Apollo's Banquet
Thomas Baird & Hugh Murphy, directors

Apollo's Banquet, founded in 1995 by Thomas Baird and Hugh Murphy, is an ensemble of dancers and musicians that presents 18th century choreographic master works in concert. The ensemble takes its name from a series of music editions containing French and English dance music published in England in the 17th and 18th centuries. The Company is dedicated to presenting dances that survive in 18th century notation with the music to which they were origin ally choreographed in performances that are historically informed, but live for an audience of today.

Of its production "Dances of the French Baroque Theatre" presented at the Kaye Playhouse (NYC) in 1997, Jack Anderson of the New York Times wrote, "Apollo's Banquet can provide a feast!". The Company has presented a lecture-demonstration, "The Characters of the Dance", at Lincoln Center's Bruno Walter Auditorium in conjunction with the New York Public Library's special exhibit "The New Baroque: Early Dance Re-Creations and Inspirations".

Apollo's Banquet was invited to perform in the Fragonard Room of the Frick Collection, marking the first time music and dance had been presented in this unique and very appropriate setting. The performance was named one of the highlights of the 1998 social season by the New York Times. The Company was honored to participate in the Kaye Playhouse's 1,000th Performance Gala in April of 1998, and in July of that year, was presented on the Rutgers University SummerFest performance series. In June of 1999, the Company appeared at the Boston Early Music Festival. The Boston Globe reported that Apollo's Banquet "..brought the house down!".

Apollo's Banquet has completed a residency that included master classes and a performance in the Fine Arts Theatre at the University of Wyoming in Laramie. This performance included guest artists Paige Whitley-Bauguess, Marsha Knight, and Yasuko Hamanaka.

The Company has also presented a lecture-demonstration titled "The Dancing Masters" at Assumption College, Sarah Lawrence College, and also as part of the Lyceum Series at the Baylor University School of Music.

For five years Apollo's Banquet and the dance department at Rutgers University, has co-produced the annual East Coast Baroque Dance Workshop, the only venue of its kind on the East Coast. Dancers, dance teachers, musicians and actors attend the workshop from all over the United States, Belgium, Canada and Japan.