Ana’s Time, a celebration in film, poetry and music of Ana Barbour’s contribution to the arts, took place at Film Oxford the day before what would have been her fifty-second birthday. The audience, which included many of her collaborators, shared laughter and tears as a showing of some her short films brought back memories of Barbour as a performer and creative artist.

Barbour’s film output demonstrates even more than her live performances her capacity to imagine and then present to others her extraordinary vision of the world. Borderlands, opens to the sound of marching feet, before fingers, and then hands, seem to tiptoe over a mossy wall. There is a troubling humour about her presentation of the human body in the landscape as apparently disembodied body parts squirm through vegetation. Footage, a film around a line-up of bare feet, and Eye-I, in which an eye watches from the side of the screen, are witty but unsettling; in Crow’s Playmates, Barbour seems to levitate above the billowing grass, while in My Time (2011) she confronts the problem of her ageing body. The irony is that Barbour did not live to grow old. (more…)

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A treat in store for inveterate  fans of Strictly Come Dancing…  Blackwell’s Bookshop is delighted to welcome to Oxford Craig Revel Horwood, who will be discussing the third instalment of his frank and funny autobiography, In Strictest Confidence at the Sheldonian Theatre.

In Strictest Confidence takes the reader through the highs and lows of the Strictly Come Dancing star’s ‘fab-u-lous’ life. The aussie-born judge shares his famously forthright views on the changes in Strictly Come Dancing‘s line up – from Bruce Forsyth and Len Goodman’s departures to the arrival of Claudia Winkleman and Shirley Ballas – as well as the dancers and the stars. (more…)

This wonderful but exasperating documentary film celebrating the art of Rudolf Nureyev almost succeeds both as a work of art in its own right, and as a discussion of the role of dance in mid-twentieth century European history. Although it suffers from too much material and too many ideas for its thematic structure to accommodate, the mode of presentation, which includes the use of dance to embody meaning, is highly original in a documentary format. Magnificent montages of archive film and newly created dance footage overlaid one upon another provide a depth of experience that is sometimes exhausting: watching Russell Maliphant’s choreography, accompanied by Alex Baranowski’s score, while listening to a Russian language interview translated by subtitles is almost overwhelming. (more…)

Film Oxford hosts a welcome retrospective event on much loved local artist Ana Barbour who died last year.  The programme will include a curated playlist of her films, a short film by Dariusz Dziala with live music by Bruno Guastalla presenting ‘behind the scenes’ footage of Ana working on dance projects, and poetry by Ayala Kingsley.

Date:  Wednesday 10th October 7.00pm

Venue:  Film Oxford, 54 Catherine Street, Oxford OX4 3AH

The event is free, but donations towards Film Oxford’s dance film work will be much appreciated.  If you wish to attend please contact Dariusz Dziala on 07929 059974 or Malcolm Atkins on 07872 991287

Find out more about Ana Barbour’s work here

 

This Autumn Dancin’ Oxford is celebrating all things ‘family’ with the return of its popular Family Dance Week. Between 6th – 14th October Dancin’ Oxford will be offering some fantastic opportunities for families (including every generation!) to enjoy dancing together. From exciting performances in theatres and libraries, to family disco events and even a ceilidh, there will be guaranteed fun for the whole family!  Here is a list of upcoming performances by Wriggle Dance Theatre, Dancing Strong, 201 Dance and Alexander Whitley Dance Company, but you can find the full programme including all participatory activities here(more…)

I made a last minute decision to go and see Watkins Dance Company. As a result I was late and missed most of the first piece but I’m glad that I went and saw the show. It was a shame that it did not appear to have been very well publicised.  The programme included three pieces by choreographer Anna Watkins; Human Animal, Mrs Oath, a film made in collaboration with Film Oxford and ACE, and Solitude. The evening had a theme about the equality and oppression of women in celebration and acknowledgement of the 100 year anniversary of women getting the vote. (more…)

Motion & Meaning presented by DANSOX and the Liveness, Hybridity & Noise Series has been an exciting multi-disciplinary collaboration between dancers, choreographers, composers, instrumentalists and audio-visual artists facilitated by a week-long residency at St Hilda’s College. The project culminated last Friday in a ‘showing’ of the work in progress, alongside an exhibition by artist Simon Klein and sculptor Guillaume Klein. Open rehearsals on Wednesday and Thursday last week revealed some of the opportunities and challenges intrinsic to truly collaborative work: the importance of grace and generosity in allowing other artists in different media sufficient time and space; the need for mutual respect, and the courteous adjustments to be made to accommodate different etiquettes and conventions. (more…)