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Baroque Dance & Music
Mercurius is a young and innovative group which specialises in the performance and research of the Early Music & Dance, embracing in its repertoire works from the Baroque and Pre-Classical periods.
Mercurius functions as a co-operative where musicians, singers and dancers have a unique opportunity to work closely and exchange views and experiences, creating an exciting and rich melting pot for artistic production. The experience of reuniting art forms as they were conceived in the Baroque period, when instrumental & vocal music and dance could not be dissociated, is largely supported. Similarly, we base our research on the Expression of Passions and the comprehension of rhetorical speech and its importance in that period.
The Objects of the charity are:
To educate the public in the arts and sciences and in particular the art & science of early dance and music, by the presentation of concerts, recitals, lectures and other material.
To provide training through work experience to young artists at the beginning of their careers.
To promote conservation of sources, instruments, costumes and collections which are relevant to the art and science of early dance and music.
Mercurius comprises instrumental and vocal ensembles as well as a Baroque Dance Company. Mercurius performs on period instruments in order to bring out the musicality of each period involved. A rich, varied continuo section supports the instrumental section, which includes wind, brass and bowed string instruments. The parameters for the performance are those inherited from musicians and musicologist from the 17th and 18th centuries, with a particular attention to the Lullian bowing technique described by Muffat in his 'Florilegium Secundum'. In adopting historically informed performances Mercurius aims to revive the sounds and aesthetics from the past, combining a clear and bright performance technique with the utmost and extreme expression of the Passions, a constant concern during the baroque period.
The Vocal ensemble equally adopts a singing technique developed in the Baroque period and documented by writers such as Bacilly. Clear articulation and comprehension of the text and its rhetoric is combined with a cheer command of the voice, following the parameters set in original treatises. Aiming for the expression of Passions, the vocal ensemble also makes use of a gesture lexicon, working in conformity to music and dance.
The Baroque Dance ensemble has in research its founding-stone. The dancers conciliate their high physical and expressive abilities to the immersion in research as means to present performances that are not only very agreeable to the eyes, but do intend to 'move' the audience's soul. In fact, there is a constant search for the expression of passions through the comprehension of music, choreographic and rhetoric figures.
The creative and restoring processes encompass the study of baroque dance in the light of music, aesthetics, the 'Theory of the Passions of the Soul' and its rhetorical connections. It encapsulates the study of treatises and original sources on dance and rhetoric, the accurate analysis of original dances and its musical equivalents, and finally the creative process.
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