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From the Archives

Les caractères de la Danse.

Choreographer/Dancer Catherine Turocy

Premiered 1983, performance 1987

Dance of the Month for 2016-2017

By Nicolas Lancret

By Nicolas Lancret

This Saturday, August 6, 2016 from 3-5pm

Our Dance of the Month this year will be based on a collection of English Country Dances which were brought back to the French court by French dancing masters. In 1706 Raoul Anger (formerly thought to be spelled Auger) Feuillet published a collection of 32 dances with an explanation of how to decode the notation style in which they were written which was in fact the new dance notation developed at the court of Louis XIV by Beauchamp, Feuillet, etc.

The original contredanse collection can be seen online here: Library Of Congress  It would be a wonderful exercise for students to prepare the figures before the class and see how they did in their reconstruction from notation!

Donald Pauley has translated the dances to the verbal description of the dances which is more in common use today at: Pauley PDF  If students are not able to read the dance notation, this may be of use.

For those students new to contredancing, please be assured that our teachers will be explaining the dance steps and patterns for every class.

Meggie Sweeney Smith will be our teacher in August. She is a member of The New York Baroque Dance Company and has recently graduated from NYU with an MA in Teaching Dance in the Professions – New York University, Steinhardt.

We will be going in order and the first two dances are La Bonne Amitié  (also known as Jamaica) followed by the polar emotion, La Jalousie. 

 A good music recording of both of these dances can be found online: Presto Classical

We look forward to seeing you at our first Saturday of the month, Dance of the Month Classes hosted by Mark Morris Dance Center in Brooklyn from 3-5pm.  Cost is only $17.

A spontaneous event this afternoon! Bravi all and now to the premiere tomorrow, June 8, 2016 at 7pm,

Location: Roulette in Brooklyn. tickets: Click here

RotaniDear Friends,

Our Dance of the Month on June 4, 2016 from 3-5pm at the Mark Morris Dance Center in Brooklyn will be  “The Submission” from 1717 with choreography by Kellom Tomlinson. Described as being danced by The French Children, it begins with a slow triple meter, shifts into a minuet (characterized by Tomlinson as a brisk dance) and ends in a Rigaudon.  We intend to get through the first and possibly second sections of the dance. Leah Nelson is playing violin and Carly Fox of the NYBDC, who first worked on this dance with former NYBDC member Ken Pierce in one of his workshops, has seduced an unknown dancer into submission so to speak and they will show the class their interpretation of this beautiful notation.

1717 is also the year of Alexander Pope’s final version of his mock-epic poem, “Rape of the Lock.”  Our dance, “the Submission,” was described as “a new ball dance to be had at the author’s lodgings,” and was being sold by Tomlinson first in 1717. Perhaps we can imagine Pope and his circle either dancing or being entertained by watching this dance at social gatherings at Hampton Court.

The world premiere of a contemporary opera by Deborah Mason, Rape of the Lock, will be presented in an Open Rehearsal on June 6th and then  in performance June 8th and June 9th at Roulette in Brooklyn. This opera was reviewed by New York Times critic, John Rockwell, during its infant stages (not yet completed) at a City Opera series and he said”  “The Rape of the Lock,” a work in progress … offered her adaptation of Pope’s text clothed in wonderfully lush, intricate and contrapuntally energetic music. For me, she was the most pleasant surprise of the series.”

He is right! Do not miss this exciting premiere with semi-staging by Catherine Turocy and filmed projections of movement scapes and choreography by Caroline Copeland for NYBDC members Carly Fox Horton, Meggi Sweeney Smith and Alexis Silver. 

The opera was chosen by New York Opera Fest to launch their new opera festival!



SEAN FALLEN, Tenor (Ariel)
JUSTIN RYAN, Baritone (Baron)
KEITH HARRIS, Baritone (Sir Plume)
JACQUELINE HORNER-KWIATEK, Mezzo Soprano (Clarissa, Eloisa)
ERIKA PERSON, Mezzo (Crispissa)
CHELSEA FRIEDLANDER, Soprano (Zephyretta)

For more information and tickets,

Click Here

The Santa Barbara Historical Dance Workshop Young Student Scholarship

Alexis Simentales

Outside of being a full time student at Santa Barbara City College, Alexis works at Hillside House and volunteers her time at both the Cottage Hospital and the Public Health Department. Dance is a part of her culture and as a native of Santa Barbara she wishes to share her love of dance through her performances with the Spirit of Fiesta.  The Spanish Baroque Intensive will deepen her understanding of where the dances of fiesta originate. She hopes one day to serve in the health field and to give back to the community.




Vandervoort-Palencia Wedding Announcement Photo

The Santa Barbara Historical Dance Work/Study Scholarship

Thea Palencia

A dance educator dedicated to bringing dance into California history class curriculum, Thea began her journey with a dance research project while still in college: The Dances of Early California in Santa Barbara. (Marisol Cabrera, also a scholarship recipient, participated in this project as a teenager.)

We are including a link to an essay about this project which sheds light on the early local history of some of the dances we will be studying with Ana Yepes in our intensive. We are happy Thea will be joining us and she has expressed an interest in sharing with other teachers her approach to bringing dance history into public education.

Thea is pictured here with her husband, Boris Palencia.

Thea Vandervoort essay on early California dances


The Shirley Wynne Memorial Scholarship

Marisol Cabrera

Marisol_Escuela Bolerabegan her dance training in Santa Barbara, California in the styles of Classical Spanish dance, Flamenco, Baroque, Ballet and Mexican Folklorico. After graduating from UCLA with a B.A. in World Arts in Cultures, Marisol lived in Madrid, Spain for three years receiving her credentials in Danza Española and Flamenco. She has performed in London, Mexico, South Korea, Spain, and Hong Kong.  Since moving to New York City, Marisol has received her M.A. from NYU in Arts Education from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study. She is a guest choreographer and performing artist with Company XIV, Siren Baroque and the Juilliard Dance Department. Marisol is currently on faculty at The Ballet Hispanico School of Dance teaching Spanish and Flamenco to young dancers. She is thrilled to be back in Santa Barbara performing and participating in this year’s Historical Dance workshop.