May 2015


Where does emotion reside? How do we share it? To whom does it belong?  Programmed by the recently formed Body and Being Network, the event Embodying Emotion offers a chance to explore these fascinating questions this coming 3rd June.  Performing an original piece based on Ovid’s tale of Myrrha (developed as part of Avid for Ovid), choreographer and dance artist Marie-Louise Crawley and composer Malcolm Atkins will explore the embodied expression of emotion.  The performance will be followed by facilitated audience discussion.

Date:  Wednesday 3rd June 5.30-6.30pm

Venue:  Jacqueline du Pré Building, St Hilda’s College, Oxford
Attendance is free, but please register for this event on the Body and Being Network website by 1 June: http://bodyandbeingnetwork.org/2015/05/20/event-announcement-embodying-emotion/
This event is generously supported by a research award from St Hilda’s College.

The Body and Being Network is a new research initiative that aims to develop innovative interdisciplinary dialogues about the body. Co-founded by Karin Eli (University of Oxford) and Anna Lavis (University of Birmingham), the network instigates and supports collaborative encounters between scholars and performing artists, and challenges participants to develop analyses that involve their own embodied experiences. Find out about The Body and Being Network here

Find out more about Avid for Ovid’s work, and read Marie Louise Crawley’s reflections on portraying Myrrha here.

Entitled Mapping motion: impulse, object and trajectory, this talk and demonstration opened with a discussion of the need for the creative artist to identify and then focus on the ‘object’ of his or her work. For choreographer Kim Brandstrup, the ‘object’ is a single movement that stops. Working with Royal Ballet dancers McNally and Sambé, he demonstrated how a series of sustained movements constrained by predetermined periods of time can become the building blocks of a dance work. Just as a poet may work within a strictly defined verse form, using its rigour to release the inner voice, Brandstrup uses time, broken down into specified sections of related lengths, to set free choreographic creativity. (more…)

Another unique opportunity to get an insight into the work of a major current choreographer.  Cathy Marston will be undertaking a week long residency at the Archive  of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama, APGRD, 1-5 June 2015, with the support of St Hilda’s and DANSOX. Working with 2 professional dancers and a group of Oxford scholars, Cathy will spend the week choreographing to the ancient Greek text of Odyssey Book XI.  The aim of this project is to explore how the mythical content of Odysseus’ visit to the underworld (the katabasis,) as well as its dactylic hexameter metrical form, can be translated into the medium of dance.

As the culmination of this week’s residency there will be a lecture demonstration on June 5th at 5pm in the Lecture Theatre, Classics Centre, in which Marston will discuss her approaches to adapting works of literature into dance performances with APGRD Visiting Scholar Tom Sapsford. Cathy will then also show and discuss the material which she has developed throughout the course of the week with performances from professional dancers Charlotte Broom and Aaron Vickers.

CATHY MARSTON has made works for several major European ballet companies, was director of Bern Ballet Switzerland (2007-13), and most recently was a Clore Cultural Leadership Fellow (20013-14). Cathy has a long history of adapting literary texts into unusual and thoughtful dance adaptations and has previously made works based on Shakespeare (Romeo and JulietA Midsummer Night’s Dream), Ibsen (GhostsA Doll’s House), and Kundera (The Unbearable Lightness of Being) amongst others.

Date:  Friday 5th June, 5.00pm

Venue:  Ioannou Centre, 66 St Giles, Oxford OX1 3LU

Free, all welcome; no booking required.

Find out more about the APGRD here



To end the half term break on a high note Dancin’ Oxford presents a free aerial dance performance by the amazing French aerial dance company Compagnie Retouramont, returning to Oxford to perform Gravitational Waves in the atmospheric environment of Oxford Castle Quarter on Friday 29th and Saturday 30th May.  Compagnie Retouramont transforms outdoor spaces with a thrilling combination of video projection, sound and aerial dance.  A sculptural framework attached to the facade of a building provides the dancers with a unique performance space to explore the interaction between architecture, sound, projected images and movement. Dancers animate the space in multiple dimensions where the movement is not only seen but heard as the sculpture transposes their every move into sound, and creates a virtual gravity.
Probably the best spectacle in Oxford this summer – don’t miss it!

Performances:  Friday 29th and Saturday 30th May, 9.30pm

Venue:  Oxford Castle Quarter

Watch a video of Compagnie Retouramont here

Hard on the heels of its recent highly popular event featuring choreographer Kim Brandstrup, DANSOX supported by the Oxford Research Centre for the Humanities (TORCH) brings another distinguished guest to St Hilda’s Oxford on Thursday 4th June.  Professor Mark Franko, internationally renowned dance scholar of Temple University and Middlesex University, presents an illustrated lecture on The Fascist Legs of Serge Lifar: French Ballet under the Occupation emerging from his recent research on this important and controversial early twentieth-century director and choreographer.  Professor Franko will share fascinating new sources for evaluating Serge Lifar’s life and work during WW2 at the Paris Opera and illuminate the relationship of neo-classicism and dance.

Date:  Thursday 4th June 2015, 5.30-7.00pm

Venue:  Jacqueline du Pré Building, St Hilda’s College, Oxford

This event is free and open to all and will be followed by refreshments.

Booking essential at: https://eventbrite.co.uk/event/16611691015/

You can find more information about DANSOX and TORCH here

The Yuka Kodama Ballet Group once again presents its annual performance, in association with Oxford University Ballet Society.  This year’s programme on show at Wychwood School on Friday 29th and Saturday 30th May is made up of two new works by Yuka Kodama, The Wonderful Wizard of Ox and Italian Symphony.

The Yuka Kodama Ballet Group is an informal group which brings together people of all ages who enjoy dancing classical ballet, studying technique and performing. The group began its life in Japan several years ago, and is now based in Oxford offering a range of ballet classes mainly for adults (including pointe work, pas de deux and men’s classes) to ballet enthusiasts from all over the world. The group’s dancing is very much in the classical tradition, with a strong bias towards Russian technical schooling.

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Described by the Times as a “choreographer for whom every dance is a love affair with his chosen music”, Richard Alston brings his acclaimed company back to Oxford’s Playhouse with a stunning mixed bill.  Alston’s superbly skilled choreography combines three pieces of music by Benjamin Britten and three very different poets.  Rejoice in the Lamb is danced to Britten’s joyous setting of the fervent words of Christopher Smart. Hölderlin Fragments is inspired by Friedrich Hölderlin’s enigmatic lyrics, and Illuminations paints a vivid picture of the wild young genius and misfit Arthur Rimbaud.

In addition to the trio of Britten pieces, the bill is completed by Associate Choreographer Martin Lawrance’s latest piece, Burning, which is as passionate and turbulent as its music, the Dante Sonata of Franz Liszt, played live on stage. (more…)

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