THE EARLY DANCE CONSORT ~ Renaissance & Baroque Dance

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About the Early Dance Consort | What is Early Dance?

The Early Dance Consort is a Sydney-based teaching and performing ensemble specialising in the reconstruction of early European court dance from the Renaissance to the 18th century.

Photo of Fiona Garlick Photo of John BarnardUnder the direction of Fiona Garlick and John Barnard, the Consort has delighted Australian audiences with its costumed presentations, accompanied by leading early instrumental ensembles including the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble of the Golden Age, Musica da Camera, The Musicke, Pastance, the Renaissance Players and The Marais Project.

Consort performances and teaching curriculum are based on research into the surviving records for early court dance and its music. As artistic and research director for the consort, Fiona has presented lectures, masterclasses and demonstrations of early dance for arts and educational institutions around Australia, as well as  choreographing for period productions of operas, plays, and ballets.

Fiona & John in baroque costume

Fiona & John in Hong KongFiona & John in Baroque Costume

What is early dance?

To newcomers to the world of early dance it may come as a surprise to discover that there are hundreds of documents which record the social dances of the European Courts in the Renaissance and Baroque eras - from the early fifteenth century to the late eighteenth century and beyond.

Having lain largely forgotten in archives for many years, since the later years of the 20th century the dances preserved in these sources have enjoyed a new Renaissance. Thanks to the work of early dance specialists around the world, they have been given new life for audiences in recent times, in the same way that the music of past centuries has been revived with the aid of research into early instruments and playing practices.

The Early Dance Consort has been responsible for bringing this fascinating repertoire to light in classes, workshops, lectures, balls and performances for audiences in Sydney and around Australia.

Dance Notation: Gavotte du Roy

© The Early Dance Consort 2024.