Catherine Turocy, Artistic Director, and co-founder of The New York Baroque Dance Company (NYBDC) in 1976, specializes in producing 17th and 18th century programs ranging from street performances to fully staged operas. There are over 55 operas in the company’s repertoire as well as reconstructed dances and ballets choreographed in period style. Through residencies at educational institutions serving grades k-12 and at the university level, Turocy and dancers of the company instruct professionals and the general public, thus preserving our cultural heritage.
Turocy, recognized as today’s leading choreographer/reconstructor in the field of 18th century dance, has been decorated by the French Republic as a Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters and has received the prestigious BESSIE Award in New York City for sustained achievement in choreography as well as the Natalie Skelton Award for Artistic Excellence. NEA Exchange Fellowships supported extended visits where she lived in London and Paris, conducting research and interacting with other artists. A founding member of the Society for Dance History Scholars, Ms. Turocy lectures on period performance practices and has contributed chapters to dance history text books, articles to Opera News and Dance Magazine, many which have been translated into French, German, Japanese and Korean. A chapter in Janet Roseman’s book, Dance Masters: Interviews with Legends of Dance, published by Routledge is dedicated to her work.
Groundbreaking productions over the past three decades include the premiere of Jean Philippe Rameau’s Les Boreades (not performed in the 18th century because of Rameau’s death) and Hippolyte et Aricie, both at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and the Opera de Lyon; Henry Purcell’s Indian Queen performed at the Barbican in London; the award winning Scylla et Glaucus by Jean Marie Leclair performed at the Opera de Lyon as well as over 100 performances of a double bill with Rameau’s Pygmalion and George Frederick Handel’s Terpsicore. Choreography and stage direction commissioned by the Handel Festival in Goettingen, Germany include Handel’s Terpsicore, Ariodante, Arianna, Alcina, Atalanta, Orlando and in 2011, Teseo.
Her company has toured North America, Europe and Japan with conductors James Richman, John Eliot Gardiner, Christopher Hogwood, Nicholas McGegan and Wolfgang Katschner. In their home base of New York City, the company produces concerts annually with Concert Royal directed by James Richman. They also perform regularly with Opera Lafayette Orchestra and Chorus directed by Conductor Ryan Brown. Across the United States the company appears with The Dallas Bach Society, Mercury Baroque, Apollo’s Fire and Philharmonia Baroque.
Catherine Turocy began her studies of historical dance as a freshman at Ohio State University with Dr. Shirley Wynne. She is grateful to Lynn Dally, Peter Saul, Kathryn Karipedes, Ruth Currier, Lucy Venable and Alex Martin for their instruction and guidance.
Currently Ms. Turocy is co-director of the Stanford Historical Dance Week at Stanford University, and teaches in the early music programs at Juilliard, Oberlin College and Indiana University and is a member of the Society of Dance History Scholars (SDHS), Committee on Research in Dance (CORD), CORPS de Ballet International, the Dance Council and Dance Theater Workshop.