January 2015


Once again Oxford puts on its dancing shoes for its annual festival Dancin’ Oxford.  This year’s edition starts on Wednesday 25th February and ends on Monday 9th March; its lively and wide ranging programme includes not only performances but workshops and activities to join in.  The Festival’s public launch will take place on Saturday 28th February between 10.00am and 4.00pm with free outdoor performances in the city centre, including Broad Street and Bonn Square, and featuring previous festival favourites Granny Turismo, Body Politic and Being Frank.

Companies performing in the Festival include:

The Pneûma Project at St John the Evangelist Church, Wednesday 25th and Thursday 26th February

Moving With the Times, the annual showcase of work by Oxford based dance makers and performers, this year featuring Cecilia Macfarlane, Melissa Holding, Hilary Kneale, Justice in Motion, Marina Collard, and Alan Hutson and Nicola Moses-Thrower of Unlock the Chains Collective; Pegasus Theatre Friday 27th and Saturday 28th February (more…)

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Male choreographers seem currently to be looking to Virginia Woolf for story lines; later this year Wayne McGregor will be presenting his full length Woolf Works for the Royal Ballet, but right now at a much smaller scale Lost Dog is touring Like Rabbits, a collaboration between choreographer Ben Duke and playwright Lucy Kirkwood based on Woolf’s delicate and dark short story Lappin and Lapinova. This fifty minute two hander performed by Duke and Ino Riga updates Woolf’s story of a relationship in which the fanciful playing out of the roles of King Rabbit and his queen by a newlywed couple gradually give way to a darker reality in their marriage. (more…)

For its first event of 2015 Dance Scholarship Oxford, DANSOX, presents internationally acclaimed choreographer Wayne McGregor in conversation on the topic of ‘Dance and Neuroscience‘.  Resident Choreographer of the Royal Ballet and Director of Random Dance, McGregor will talk about his choreographic practice with Dr Phil Barnard of the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit of Cambridge University, and Arts Producer Eckhard Thiemann.  There will also be an exhibition of the choreographer’s work.  An unmissable opportunity to hear from this influential choreographer whose work Atomos will be performed by his own company Random Dance at the Oxford Playhouse on Tuesday 3rd and Wednesday 4th March as part of this year’s Dancin’ Oxford Festival.

Date:  Tuesday 10th March 2015, 5.30-7.00pm, followed by refreshments.

Venue:  Jacqueline du Pré Building, St Hilda’s College, Cowley Place, OX4 1DY

Free and open to all but booking is essential.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/dansox-presents-wayne-mcgregor-in-conversation-dance-and-neuroscience-tickets-15217280295

Any queries or for further information, please contact Dr Susan Jones or go to www.torch.ox.ac.uk/dansox

DANSOX is supported by University of Oxford TORCH

Look out for further DANSOX events coming up this year…

 

An opportunity to see a live transmission at Oxford’s Phoenix Picturehouse of one of the great 19th century ballets, Swan Lake,  performed by the Bolshoi Ballet.

At the palace, the royal family and their guests are gathered for Prince Siegfried’s birthday celebrations. In a majestic ceremony, Siegfried is made a knight; young girls try to attract his attention, as he must choose a wife during the ball. Overcome by the sudden awareness of his future responsibilities, he escapes into the night and meets a strange flock of swans by a magical lake.  White swan by day, human by night, the beautiful Odette awaits an oath of true love to break the curse. The great legend of the enigmatic woman/swan is one of the most romantic of classical ballets, appropriately set in an era of courtly romance and characterised by elegance, style and harmony.  With Tchaikovsky’s famous, lyrical score, Swan Lake depicts the tragic love between Princess Odette and Prince Siegfried, and will no doubt be performed to perfection by the unparalleled virtuosity of Russia’s great Bolshoi Ballet lead by Anna Nikulina and Alexander Volchkov. This universal and enchanting masterpiece of love, deception and drama is a must.

Date:  Sunday 25th January 2015, 3.00pm

Venue:  Phoenix Picturehouse, 57 Walton Street, Oxford OX2 6AE

Book online here or call 0871 902 5736

Running time: 135 minutes

This Dance Scratch provides a chance to catch the artists chosen to present work as part of Moving With The Times, the annual Dancin’ Oxford platform for local professional choreographers, giving the first airing of their new choreography in a work-in-progress showcase at the Pegasus Theatre.  Get a sneak peek and contribute your feedback before the final production during the festival in February.

Artists and companies showing work include Justice in Motion, Marina Collard, Unlock The Chains Collective, Cecilia Macfarlane with Melissa Holden and Hilary Kneale.

Date:  Friday 23rd January 2015, 7.30pm

Venue: Pegasus Theatre, Magdalen Road, Oxford OX4 1RE

This is a free event but booking is essential.

I have always enjoyed watching ice dancing, spellbound by first John Curry and later Torvill and Dean; so didn’t need much tempting to go and see the Russian Ice Stars in Snow White on Ice at Oxford’s New Theatre, a final festive season indulgence before the new year gets underway. Also highly intrigued to see how this form may stand up outside the limited length virtuosic showstopper format of international sporting competition, and in the considerably smaller space of a portable touring ice rink that can fit on a theatre stage, rather than in a massive purpose built stadium. Formal conventions from different worlds sometimes clashed uncomfortably, raising questions as to what is possible in such a transposition, but it is hard to resist breath-taking feats and elegant skating. (more…)

The opening night of the Russian Ice Stars’ performance of Snow White on Ice at The New Theatre Oxford was magical. The audience was an eclectic mix of intrigued adults and excitable children. Likewise, the performance combined incredible skating with a children’s tale and pantomime-style narrator, making this a show that is suitable for the entire family.

The skating was wonderful. The Russian Ice Stars delivered a professional performance and something so unique and rare to see live. The skaters were in complete control and each movement was precise yet natural. Even the somewhat hair-raising, aerial gymnastics were performed with ease. The skaters attach themselves to a wire that pulls them into the air by their arms or legs, all whilst spinning over an ice rink; not something you get to see every day! Juggling on ice was another party trick that the Russian Ice Stars brought to the rink; impressive on the ground, incredible on ice. (more…)

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