About Mercurius Company
A truly stimulating and memorable event
Your presence always adds an extra dimension and is much loved by the public who see you. Much appreciated as always!
A fascinating step back into 17th-century French culture
[…] Rhetoric and its role in both religion and dance was the theme of an opening conference held in São Paulo, Brazil, in September 2011 with contributions from a number of UK-based dance historians and practitioners – Barbara Segal, Mary Collins, and Ricardo Barros. The underlying motive for this unlikely combination – religion, dance and rhetoric – was […] the Jesuits, for the missionary order was responsible for the founding of São Paulo itself in 1554. […] The second event of this exploration of the baroque was a production by Ricardo Barros' Mercurius Company of a new work entitled Les Arts Réunis – representing the re-uniting of Music and Drama with Dance. Based on the music of Lully and using excerpts from his various opera-ballets, together with the choreographies of Pécour and Barros, it sought to present a kaleidoscopic image of how dance, music and drama should ideally be integrated into a unified work. In many respects it followed the 'collage' technique of Campra's Ballet des Fragments de Lully. […] With six excellent singers, four dancers and a small orchestra of strings and wind, it presented a wonderful image of what must have been regular fare in the palaces of the French court back in the late 17th century. The scenery was copied from the original stage sets of the court theatre in Cesky Krumlov – enhancing the staging in a way that brought the period remarkably back to life. With three performances over the week in two different theatres in São Paulo and Jundiaí, the event drew packed houses (with hundreds turned away on two occasions!) and a level of enthusiasm that is rarely to be found in England for a baroque entertainment. […] Not since the production of Lully's Atys in Paris some 20 years ago (and recently revived) have I seen such a remarkable reconstruction of total baroque theatre. It deserves a wider audience, perhaps at one of the English early music festivals (which have been generally very negligent in their encouragement of period dance). If baroque dance really was exported to the South American colonies by the Jesuits in the 1660s, it seems only fair that it should be the origin of re-exportation to Europe some 350 years later!
Orpheus Britannicus is conceived as a Baroque semi-opera or 'dramatick opera' in the style of Restoration entertainments that combined music with 'divertissements'. The work has excellent continuity [and] flows extremely well. This is, of course, due to the excellent direction of Barros, Gingell, Lisete da Silva and Inglehearn, as well as the high artistic quality and commitment of all those involved. It was an extremely well-rehearsed and professional performance. The singing and the music, played on period instruments, were delightfully performed by highly talented young musicians. The choreography by Barros and Inglehearn attempted to match expressive movements with the music. The dances included a beautifully performed courante and sarabande choreographed by Barros, and a lovely minuet choreographed by Inglehearn [who] also choreographed a very effective Dance of the Winds accompanied by a very realistic wind machine - a delightful touch. It was a very impressive performance, with lovely costumes and good lighting. An enormous amount of work and dedication on the part of the whole cast and production team has gone into it. In short, a fine tribute to one of the greatest of English composers.