November 2015


As part of the Screen Arts programme, the Phoenix Picturehouse brings another opportunity this weekend to see the Bolshoi Ballet in George Balanchine’s Jewels, in a performance captured live in 2014.  Inspired by the famous jewellers of New York’s Fifth Avenue, this triptych is a tribute to women, and to the cities of Paris, New York and St Petersburg. Choreographed in 1967 for New York City Ballet, this ballet, with its jewel-like costumes, celebrates the three cities and three dance schools that forged the elegance, aesthetic and style of choreographer George Balanchine. Emeralds was conceived as a poetic tribute to the French romantic school and Rubies to the American tradition of Broadway musicals, while Diamonds honours the virtuosity of classical Russian dancers.

Date:  Sunday 8th November 2015, 3.00pm

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

Tickets:  Adult £20, Child £8, Student and Retired £15.50

Book online here or phone 0871 902 5736

Read Maggie Watson’s review of Jewels in 2014 here

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A major forthcoming dance conference on an important topic.  The Society for Dance Research and DANSOX present:

‘The Role of the Choreographer in the Stage and Screen Musical’

With distinguished keynote speeches from Dame Gillian Lynne, acclaimed British dancer, choreographer, and theatre/television director; and Professor Millie Taylor (University of Winchester). Dame Gillian Lynne will speak at 2pm. With a drinks reception after.

Date:  Saturday 28th November, 2015 – 10:30am to 4:30pm

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

Come to any part or all of conference – free (except for lunch).
To register go to: http://www.torch.ox.ac.uk/role-choreographer-stage-and-screen-musical-1 and click on the link.

Save the date for another fascinating talk programmed by DANSOX (Dance Scholarship Oxford):

The GRACE Project

Speaker: Renate Braeuninger (Northampton)

‘Slavoj Žižek, Grace, and Contemporary Dance’
In his extensive reflections on German philosophy and German Idealism, particularly in Less than Nothing (2012), Žižek alludes to ideas of ‘grace’ on a number of occasions. This talk considers the following questions: What are the concepts and ideas of grace that Žižek is exploring, and to what extent are they useful for research into dance? By looking at German Idealism through the lens of Žižek and by thinking about its relevance to dance we gain a mediated perspective on German Idealism, but one that also reflects contemporary understanding of the term ‘grace’.

Date:  Friday, 20th November 2015 at 5:30pm
Venue:   Lady Brodie Room, St Hilda’s College, Cowley Place, Oxford, OX4 1DY

All welcome.  For further information or to register contact susan.jones@ell.ox.ac.uk or just come along!!

Scholarly, artistic and professional, Avid for Ovid’s highly original creative work was on show in a series of performances as part of the Ashmolean’s wildly popular sell-out DeadFriday Halloween happening.

Accompanied by Malcolm Atkins, dancers Susie Crow, Marie-Louise Crawley and Ségolène Tarte used Roman pantomime to explore the grief and horror of death. As we sat on the floor of the Cast Gallery, a line of candles marking the edge of the performance area like footlights, we saw expressions of human and beyond-human emotion, the quality of each experience being powerfully affected by whether or not the dancers wore masks. Crow, who was unmasked, gave a profoundly moving portrayal of Aurora grieving for her son Memnon that fell firmly within the range of human empathy. On the other hand, when the dancers wore masks, Crawley’s dread-inspiring transformation into a tree and Tarte’s terrifying embodiment of a werewolf seemed almost to pierce the veil that hangs between the natural and the supernatural.

Among the academic papers, craft workshops, musical performances and a theatrical re-enactment of a Roman funeral, Avid for Ovid evoked both pity and terror in its audience: the ultimate Halloween experience.

Maggie Watson

1 November 2015

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