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The New Orleans International Ballet Conference


The New Orleans International Ballet Conference: "The Bicentennial through dance", Tradition and Art 70, p. 18, Athens, I.O.F.A., July – August 2003.


NEW ORLEANS:  A Bicentennial is a once-in-a-lifetime event;  so is the five-day celebration entitled “Dancing Through History:  The Roots of Dance in Louisiana”  which explores the history and performance of the dance art during the period 1750-1830.  Taking place June 4th – 8th, 2003 at The New Orleans Mint, NOCCA /Riverfront, and the Orpheum Theater.  Created by The New Orleans International Ballet Conference under the auspices of the Dance Council of UNESCO, Paris, and The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, the celebration presents a unique tribute to The Louisiana Purchase Bicentennial through an exploration of the world’s oldest performance art.

            Comprising an historical symposium of scholars,  a not-to-be-missed gala performance featuring the oldest ballet in the standard repertory,  La Fille Mal Gardee, starring Joan Boada and Lorena Feijoo of the San Francisco Ballet;  rare dance films; a lecture/demonstration; and a series of classes in national dance styles, the celebration provides a rare treat of interest to dance aficionados, historians, and the general public throughout the state.

            Among distinguished scholars who will share their knowledge of dance history with audiences are Dr. Marie-Francoise Christout of France who will discuss ballet performance from the Court of Louis XV of France through the French Revolution;  Dr. Ivor Guest of England who will discuss ballet under Napoleon;  and Dr. Simonne Voyer of  Canada  who will discuss the role of the dancing master in colonial French Canada.  Other topics include the Creolization of European dances in the Caribbean and LouisianaTerritory, from French salons to Creole plantations, and African dance traditions in New Orleans.

            Featuring performances by leading world dance companies who specialize in historical dance,  the culminating gala performance will include the Western Hemisphere premiere of Don Juan, performed  by the baroque ballet company, L’Eventail, of France;  the Escuela Bolera of Spain, performed by The Spanish Theater;  as well as a representative group of dance performers and performances from Cuba, Canada, and Lafayette, Louisiana.

            Students of dance will be able to enroll in master classes in French baroque dancing, classical Spanish dance, classical ballet variations,  Cuban contradanza , and early Spanish-Mexican styles.  An Acadian vernacular quadrille will also by taught by Professor Normand Legault of Quebec.  Rare dance films,  of the Dominican Republic,  a subject recently declared by UNESCO as one of the “intangible treasures of humanity”  will also be shown.

            Information concerning tickets for the entire event,  or individual tickets for lecture series, gala performance, rare dance films, or master classes may be obtained through the conference website:



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