The Department of Musicology at the Moody School of Music announces the first of its “Endowed Chair” lectures and concerts (the poster for the entire series is attached). The topic this year is “The Union of Musical Styles in the 18th Century.”
Rebecca Harris-Warrick (Cornell University), an internationally-recognized scholar of French opera and dance will give a talk, “Unpacking the Suitcases of Italian ‘grotesque’ dancers in the 18th Century,” about her collaborations with Hubert Hazebroucq, a specialist in baroque dance and director of Les Corps Eloquents (Paris, France). The talk, with demonstration videos of theatrical dancing, will take place on Thursday, Feb. 15, at 5 p.m. in the Recital Hall of the Moody Music building.
Abstract: By the middle of the 18th century, virtuoso Italian dancers were travelling the roads of Europe, performing comic pantomimes that broke with the reigning French style of ballet. Carrying their music in their suitcases along with their costumes, the grotteschi performed comic scenes such as “The Swedish Gardeners” or “The Woodcutters and the Cloggers” to enraptured audiences. This talk will explore two mid-eighteenth-century collections of dance music and one choreographic source as a means of glimpsing how such performances may have looked and sounded. It will be illustrated by video footage of a recent performance at Cornell by a virtuoso dancer of today, Hubert Hazebroucq, a specialist in baroque dance and director of Les Corps Eloquents (Paris, France).
Rebecca Harris-Warrick (Professor of Music at Cornell) has an interdisciplinary background in musicology, performance, dance history, and literature, which she applies to her primary research interests in French opera of the 17th and 18th centuries. Her most recent book, Dance and Drama in French Baroque Opera, was published fall 2016 by Cambridge University Press. Her research extends beyond the Baroque into later periods of operatic history, and she has prepared a critical edition of Gaetano Donizetti’s opera La Favorite. Much of her scholarly work has been informed by her interests in performance, and some of her research has been brought into practice on the stage, such as in productions of operas at the Boston Early Music Festival. Since 2003 she has organized three performances at Cornell of Baroque operas or ballets, in which Cornell students have had the opportunity to work with professional musicians and dancers, and she frequently collaborates with scholars and performers in France.