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Dance and Music of Court and Theater

Selected Writings of Wendy Hilton

Wendy Hilton
Susan Bindig

470 pp.

28 illustrations

ISBN: 978-0945193982

hardback $120.00

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This collection of selected writings of Ms. Hilton includes a complete facsimile of her 1981 book Dance of Court & Theater (no longer available) as well as two significant articles and a notated triple-meter danse à deux by Louis Pécour. Book One (the facsimile) provides in-depth analysis of primary sources on dance of the baroque period.The main body of the text is devoted to mastery of the Beauchamp-Feuillet notation system which includes the relationships of steps to music in such dance types as the menuet, gavotte, bourré, sarabande, passacaille, loure, gigue, and entrée grave. Instruction is also given on style bows and courtesies, the use of the hat, and the ballroom menuet ordinaire as given by Pierre Rameau. Book Two adds the slow Seventeenth-Century French Courante; A survey of the 56 dances extant to music by J.B. Lully with their airs and some of the more virtuosic theatrical step-units in notation; Louis Pécour's ballroom dance Aimable Vainqueur (1701 in six pages of dance notation with a five-part score of André Campra's music from Hesione (1700)and an updated bibliography.


Wendy Hilton:

Ms. Hilton was born in England and came to New York in 1969 to direct the Dance Collegium of Rosalyn Tureck's International Bach Society. In 1974 she joined the drama faculty at the Juilliard School, transferring the next year to the dance division.

Many of her most vivid and revealing reconstructions and choreographing of Baroque dance were created for Juilliard students. Among those dances were stagings of 18th-century pieces by Anthony L'Abbe, Louis Pecour and Raoul-Auger Feuillet. The dances were performed for the most part with a luminous purity, ease and respect that were surprising from young dancers training in the comparatively boisterous dance arts of the 20th century.

Ms. Hilton taught at schools abroad and in the United States, among them Stanford University. She worked as a dancer and a choreographer in early dance styles for BBC Television, the Handel Opera Society in London, the New York Pro-Musica Antiqua, the San Francisco Opera and the New York City Opera, where she created the dances for Thea Musgrave's ''Mary, Queen of Scots'' in 1981.

Ms. Hilton formed three early-dance groups, including the Wendy Hilton Baroque Dance Company in New York, created in 1984, which performed with symphony orchestras. She also worked with the Waverly Consort, the New York Consort of Viols and the Ensemble of Early Music.
Susan Bindig:

A student, colleague, and friend of Wendy Hilton for thirty years. They worked together most closely at the Stanford University Workshop on Baroque Dance and Music (1979-86 and 2000) and at the International Early Dance Institute at Goucher College (1988-91), as well as collaborating on many other scholarly, teaching, and performance projects. Bindig's own career included teaching and/or performing appointments at Mount Holyoke College and the Five College Dance Department, the University of California, the Eastman School of Music, and the Juilliard School, among other institutions. She has written on aspects of early dance for the International Encyclopedia of Dance, the International Dictionary of Ballet, Dance Chronicle, and Dance Research Journal. Bindig holds a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from New York University, with a dissertation entitled "Dancing in Harlequin's World." She has also worked as a professional editor for performing arts and political science publications and currently is the associate director of the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies at Princeton University.