Yorke Dance Project’s innovative programme at The Mill Arts Centre was an exceptional and exciting opportunity to see both new work and a rarely performed twentieth century ballet.

Sea of Troubles, inspired by Shakespeare’s Hamlet, which Kenneth MacMillan created for Dance Advance in 1988, has been reconstructed by its notator Jane Elliott and rehearsed by Susie Crow, who was one of the original cast. Breaking free from the constraint of strict narrative structure, MacMillan’s barefoot ballet explores the psychological trauma that lies beneath the surface of the play as Hamlet, an embodiment of the ‘outsider’, is tormented by the need for revenge. Dancers must turn on an emotional sixpence as they share roles, representing first one character and then another, to music that, unusually for ballets of the nineteen-eighties, ‘spliced’ together pieces by different composers (Anton Von Webern and Bohuslav Martinu). (more…)

‘In 40 years of doing this, I’ve never done it,’ says Deborah Hay in Becky Edmund’s 2014 film Turn Your Fucking Head. I watched it earlier this year at JW3 in London and the absurdity of this quote made me laugh out loud.  For the (relatively little) I know of her work and (comparatively large) respect I have for it, this quote sums up the indefinable nature of experimental contemporary dance.  In Hay’s case, a specific dance practice which has evolved over four decades, and has led her to consider the body and choreography very differently.

After seeing the film, I was both fascinated and perplexed by her work, especially by this idea of her confident not-knowing. This book, Using The Sky, develops her research – a quest which shows both an unfaltering belief in her pursuit, and an honesty and openness to uncertainty. It is also wickedly funny. (more…)

Oxford Youth Dance extend a warm invitation to all their friends to the third and final event of their 30th Anniversary Year.  Ranging over a day the Living and Moving Archive Event and Celebration will take place in OYD’s three homes.  Daytime activities are curated by a team of four young people currently or previously members of OYD; their Four Rooms Project at Fusion Arts and East Oxford Community Centre will include taster workshops, film screenings, performances, archival exhibitions and food and drink.  In the evening activity will continue at Ark T Centre with the launch of Cecilia Macfarlane and Ruth Pethybridge‘s book Any Body, Any Age, Any Dance published by People Dancing (formerly the Foundation for Community Dance).  There will also be a film screening and four specially choreographd dances by Crossover Intergenerational Dance Company to go with the chapters of the book, followed by a birthday supper and disco.  This event is for EVERYONE; from those who began with Cecilia in 1986, through to those who are interested in beginning dance in the future.

OYD hopes that you will join them for some or all of this special day, and look forward to seeing you there!

OYD Team:  Cecilia Macfarlane, Elly Crowther, Rachel Gildea

OYD Creative Apprentices:  Emily Wheeler, Charis Taplin, Alfie Bowlby, Callum Ruddock

Date:  Saturday 17th September 2016

11.00am-4.00pm:  Fusion Arts and East Oxford Community Centre, 44 Princes Street, Oxford OX4 1DD

7.30pm -late:  Ark T Centre, Crowell Road, Oxford OX4 3LN

Free, all welcome

Oxford Youth Dance gratefully acknowledges support from Oxford University and Oxford City Council Culture Fund.

 

Following a sold-out preview performance at the Royal Opera House’s Clore Studio earlier this year, dynamic Yorke Dance Project’s latest touring programme Rewind Forward (formerly titled Inspirit) will be touring this Autumn and in Spring 2017, and opens its tour with performance at The Mill Arts Centre Banbury on Thursday 22nd September as part of their current Season of Dance. Rewind Forward features work which crosses boundaries between ballet and contemporary dance, placing revivals of two masterworks from Kenneth MacMillan and Robert Cohan alongside three, stunning world premieres by Robert Cohan, Yolande Yorke-Edgell and Charlotte Edmonds.

The programme features a rare reconstruction of Kenneth MacMillan’s 1988 Sea of Troubles, a short work originally created for Dance Advance, an ensemble of former members of the Royal Ballet. In a programme note for the premiere MacMillan explained his inspiration: “I have taken as a starting point the effect of the death of Hamlet’s father without a literal telling of the play. With the appearance of his father’s ghost, and Hamlet’s realisation of the need for revenge, his tormented world became a nightmare”

Alongside MacMillan’s work is a revival of Robert Cohan’s Nympheas. Choreographed in 1987, Cohan’s serene duet is set to Debussy’s Clair de Lune.  The programme also includes the world premiere of Cohan’s newest duet, Lacrymosa, set to music by Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky.

