What is Baroque Dance?
The term "Baroque Dance" refers to European ballroom and theatrical dance of the late 17th and early 18th centuries -- the precursor to today's ballet, as danced by both amateurs and professionals at the time of Louis XIV of France. Because dance played a prominent role in society during this period, dancing masters developed dance notation systems and published treatises that provide detailed descriptions of steps used in baroque dance. Thus, we are able to reconstruct baroque dance steps and choreographies with a satisfying degree of accuracy.
Baroque dance is early ballet: it uses turnout and a vertical carriage of the body, just as ballet does. It involves lots of bending and rising, small jumps, and low extensions. Movements can be light and quick, or more sustained; either way, control and placement are important. Connection to the music is crucial. Each class includes a warmup, practice of basic steps and step sequences typical of different dance types (e.g., bourrée, gavotte, sarabande, gigue, menuet) in different meters and rhythms, and excerpts from notated baroque ballroom and theatrical dances.
Classes are designed for adults or older teens.
Danced by Ken Pierce and Jennifer Thorp; choreography by Guillaume-Louis Pécour, reconstructed by the dancers from Beauchamp-Feuillet notation.