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A Musical Journey into the Past

March 6, 2013

During the Renaissance, such instruments as the viola da gamba and the theorbo were familiar sights to audiences who attended concerts. This is not the case any longer as more "modern" instruments have taken their place. One chamber group is keeping these instruments, and their sounds, alive. Ensemble Chaconne will team up with the Ken Pierce Baroque Dancers as part of Averett's Arts@Averett Series on Thursday, April 4 at 7:30 p.m. in Pritchett Auditorium. The concert is free and open to the public.

The performance will bring to life music and dance from the court of Louis XIV by combining exquisite baroque dance sets (in period dress) with music by the great composers of the French court, including Marin Marais, Fran├žois Couperin, and Jean-Baptiste Lully. The performers will sample popular ballroom dances and theatrical choreographies portraying diverse characters, from the comic harlequin to the noble Apollo.

Ensemble Chaconne has been performing well-known masterpieces as well as recently discovered works from Renaissance and Baroque Europe with period-instruments since they formed in 1985. The group is comprised of Peter Bloom, who plays Renaissance and Baroque flutes; Carol Lewis, who plays the viola da gamba; and Olav Chris Henriksen, who plays the lute, theorbo and early guitar.

In addition to more than 25 years as a touring ensemble, they have also appeared in solo recitals and performed widely with other ensembles.

The Ken Pierce Baroque Dancers have been acclaimed in North America and Europe. Trained in ballet and modern dance, Pierce has specialized in early dance for more than 25 years as choreographer, reconstructor, performer and teacher. 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. Pierce directs the early dance program at the Longy School of Music of Bard College.