Baroque Dance: Practice and Notation

Learning Objective
To give students practical experience in combining dance and music based authentic choreographies and sources, to have some backround knowledge on baroque dance, and to acquire a basic skill in reading the Beauchamp-Feuillet notation.

Course Description
The spirit of dance permeates the music of the 17th and 18th centuries. Whether chamber, church or theater music, whether for dancers, voices or just for instruments alone, much of the music of the baroque period can be directly related to dance music and its rhythms: in fact, Kirnberger, a pupil of J.S. Bach, went so far as to say that it was impossible to even perform a fugue well without a complete understanding of dance and its rhythms!
This course will focus on Baroque dance in its courtly and, from January on, its theatrical forms. Students will be required to dance, to experience their own bodies in motion to Baroque music.

Course details

teacher Rachel Davies-Farr
term September-December 2022; or September 2022-April 2023
method of instruction Classes, discussions, and lots of dancing!
assessment Attendance is required. Assessment is based on class preparation, participation, a practical exam on recognizing types of dances and combining them with appropriate dance steps as well as a written exam on Beauchamps-Feuillet notation and some background of the dances. In the second half of the course (from January to April), instead of a written exam, the students will assessed on the basis of a research on a topic of their choice.
credits 5 (one term) or 10 (two terms)
related electivesFrom Lully to Boulez: Musical Life in Paris through the Centuries
  History of the Early Music Movement
  Music Theatre and Stage Performance
  The Musical Body
  Style in the Performance of Classical and Romantic Music
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