September 2010

Some great exhibitions for dance lovers this autumn in London…

The V&A is showing Picasso’s largest work which is a backdrop for the Ballets Russes work, Le Train Bleu (1924).

The exhibition, Diaghilev and the Golden Age of the Ballets Russes, 1909 – 1929 runs at the V&A from 25 September 2010 – 9 January 2011. You can find out more about the exhibition at this link.

Move: Choreographing You is a major exhibition at the Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre running from 13 October 2010 – 9 January  2011, which explores how dance has been a driving force in the development of contemporary art since the 1960s.

For more information go to

And then follow the links through to the Hayward Gallery and visual arts section where there is a page about the exhibition.

In November the British Film Institute (BFI) Gallery, London presents an exhibition dedicated to the work of the legendary American dancer, choreographer and filmmaker, Yvonne Rainer (b.1934). The Yvonne Rainer Project runs from 26 Nov -23 Jan 2011, FREE.

Wednesday 29 and Thursday 30 September at 7.30pm
New Art Club present:
This Is Now

In 1983, Tom illegally taped the first Now That’s What I Call Music LP (side one) onto a C60 cassette. 25 years later he found it in a drawer and a new show was born.
Join Britain’s funniest dance duo as they deconstruct this first ever Now album and jump headlong into the dark pool of days gone by and come out covered in filthy 80’s gunk. Wrestling with classic hits from Bonnie Tyler and Duran Duran, amongst others, will Tom and Pete be able to save the audience from drowning in nostalgia?

Tuesday 5 and Wednesday 6 October at 7.30pm
Yorke Dance present:

An eclectic evening of contemporary dance shaped specifically for the Burton Taylor Studio by the Yorke Dance Project. The evening features new work choregraphed by Artistic Director Yolande Yorke-Edgell and dance maverick Wendy Houstoun, plus select moments from US choregrapher and icon Bella Lewitzky‘s Meta 4. One of Oxford’s youth dance companies will open the evening, which brings some of the UK’s finest contemporary dancers to the BT Studio.

Thursday 7 to Saturday 9 October at 7.30pm
Dancing Brick present:
How Heap & Pebble Took on the World and Won

The incredible story of two dancers in a world without ice.
Five years ago the last of the world’s ice disappeared. A year after that the sport of ice dancing went with it. Tonight Heap Krusiak and Pebble Adverati, the greatest ice dancers the world has ever known, will attempt, against all odds to bring back what the world took away by competing again.   This is a story of friendship and love when everything else has disappeared, and the story of how we cope when our environment stops providing us with what we need.

Post show talk: Thursday 7 October

Tickets for all shows £10 discounts £8
Call the Ticket Office on 01865 305 305 or visit <>

Tuesday 28 September at 8pm
Jasmin Vardimon Company present

Director and Choreographer Jasmin Vardimon returns to Oxford Playhouse after the success of her previous work Justitia (July 2009) and Park (November 2005). Throughout her body of work, Jasmin has illustrated the power to grip and seduce audiences; exciting with athletic prowess, lulling through quiet beauty and tearing our emotions with a gutsy voice of intention.

Man’s inhumanity to man never ceases to stun each generation. 7734 questions the human forces and weaknesses that have manufactured hell on earth whilst illuminating both our capacity for survival and the poetry of hope.

In this daring new production, Jasmin‘s visceral choreography and use of video integration dramatically combine with text, music and awe-inspiring performances by a nine-strong company of international performers. 7734 features a specially commissioned script by Soho Theatre’s Pamela Carter.

There will also be a post show talk.

Age guideline 14+ contains material of an adult nature.

Ticket prices £12.50 | £17.50 | £19.50
Call the Ticket Office on 01865 305 305 or visit <>

If you didn’t get to see this last year at the Old Fire Station here is another opportunity;

Utsav – The Celebration

‘…celebrating an evening of dance, music and literature through mesmerizing and enchanting narrative Kathak’

