February 2017


As someone with no knowledge of juggling beyond the much applauded performances of enthusiastic jugglers at Swedish Swing Dance Camps, I merged into the audience at The Oxford Playhouse in September 2015 to see Gandini Juggling’s 4×4 (Empheral Architectures). Four ballet dancers, four jugglers, aesthetically enchanting and quite unlike anything I’d seen before. Co-choreographed by ex-Royal Ballet dancer turned choreographer Ludovic Ondiviela and Gandini Juggling’s Sean Gandini, simply said, I loved it. Awareness of the expertise of the performers in both disciplines skimmed barely discernible beneath the beauty of the piece – a combination of two languages brought together into something new and something I now recognise as a trademark ambition of the company.

Thomas J. M. Wilson’s book, designed to be dipped into with colour-coded sections, helps the reader to develop their knowledge of juggling and in particular the approach of Gandini Juggling and the environment from which it emerged. Echoing its subject matter, the book encourages you to create your own trajectories through the text. (more…)

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Oxford’s vibrant Tango community hosts the 5th annual Oxford Tango Festival this year.  As well as a comprehensive programme of  workshops at all levels the event will open in grand style with a Gala Tango Show to be held at the historic Sheldonian Theatre, part of Oxford University.  This is the first time that Argentine Tango will be danced at this magnificent venue and as well as visiting artists Oxford Tango Academy Performance Group will also be performing.

Oxford Tango Festival is pleased to announce the artists visiting for the V Edition, carefully chosen specially by the Festival team and by popular demand:
NERI PILIU & YANINA QUINONES
MARCELO RAMER & SELVA MASTROTI
TOMAS GALVAN & GIMENA HERRERA
JULIAN VILARDO & DANIELA BARRIA
PABLO MARTINEZ & VERONICA RUE
DANTE CULCUY & MIRIAM ORCUTT

Over the weekend the programme will include 13 workshops including masterclasses and technique for both roles, 6 milongas in total and 4 stands of Tango shoes and clothes.

Opening Gala:  Inspiration Tango: Roots of Buenos Aires

Date: Thursday 2nd March 8.00pm

Venue:  The Sheldonian Theatre, Broad Street, Oxford OX1 3AZ

Tickets: book online for gala performance and workshops here

Further information can be found through the Inspiration Tango Facebook event

or on the Oxford Tango Festival website here

Oxford’s The Occasional Orchestra conducted by Fifi Korda brings together music by Debussy, Richard Strauss and Gershwin with dance by emerging choreographers in the majestic setting of Oxford University’s Sheldonian Theatre.  Inspired by the flawless merging of art forms in the Ballet Russes, Song and Dance brings you the next generation of Britain’s artistic talent.  The evening will premier a new ballet by the Royal Ballet Choreographic Apprentice Charlotte Edmonds, featuring Emma Farnell-Watson and Kaine Ward dancing to  Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un fauneIt will also feature choreography by former-Royal Ballet School dancer Finn Cooke in Richard Strauss’s 4 Last Songs, alongside upcoming soprano Roxanne Korda.

Date:  Friday 3rd March 8.00pm

Venue:  The Sheldonian Theatre, Broad Street, Oxford OX1 3AZ

Tickets:  £10, £7 concessions

Book online here or call 01865 277299

Woolf Works opens with a recording of Virginia Woolf herself reading from her lecture On Craftsmanship, “Words, English words, are full of echoes, memories, associations …”. If the purpose of ballet is ultimately communication, Wayne McGregor has set himself a problem: how is it possible to add to what Virginia Woolf has already said with words in the three books that inspire the ballet? The depth and density of Woolf’s writing as she moves in and out of the minds of her characters cannot be directly replicated in dance, but by taking themes in the novels as a jumping-off ground, McGregor and his dancers are able to use movement to delve into the human psyche. (more…)

Black shapes twist and turn languidly in the water. Reflections ripple out. Now a foot, now a hand shows; a figure faces down into the water. The refraction of light causes strange foreshortenings of limbs, odd bulges break from the surface as air moves around a wetsuit. A twiggy chorus of hands lifts, turning slightly, then shifts apart again. Figures sway horizontally, pushed and pulled by the heavy liquid mass around them. Accompanied by a minimalist score of growing intensity, this is mesmeric watching.

Pond, a piece by Helsinki-based integrated dance company Kaaos Dance, takes place in the spa area of a hotel some 20-odd kilometres outside of the city. We audience members first encounter each other on a coach outside Madhouse theatre, which is hosting the event. During the journey through a bleak January afternoon landscape of dirty snow and black trees, we are instructed to turn off our smart phones and invited to relax into a ‘retreat’, an experience aiming taking us out of the real world for a short while. (more…)

Dancin’ Oxford’s annual Spring Festival offers something for everyone. From international choreographers, to free outdoor experiences, a Dance-A-Thon, professional and amateur companies, plus shows for children and workshops, Dancin’ Oxford 2017 has programmed a festival of treats.

Now in its 11th year and funded by Oxford City Council and Arts Council England, Dancin’ Oxford goes from strength to strength. Claire Thompson, Oxford City Council Dance Officer said “We find that each new festival is rewarding in so many ways. Oxford’s vibrant dance scene love it as do many people who have never experienced dance before. The free dance event in the city brings a variety of dance styles to the shoppers some of whom have been known to join in.’

Dancin’ Spaces (4 March), in and around the City Centre, is a variety of programmed dance performances and promenade pieces. Shoppers might find they are chosen to be ‘protected and defended’ by dancing Bodyguards, discover a dance about football fusing hip hop with contemporary dance, watch a performance for children in the Museum of History of Science or a duet in the Weston Library foyer. All this runs alongside a plethora of local dance companies which will entertain and delight shoppers. (more…)

DANSOX presents a lecture on major twentieth-century choreographer John Cranko, by Dr Julia Buhrle (Oxford).

John Cranko (1927-1973) was a South African born ballet dancer and choreographer with the Royal Ballet companies who went on to lead the Stuttgart Ballet.  The creator of entertaining shorter early works such as Pineapple Poll and Lady and the Fool, he is perhaps most internationally famous for his much loved and performed “literary” ballets, which include Romeo and Juliet (1962), with music by Prokofiev; Onegin (1965), an adaptation of the verse novel by Alexander Pushkin, with music by Tchaikovsky; and the sparkling comedy The Taming of the Shrew (1969).

Date:  Thursday 23rd February 5.30pm

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

There will be a drinks reception after the event. Free and open to all – booking essential at Eventbrite.

Book your place here

Find information about DANSOX here or by contacting Dr Susan Jones here

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