Historical Dance

dancers at the Festival

Historical Dance Program, July 4-12, 2015

(Week One of the Festival runs July 5-12, 2015

Dance is an integral part of the Amherst Early Music Festival (a two-week early music festival with a vast array of musical offerings; full Class List available in April). For the 2015 workshop, classes will be offered in Baroque Dance, and Renaissance Dance; dancers will also work on choreographies from Beauchamps-Feuillet notation. Participants are entitled to attend all Festival events (including English country dancing, concerts and lectures)  

All levels of dancers are welcome.

Dance tuition $540. Click here for information on Room and Board options.

All Festival participants can sign up for dance classes, however only full time dance students will perform in the opera.  

Faculty Dorothy Olsson and Kaspar Mainz.

Classes for the Historical Dance Program will focus on dance materials from Italy, Spain and France, and will culminate in rehearsals for two public performances:
--a fully staged production of Georg Frideric Handel, Il Pastor Fido (1734) on July 10, and

--a special Baroque dance performance with the Amherst Early Music Festival Oboe Band (directed by Wouter Verschuren) on July 8.

Class Schedule
Saturday, July 4
2:00-5:00 pm (with breaks!). *Baroque Dance Technique Class/Rehearsal (Mainz, Olsson).
6:30-8:00 pm. *Baroque Dance Technique Class/Rehearsal. (Mainz, Olsson)

Sunday, July 5
Early morning. Individual practice time.
10:00-11:30 am. Baroque Dance Technique Class. (Mainz, Olsson)
With informal audition for dancing roles in the Baroque Opera, Handel, Il Pastor Fido (1734), and for the Oboe Band project.

1:00-2:00 pm. Possible Dance Rehearsal for Handel, Il Pastor Fido (1734), or for the Oboe Band project.

3:00-6:00 pm. Rehearsal for Baroque Opera Project. (Production staff). Full read-through of Handel’s Il Pastor Fido, for all opera performers.

*These classes will serve as both audition and rehearsal for the dance roles for the Baroque Opera Project (Handel, Il Pastor Fido, July 11 performance) and for the Oboe Band project (July 8 performance). All dancers wishing to perform in either production must attend these sessions.

Monday-Friday, July 6-10
9:00-10:30 am. Baroque Dance Technique. (Mainz, Olsson)
Technique class in eighteenth-century dance with steps, step combinations, arm movements, and phrases from notated choreographies by Pécour, Feuillet and others (sarabande, gigue, chaconne, passepied, minuetto, etc.). Two levels (determined by staff after classes on July 4 and 5).

11:00 am-12:15 pm. Introduction to Renaissance and Baroque Dance. (Olsson)
Social dances of the 15th — 18th centuries (pavan, branle, courante, sarabande, and others) with a special emphasis on dances from Italian sources. Open to all.

11:00 am-12:15 pm. Baroque Dance Topic. (Mainz)
Phrases from dances by choreographers Grossatesta, L’Abbé and others.

1:30-3:00 pm. Individual Practice or rest

3:30-5:30 pm. Dance Rehearsal (Mainz, Olsson).
Rehearsals for Baroque Opera (Handel, Il Pastor Fido, performance Friday evening, July 11, 8:00 pm) and the Oboe Band project, performance Wednesday afternoon, July 8, 5:00 pm). Possible evening rehearsals on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Opera dress rehearsal, late Thursday evening.

Register now!