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University of Iowa News Release


March 29, 2011

UI Division of Performing Arts presents festival of baroque music and dance

The University of Iowa Division of Performing Arts will present the Iowa Festival of Baroque Music and Dance, April 4-8.

Free public events will be:

--A keynote lecture by School of Music emerita flute faculty member Betty Bang Mather at 8 p.m. Monday, April 4, in the University Capitol Centre Recital Hall.
--A Brown Bag Lecture, "Dances for the Sun King: André Lorin's 'Livre de Countredance,' discussion with the editors" hosted by adjunct faculty member Rachelle Palnick Tsachor at 12:30 p.m. Friday, April 8, in the University Capitol Centre Recital Hall.
--"Characters of the Dance," featuring diverse characters that graced the 18th-century stage, at 7:30 p.m. April 8 in the Riverside Recital Hall.

"The idea behind the festival was to integrate scholarship and performance about Baroque dance with hands-on teaching and demonstration for students and the general public." explains violist Christine Rutledge, a music faculty member.

"Dance was such an integral component of almost all Baroque music, yet so many musicians and dancers don't know what the dance forms are or where they originated. By discussion and demonstration we hope to bring a new awareness about Baroque dance and how it affects the way we play and perform."

Mather's keynote will explain -- through visual, musical and dance demonstrations with music —- some of the most common French Baroque dances and explain how they were danced. Mather is a well-known scholar of French Baroque dance as well as Baroque performance practices.

Mather and guest dancers Paige Whitely-Baugess and Thomas Baird will work with students in the Department of Dance and the School of Music during the week, leading up to the Friday activities.

In the Brown Bag Lecture, Tsachor, Baird and Whitely-Bauguess will discuss the recently published "Dances for the Sun King: André Lorins "Livre de Countredance," with which the three have been closely involved.

"Characters of the Dance" will be a fully staged dance concert by Whitely-Bauguess and Baird with the Iowa Baroque Ensemble, which consists of faculty and student performers playing period instruments from the LaFosse Collection of Baroque stringed instruments. School of Music faculty members involved in the ensemble are Rutledge and organist Gregory Hand.

Whitley-Bauguess and Baird have collaborated exclusively as dance partners for the past 20 years. They interpret, recreate and perform Baroque theatre dances in venues throughout the world. A recent performance in British Columbia was described as "a window on the past ... like being caught in a musical and theatrical time warp that reached my ears and eyes as a soft-focus vision of a quite spectacular moment in the history of western performance art."

Highlights of their artistic collaboration include repeat concerts with the Little Orchestra Society at Lincoln Center, the Pacific Baroque Orchestra of Vancouver and Les Fêtes de Versailles in Japan; "Bailles y Danzas," a program of Spanish music and dance performed with Chatham Baroque; and "Harlequin Unmasked," music and dance of the commedia dell' arte performed with REBEL.

Learn more about them at, and see them on YouTube at

Read biographies of Rutledge, Hand and Tsachor at

The Division of Performing Arts is part of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. This project was funded by the division's Arts Across Borders Fund.

UI arts events are searchable on the UI Master Calendar: Exhibitions are searchable at To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to and click the link "Subscribe
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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-430-1013,