an important role in propelling the action of the story, though I guess it didn’t succeed for very long since that’s also what they say about ‘Oklahoma.’ And also what they say about lots of other shows.

If you ask me none of them ever actually succeeded in making a dance help tell the story so compellingly as the critics claim, since dance isn’t really very good at doing that. I mean after all it’s dance.

But the Chaconne d’Amadis is just great, very tough, with lots of intricate jumps and turns. The version I’m doing was performed in London originally by Louis Dupre sometime between 1718 and 1722. Dupre was a hot-shot dancer, much in demand, and here’s an awfully fishy story: he was in Paris in 1718 for the April revival of Lully’s ‘Amadis de Gaule’ and then returned home to England for more shows at John Rich’s theater, Lincoln’s Inn Field. And then a couple of years later out comes L’Abbe’s choreography for the chaconne from Amadis. I don’t know who the Paris choreographer was, but to have a famous soloist from the Paris production return to London and start performing a solo excerpt to music from that show with choreography by someone new….well, that just sounds like there must have been some stealing going on. In other words, Anthony L’Abbe is a big fat phony. Or maybe a fabulous choreographer. Probably both.

I’ll be showing my reconstruction in Wyoming at the Sense of Place Dance Festival and then in New York for a show that Sarah’s curating for early December. Details TBA.

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