July 2013


After inspiring and entrancing participants at the Burton Taylor Studio last year, Everyday Moments, the unique 15 minute immersive experience by Hofesh Shechter, is back.

Audience/participants were delighted with Hofesh’s intimate words, mesmerising voice and atmospheric score, blended together in the darkness to create a special opportunity to move with no-one watching. Now  you have another chance to dance in the dark with no inhibitions.  Pleasingly private, emotionally cathartic and physically liberating… (more…)

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Oxford’s Phoenix Picturehouse is offering some holiday dance viewing in a recorded transmission from the Royal Opera House.  “Fille is a treasure,” says Monica Mason, former Director of the Royal Ballet, and anyone who has seen this sunniest of ballets will certainly agree. With its origins in a work first seen in 1789, La Fille mal gardée was staged by several choreographers in the 19th century before Frederick Ashton brought it into the 20th century and created an instant classic which has never left the Royal Ballet’s repertory. (more…)

The Royal Ballet’s summer season has drawn to a close, but on Monday we had the chance to see the company’s Frederick Ashton programme, recorded on the night of Tamara Rojo’s farewell performance in February.

The programme opened with La Valse, to music described by its composer Ravel as “a kind of apotheosis of the Viennese waltz”.  Originally choreographed by Ashton’s mentor Bronislava Nijinska, to a score that Diaghilev believed inimical to ballet, the sombre, slightly menacing, lighting obscured the dance too much and this did not work well in a cinema. (more…)

An unexpected side effect of glorious summer heat… Over the last weekend some of the acoustic panels on the ceiling of United Reformed Church Hall have fallen off.  The Hall is therefore not safe to use for the time being until the problem is sorted. So all remaining classes and activities of this term have had to be cancelled, and sadly also the planned showing of work in progress on Two old instruments on Saturday 20th July.  Please do pass this information on to any friends and colleagues who may have been planning to come to activities at the Hall over the next week; there will still be work in progress by Oxford dance makers to be seen on Friday 26th July at the Old Fire Station, see the previous post…

Two opportunities to see what Oxford dance makers are up to before the summer holidays; Susie Crow of Ballet in Small Spaces in collaboration with viola da gamba player Jonathan Rees at URC on Saturday 20th July, and Oxford Dance Forum’s Work-In-Progress Sharing event featuring work by Paulette Mae, Ségolène Tarte and Anuradha Chaturvedi, Jenny Parrott and Leslie Tomkins at the Old Fire Station on Friday 26th July.  More details… (more…)

 Boston Ballet’s final performance at the London Coliseum began and ended with George Balanchine:  Serenade to open the programme, and Symphony in Three Movements to close it, with Vaslav Nijinsky’s Afternoon of a Faun and Jorma Elo’s Plan to B in between.

This Serenade was a very different to the Maryinsky’s, which I saw in London in 2009.  Boston Ballet’s dancers were less perfectly uniform in appearance and style than the Russians, but what they lacked in precision they made for with a confident athletic vigour that gave them ownership of the ballet.  Afternoon of a Faun was less successful.  (more…)