Baroque Dance – Passacaille from Armide (L’Abbé, Lully)

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A performance of Anthony L’Abbé’s solo Passacaille to music by Jean-Baptiste Lully from the tragédie en musique «Armide» (1686).

This solo choreography was published in Beauchamp-Feuillet dance notation in 1711 by Edmund Pemberton, and was adapted from an earlier (c.1706) Passacaille for two women that is also extant in notation. Here it has been reconstructed by Philippa Waite with reference to dancing manuals from the first half of the 18th century. There is also another female solo to the same music by the choreographer Pécour.

The musicians in this performance are:
Andrew Wilson-Dickson – Director/Harpsichord
Emma Harrhy – Baroque cello
Sophia McKenna – Baroque oboe
Barry d’Souza – Baroque violin
Gillian Stevens – Viola da gamba

Philippa’s costume is after a design for a female dancer from the studio of Jean Berain, c.1685.

Filmed at Margam Orangery.

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6 Comments on "Baroque Dance – Passacaille from Armide (L’Abbé, Lully)"

  1. Philippa Waite is just THE best! So graceful and effortless. Beautiful playing too.

  2. Very beautiful performance with fine port de bras, just why does the soloist end her dance before music? It looks a bit strange… Is it so written in the notation? I have never come across such a thing…

  3. Isn't the tempo quite a bit too fast?    I was always taught that the Passacaglia was a slow, stately dance, performed (as a solo instrumentalist) Adagio, or Largo, or some other slow tempo.   The tempo here is at least Andante if not Allegretto.  

  4. How frustrating that we cannot see her footwork throughout the dance! What was the cameraman thinking?

  5. The ending seems awkward for some reason.

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