Renaissance dance events set for Nov. 4-5

Publication Date
Renaissance and Baroque dance Ken Pierce in costume

American performer, teacher and historian of Renaissance and Baroque dance Ken Pierce will offer a trio of free public events during a residency at Union Nov. 4-5.

On Saturday, Nov. 4, 2-3:15 p.m., he will present a dance workshop in Memorial Chapel, teaching late 16th century dances for one or more couples, as described in French and Italian sources of the period.

No dance experience is required to participate, and spectators are welcome.

At 7 p.m. that evening, Pierce and Boston-based dancer Lynn Menegon will perform with the Union College Early Music Ensemble, directed by Dianne McMullen, the John Howard Payne Professor of Music. The event will take place in Emerson Auditorium in the Taylor Music Center. There will be a reception following the concert.

On Sunday at 2 p.m., also in Emerson Auditorium, Pierce and Menegon will present a lecture/recital, demonstrating and performing primarily Italian couple dances from circa 1600. A reception will follow.

“These are three unique opportunities for the campus community and others in our wider community to learn about and enjoy Renaissance dance,” McMullen said. “The events are geared toward all ages, and they will be a lot of fun.”

Pierce is on the faculty of Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Mass. He trained in ballet and modern dance at the American Ballet Theatre School and the Merce Cunningham Studio. He has performed and choreographed for companies in the U.S., Canada and Europe.

He also directs the Ken Pierce Historical Dance Projects, in which he performs as a soloist and with other dancers in reconstructed and original choreographies in 16th, 17th, 18th and early 19th century styles.

For more information about the residency, contact McMullen at