October 2016


Kally Lloyd-Jones’ Lady Macbeth: unsex me here is a riveting exploration of the psychology of Lady Macbeth, which both moves and shocks, exposing the vulnerabilities that lie beneath the face of evil. The work opens with three men, seated at their dressing tables, one behind the other across the back of the stage, preparing their makeup. A long white nightgown hangs beside each mirror, and we know that they are transforming themselves from man to woman. As in Nijinsky’s Last Jump (shown at The North Wall in May this year) Lloyd-Jones blurs the line between preparation and performance and uses simultaneous portrayal of the same character by different performers to illuminate hidden layers of her subject’s personality. (more…)

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The Royal Ballet presents a major revival of a work by Kenneth MacMillan in the run-up to the 25th anniversary of his death next year.  An identity in crisis, a country in revolution;  Anastasia is a ballet about one of the great historical mysteries of the 20th century, only recently solved. At the height of the Russian Revolution the royal family were executed, but afterwards a young woman appeared – apparently a surviving royal princess, the Grand Duchess Anastasia. Known as ‘Anna Anderson’, she couldn’t remember her past and she was presumed to be an imposter. Many wanted to forget the massacre and the Revolution; many believed, or hoped, that a princess could have survived, a remnant of the old world.  Originally a one-act ballet made for the Deutsche Oper Ballet in Berlin, one of Kenneth MacMillan’s first creations on becoming Director of The Royal Ballet in 1970 was to expand his expressionist Anastasia into a full evening work.  Anastasia is a dramatic and haunting exploration of Anna’s nightmare of memory and identity.  To music by Tchaikovsky and Martinů, we follow the events leading to the murder of a family, and Anna’s confused dreams – or memories. A powerful, psychological challenge for the principal ballerina, this is a rare opportunity to see a landmark ballet by a major choreographer, here at the Phoenix Picturehouse in live transmission from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

Date:  Wednesday 2nd November 7.15pm

Venue:  Phoenix Picture House, 57 Walton St, Oxford OX2 6AE

Tickets:  £22 adults, £17.50 retired or student, £10 child (reduced rates for members and family ticket also available)

Book online here or by phone: 0871 902 5736

Following the success last year of Nijinsky’s Last Jump Company Chordelia return to The North Wall for the only performance of their new dance theatre show south of the border.  Lady Macbeth: unsex me here is an exciting and unique piece of dance theatre is created and directed by award winning company Artistic Director Kally Lloyd-Jones and presented in co-production with Solar Bear.

Marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death and programmed here as part of Shakespeare Oxford 2016 celebrations, Lady Macbeth: unsex me here explores one of Shakespeare’s most complex women. Ambition, power, guilt, remorse, loss, death. Paralleling Shakespeare’s time, a cast of three male dancers all play Lady Macbeth, exploring the relationship between masculinity and femininity.  Using Shakespeare’s language as the source, British Sign Language is used to create choreography, producing a piece of visceral dance & movement theatre which will reach D/deaf and hearing audiences alike, in different ways.

Kally Lloyd-Jones said, ‘Lady Macbeth is a fascinating character but her story recedes into the background in Shakespeare’s play and I wanted to shine a light on it, colour it in, bring it to the fore. I am sure many people, like me, find themselves fascinated by the BSL interpreters at performances. It is a visual, movement language and I have wanted to explore how that might become a foundation for choreography. I was thrilled when Gerry Ramage, Artistic Director of Solar Bear, loved the idea so much that the company became our invaluable co-producers.  Using Shakespeare’s text as a starting point enabled a process that is part BSL-based choreography, part dance and part physical theatre, as universal visual languages.’

Gerry Ramage, Artistic Director Solar Bear said, ‘Solar Bear is delighted to be working Company Chordelia on Lady Macbeth: unsex me here. This ground-breaking new work, which explores how British Sign Language may be interwoven into the physical language of the piece, continues our journey towards enriching the theatre going experience for D/deaf and hearing audiences alike. It is a stunning, powerful and very moving piece of dance and theatre and we are proud to be associated with it.’

