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London Handel Players with Dancers Mary Collins and Stephen Player - Oct. 26

London2The BCMS hosted a baroque period ensemble just last fall with tremendous success. When the opportunity to present another early music group on a rare tour came up, we couldn’t resist. And the ensemble of flute, violin, cello and harpsichord will perform with two baroque dance specialists!
Violinist Adrian Butterfield, the ensemble’s director, describes the collaboration:

Louis XIV of France had a passion for dance which inspired many of Europe's baroque composers to write exquisite dance music. . . . By the end of Louis' reign the royal mâitre à danseur, Pierre Rameau, could write that “there is not a single court in Europe where the dancing-master is not French".

The rediscovery of these dances is leading to a new understanding of dance music and, in turn, a fresh perspective on the great composers of the baroque era. The subtlety and complexity of footwork and rhythm exhibited in French court dance generated a virtuosic style in which the dancer became another line of the music. Dancer and musician co-existed as a complete ensemble.

The London Handel Players have been collaborating with Mary Collins and Steven Player for a number of years recreating these original choreographies and bringing baroque dance music to life for today’s audiences in a thrilling and entertaining way.

Since making their debut at Handel’s parish church, St. George’s Hanover Square, as part of the London Handel Festival in 2000, the London Handel Players have appeared regularly at Wigmore Hall and at many of the leading festivals in the UK, Europe and North America. They have performed across Canada and the United States, making their New York debut at the Frick Museum in 2012 and returning to perform at Carnegie Hall in 2014. Their recent appearances include Spitalfields, London Handel, Tilford Bach, Cork Early Music, Göttingen International Handel, Gregynog, Kings Lynn, Stratford, Newbury Spring, Stour, Halle International Handel, York Early Music and Brighton Early Music Festivals.

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