May 2016


This forthcoming DANSOX event offers fascinating examination from a range of perspectives of a great work by a world leading choreographer, Mark Morris’s L’Allegro ed Il Penseroso ed Il Moderato.  DANSOX brings together distinguished lecturers from the disciplines of literature, music and dance to share their knowledge; Dr Jonathan Williams on Handel’s music, Dr Margaret Kean on the poetry of John Milton which inspired it, and Guest Lecturer Professor Stephanie Jordan from Roehampton University on Mark Morris’ uniquely musical choreographic invention.

Date:  Thursday June 9th 2016, 5.15pm  followed by Drinks Reception

Venue:  Jacqueline du Pré Building, St Hilda’s College, Cowley Place, Oxford OX4 1DY

Booking:  Free and open to all, but book your place via Eventbrite here

Find out more about Dance Scholarship Oxford (DANSOX) here

Or contact Dr Susan Jones here

 

Ovid’s Metamorphoses – an epic poem exploring myths of transformation, love and loss – is the inspiration for a new work created by young Swiss dance company Le Marchepied. Their latest work – forming part of their tour of the UK – is the result of their collaboration with Ancient Dance in Modern Dancers (ADMD).  ADMD is a TORCH (The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities) funded project that seeks to investigate the Roman dance form tragoedia saltata (Roman pantomime) and to “develop ways of articulating the knowledge derived from kinaesthetic engagement with ancient material.”

The performance itself was preceded by a free workshop in the Jacqueline du Pré Music Building, at St. Hilda’s College, Oxford.  The workshop was open to anyone who wanted to learn more about the form of trageodia saltata and how it may be used in a contemporary setting to generate movement material or interpret ancient texts.  Helen Slaney (Classics Fellow at St. Hilda’s College) of ADMD kicked off proceedings with an intriguing, informative introduction to the form of Roman pantomime.  Referencing texts by ancient satirist Lucian, Slaney detailed the necessity of narrative precision in the dance form and also stated particular movements – such as freezing, falling or reaching – that would have been used by performers to physically recount the mythological tales. (more…)

The Royal Ballet’s Artist in Residence Liam Scarlett has become known for ballets that marry highly expressive movement, sophisticated musical response and dark psychological depth – in such works for The Royal Ballet as Asphodel Meadows, Sweet Violets and The Age of Anxiety on the main stage, and Hansel and Gretel in the Linbury Studio Theatre. Now he creates his first full-length work for the main stage with Frankenstein, a period adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Gothic tale of morality and our craving for love, companionship and understanding.  Wednesday 18th May’s performance will be relayed live from the Royal Opera House to national and international cinemas, including Phoenix Picturehouse and Odeon Magdalen Street in Oxford.

For this new work Scarlett has assembled a number of regular collaborators. American composer Lowell Liebermann, whose First Piano Concerto provides the music for Scarlett’s Viscera, composes a new score.  John Macfarlane (Asphodel Meadows, Sweet Violets, The Age of Anxiety) creates the designs, while David Finn provides lighting design.  Dancers include Federico Bonelli, Laura Morera and Steven McRae.

Performance:  Wednesday 18th May 2016, 7.15pm

Phoenix Picturehouse, 57 Walton Street, Oxford OX2 6AE:   Tickets £8-£20  bookable online here

Odeon, Magdalen St, Oxford OX1 3AE:  Tickets £12.50-£15  bookable online here

Find out more about the production here

 

 

Myths of transformation, love and loss are brought to life the way the ancient Romans would have seen them danced.  In collaboration with Oxford University researchers, Swiss company Le Marchepied have created their version of the popular Graeco-Roman dance form orchēsis, also called tragoedia saltata, or tragic pantomime. Their performance Metamorphoses is accompanied by an open interactive workshop on orchēsis taking place at St Hilda’s College in the morning of Saturday 20th. Audience members are warmly invited to participate or observe in advance of the evening’s performance (for more information on the workshop or to book a place, please contact helen.slaney@st-hildas.ox.ac.uk).
Since 2013, the Ancient Dance in Modern Dancers research project has been working with groups and individuals, including the Oxford-based Avid for Ovid, to develop a range of conjectures for how orchēsis might have appeared. In their experimental reconstruction, Le Marchepied will present a series of individual interpretations based on mythological scenarios from the Roman poet Ovid’s Metamorphoses, known to have been used as a libretto for orchēsis. They bring to life Ovid’s vibrant tales of gods, mortals, passion, loss, and transformation in a way that has not been seen since antiquity. This performance will form part of Le Marchepied’s 2016 tour of the United Kingdom.

Performance:  Saturday, 21 May 2016, 6.00pm

Venue:  The Old Fire Station, 40 George Street, Oxford, OX1 2AQ

Tickets:  Free, available from www.ticketsoxford.com or 01865 305305

You can find out more about Le Marchepied here and about Ancient Dance in Modern Dancers here

Last night I saw Juju Alishina perform Red Night in Stroud, a mesmerising and compelling evening, with three contrasting pieces showcasing different aspects of Alishina’s style. First a mysterious creature, in textured layers of kimono, looked out at the world from beneath a red veil, tasting the elements with her tongue. This was a wonderful play of power and rebellion, a dark liturgy mixing the religious fervour of a demented nun with the sweeping turbulence of a torrent of water.  Next Alishina transformed into a dynamic martial figure, a Japanese anime heroine, moving with direct impactive choreography to an impressionistic soundtrack of Japanese street sounds.  Viol player Thol Mason brought frisson to the final piece, Desire for infinity, in which Alishina’s red dress and a white sculptural costume conjured images of sea life, the moon and the goddess: the frills of a cuttlefish and the clouds of heaven. Alishina created starkly beautiful images, moving with elegant precision and flow, leaving a feeling of an encounter with some beautiful profound inner truth. (more…)

We know a great deal, yet very little, about Nijinsky.  The traces of his life, his dancing and his choreography have been used to create biographies, reconstructions, plays, films, novels and documentaries, but we can never, of course, recreate the experience of watching him dance.  Kally Lloyd-Jones’ work addresses a very specific aspect of Nijinsky’s life; his tragic descent into madness.  Nijinsky’s Last Jump asks what happens when someone loses touch with what the rest of the world considers to be reality.

At the start, we encounter Old Nijinsky (James Bryce), confined within a set that represents both the asylum and the theatre (the flowers, the dressing table, the posters), before his younger self (Darren Brownlie) leaps through the window stage right and collapses panting on the floor.  We know from Old Nijinsky’s ports de bras, the costume and the music that this is Le Spectre de la Rose, and throughout the work Lloyd-Jones uses musical references to conjure up instantly the ballets that shaped and punctuated Nijinsky’s life. (more…)

Tac-au-Tac‘s young dancers directed by Joëlle Pappas present Spring Into Dance, two entertaining programmes specially choreographed for the stage at the Old Fire Station.  These talented and creative performers, aged between 3 and 14 years, share their love for dance in this ideal family show.  An unforgettable introduction to contemporary dance!

Performances:  Saturday 14th May, 2.30pm and 4.oopm

Venue:  Arts at the Old Fire Station, 40 George Street Oxford OX1 2AQ

Tickets:  £10, £8 (concs)

Buy online here via Tickets Oxford, or over the phone 01865 305305
or in person at the Oxford Playhouse Box Office, 11-12 Beaumont St, Oxford OX1 2LW

See what’s on at OFS here

Find out more about Tac-au-Tac in the community here

and about other recent Tac-au-Tac performance projects and activities here

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