September 2013


Swan Lake performed by the English Youth Ballet was a life-enhancing experience for the dancers and for the parents, teachers and general public who very nearly filled the New Theatre for three performances 21st and 22nd September.   Directed by Janet Lewis MBE and  reinforced by six professional dancers who were also coaches,  more than a hundred children  aged  between eight and eighteen displayed poise, confidence and impressive discipline.    The boys had crisp rhythm and showmanship . The girls held their heads high while displaying skilled technique. (more…)

Bound. For elsewhere. To circumstance. To others.

Ivanka, Nadine and Simeon each come from vastly different walks of life, yet are connected by a common experience – driven by the hope of a better life, each finds themselves bound to circumstances they would never have chosen or foreseen for themselves  and each must now choose to what extent they will be defined, shaped or broken by them.  New Oxford company Justice in Motion present their debut production BOUND, taking inspiration from true accounts of human trafficking, to create a compelling and thought-provoking piece of physical theatre, exploring each character’s journey through a dynamic fusion of storytelling, contemporary circus, music, projection and dance. (more…)

English National Ballet bring their new production of the popular 19th century ballet Le Corsaire to Oxford’s New Theatre this autmn.  Le Corsaire (The Pirate, inspired by Byron’s poem) tells the story of Conrad, a dashing pirate, and his love for Medora, a beautiful harem girl. It is a swashbuckling drama of captive maidens, rich sultans, kidnap and rescue, disguise and conspiracy, love and betrayal, culminating in a shipwreck which is one of the most breath-taking spectacles in ballet. English National Ballet is the first UK Company to perform the complete work which showcases some of the most bravura male dancing in the ballet repertoire. (more…)

Nobulus, stars of Breakin’ Convention at Sadler’s Wells Theatre London, return to the UK this autumn with the full length version of their 2007-8 hip hop dance theatre show Out of the Shadow.  An extraordinary mix of breaking, popping and locking, contemporary dance, acrobatics and ballet, it tells a cautionary tale, from the creation of the universe and evolution of man through to an imaginary apocalyptic future.  Using only their bodies, this 10-strong crew from Austria create otherworldly scenes by morphing themselves into structures, creatures and even macines.  Set to an epic soundtrack, this thrilling show contains primal images of sacrifice and betrayal, love and pleasure, death and destruction. (more…)

Over the past few months, a team of researchers from the Faculty of Classics and the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Oxford have been conducting a practice-based study into the ancient dance form tragoedia saltata, or Roman tragic pantomime. The pilot phase of this study is now complete, and the team hope now to present initial findings in conjunction with open discussion of the place of dance in academia, approaches to dance history, and intersections between dance scholarship and practice. (more…)

The Laura Knight exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery includes four pictures of special interest to ballet fans.  Firstly, there are the two portraits of Barbara Bonner, one of which seems to be a study for the other, that was commissioned by Earl Hoover, who chose her to be the model.  Although the final portrait is “staged”, in that the dancer is shown with a dresser who was actually Knight’s dressmaker, it is interesting not only because the artist (or possibly the patron) has chosen to show the dancer backstage, but also because Bonner is presented as such a strong and meditative figure;  this is no wafer-thin dreamy sylph, but a muscular and thoughtful woman. (more…)

English Youth Ballet presents three performances of its brand new production of Swan Lake at Oxford’s New Theatre. It promises to be a traditional production but with particular emphasis on the rivalry between the seductive evil Black Swan Odile and the beautiful but vulnerable White Swan Odette, as they compete for the affections of the Prince.

English Youth Ballet’s professional principal dancers lead the pageantry of a large cast of up to 100 young talented regional dancers in this highly acclaimed Company led by Director Janet Lewis MBE. (more…)

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