Theater archives

After 250 years, Sallé’s Work Still Has Allure


Sword-wielding suitors, springtime shepherds, and a sun god celebrated the 250th anniversary of the death of ballerina and choreographer Marie Sallé in ballets reconstructed by Catherine Turocy and performed by the New York Baroque Dance Company. In Les Caractéres de la Danse, Turocy and Timothy Kasper used playful pantomime to depict the caprice of courtship with laughter, tears, embraces, and a flirty minuet. Sarah Edgar came to life as the artist’s statue in Pygmalion, caressing the face of her creator, Jason Melms, in wide-eyed discovery. Caroline Copeland executed the rapid leaps and tight turns of the title role in Terpsicore with precision and surprising fluidity given her corseted torso. Copeland revealed the timeless allure of a gloved arm emerging from a lace sleeve and, fixing the 21st-century audience with her gaze, paused to present the lost beauty of an ankle delicately displayed just below a hemline.