Date:  Wednesday 26th October, 8.00pm

Venue:  The North Wall Arts Centre, South Parade, Oxford OX2 7JN

Tickets:  £16, £13 concessions

Book online here or by telephone: 01865 319450

You can find more information about Company Chordelia here

Read Maggie Watson’s review of Company Chordelia’s previous performance at The North Wall of  Nijinsky’s Last Jump here

Due to unforseen events this event has had to be cancelled.  It is hoped that it can be rescheduled for 2017.  Oxford Dance Writers will keep you posted…

Pichet Klunchun is an award winning contemporary choreographer who tells stories through the evolving body movement of Thai dance.  PinDrop director Sebastian Reynolds met Pichet Klunchun in Bangkok in May 2016 during an Arts Council England/British Council funded research trip. The duo have been collaborating together with Neon Dance Company for the past week at DanceXchange, Birmingham developing ideas for a contemporary Dance Drama inspired by the classical Indian epic Mahajanaka; part of the Jatakas mythology.

This is a unique opportunity to learn more about Pichet’s background and current practice. The 30-minute talk will be followed by a Q&A.

Date:  Monday 17th October, 6.30-7.30pm

Venue: the Judges Room, Oxford Town Hall, St Aldates, Oxford OX1 1BX.

Free admission

Project supported by Arts Council England, British Council, University of SOAS, Oxford Dance Forum and DanceXchange Birmingham.

For more information contact Adrienne Hart at NEON DANCE:
neondance.org | +44 (0) 7947 221 531

DANSOX presents a guest lecture by distinguished Professor Lynn Garafola (Columbia University) who will discuss her work on Bronislawa Nijinska, one of the twentieth century’s greatest modernist choreographers.  Professor Garafola will explore Nijinska’s position as Nijinsky’s sister and her career in a male-dominated group of directors and choreographers associated with the Ballets Russes.  She will also talk about the creation of iconic works of the Twenties by Nijinska including Les Noces, Les Biches, and Le Train Bleu, as well as less well-known pieces, and describe Nijinska’s ventures inside and outside the Diaghilev circle.

Date:  Thursday 10th November, 17.30-19.30

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

The event is free and open to all and will be followed by a drinks reception in the JdP Foyer.

You can register to attend here

To find out more about DANSOX and its programme of events:

susan.jones@ell.ox.ac.uk

http://www.torch.ox.ac.uk/dansox

material / rearranged / to / be

A dialogue between choreography and visual arts.

Visual artist Jeremy Millar and choreographer Siobhan Davies collaborate on an ambitious new installation showing in 2017 featuring the work of 13 choreographers, visual artists, scientists and designers exploring how the body feels when in the act of doing.  At the invitation of DANSOX (Dance Scholarship Oxford) in this talk they will discuss the different strategies of collaborating across artforms.  Taking inspiration from Aby Warburg’s Mnemosyne Atlas they explore how side-by-side presence can inform their artistic practice and create a new present. The event will include performative moments with collaborator Helka Kaski.

Date:  Wednesday 19th October 17.30-19.30pm

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

Free of charge, but register to attend here

To find out more about DANSOX and its programme of events:

susan.jones@ell.ox.ac.uk

http://www.torch.ox.ac.uk/dansox

I found Sea of Troubles a tremendously complex piece – and would love to see it again. MacMillan’s grasp on the source text seems to me formidable. Indeed I think that at present my responses to it are only half formed, because it was so definitely not another production of – or even another version of Hamlet – but something very much of itself, an organic being, and generating its own difficulties for the lucky viewer required to grapple with the explorations in which it was engaged.

I was struck even before the piece began by the simplicity of the staging – even in a studio production. It was so effective having just the arras (and through that signalling the significance of what remains hidden and the immanence of an impending Death) because this arras also focused us on the silvery, ghostlike presence of dreams and nightmares: its form insubstantial and suggesting that nothing is solid – but at the same time asserting that all perceptions of the real are rarely right and often lead us astray. (more…)