Past performances: 2013

Cornish Opera Theater's Fall production of Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme.

Venue: Cornish Playhouse Theater (formerly Intiman)
Friday October 18, and Saturday October 19 at 8:00pm

Producer: Andrew Walker
Theater Director: Makaela Pollock
Musical Director: Stephen Stubbs
Choreographer: Anna Mansbridge

Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme is a comedy-ballet created by Moliére and Lully for the court of Louis XIV of France in 1670. It is an all-embracing work of three art forms: music, drama and dance, which are woven together in a narrative form. The story revolves around the central character, Monsieur Jourdain, a bourgeois who is desperate to better himself and learn the manners and etiquette demanded of a fine nobleman. His naivety and bewilderment as he tries to acquire the skills considered imperative for a noblemen are played on with glee by those hired to teach him these skills (a music master, dancing master, fencing master, and a master of philosophy).

In the comedy-ballet, the dancing forms an important part of the action. The dances are not divertissements but are an integral and dynamic part of the plot. Dancing at the court of Louis XIV was strictly controlled and reflected the hierarchical structure of society. Dancing was intimately connected with manners and etiquette, and represented the movement of a very elite part of society, the aristocracy, where good taste reigned supreme. The bourgeois Monsieur Jourdain, with all his riches, is desperate to be a member of this elite society, and his attempts at mastering the sophisticated movements of dance at court are totally beyond him. He comically fails.

Besides the trials and tribulations of Monsieur Jourdain at mastering the art of dance, there are other scenes where the dancers appear as cooks, tailors, servants, and exotic characters from fantasy. The comedy-ballet ends with the grand spectacle of the Ballet des Nations, celebrating the triumph of love with the marriages of prominent characters in the play.

Makaela Pollock, the theater director, described this comedy ballet as a 'Baroque Cabaret.' She will be looking at the Baroque through a modern lens, drawing on the excess and indulgence that characterized the Baroque. The costumes will have a baroque silhouette using modern clothes. The choreography will be eclectic, drawing on the notated dances from the early eighteenth century, with influences ranging from Martha Graham, Bob Fosse and the Commedia dell'Arte.


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Dance for the King: Pagentry and Passion

April 12, 2013 7:30 pm

Northlake Unitarian Universalist Church

315 3rd Ave. S, Kirkland, WA 98033

Seattle Early Dance celebrated Spring with an enchanted evening of Baroque Dance. Directed by Anna Mansbridge, exquisite dances originating at the court of Louis XIV were performed in gorgeous costumes to live music played on period instruments. Composers included Jean-Baptiste Lully, Andre Campra and Marin Marais.


Past performances: 2012

The Noble and Necessary Art of Dancing

May 1, 2012, 7:30 pm

Seattle Early Dance, directed by Anna Mansbridge, hosted an entertaining evening of Renaissance dance. The audience was welcomed to a court ball, where with airy graces of movement and with nimble agilities of foot, beautiful dances from the late sixteenth century Italian, French and English courts was presented. These exquisite dances were performed in stunning period costumes to live music played on early instruments.

Trinity Parish Church, 609 Eighth Ave. Seattle, WA


Past performances: 2011

La Liberazione di Ruggiero dall'Isola d'Alcina

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$20 general, $15 seniors, $10 students and Cornish alumni (with ID)

Cornish Opera Theater presented La Liberazione di Ruggiero dall'Isola d'Alcina (The Liberation of Ruggiero from the Island of Alcina), a rarely performed 17th Century Italian baroque opera by Francesca Caccini, and the first opera ever composed by a woman. Noted baroque choreographer Anna Mansbridge directed and Stephen Stubbs lead the period instrument ensemble with a cast featuring tenor Ross Hauck.


Henry Purcell's Baroque Opera The Indian Queen

February 24, 25, 26, 2011

Indian Queen

Baroque Northwest teamed up with stage director/choreographer Anna Mansbridge to present Seattle's premiere of this fully staged and costumed opera. Set in pre-colonial South America, The Indian Queen tells the story of Queen Zempoalla and her intrigues in the Mexican and Peruvian courts. The Indian Queen was produced through a collaboration with Seattle Early Dance and the Early Music Guild.

7:30 pm at The Chapel at the Good Shepherd Center,
4649 Sunnyside Avenue North, Seattle WA


Thursday, March 24, 2011

handel Festival

American Handel Festival

Seattle Early Dance presented an entertaining lecture-demo on the dances performed at court and the theater during handel's liftime. Exquisite costumes and live music on period instruments.

10-11:30 am at Trinity Parish Hall, Seattle

Past performances: 2010

Monteverdi's Combattimento di Tancredi et Clorinda

March 4, 5, 6, 2010
On the Boards, Seattle

Choreography by Anna Mansbridge, in collaboration with Pacific Music Works.

Spring Dance

March 13, 14, 2010
ARC Dance Space, Seattle

In collaboration with ARC Dance.

Euterpe and Terpsichore

April 6, 2010
Trinity Parish Church, Seattle

International artists Maxine Eilander (Harp) and Anna Mansbridge (Dance) came together to present a unique evening of divine music and splendid dancing from the Renaissance and Baroque periods.


Past performances: 2009

Spring Dance

March 20, 21, 22, 2009

ARC Dance Space - 9250 14th Ave NW, Seattle

ARC Dance and ARC School of Ballet joined together with Seattle Early Dance to recreate courtly dance form the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries. Live musicians and authentic costuming transport you on a journey through the Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque periods of dance history.


