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In the Spotlight: Stories of Performance Dance in Early New Orleans


WHAT: In the Spotlight: Stories of Performance Dance in Early New Orleans

WHO: The Historic New Orleans Collection

WHEN: Saturday, September 8, 2018

WHERE: 410 Chartres St New Orleans, LA 70130

TIME: Doors open: 9:30 a.m. l Talks: 10 a.m.–4 p.m. l Reception & exhibition viewing: 4–4:45 p.m.

PRICE: $10


Join THNOC as we trace the history of dance performance in New Orleans from the mid-18th century to the early 20th century. Presented in conjunction with the city’s ongoing tricentennial commemorations, this day of talks at the Williams Research Center will focus on New Orleans’s influential place in American classical dance history, as well as African and Haitian influences on early dance in New Orleans. Moderated by THNOC Library Cataloguer Nina Bozak, “In the Spotlight: Stories of Performance Dance in Early New Orleans” will feature talks from scholars Monique Moss and Freddi Williams Evans, Maureen Needham-Aldrich, Olga Guardia de Smoak and Patricia Aulestia, most of whom are also current or former dancers. Speakers will cover the birth of African American dance traditions in Congo Square, the early popularity of opera and ballet in New Orleans, the romantic period of ballet as seen through the visit of 19th-century star dancer Fanny Elssler and the influence of a performance in New Orleans by Russian prima ballerina Anna Pavlova in the early 20th century. In addition, the day will include a short performance of “La Cachucha”—a piece popularized by Fanny Elssler—by Rebecca Allen, along with a small display of costumes, photos and other dance memorabilia from THNOC’s holdings. A light reception will follow. Admission to “In the Spotlight,” which will take place at THNOC’s Williams Research Center, 410 Chartres St., is $10 per person. To register, visit or call (504) 598-7146. Doors open at 9:30 a.m., with sessions beginning at 10 a.m. and followed by the reception and exhibition viewing 4–4:45 p.m. Visit for the complete schedule.

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