April 2016


BALLETBOYZ  brand new production Life, which received its world premiere at London’s Sadler’s Wells in April 2016, comes to the New Theatre Oxford on Friday May 13.  The show features new commissions by Javier de Frutos and Pontus Lidberg. After opening at Sadler’s Wells where BalletBoyz are Associate Artists, the production will embark on a UK tour, followed by a tour of the USA in 2017. The piece is co-produced by Sadler’s Wells in association with artsdepot.

Performed by the award-winning all-male company of ten dancers, the show features an original score and the evening takes an elegant, powerful and provocative look at life and death, presented in BalletBoyz’ inimitable style. (more…)

The North Wall is delighted to announce that Scotland-based Company Chordelia will bring Nijinsky’s Last Jump to Oxford as the only English venue on its UK tourAt Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2015, the show gained wide acclaim amongst critics, described by The Guardian as ‘one of the gems of this year’s Edinburgh fringe.’

Created, directed and choreographed by Company Chordelia’s Artistic Director Kally Lloyd-Jones Nijinsky’s Last Jump combines theatre and dance to evoke the legendary 20th Century dancer Vaslav Nijinky’s journey from global success to the desolate isolation of mental illness. As the passionate obsession of the young Nijinsky (Darren Brownlie) comes face to face with the searching inner life of the older Nijinsky (James Bryce), this sharp and tender show portrays a poignant intimacy of genius and madness, youth and age, both the performing and private self.  Inspired by the rhythmic obsession of Nijinsky’s diaries, Young and Old Nijinsky consider their life together, on and off stage, trying to make sense of the loss of self. (more…)

Swing is a comedy about dancing”. Fishamble’s international hit refreshingly explores the nature of dance comically through the eyes of a different art form, reminding the dancers and dance enthusiasts among us of the true values of movement. Not a perfectly aligned arabesque, but communication, escapism and fun.

The play begins suddenly and humorously, as the double act (Arthur Riordan and Gene Rooney) enter through the audience, asking spectators “is this Swing?” subsequently unloading their bike helmets and bags onto the stage from their supposed commutes. This opening sets the tone for whole production, as throughout the performance the actors involve and directly address the audience. In their roles as the larger than life hosts of a Swing Dance society, they welcome the audience with black humour – “we’re all swingers here!” – and perform demonstrations of humorous dance steps, including monkey walks and “fish bums.” This use of direct address is engaging and transforms audience members from their status as theatre-goers in the Oxford Playhouse, to attendees of a swing dance class in an unspecified area of the Republic of Ireland. (more…)

National Dance Company Wales’ one night stand at The Place was an exciting experience that opened with a lyrical duet by Lee Johnston, continued with a witty post-modern work by Alexander Ekman and culminated in Caroline Finn’s startling and theatrical creation Folk.

In Johnston’s carefully constructed and very beautiful They Seek To Find the Happiness They Seem, Matteo Marfoglia and Elena Thomas moved in harmonious synchrony through perfectly spaced floor patterns, conveying togetherness with a sense of separation; familiarity alongside lack of communication. (more…)

“I want everybody to think alike… It’s happening here all by itself without being under a strict government; so if it’s working without trying, why can’t it work without being Communist? Everybody looks alike and acts alike, and we’re getting more and more that way. I think everybody should be a machine.” – Andy Warhol

On Thursday 7th April, The Ashmolean Museum opened its doors after hours for “Warhol Late” – a celebration of the recent Andy Warhol: Works from the Hall Collection exhibition. The evening event transported visitors back to 1960s New York by transforming the Ashmolean’s café into an underground “Factory Party”. The party was an eclectic array of happenings and performances inspired by Warhol; DJs, a “Warhol yourself” station kitted out with a variety of wigs, a silent disco, participatory screen tests… and contemporary dance. (more…)

There are many estimable things about balletLORENT and its goals: a company committed to training young people, even children, in the art of theatre and dance movement; a company of dedicated actors/dancers, some of whom have been members for ten or more years; innovative in commissioning work from other fields within the arts – poets and actors and musicians; able to appreciate the on-going relevance of literary works like fairy tales and the eternal commentary they make on our human condition. These are reasons to admire the company and their undertaking to express through dance what is very often verbally inexpressible.

Till recent film versions, the story of Snow White has found little new expression in art forms since Walt Disney’s 1950s animation. This is a pity. A musical, opera, or ballet would do well to pick up this tale and explore its themes – particularly the knotty relationship that exists between a mother and her daughter or between any older woman and a young woman who is outstripping her with youthful energies, promise, attractiveness. There is also the problem of privilege enjoyed by some women until it becomes exploitative when power is added to that privilege. As with all fairy tales, there are innumerable themes woven together under the delightful magic of storytelling. (more…)

Not a dance show but a play that gets to the heart of dancing… Fishamble, Ireland’s premiere new writing company, brings their international hit to the Oxford Playhouse, fresh from New York, Paris, Edinburgh and New Zealand.  Swing is a comedy about dancing.  And music and love and feeling like an eejit and being brave and having doubts and trying your best and trying new things and thinking outside the box and seeing things clearly and living as well as you can and giving it a lash.  With rock ‘n’roll music.
Highly recommended, this hugely heart-warming tale is sure to make you want to put on your dancing shoes…
Written by: Steve Blount, Peter Daly, Gavin Kostick and Janet Moran
Directed by: Peter Daly
Cast: Arthur Riordan and Gene Rooney
Produced by: Eva Scanlan
Lighting by: Mark Galione
Sound by: Ivan Birthistle
Stage Manager: Marella Boschi
Performance:  Saturday 16th April, 7.30pm
Venue: Oxford Playhouse, Beaumont Street, Oxford OX1 2LW
Age Guideline:  12+
Tickets:  £13, £11 concessions
Book tickets online here  or call the Box Office on 01865 305305
Find out more about Fishamble here

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