Past performances: 2008

“Barock and Roll”

Sunday, March 16, 2008, 1pm
Town Hall, Seattle WA

Seattle Early Dance presented a demonstration of 17th-and 18th-century dances in full costume, with live music! Anna Mansbridge led the audience in the Farandole, Washerwoman's Brawl, and other social dances popular in the Renaissance and Baroque. Appropriate for children of all ages.


Past performances: 2007

Rappresentatione di Anima et di Corpo
by Emilio de' Cavalieri, Rome 1600

Saturday, November 17, 2007, 8 pm
St. James Cathedral
804 Ninth Avenue, Seattle WA

Cavalieri's Rappresentatione di Anima et di Corpo, first performed in Rome in 1600, is one of the earliest examples of a musical drama. The story is allegorical, and tells the struggle of the Body and Soul in their choice between lasting peace and happiness in heaven, and earthly pleasures in this life. The decisive moment comes when the Body and the Soul are allowed to witness the tortures of the Damned Souls in Hell and the eternal contentment of the Blessed Souls in heaven. This magnificent performance brought together a group of sepcilaist singers, instrumentalists and dancers under the musical direction of Stephen Stubbs, and the stage direction and choreography of Anna Mansbridge.

With the Seattle Academy of Opera .

See photographs of the performance.


‘Accademia d'Amore’
performance of opera scenes from the 17th century

July 1-7 , 2007
at Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, Washington, USA

Anna Mansbridge co-stage directed during this workshop for opera singers. For more information, see the Seattle Academy of Opera or Early Music Guild websites.


Handel’s Ballet Music with Seattle Baroque Orchestra

May 5 & 6 , 2007

at the Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall, Seattle.

Anna Mansbridge and Seattle Early Dance joined SBO for an elegant program of Handel concertos and ballet music.


Past performances: 2006

Arts Live!
Presented by the Haller Lake Arts Council

Saturday, December 9th, 2006

Haller Lake Community Club, 12577 Densmore Ave N, Seattle, WA 98133.

Baroque Passion
Seattle Early Dance performed a selection of exquisite dances popular at the lavish European courts of the eighteenth century. Wearing charming costumes and accompanied by live music performed on authentic period instruments, the dancers provoked delight with their nimble steps and graceful gestures. A unique performance opportunity suitable for the whole family, this is not to be missed.


‘Accademia d'Amore’
performance of opera scenes from the 17th century

August 17-27, 2006
at Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, Washington, USA

Anna Mansbridge co-stage directed during this workshop for opera singers.


Cascade Early Music Festival

June 13-18, 2006

Celebrate Mozart's 250th birthday with chamber music for keyboard, flute, strings and the Russian 7-string guitar of Mozart's time, an 18th-century Ball, an all-Johann Sebastian Bach program, and of course plenty of Mozart. Workshops and performances of early dance with Anna Mansbridge. For more information, see www.cemf.org.


Early Music Discovery - Capriole's Caper

Follow the adventures of a teenage student preparing to attend his first ball and who discovers the virtues and hazards of courtly dance, music and etiquette under the guidance of his Dancing Master. This narrated dramatization provided an exciting and informative introduction to Renaissance dance. Anna Mansbridge directed the dancers and co-produced the performance at the Town Hall, in Seattle on April 9, 2006.


Bach Around the Clock

Seattle Early Dance performed at this all day celebration of the music of J.S. Bach, held at the Town Hall in Seattle. Anna Mansbridge also choreographed a new work for Kaleidoscope Dance Company performed at the same event on March 6th, 2006.

See photographs of the performance.


Seattle Symphony Discover Music! Series

Happy Birthday Mozart! A fifity minute concert tracing dance and music from the Renaissance through to the classical period, ending with Mozart. Performances January 21 & 28th 2006 with Seattle Symphony at Benaroya Hall, downtown Seattle.


Past performances: 2005

Venus and Adonis, an opera by John Blow. Presented by the Early Music Guild of Seattle. Performances February 11th, 12th, 13th, 2005, at the Greg Falls Theater (ACT) in downtown Seattle.

Read the previews, in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and the Seattle Times, and the review in the Post-Intelligencer.

See photographs of the performance.


Tinsel Town
ARC dance company performs choreography by Anna Mansbridge: Tinsel Town blends the baroque and modern dance genres. It is a witty piece to music by Corelli and Shostakovich, and centers on the obsession to be noticed and to be a star! Shorecrest Performing Arts Center, October 14-15 2005


Past performances: 2004

BAROQUE EXTRAVAGANCE
The Gallery Baroque Players and Seattle Early Dance, Seattle's premiere baroque chamber music and dance ensembles, come together November 11 and 13 for a dazzling concert of works from the French Baroque Court. Featuring two world premiere choreographies, the performances will take place Thursday, November 11, 2004, at Seattle's Town Hall and Saturday, November 13, 2004, 8:00 PM at Kirkland Performance Center. Thursday's program is the opening night concert for the American Musicological Society national meeting.


Spanish Baroque Meets Flamenco A collaboration between Anna Mansbrige and Seattle Early Dance, and Rubina Carmona and La Pena Flamenca de Seattle. April 3-4, 2004, Broadway Performance Hall, Seattle

This sizzling concert combines traditional and gypsy Spanish Flamenco with the elegant courtly dances of eighteenth century Europe. Performed to live music and wearing magnificent costumes, Artistic Directors Anna Mansbridge (Seattle Early Dance) and Rubina Carmona (La Pena) have created a truly unique fusion of dance and music.

See photographs of the performance.