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Concert Preview: Euterpe and Terpsichore: Goddesses of Music and Dance

April 1, 2010

Dancing on the record

Anna Mansbridge. photo by Bill Stickney

Long before Edison’s phonograph, music was “recordable,” in ink and paper. What we forget is that dance, too, can be “written down.” And in the late renaissance and baroque, there was a vigorous market for notated dance, as fashionable people in the provinces sought to imitate the entertainments of the rich, sophisticated, and courtly. On Tuesday April 6, dancer-choreographer Anna Mansbridge joins with harpist Maxine Eilander to lift the veil on this all-but-forgotten world, with a concert including works created for dancing ladies of more than 300 years ago.

It wasn’t only stars like “Mlle. Victoire” and “Mrs. Santlow” who danced these steps; in the 17th and 18th centuries, graceful dancing was a part of every well-to-do young woman’s (and young man’s) formal education. (Recall the hotly-anticipated cotillions and balls in the novels of Jane Austen.) And though professional dancers existed in great cities like London, Paris, and Vienna, the twin arts of stage and social dancing didn’t really begin to diverge until the early 19th century, when Marie Taglioni rose to toe-tip in La Sylphide and changed the ballet forever. Mansbridge and Eilander have worked often together in classes and performances for Stephen Stubbs’ Accademia d’Amore and Pacific Opera Works. See and hear them now celebrate a forgotten world, where everybody danced, from the king and queen on down.

Euterpe and Terpsichore: Goddesses of Music and Dance

Anna Mansbridge, dancer/choreographer and Maxine Eilander, harp

Early Music Guild First Tuesdays

April 6 at 7:30pm

Trinity Episcopal Church

609 8th Ave (8th and James on Capitol Hill), Seattle

Call (206) 325-7066 for information, tickets available at the door

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