Following an intriguing sample of work shown at the recent Dance Scratch Night at Arts at the Old Fire Station, Thomas Page Dances comes to The North Wall to present the restaging of their debut work C-A-G-E-D: a series of events questioning, challenging and deconstructing the preconceived idea of oppression.  Exploring the psychology of oppressive events in individual, social and anatomical constructs through the medium of contemporary dance, the work questions to what extent is the cause of oppression inflicted by the oppressor or the oppressed.  Including original scores, with emerging dance artists directed in an interdisciplinary style from an up and coming choreographer, this work is set to be a melting pot of creativity from fresh talent.

Performances:  Thursday 6th and Friday 7th July 7.30pm

Venue:  The North Wall Arts Centre, South Parade, Summertown, Oxford OX2 7JN

Tickets:  £10, £8 concessions.  A transaction fee of £2 per booking will be applied to customers paying in person or over the phone with a credit or debit card (capped at £1 for a single ticket).

Book tickets online here or call the Box Office on 01865 319450

Read Emily May’s report of C-A-G-E-D in performance at the Laban Centre in 2016 here

How do people write about the lives of dancers and choreographers?  How does dance as a silent form represent life stories?  The Oxford Centre for Life-Writing and Dance Scholarship Oxford (DANSOX) are hosting a one-day colloquium Dancing Lives on Saturday 8th July exploring this.  The day will feature: Jennifer Homans, Founder and Director of The Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University, in conversation with Professor Sue Jones; Dame Monica Mason, former ballet dancer, teacher, and artistic director of the Royal Ballet, on travelling and dancing; contributions from Michael Burden, Mike Webb, Jennifer Thorp, Jane Pritchard, Judith Mackrell, Michael Huxley, Funmi Adewole, and Ramsay Burt; and a closing performance by Simone Damberg Würtz & Liam Francis from the Rambert Contemporary Dance Company.

Date:  Saturday 8th July, 9.00am-6.30pm

Venue:  Wolfson College, Linton Road, Oxford OX2 6UD

Tickets:  £20, or £10 for unwaged delegates. Booking here: http://bit.ly/OCLW-Dance

There are a small number of B&B rooms available at Wolfson College for 7th and 8th July. These can be booked here using the Promotional Code: DANCE2017

For more details please contact The Oxford Centre for Life-Writing here

Download the full colloquium programme here

A World of Signs and Types is a danced geography of the Oxford community of Littlemore and its collective unconscious. This is a collaborative and community based artistic experiment including dance, music, writing, and film created to conjure up a pure visceral experience from the subconscious while being presented with the recorded unconscious. Two sleepers alight upon multiple portals to the community, rest upon relics of the past, and synchronistically meet at the heart of the community while spoken dreams carry us through, distort, and cast contrasting shadows upon what is seen. The assembled dreamscape colorfully invites the viewer to an intuitive journey through music, dance, and spoken word.

A World of Signs and Types, devised and created by dancer/choreographer Michelle Azdajic, film maker Chris Atkins and musician/composer Malcolm Atkins, will be shown with improvised live musical accompaniment as part of Littlemore Hopes and Dreams, a fantastic concert that will include the Littlemore Mass (composed for Littlemore using melodies from different Oxford communities); songs chosen by the Response Singing Group; and songs chosen by the Littlemore Over 60s Lunch Club.

All are welcome to this special summer concert.

Performance:  Sunday 25th June, 3 pm

Venue: St Mary and St Nicholas Church, 12 Dudgeon Drive, Littlemore Oxford OX4 4QL

For more information contact Rev’d Margreet Armitstead by email here, or telephone 01865 748003

Find information about this event on Facebook here

This film can also now be accessed on YouTube here.

The Chosen Maiden, a novel by Eva Stachniak, is difficult to place. The “chosen maiden” of the title refers at one level to the young girl chosen by a community for ritual sacrifice in Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. The ballet depicting this ritual was choreographed by Nijinsky; and it is Nijinsky’s sister, Bronislava Nijinska, who is the protagonist of Stachniak’s book.

It appears from Stachniak’s account that Bronislava missed dancing the role of the chosen maiden in Paris despite longing to do so. She had become pregnant just as rehearsals for Rite’s opening began and so she was unable to fulfil perhaps the deepest of her many ambitious dreams: to dance the part of the chosen maiden under her brother’s direction and for its dramatic opening. However, as the novel portrays her, Bronislava’s often sad, even tragic, life somehow carried – bore sacrificially – the many painful experiences of her birth family, her country, her profession, her gender and her personal relationships. In this respect the rejections and losses of her life represent the painful submissions of the ballet’s chosen maiden. (more…)

Jess Ryan-Phillips writes her first piece for Oxford Dance Writers, a review of Scottish Ballet’s powerful contemporary double bill, on show last week at Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London:

MC14/22 (Ceci est mon corps)
From the first moment, this production for twelve of the company’s male dancers by choreographer Angelin Preljoçaj created an intense world of ritual, religion and violence.  Pairs of dancers explored the fine line between embracing and causing pain, using exceptional control in displaying different states of the body: sometimes seeming so lifeless that they were being manipulated like rag dolls or puppets, sometimes moving explosively, fighting and flinging each other around the stage. (more…)

OffBeat is a hive of new performance in Oxford, a festival of brand-new theatre, comedy, dance, family shows, spoken word and music. It’s a place for you to see something which wouldn’t usually come here. It’s a blind date with a show you could fall in love with. And – lucky you – it’s right on your doorstep.  Take a chance on something exciting.

A collaboration between Oxford Playhouse and Arts at the Old Fire Station, with short performances across the Old Fire Station and BT Studio.  See below for a summary of shows for dance lovers: (more…)

Northern Ballet’s new work, based on John Boyne’s eponymous book, tells a complicated story set in and around a death camp in the midst of the Holocaust. This is extraordinarily difficult subject matter, which does not lend itself easily to narrative dance, and choreographer Daniel de Andrade along with his collaborators (dramatic coach Patricia Doyle, designers Mark Bailey and Tim Mitchell, and composer Gary Yershon), has done well to convey the complex plot.

The score, which is demanding to listen to and intricate to play, is integral to the work, and at times the instrumental accompaniment and danced steps seem to represent conversations between the characters, in the manner of a scene in a nineteenth century ballet. (more…)