For the second time, the company performs a world premiere by Charlotte Edmonds, currently the Royal Ballet’s Young Choreographer in Residence. With support from the PRS Foundation, YDP commissioned Edmonds and composer Donna Mckevitt to create a new work following their participation in the company’s 2015 Cohan Collective.  Self is inspired by the famous trio from MacMillan’s Manon. The programme concludes with the premiere of artistic director Yolande Yorke-Edgell’s Untethered, choreographed for the entire company to music by the string quartet Brooklyn Rider.

There will be an informal Question and Answer session after the show with company Director Yolande Yorke Edgell and Susie Crow, member of the original cast of Sea of Troubles.

Performance:  Thursday 22nd September 7.30pm

Venue:  The Mill Arts Centre, Spiceball Park, Banbury, Oxfordshire OX16 5QE

Tickets:  Tel: 01295 279002
Box office open Mon to Sat 10am – 8pm: or book online here

Find out more about Yorke Dance Project here

 

As part of the Shakespeare Oxford 2016 Festival programme the Weston Library will be hosting the dynamic contemporary ballet company Yorke Dance Project directed by Yolande Yorke Edgell.  The company will be in residence on Sunday 18th September, presenting an open rehearsal and excerpts of Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s rarely performed work, Sea of Troubles, based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet, with an ensemble of six outstanding dancers.  Nine separate scenes comprise MacMillan’s only bare-foot ballet, which focuses on Hamlet’s psychological state, interpreted through the physicality, emotion and complex partner-work of the choreography set to intense and evocative 20th century chamber music by Webern and Martinu.  Susie Crow, who danced in the original production commissioned from MacMillan in 1988 by innovative ballet company Dance Advance, will rehearse the dancers and explain the fascinating creative process.  The work will subsequently be touring as part of the company’s programme Rewind Forward, which also features works by master contemporary choreographer Robert Cohan, emerging talent Charlotte Edmonds and Yolande Yorke Edgell.

Date:  Sunday 18th September, 11.30-4.00pm

Venue:  Blackwell Hall, Weston Library, Broad Street, Oxford OX1

Free of charge

To fully immerse yourself in the process before the performances on Sunday 18th September, why not come to the:

Talk and Movement Workshop led by Struan Leslie and Susie Crow

Free of charge; open to all

7.30pm on Thursday 8th September at Summertown Library, South Parade, Oxford OX2 7JN.

You can see Yorke Dance Project in Rewind Forward in performance at the Mill Arts Centre in Banbury on Thursday 22nd September: book tickets here and find out about the Rewind Forward programme here

Susie Crow writes about the work of reviving Sea of Troubles here

Angela Pickard roots this thought-provoking study in her own experience of ballet training, opening with a frank and vivid personal account of her absorption as child and teenager into the world of ballet practice, embracing her gradual embodiment as a ballet dancer.   Following a twenty year professional dancing career, now an academic she reflects on the formation of her own identity; the research that generated this book in addition to her own lived experience is a four year longitudinal study of adolescent ballet students as they develop in vocational schools in the north and south of England. Her ethnographic approach combining observation and interview draws largely on the testimonies of 12 young dancers as to their experiences of both pain and pleasure, in her desire to give a voice to their emerging senses of identity between the ages of 10 and 18 years. (more…)

The circus: a glimmering, all-singing, all-dancing spectacle. Clowns, fire eaters and contortionists enchant their audiences, but this is a circus with a secret.  Underneath the spangles, behind the music, something is wrong. The Ringmaster is moulding the attraction into something demonic, tainting each performer with a crack of his whip. Even the Prima Ballerina, his faithful right hand, can’t stay his anger.  Can a stranger to the circus loosen the Master’s grip? Can hope and love revitalise this cruel place? When demons dance, who can resist?  Welcome to the fun house.

Emerging Oxfordshire company Implexa Dance present The Unhallowed Master, an unrelenting tale of oppression, told entirely through contemporary dance.

Date:  Saturday 3rd September, 7.30pm

Venue:  Arts at the Old Fire Station, 40 George Street, Oxford OX1 2AQ

Tickets:  £12, £10 (concs)

Buy Online > Or in person at our Shop (entrances via 40 George Street or Gloucester Green), or over the phone: 01865 263990
Box office hours: Tues – Sun, 11.30am – 5.30pm

Suitable for ages 16+

Find out more about Implexa Dance Company here or on Twitter @ImplexaDance