March 2016


John Darvell‘s Berkshire based company nocturn creates and delivers experimental contemnporary narrative performances based on topical social issues.  Using a mixture of dance and accessible technology, they engage audiences in interactive artistic events that they may experience accidentally, either online, or in an installation setting.  On Monday 21st March The Revelation of Miss White will premier on Facebook and deliver a three week series of dance-film installments and accompanying intensive audience engagement in this online mystery series.

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Full marks should go to Oxford Playhouse for bringing us a UK premiere as part of Dancin’ Oxford’s 10th birthday celebrations. The Playhouse is now the regular venue for the Oxford Greek Play[1], and so Thomas Noone’s dance work inspired by Euripides’ Medea co-produced by Mercat de les Flors was an apt choice.

A powerful opening solo for the dancer playing Medea set the foreboding atmosphere, as she obsessively repeated sequences of movements to an electronic soundscore, her speed and intensity reminiscent of Wayne McGregor’s work. Noone’s choreographic style, which makes frequent use of a distinctive lift in which one dancer is passed horizontally around the waist of another, may also hint at Russell Maliphant’s influence. (more…)

Enchantment, joyfulness, playfulness; hypnotic and powerfully evocative. These are the words that come to mind after coming out of Joëlle Pappas’ wonderfully assorted dance programme of works old and new Duet Squared (and more) at the Old Fire Station last Friday, 4th March.

The evening consisted of 5 pieces, with as a prelude the short film Buried Memories from 2004 in which dancer Galina Kalicin danced a trail inspired by stones, bricks and steps through Brookes University’s Harcourt Hill campus on a sunny afternoon.   Tales without Words, set to Satie’s mysterious Trois morceaux en Forme de Poire played live by pianists Diana Hinds and Elizabeth Kreager, was a storming in of 31 young dancers onto the stage, drawing beautiful free lines across the space, some more evocative of a ‘togetherness ensemble’ than others, all accentuating an enchaînement of body movement. Joëlle’s unique ability to bring together young dancers – even those not yet technically sophisticated, but all invariably conveying a real feel of dancing joyfulness from within – never ceases to surprise me. (more…)

DANSOX lectures are wonderful occasions. On Wednesday, the critic Alastair Macaulay shared memories, commentary and new insights with an audience of local residents, members of the University and distinguished visitors from the dance world. He began by setting his subject within its historical and cultural context, before launching into a wide ranging discussion of ballets ranging from the classical abstraction of Symphonic Variations to the humour, romance and narrative of La Fille Mal Gardée. (more…)

A further lecture in the thought-provoking DANSOX series The Grace Project:

‘Perfectly Disgraceful: Frank O’Hara, Edwin Denby and New York School Grace’

Dr Sam Ladkin of the University of Sheffield, Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Literature

Date:  Thursday, March 10, 2016 – 5:30pm

Venue:  Lady Brodie Room, St Hilda’s College, Oxford
Audience:  Open to all

The Grace Project: this interdisciplinary project focuses on the relationships and meanings of ‘grace’ in all its cultural manifestations.  Beginning with the implications of the term as it is used in dance and literature across historical periods, the project investigates grace in its theological, philosophical, literary, visual, and sociological contexts.  The project has been initiated by TORCH (The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities) funded talks and workshops involving international dance scholars and historians such as Lynn Garafola and Mark Franko, and will lead to publication of a volume of essays.  For further information contact Dr Susan Jones

More information about DANSOX (Dance Scholarship Oxford) and TORCH here

Following his fascinating talk last June about Serge Lifar (read Susanna Reece’s account here), another opportunity to welcome distinguished dance scholar Professor Mark Franko to Oxford, at the joint invitation of DANSOX and APGRD (Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama):

‘From the Neo-Classical Turn to the Baroque ‘Re’-turn: French Dance in Retrospective Modernity and Recycling Postmodernity’

Professor Mark Franko, Temple University, Philadelphia

Date:  Wednesday, March 9, 2016 – 5:00pm

Venue:  The Outreach Room, Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, 66 St Giles, Oxford, OX1 3L

Free, all welcome.
No booking required.

More information on APGRD here