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New York Baroque Dance Company.

Baroque dance is an embroidery of gestures: a decorous finger, invitingly lifted; demure hops threaded ingeniously together in a slow ripple. Though delicate, the dance (and its music) is quietly confident, not subject to disturbance. The integrity of a minuet is that its form preserves it. So the dance's smallness and sweetness are somewhat deceptive.

The New York Baroque Dance Company offers an ideal opportunity to see the dance. Founded in 1976, the company is led by Catherine Turocy, who both choreographs new pieces and reconstructs the old. She is also an exquisite dancer who can warm and fill the diminutives of baroque style. Her choreographic needle is sharp but flexible, and its embroidery is densely vivid.

The company's concerts are varied within an aesthetic. In its recent program, "Bach, Handel and the Dance," the group presented a solo by Turocy and several ensemble pieces, one of them overtly narrative. The theatrical temperament of the dances included the melancholic, amorous skittishness, rapture, the royal smirk, and buffoonery. And the accomplished Concert Royal orchestra envoked the temperaments in its music.

Turocy's untitled solo, set to Handel's Concerto Grosso in G minor, opus 6 no. 6, characterized the ballerina Marie Salle in a reverie alone in a rehearsal studio. A program note explained the dancer's many shifts of mood and body, all subtly atmospheric: Salle was preoccupied with thoughts of her late brother, who had also been her dancing partner. Turocy's evocation of a bereaved artistic heroine was refined, sleek with details, and lit by pauses.

Another outstanding dancer was Carlos Fittante, who performed with elaborated dignity in several dances. His face offered an aplomb as stately as his body's, and Fittante demonstrated a marvelous gestural unity. He danced with the self-possession of a courtier who owed obeisance mostly to himself. This precision set a high standard for the troupe, which wasn't always able to meet it. But the New York Baroque Dance Company provides a persuasive historical fantasy all the more seductive for being historically authentic.
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Title Annotation:Florence Gould Hall, New York, New York
Author:McQuade, Molly
Publication:Dance Magazine
Article Type:Dance Review
Date:Feb 1, 1995
Words:335
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