Women GOLive has continued to surprise, excite and entertain Oxford audiences with eclectic but well chosen performances of highly original work. The second and third nights of this four-night run included traditional and experimental South Asian dance from Arunima Kumar and Anuradha Chaturvedi, new contemporary dance works from visiting artist Salah El Brogy and Welsh company Ffin Dance (who bravely gave new takes on iconic music), a fresh work from Hanna Wroblewski, Mara Vivas’ and My Johansson’s interactive performance installation, and humour from Sarah Kent and Aliki Mbakoyianni. A terrific line-up.

It was also a particular pleasure to see how well the work of local Oxford dance artists stands up in a wider international context. Susie Crow’s Pan and Syrinx, which springs from the Avid for Ovid collaboration between dancers and classicists, showed how an experiment in embodiment has grown wings and is developing new ways of telling stories through dance to modern audiences. Ana Barbour’s brief but intense Sill captured the pain of a trapped butterfly, and we saw two more episodes in Cecilia Macfarlane and Jacqueline Johnson’s series of charming and witty dialogues between dancer and cellist. Mention must also be made of Malcolm Atkins, for the music to both Chaturvedi’s and Crow’s work.

We are extremely lucky that Donald Hutera has brought together such exceptional artists at OFS: as a curator he has an acute eye and a well-tuned sense of what constitutes a balanced programme. All three evenings so far have been great fun (whether or not you are a dance aficionado) as well as opportunities to see new work.

Tonight is the last chance to see Women GOLive in Oxford: don’t miss it, and if Aliki (‘guru to the stars’) gives you the opportunity to join her on stage, take it!

Maggie Watson

16 July 2016