Thursday, 7th October, 7.45pm The Theatre Chipping Norton

Presented by Drishti Dance

The Indian city of Lucknow, previously known as Awadh, is remembered fondly by historians for its rich cultural heritage in the arts of literature, music, and dance. Utsav is a jubilant celebration of the famous city’s musical traditions through an interpretive performance of an Indian classical dance, Kathak.
Awadh has left a strong legacy in the form of the Lucknow school of Kathak also known as the Lucknow Gharana – a unique blend of two distinct styles – the devotional Temple Kathak and the exotic Darbari Kathak. Encompassing the narratives from ancient Sanskrit texts, mythology, medieval love poetry to Sufi mysticism and delicate romanticism and philosophy of Urdu poetry, Kathak is the most secular dance style of India.
Dancers from Oxford and the surrounding areas, led by dancer-choreographer Anuradha Chaturvedi, come together in an evening of exquisite and inspired Kathak works with elaborate narrative sequences, richly interwoven with intricate footwork patterns and sweeping abstract movements.

Transcending the traditions….
The evening features a new innovative piece “A host of Golden Daffodils”, a dynamic interpretation of Wordsworth’s immortal poem through narrative elements of the dance form first presented at OFS studio, Oxford in 2009 under the mentorship of Susie Crow.  Using Indian Classical music as a backdrop in a form of traditional compositions in well known ragas, Raga Basant and Bahar, Oxford based improvisation musician Malcolm Atkins narrates and improvises the poem in his own distinct style.
This new work is framed by more traditional pieces representative of both Temple and Darbari styles, exemplifying the background and roots of the dance style and the seamless integration of the mathematics of rhythm.

Dancers: Katrina Robinson, Sonali Alim, Anthea Cage, Ishani Roy, Sonali Gawde, Meena Anand, Anuradha chaturvedi
Music and narration: Malcolm Atkins
Choreography: Anuradha Chaturvedi

untried… untested

Fast becoming a regular event, the BT Studio is presenting an evening of performance by artists from Oxfordshire. You’ll have the chance to see extracts from unfinished pieces, which could include dance, theatre, music, poetry and live art. Afterwards share your thoughts on what you’ve seen with the performers over a glass of wine.

Tonight includes dance work by Paulette Mae…

Monday 20th September at 7.30pm

Tickets available from Oxford Playhouse

Coming up: another of the enjoyable and thought provoking Diamond Nights series of informal platforms of dance, music and film hosted by Cafe Reason, with guests Jo Lott and Firefly dance, Paulette Mae and dancers, Dariusz Dziala, Efthymios Chatzigiannis, Adam Murphy, Paul Mackilligin and…

The Drama Studio, Headington Hill campus, Oxford Brookes University

Sat 25th Sept at 8pm

Not to be missed!
For directions and a few more details see the diary page at <>


*Thinking Through Dance: The Philosophy of Dance Performance and Practices*

Saturday 26th February 2011, 9:00 – 17:00, Froebel College, Roehampton
University, London.

This conference explores the philosophical questions raised by and in dance.  Relatively under-theorised as it has been in the history of aesthetics, dance presents fertile ground for philosophical enquiry. Abstracts are invited for papers and (part-) practical presentations of 30 minutes (plus 15 minutes discussion time) on topics including, but not limited to, the following. Papers and presentations in any philosophical tradition are welcome.

Dance and embodiment

Dance meaning and artistic intention

Expressivity and the dancing body

Representation in dance

The ontology of dance

Authentic performance

Dance at the intersection of analytic and continental philosophy

Deadline for submission: *15th November 2010* (presenters will be notified
of acceptance by 17th December 2010). Panel for selection of abstracts /
papers includes: Graham McFee, Jenny Bunker, Sara Houston, Geraldine Morris,
Anna Pakes & Bonnie Rowell. Please e-mail your abstract and
contact/affiliation details (on a separate sheet) in MsWord or PDF format to
Julia Noyce: Organised by Roehampton
University Dance Department.

Information sent through about a thought provoking workshop coming up at University of Surrey…

As part of Research Skills through Collaboration Series that aims to provide training for post graduate practitioner research students and scholars, I would like to draw your attention to:

Performing Exchange’

A One day workshop investigating practical experiment and exchange between practice-based researchers, dance or music makers and interpretative artists, as a way of developing research skills and disciplinary expertise.

