The mission of the New Orleans Society of Dance is “to promote, preserve, perpetuate and encourage the live artistry, culture and heritage of dance throughout communities in Louisiana.” The strategic art of dance production and performance is our passion. We are fully dedicated to the enhancement of the cultural landscape and artistic reputation of The Baby Dolls masking, music and dance traditions of New Orleans, Louisiana. Therefore it is important to us to sustain a selective poole of talent along with honorary membership so that we can fully dedicate ourselves to our mission, which we serve thru through stage, film & video productions, public programs and other cultural, educational, civic and economic activities.
"Who Is This Babydoll and why is she referred to as such?..."
-Robert McKinney; ca. 1940 WPA Federal Writer's Project
Est. 2005, New Orleans Society Of Dance "Baby Doll Ladies" is a culturally centered dance-company. The Baby Doll Ladies signature masking, chant and dance ensemble is committed to preserving and promoting women's arts in New Orleans. Our purpose is to identify, and help develop bourgeoning dance/talent while exposing New Orleans heritage and folk artistry throughout communities. Stage Performance credits & choreographic works include: The 88th Annual Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade, The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival (2009, 2012, 2016, 2017) and the cultural legacy cabaret series "OH, Those Baby Doll Ladies" to name a few. As an "authentic" culture bearer and chosen keepers of heirloom artifacts (Batiste Family Dolls, ca.1930) the Baby Doll Ladies "Resurrection" efforts include: More than a decade of documentation & research, school & youth arts-integrated programs, city/state endorsed Commemoration of the 100th Centennial-Year Anniversary of the "Babydolls" (2012), as well as co-curatorship of The LA State Museum's 100 years of New Orleans Baby Dolls Exhibit and the officially sanctioned, annual Baby Doll Ladies Mardi-Gras Day Walking Parade Route. Scholarly research documents that the very first group of pioneer "Baby Dolls" masqueraded and formed their own Mardi Gras celebration in the year 1912, combining African exuberance and rhythm with French Creole style and toy dollish regalia, which is one of the first women's street masking practices in the U.S. (c.1912). The tradition gained popularity thru the eras as social aide clubs and (musical) family groups began to adopt the practice as a form of their own identity.The New Orleans Baby Doll Ladies carry on the endearing Mardi-Gras tradition with an elevated sense of aesthetics and purpose, performing year-round. Sponsored by New Orleans Society of Dance & The Louisiana State Museum Foundation
ABOUT THE KREWE OF BABY DOLL LADIES MARDI-GRAS DAY WALKING PARADE:
START 7:35a.m.- 1135 Washington Ave.; (Near Commander's Palace Restaurant)
*Head northwest on Washington Ave toward Prytania St,
*Turn right onto St Charles Ave; Proceed on St. Charles
*Greet Mayor at Gallier Hall; proceed down St. Charles
*Turn left onto Canal St,
*U-Turn On Canal St. to Left on Bourbon Street; Proceed down Bourbon to St. Peter
*Turn Left on St. Peter; Proceed down St. Peter, turn right on Rampart St
END - Henriette Delile At Backstreet Cultural Museu, (Treme Neighborhood)
*A VERY SPECIAL THANK YOU!* On Behalf of The New Orleans Baby Doll Ladies, we'd like to thank our contributors for helping to make our Second Annual Mardi Gras Day walking Parade a huge success!! Our heartfelt gratitude and sincere thanks goes out to:
Ashe Cultural Arts Center (N.O., LA)
Caron Garel/ Afrodisiac Cuisine Nola LLC
MEET THE 2017 NEW ORLEANS BABY DOLL LADIES!
The music track herein is subject to copyrights. The New Orleans BabyDollLadies is a cultural act and living Mardi Gras tradition that celebrates New Orleans doll-masking and dancing customs.
2017 DANCE COMPANY ROSTER:
2017 AUXILIARY ROSTER:
The Baby Doll Ladies Auxiliary Division was established to further the New Orleans Society Of Dance’s preservation efforts of the doll-masking, Mardi-Gras traditions. Membership is by invitation (or selective promotions) only. In addition to marching in the Baby Doll Ladies Walking Parade, the Auxiliary Division aims to support the company’s cultural arts programs and School & youth outreach efforts during the active year/season. Auxiliary members are responsible for knowing and reciting the BDL History and living legacy and must also successfully complete a series of physical activity/ movement workshops.
2017 HONORARY GRAND MARSHALL:
MEET OUR MUSIC AMBASSADOR:
MEET NEW ORLEANS' PIONEER FAMILY OF MUSICAL-DOLLS c.1930
More than anything else, “Baby Doll Ladies” are the beautiful women who inspire the joy of life in the hearts of people thru dance... Louisiana history provides a record of the Jazz fact that "Babydoll" masquerading is the first women’s street masking practice in the United States c.1912. Post Hurricane Katrina (Aug. '05), the NOSD Babydoll Ladies have poured its time into a deeply personal mission coined "New Orleans' Resurrection". This "resurrection" is in part about continuing the living history of our endearing mardi gras legacy of the "Baby dolls" music, masking & dancing practice. The NOSD is especially honored to have elder, pioneer babydoll maskers including Both Mrs. Miriam Batiste-Reed and her brother the late "Uncle Lionel" Batiste, (son & daughter of the late Alma Trepaignier-Batiste's Dirty Dozen Kazoo Band c.1930) dedicate their time, heirlooms and untold stories to the resurrection of Millisia White's Baby Doll Ladies; The new generation keeper of the "Baby Dolls" birthright. This priceless gesture of love and appreciation is a responsibility that our Baby Doll Ladies do not take lightly and we are especially proud to carry on the torch of our ancestral traditions.
***SO YOU THINK YOU WANNA BE A NEW ORLEANS BABY DOLL LADY?*** Click&Register: