Professor Richard Beacham’s account of the rediscovery and re-generation of Hellerau as the European Centre for the Arts was both romantic and inspiring. Founded by Karl Schmidt and Wolf Dohrn in 1909 as a garden suburb of Dresden, Hellerau was an ideological attempt to create a community that would live and work in social equality and harmony in an idyllic setting. Hellerau became the home of an Institute and Festspielhaus that drew together the ideas and practice of the progressive innovators , and has been cited as the birthplace of modern theatre. Experimental work at Hellerau embodied theories in which architecture was subservient to rhythm, light created space, and the human body became the medium of transmission between dramatist and audience. These works of living art influenced dance, theatre, music and design in ways that are visible not only on stage but also in our urban surroundings today. (more…)

A fascinating opportunity at the Jacqueline du Pré Music Building to see dance and story telling from a venerable tradition in a new international collaboration.  Oxford based composer/producer Sebastian Reynolds and Neon Dance Director Adrienne Hart collaborate with award winning Thai dance artist Pichet Klunchun to retell the story of Mahajanaka Jataka; one of the oldest surviving folk tales in the world.  Bringing together eastern and western dance and music performance traditions, this enchanting production fuses ancient and modern with animated scenes from Bristol’s Sun & Moon Studios.

Informed by research trips to Bangkok to explore Jataka mythology and Buddhism in contemporary Thailand, and subsequent studio time in the UK, Mahajanaka Dance Drama previewed at Wiltshire Music Centre with an excerpt presented as part of the sold out Neon Dance Wild Card at Sadler’s Wells in 2018.

Performance:  Wednesday, 13th November, 7.30pm; pre-show talk with Dr Sarah Shaw 7.00pm

Venue:  Jacqueline du Pre Music Building, St Hilda’s College, Cowley Place, Oxford OX4 1DY
Tickets:  £13 stalls, £18 gallery, £5 students  Book tickets online here

Find out more about Neon Dance projects here

 

 

Award-winning dance company, Ballet Black, returns to Oxford Playhouse on Friday 1 November 2019 with a triple bill of bold and inventive choreography.

The exciting programme contrasts inventive story telling in a lively showcase of three modern ballets, commissioned especially for Ballet Black. Ingoma (song) by company dancer and choreographer Mthuthuzeli November, is a fusion of ballet, African dance and singing. This world premiere and Barbican co-commission portrays a milestone in South African history and imagines the struggles of black South African miners and their families in 1946 – when 60,000 of them took courageous strike action.

The second ballet is a revival of Martin Lawrance’s Pendulum, an intimate duo premiered in 2009, and the choreographer’s first work for the company. CLICK!, an original, up-beat piece by Scottish Ballet’s chorographer-in-residence Sophie Laplane, also a world premiere, completes the triple bill.

Performance:  Friday 1st November 8.00pm

Venue:  Oxford Playhouse, 11-12 Beaumont Street, Oxford OX1 2LW

Tickets: £10 to £25 | Discounts available  Book online here or call the Box Office on 01865 305305

Age guideline: 7+ (more…)

DANSOX presents another fascinating lecture.  The festivals of 1912 and 1913 at the garden city of Hellerau near Dresden, Germany are often cited as marking the birth of the modern theatre. Here, music, dance, lighting, theatre architecture and stage settings were integrated to present ‘total’ works of theatrical art to an astonished international audience. The theory and practice of theatrical production was never the same again. In his presentation ‘Hellerau: The History of a Dream’, Professor Richard Beacham offers a description and assessment of the festivals, together with an account of the extraordinary subsequent history of the site and its ‘re-birth’ in recent years as a venue for artistic innovation, building upon its luminous legacy.

Date:  Thursday 31 October 5.30pm

Venue:  Jacqueline du Pre Music Building, St Hilda’s College, Cowley Place, Oxford OX4 1DY

For more information and to book go to Eventbrite.

The event is free and open to all and will be followed by a drinks reception.

For further information about DANSOX please contact Professor Sue Jones susan.jones@st-hildas.ox.ac.uk

A huge inflated plastic bubble fills the theatre space, we remove our shoes and are ushered in 8 at a time, told to stand, sit or move around as we please (but like most audiences, don’t budge once we decide to sit!).  The bubble is constantly being filled with air and we must enter quickly so the entrance can be zipped shut again to avoid too much deflation.

Once inside the audience huddle in small groups on the floor.  There is an air of anticipation and curiosity. Throughout the space hang white mesh sculptures moulded into the shape of body parts.  These ghost images bob up and down in the space as the air level fluctuates and the final members of the audience are let in.  Three dancers enter with them and begin to walk about the space. They appear human but there is something very alien about them at the same time.  A soundtrack with a voice begins, and the dancers are signing the words, the voice repeats itself ‘we have decided not to die’. (more…)

A beautifully intimate friendship, a shared curiosity and a lot of satisfying movement.

Following a lovely curtain raiser from the inclusive dance company Parasol Dance Group  full of talented young dancers, 111 begins with an empty scaffolding in soft lighting waiting to be occupied.

Joel Brown (a paraplegic dancer and singer-songwriter, currently dancing with Candoco Dance Company) enters the space, gets out of his wheelchair and begins a solo of floorwork. This solo was the first of many highlights from the work; Brown fluidly glides across the floor releasing into a series of rolls, balances and spirals. He then begins to tell us how the partnership with Eve Mutso (freelance dancer and choreographer, former Principal Dancer of Scottish Ballet) began, and about a series of notes he sent to her each starting with “Eve I have to tell you something.” (more…)

Puzzle Creature is a multi-disciplinary dance work by Neon Dance that asks us to forget our mundane everyday and immerse ourselves in the magic of movement.  Inspired by the death-eluding architecture designs of Arakwara and Madeline Gins, director Adrienne Hart has collaborated with three exceptional dance artists to create an immersive dance experience.

From the Cornerstone foyer, step inside an inflatable set design and allow yourself to be transfixed by performers dressed in wearable artefacts created by artist Ana Rajcevic as they transport you through choreographed action. Accompanied by a newly commissioned score for eight speakers by composer Sebastian Reynolds, this unique performance combines British and Japanese Sign Language and audio description alongside Reynolds’ evocative score.

Guaranteed to be a transformative experience, join us for Puzzle Creature and enter a space where there is no barrier between the artist and the audience.

Performance:  Wednesday 23 Oct 2019 7:30pm

Venue:  Cornerstone Arts Centre, 25 Station Road, Didcot, Oxon OX11 7NE

Tickets: £14, £12 concs, £5 for under 26s: 50% Members Discount.  Book online here, or call the Box Office on 01235 515144

Find out more about Neon Dance here