1st October 2010 – 9.30- 5.00

Nodus Building and PATS Studio 1&2,

Department of Dance, Film and Theatre, University of Surrey

The workshop will be led by Dr Tom Armstrong (Music) and Jennifer Jackson (Dance)

Frequent collaborators as music and dance makers, Tom and Jennifer will draw on their experience of specific experiences of collaborative relationships –  between composer and interpreter and in the process of collaborative writing –  to focus the experiment and discussion.  The day will include:

  • interventions from interpretive artists/ seminar with Emilie Crapoulet
  • reflection on writing by Vera John-Steiner (Creative Collaboration, 2000) and Keith Sawyer (Group Genius, 2007)
  • opportunity to research through practise and discuss the following questions:

How might collaboration affect the sense of ‘self’?

How might collaborative models be employed in relation to the researcher and her/his disciplinary expertise?

What is the role of time in collaboration?

What is group genius?

How does age and gender affect collaboration?

There is no charge for participation in the workshop but registration is essential for organisation and catering.

Please email Jennifer Jackson by September 21st to register interest and for further details of the programme schedule and location.

The workshop series is supported by University of Surrey’s Fund for Researcher Development and curated by Jennifer Jackson. The series aims to provide training for post graduate scholars and practitioners in performance studies to develop collaborative skills and nurture creative and innovative approaches to research within the framework of their own discipline and in interdisciplinary research.

Jennifer Jackson, Lecturer in Dance Studies

Very late notice – in case you can make it…

The Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama ( <> ) Conference 2010 ‘Choruses: Ancient and Modernwill take place at the University of Oxford, 13-14 September 2010.

Everyone is welcome. For more information and to register for the conference please contact Naomi Setchell, APGRD Archivist/Administrator ( The registration fee is £25.

The standard view of the ancient chorus as an encumbrance in the modern western world, where the individual rather than the collective is prized, needs serious scrutiny.  Not only does this overlook much dramatic theory and practice since the eighteenth century, it also ignores the monarchical contexts in which this intrinsically neo-classical view was developed. At the conference an international and interdisciplinary group of speakers (classicists, theatre historians, anthropologists, musicologists, philosophers as well as contemporary practitioners) will examine the various contexts in the modern world in which ancient choruses have been consciously imitated, shunned and on occasions dangerously travestied in the modern world. The conference will therefore consider not only the aesthetics of the chorus but also the ways in which choruses have interacted (ritually, broadly socially and explicitly politically) with audiences in both antiquity and the modern world.

Confirmed speakers:

Karen Ahlquist (George Washington) ‘Chorus and Community’

Joshua Billings (Oxford) ‘An Alien Body? Choral questions around 1800′

Claudia Bosse (theatre director) will lead a practical workshop

Laurence Dreyfus (Oxford) ‘Sunken in the “Mystical Abyss”: The ‘choral’ orchestra in Wagner’s Music Dramas’

Zachary Dunbar (Central School of Speech and Drama) ‘The Politics of the Musical Chorus Line’

Simon Goldhill (Cambridge) ‘Choral Lyric(s)’

Erika Fischer-Lichte (Freie-Universität, Berlin) ‘From Reinhardt to Riefenstahl’

Albert Henrichs (Harvard) ‘Chorality and Modern Interpretations: Nietzsche, Benjamin and Burkert’

Sheila Murnaghan (UPenn) ‘The choral plot of Greek tragedy’

Ian Rutherford (Reading) ‘Chorus, Song, Anthropology’

Roger Savage (Edinburgh) ‘Purists and Polymorphs: the Operatic Chorus in Rameau and Gluck’

Naomi Setchell
Archive of Performances of Greek & Roman Drama,
Ioannou Centre for Classical & Byzantine Studies,
University of Oxford, 66 St Giles, Oxford OX1 3LU
+44 (0)1865 288210 / <>

I just read a small article about a study undertaken by Nick Neave of Northumbria University (see, in which men (not professional dancers) were filmed dancing to a simple beat. The footage was converted into a computer-generated avatar, and women were asked to assess whether they thought it was ‘good’ or ‘bad’ dancing. The hypothesis of the study is that “movements associated with good dancing may be indicative of good health and reproductive potential” and the study seems to support this. I’m intrigued by the implications this might have for an audience’s appreciation of more ‘formal’ dancing on stage – how much is our enjoyment of dance dictated by a somehow inherent judgement of the dancer’s good health and suitability for mating?

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