Dance and Academia


The Dancing Lives conference at Wolfson College offered an exceptional opportunity for archivists, academics and dance practitioners to discuss and discover new ways to research and write about dance and dancers’ lives.

The speakers for first panel, on Historical Dancing, demonstrated the vast range of material that dance historians draw upon to investigate the past. Mike Webb and Jennifer Thorp used Jeffrey Boys’s manuscript annotations in his almanac of 1667 to paint a picture of the social dancing scene in seventeenth century London; Michael Burden used caricatures vividly to recreate and interpret the scandalous adventures of Mademoiselle Mercandotti, and Julia Bührle showed how the technological invention of the lithograph helped to make Marie Taglioni a ‘superstar’. While the first four speakers showed how creatively scholars use documents, images and ephemera to advance our knowledge, the plenary session, in which Sue Jones expertly interviewed Jennifer Homans, began to explore what the dance itself can reveal. (more…)

How do people write about the lives of dancers and choreographers?  How does dance as a silent form represent life stories?  The Oxford Centre for Life-Writing and Dance Scholarship Oxford (DANSOX) are hosting a one-day colloquium Dancing Lives on Saturday 8th July exploring this.  The day will feature: Jennifer Homans, Founder and Director of The Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University, in conversation with Professor Sue Jones; Dame Monica Mason, former ballet dancer, teacher, and artistic director of the Royal Ballet, on travelling and dancing; contributions from Michael Burden, Mike Webb, Jennifer Thorp, Jane Pritchard, Judith Mackrell, Michael Huxley, Funmi Adewole, and Ramsay Burt; and a closing performance by Simone Damberg Würtz & Liam Francis from the Rambert Contemporary Dance Company.

Date:  Saturday 8th July, 9.00am-6.30pm

Venue:  Wolfson College, Linton Road, Oxford OX2 6UD

Tickets:  £20, or £10 for unwaged delegates. Booking here: http://bit.ly/OCLW-Dance

There are a small number of B&B rooms available at Wolfson College for 7th and 8th July. These can be booked here using the Promotional Code: DANCE2017

For more details please contact The Oxford Centre for Life-Writing here

Download the full colloquium programme here

Following on from his fascinating presentation for DANSOX in 2015 on The Fascist Legs of Serge Lifar, internationally renowned dance scholar Professor Mark Franko of Temple University USA returns to St Hilda’s College to deliver a guest seminar which will examine how neoclassicism was theorized in French ballet during the 1930s.  Don’t miss this opportunity to hear about the further development of Professor Franko’s thought provoking research.

Date:  Friday 2nd June 5.30-7.00pm

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

Tickets:  This event is free and open to all and will be followed by refreshments.  However please book online here

Find out more about Dance Scholarship Oxford (DANSOX) and its ongoing programme here

Read Susanna Reece’s report for Oxford Dance Writers of Professor Franko’s talk on The Fascist Legs of Serge Lifar here

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

Last year saw the revival of a little known late work by the renowned choreographer Kenneth MacMillan by the enterprising company Yorke Dance Project as part of their programme of works old and new, Rewind Forward.   Sea of Troubles based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet was originally created for Dance Advance in 1988, a company founded by a group of six dancers who broke away from the Royal Ballet with the intention of creating and performing new ballet based work on a more intimate scale.  Their venture was supported by MacMillan whom they commissioned to create a new work for the company’s first programme.  Sea of Troubles toured small venues and was performed by Dance Advance across the UK, later in Spain, Germany and China.  Scottish Ballet adopted the work two years later but it remains a work that is seldom seen.  DANSOX presents original cast member Susie Crow and Yolande Yorke-Edgell with dancers of Yorke Dance Project in a rehearsal/lecture demonstration exploring how this fascinating work has been brought back to life for a new generation of dancers.

Date:  Thursday 16th February, 5.30-7.00pm

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

The event will be followed by a drinks reception. Free and open to all – booking essential at Eventbrite.

Book your place here

Find more information about DANSOX (Dance Scholarship Oxford) here

or by contacting Dr Susan Jones here

And find more information about Yorke Dance Project here

It is that time of the year again, suddenly Christmas is looming with urgent gift shopping imperatives.  But don’t worry, once again Oxford Dance Writers is here to help with our round up of dance publications reviewed and received this year, from the highly academic and practical to the entertaining memoir and gorgeously illustrated records of companies and dancers; for the dance lovers in your lives, or to add to your own Christmas wish list…  Great thanks once again to all our reviewers! (more…)

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

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