The First International Baroque Dance Symposium of The Amsterdam Conservatory was held from 6 to 8 February 2009.
This symposium not only involved scholars and performers specialized in historical dance, but also historians and musicologists from North and South America, England and continental Europe. The faculty and students of both the Conservatorium van Amsterdam and the dance department of the Theaterschool Amsterdam unlived the proceedings with their performances, while open workshops made dancing accessible and enjoyable for all conference participants.
In the 18th century dancing was held in high esteem, and dancers buzzed about Europe and its colonies like giddy bees in a rich garden of summer sweets, inspiring, imitating and influencing each other both at home and abroad. London and Paris were the dancing hotspots of the age, but Amsterdam and The Hague were no strangers to Terpsichore’s charms.
This conference addressed the question: How did an international phenomenon like 18th-century dance, so strongly perfumed of the courts of Catholic France and Italy, manifest itself in the Dutch Republic, a Protestant nation that had but narrowly escaped the recent and relentless aggressions of Louis XIV?