[ colored engraving of M. Dumoulin dressed as a peasant ]

Summer Baroque Dance Workshop 2023

July 31–Aug 4 (Mon-Fri)
Instructor: Ken Pierce

An intensive workshop in Baroque dance (European ballroom and theatrical dance of the late 17th and early 18th centuries). Classes in technique, repertoire, and dance notation, with opportunities for independent projects.

This year’s workshop will focus on dances meant to represent or refer to peasants, cowherds, or the like.

The workshop will be offered in hybrid format: students may either attend in person or join online via Zoom. In-person classes will be at the Brookline Ballet School, 1431 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA (USA).

[ Habit de fantaisie pour un bal ]

Schedule Outline

Monday–Friday, July 31–August 4

10:00–11:30 a.m. (Monday–Thurday only)
Optional ballet class.*
11:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Optional studio time. The studio will be available for individual warmup or preparation for class.
12:00–1:30 p.m.
Warmup and Baroque dance technique. Warmup, basic steps, and practice step sequences.
2:00–3:00 p.m.
Notation and sources. Lecture and discussion about steps and notations.
3:30–5:00 p.m.
Baroque dance repertory. Movement sessions devoted to learning material from dance notations. Friday’s session may include an informal presentation of some of the week's material.

* An optional, intermediate-level ballet class taught by Mary Thompson, School Principal of The Brookline Ballet School: $20/class, not included in workshop registration fee.

Note: All times shown are Eastern Daylight Time (local Boston time). The schedule may be adjusted from day to day to allow for an efficient use of space, time, and energy.

About the Instructor

[ dancer Ken Pierce as harlequin ]

Ken Pierce trained in ballet and modern dance, studying on scholarship at both the American Ballet Theatre School and the Merce Cunningham studio. He has specialized in early dance—especially, late-Renaissance and Baroque dance—for the past three decades, as choreographer, reconstructor, performer, and teacher. Companies he has performed with include the Court Dance Company of New York, the New York Baroque Dance Company, Ris et Danceries (Paris), Danse Baroque Toronto, and the baroque dance trio Hémiole (Paris), of which he was a co-founder. He directs his own company, the Ken Pierce Baroque Dance Company, for which he has choreographed or reconstructed dances for performances with Tafelmusik, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Concerto Copenhagen, The King’s Noyse, Handel & Haydn Society, and the Boston Early Music Festival. Choreographic credits include dances for Les Élémens, Les Festes d’Hébé, Tirsi e Clori, and les Festes de l’Amour et de Bacchus; King Arthur at the Boston Early Music Festival, and such twentieth-century premières as Le Carnavale Mascarade; Les Plaisirs de Versailles, with Ex Machina Baroque Opera Ensemble; the masque Oberon, at Case Western Reserve University; and le Mariage de la Grosse Cathos at the Amherst Early Music Festival. He was assistant choreographer for Quelques pas graves de Baptiste, Francine Lancelot’s baroque-style piece for the Paris Opera Ballet, whose cast included Rudolph Nureyev. Mr. Pierce has taught at summer dance and music workshops in the U.S. and abroad. He directs the early dance program at the Longy School of Music of Bard College (Cambridge), and teaches classes and workshops in the Boston area.

Tuition and Registration

Tuition for the workshop is $260 (online) / $325 (in person). Payment may be made by check or via PayPal; for details, please contact Ken Pierce, at kpierce@mit.edu.

In order to participate in the online version of the workshop, you must have an internet connection and a computer or camera-equipped device that will allow you to connect via Zoom.

For Further Information

For further information, please contact the instructor, Ken Pierce, at kpierce@mit.edu. A printable pdf, suitable for posting, is available here.

Please note that schedules and other program details outlined above are subject to modification.