June 2015


INALA, meaning ‘abundance of goodwill’, celebrates 21 years of democracy in South Africa. The show is a vigorous cultural fusion of the gorgeous rhythms and music of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, integrated with Mark Baldwin’s choreographic response, which successfully combines classical and contemporary styles. Right from the start, musicians, singers and dancers were as one body, conversing together in rhythmic harmony against a backdrop that suggested the wide open plains of the savannah, illuminated to show the passage of day and night. (more…)

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For Lunas Dance Project’s latest production Of Myths, Perspectives and Transformations the dark stage space is suggestively characterised and demarcated by dimly glowing suspended light bulbs and scattered empty picture frames; to one side a wooden structure implies giant frames emerging from the floor. An expectation of symbolic significance to match the big theme of emotional change, desire and resistance that choreographer and artistic director Ellie Aldegheri signals in her programme note with reference to works by Kafka and Gabriel Garcia Marquez which have inspired her. (more…)

Following a phenomenal 2014 tour and sell-out runs at both the Edinburgh International Festival and London’s Sadler’s Wells, INALA brings together four time Grammy Award-winning South African choral legends, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and multi-award winning chorographer Mark Baldwin, in this unique artistic collaboration for a creatively reworked production that kicks off at the New Theatre Oxford on June 23rd – 24th.

INALA, meaning ‘abundance of goodwill’ in Zulu, delivers a spiritually uplifting live experience, powered by a cultural explosion of music, song and dance. Featuring world-class current and former dancers from The Royal Ballet and Rambert, this critically acclaimed production embraces an exhilarating fusion of South African and Western cultures live on stage, to create a unique, immersive experience that reflects both cultures. (more…)

‘As this is my most varied and exciting score,’ declared Sir Arthur Bliss, ‘I am disappointed that it has fallen into oblivion.’ The celebrated British composer and former Master of the Queen’s Music expressed regret within the pages of his autobiography at the disappearance of Adam Zero from the permanent repertoire of The Sadler’s Wells Ballet. However, had Bliss been alive today, he would have revelled in the discovery that his finest ballet composition had served as the inspiration for a contemporary restaging by Sergei Vanaev at the Stadt Theater Bremerhaven, almost seven decades since the production’s 1946 premiere. As the curtain closes on the final performance of Adam Zero in Germany in June, it seems fitting to reflect on the creative lineage of this heritage work and – more significantly – Vanaev’s choreographic achievement in enlivening Bliss’s neglected score. (more…)

Can ballet ever claim to be an apolitical art form, especially in such extreme conditions as the Nazi occupation of France during the Second World War? What should be our response to a dancer, choreographer and ballet director who appears to have collaborated with the Third Reich and its ethos? Can he ever be ‘rehabilitated’ and should his works created under these conditions be performed? These were some of the questions arising for Professor Mark Franko in his intriguing DANSOX talk The Fascist Legs of Serge Lifar: French Ballet under the Occupation at St Hilda’s College on Thursday 4th June. (more…)

Up and coming Oxford based Lunas Dance Project presents its latest piece in two performances at the Old Fire Station on Saturday 20th June.  Of Myths, Perspectives and Transformations is a project which explores the transformative effects of emotional change: desire and resistance, all the difficulties a new path brings.  Inspired by Kafka’s Metamorphosis and Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World, Lunas’ artistic director and choreographer Ellie Aldegheri revisits the choices in life which transform identity. (more…)