New York Baroque Dance Company
The New York Baroque Dance Company founded in 1976 by Catherine Turocy, Artistic Director, and Ann Jacoby is still leading the historical dance field today. The company specializes in producing 17th and 18th century programs ranging from street performances to fully staged operas. There are over 60 operas in its repertoire as well as reconstructed dances and ballets choreographed in period style. Through residencies at educational institutions serving grades k-12 and at the university level, the NYBDC instructs professionals and the general public, thus preserving our cultural heritage. The NYBDC has toured North America, Europe and Japan with conductors James Richman, John Eliot Gardiner, Christopher Hogwood, Nicholas McGegan and Wolfgang Katschner. In their home base of New York City, the company produces concerts annually with Concert Royal directed by James Richman. The NYBDC also performs with Opera Lafayette Orchestra and Chorus, The Dallas Bach Society, Mercury Baroque, Apollo’s Fire and Philharmonia Baroque.
Groundbreaking productions over the past three decades include the premiere of Jean Philippe Rameau’s Les Boreades (not performed in the 18th century because of Rameau’s death) and Hippolyte et Aricie, both at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and the Opera de Lyon; Henry Purcell’s Indian Queen performed at the Barbican in London; the award winning Scylla et Glaucus by Jean Marie Leclair performed at the Opera de Lyon as well as over 100 performances of a double bill with Rameau’s Pygmalion and George Frederick Handel’s Terpsicore. The company is very proud to have performed in Handel’s operas Terpsicore, Ariodante, Arianna, Alcina, Atalanta, Orlando, and Teseo at the International Handel Festival in Goettingen, Germany.
The NYBDC is very appreciative of ongoing support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts and its individual contributors. The company is being archived by the New York Public Library and many archival videos of past performances are on file in the Dance Collection and available for scholarly research.
In 2018, Turocy now directs a company of 8 core dancers and 12 auxiliary dancers. It is the only company of literate dancers actively working with a notation system which allows them to put a concert together within 3 days, much as a music group can sight read music and perform. Turocy and members of the company also create new ballets in the Baroque style/context in the same way a ballet choreographer uses steps to create a new work, using the same process to explore poetic ideas and challenge the talents of the performers. Literally taking the past into the future they also work in the new genre of New Baroque dance which uses period steps and concepts in a contemporary context. (Company XIV directed by Austin McCormick is a good example of this new burgeoning form). Today, work has expanded internationally with guest appearances (see NYBDC Bio) and over 60 opera- ballets, numerous theatrical works and site specific creations in repertoire. Our dance heritage lives on through the legacy of the NYBDC, a living resource for dancers, artists and scholars.