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.

The famed international choreographer Matthew Bourne (Swan Lake, The Car Man) brings a selection of his witty and entertaining work that established his career, Early Adventures (6 – 8 March).  Moving with the Times (10 & 11 March) is the annual sell-out cornucopia of dance at Pegasus Theatre. This year the three companies selected, Justice in Motion, Unchained Collective and Richard Chappell offer a compelling mixture of dance styles to contemporary music, Finnish Tango and performance poetry.

Other professional companies appearing include James Wilton performing a new work Leviathan (3 March), which also offers young people a three day workshop resulting in a curtain raiser before the performance and Oxford’s Body Politic which celebrates its first full length show Reflections (6 March).  Families are not left out with The Party (25 February) Baby Boogie (4 Mar), The Magic Paintbrush (11 March) and Family Dance Workshop (12 March).

Programme summary:

Saturday 25th February 1.00pm:  NEARLY THERE YET – The Party – for 3 years+ and families, at The Mill Arts Centre, Banbury

Friday 3rd March at 7.30pm:  JAMES WILTON – Leviathan – 12 years+, at Pegasus Theatre

Saturday 27th February 12 noon – 4pm:  DANCIN’ SPACES – Festival Launch – free dance performances in Oxford City Centre, Museum of History of Science, Weston Library

Monday 6th – Wednesday 8th March at 7.30pm:  MATTHEW BOURNE – Early Adventures at Oxford Playhouse

Monday 6th March at 7.30pm:  BODY POLITIC – Reflections at Pegasus Theatre

Friday 10th & Saturday 11th February at 7.30pm, & Saturday 2.30pm:  MOVING WITH THE TIMES – professional dance showcase at Pegasus Theatre, featuring works by Unchained Collective, Richard Chappell and Justice in Motion

Saturday 11th March at 11am & 2pm:  SPRINGS DANCE COMPANY – The Magic Paintbrush at The North Wall

TAKIN’ PART:

The Festival also offers an extensive programme of low-cost workshops including a 24 hour Dance-A-Thon.

Full details of all events, both performances and workshops, can be found on the Dancin’ Oxford website here

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