A rounded education and experience of dance involves not only doing, performing and making, but also looking, evaluating and appreciating.  The opportunity to see highly trained and gifted professionals dancing can not only be a huge pleasure for dance learners but can also unlock understanding and improvement in their dance skills to enable leaps in their progress.  The literally hundreds of dance classes provided every week in Oxford and the surrounding area suggest that there is a huge potential audience for dance, waiting to be inspired, to say nothing of those who don’t dance themselves but are moved and entertained as dance spectators.

However, despite the variety of activities programmed during the eight weeks of this year’s Dancin’ Oxford Festival between February 16th and 12th April, those wishing to see professional dance companies in a theatre setting have had only three nights to choose from; Cuban salsa at the New Theatre on 19th February, Tavaziva Dance Company at Headington Theatre on 20th February, and Tangomotion at the Playhouse on 12th April.  Local dance professionals can only be seen in site specific work; Arch at Worcester College on 20th and 21st March will bring together local dancers and musicians in an atmospheric experience of place conjured up by collaborators Fiona Millward (choreographer) Jo Fairfax (public artist) and Katja Lehmann (filmmaker).

Let’s consider what else venues and programmers might programme for this underestimated audience.  What dancers and companies would you like to see performing in Oxford?  What types of dance and what choreographers’ work would you be interested in having the opportunity to get to know?  In which venues in Oxford would you like to see dance?

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