Bach — English Suite No. 3 in g minor, BWV 808 (V and VI), Gavotte I & II

Reconstructed by Julia Levien. Frequently performed with Gavotte II from the same suite.
The first section of this "class etude" begins with a loping run which marks the rhythm as it moves in a serpentine pathway through the space. Usually done as a full class group, the line turns into a large circle of dancers as the running transitions to rounded skips. Continuing with full energy, the skips become "double skips" using the thrusting lift of the sternum to propel the action forward. Swift skip turns conclude the circular traveling as the first Gavotte of the English Suite No. 3 ends.

Dancers transition quickly to a partner for the next Gavotte. Here the movement is quietly circular with arms tracing and drawing curves, initiated centrally, around themselves and their partner. Slipping past each other the partners dance side by side until they sway towards and away as they travel upstage. Returning to the front, they gather and scatter the space with gestures to the sky and then the earth. The final phrase is a reprise of the beginning theme ending in a suspended balance, with arms undercurving through the last slowing skips.


Nadia Chilkovsky Nahumck

Reference: Nahumck, Nadia Chilkovsky. Isadora Duncan: The Dances. Washington DC: The National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1994.

The Gavotte accompanies running and skipping patterns in circular "weaving" forms.

The Musette is a sprightly, playful dance performed by one or more couples. They move first in lateral opposition. Then, in the second theme, they move in unison.


Title Date Dancers Full Dance? Notes
Dance Visions NY Youth Company: Children's Repertory 2012 Yes Staged by Beth Jucovy
Hortense Kooluris Collection 1978 Philadelphia College of Performing Arts Dancers Yes
The Beliloveables No

Related items in the Archives

The Collection of Barbara Kane > Programs > Isadora Duncan Centenary Dance Company — Oct 23, 1977

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