Dance and Academia


Upcoming; a fascinating seminar being hosted by Dance Scholarship Oxford (DANSOX) and the Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama (APGRD) at Oxford University’s Ioannou Centre.  Dr. Nicole Haitzinger of Salzburg University will be talking about the construction and reception of the tragic in Jean-Georges Noverre‘s dance drama Agamemnon Vengé; a chance to gain insight into the ideas and practice of ballet’s great and influential 18th century thinker.

Date:  Thursday 8th November, 5.00pm

Venue:  Outreach Room, The Ioannou Centre, 66 St Giles, Oxford OX1 3LU

Free, all welcome, no booking required.

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Dance and Academia presents another thought-provoking seminar in its current series, which continues the theme What is Dance without an Audience?, following three seminars in 2017/18 exploring diverse perspectives from the dance world and beyond.  Convened by dance dramaturg Miranda Laurence, this evening includes presentations by Cathy Seago (University of Winchester) and Lizzie Sykes (University of Bournemouth), and by Lise Smith:

A Somatic Lens

Lizzie Sykes (screen-based artist) and Cathy Seago (dance artist) have been working collaboratively to generate work by asking somatic and filmic questions about content and presentation. We are exploring the nature, impact and materiality of the ‘screen’ and the ‘lens’ in mediating emergent work that has potentially live and digitised elements. Responding organically to site and place via a somatic and kinetic focus we have questioned the spectator’s role and impact on the work at different stages – be they live, mobile, choice-making, unsuspecting, distanced, imagined, and/or literate in particular codes. This presentation will share some of the questions, processes and findings about presence, perspective and environment for dance/ film audiences.

The Critic as Audience Member: reflecting on the role of the reviewer

We often think about the relationship between a Theatre reviewer and the artist reviewed or the work presented. But what about the critic as audience member? How does a critic’s place in the audience reflect and impact in their experience of a performance? How do they speak for, to and on behalf of the watching audience? And why does it sometimes feel like the reviewer and the rest of the audience have just watched two completely different works? Dr Lise Smith (often a reviewer, frequently an audience member, mostly a producer and sometimes a performer) opens these and other questions to discussion.

Date:  Thursday 1st November 2018, 6-8pm
Venue:  St Aldate’s Room, Town Hall, St Aldate’s, Oxford OX1 1BX
Tickets: £6 (pay cash on the door – please bring exact money if possible)
Reserve a place by emailing miranda@mirandalaurence.co.uk. Places are limited.

Dance & Academia: Moving the Boundaries is an Oxford-based project set up in 2007 and run by dance dramaturg Miranda Laurence. The project aims to facilitate dialogue between practitioners, academics in any field, and lay people, who have an interest in any aspect of dance or movement.
Oxford is a city with a rich academic heritage and is also host to a strong community of professional dance practitioners. Dance & Academia aims to be a genuinely interdisciplinary platform where intersections between research and practice in dance can be explored. The group welcomes everyone regardless of background, and intends to be an egalitarian space respecting and exchanging all kinds of different ways of knowing.
More information available here.

Dance & Academia is supported by Dancin’ Oxford festival.

Motion & Meaning presented by DANSOX and the Liveness, Hybridity & Noise Series has been an exciting multi-disciplinary collaboration between dancers, choreographers, composers, instrumentalists and audio-visual artists facilitated by a week-long residency at St Hilda’s College. The project culminated last Friday in a ‘showing’ of the work in progress, alongside an exhibition by artist Simon Klein and sculptor Guillaume Klein. Open rehearsals on Wednesday and Thursday last week revealed some of the opportunities and challenges intrinsic to truly collaborative work: the importance of grace and generosity in allowing other artists in different media sufficient time and space; the need for mutual respect, and the courteous adjustments to be made to accommodate different etiquettes and conventions. (more…)

Miranda Laurence is a dramaturg, working mostly with dance makers. In this role she accompanies a director or choreographer during the process of creating a new work, attending to the rhythm of all elements in the piece, and actively noticing responses from the viewer’s perspective.  Miranda is currently undertaking a self-led professional development project in dance dramaturgy funded by Arts Council England.

Here for Oxford Dance Writers Miranda gives a revealing insight into her role in assisting the development of new work within the privacy of the dance studio.

I’m sitting in the faded splendour of Swindon Dance’s main studio, which is adorned with huge vintage mirrors, curlicued window frames and chunky old-fashioned radiators. As usual, I’m tucked away in a corner, sitting on the floor, taking in the size, shape, feel and details of the space around. Out on the floor, two dancers (Thomasin Gülgeç and Estela Merlos) undergo their warm-up, twisting and weaving fluidly through the space, mirroring each other or going off on tangents. I think: “am I earning my money as a dramaturg by watching these dancers warm up? How should I warm myself up?” (more…)

DANSOX and the Liveness, Hybridity & Noise Series join forces for this multi-disciplinary presentation of three new works that stretch the synthetic possibilities of music and dance. Over a four-day residency at St Hilda’s College, one of Holland’s leading contemporary music groups, Ensemble Klang, will be working with three composers from Oxford and a team of leading contemporary dancers and choreographers (Malgorzata Dzierzon, Estela Merlos, Patricia Okenwa, Liam Riddick and Piedad Albarracin Seiquer). ‘Open’ rehearsals will take place each afternoon on 4-5 July (15:00–17:00), as well a fully-staged performance at 19:30 on Friday 6 July (tickets required for all sessions and spaces limited so booking early advised).

CUE by Anna Appleby (Rambert Music Fellow and St Hilda’s alumna) is a quirky and comical piece that plays with the audience’s perceptions of the boundaries between dance and music. Grim’s Ditch by composer Joel Baldwin (St Hilda’s) explores melancholia, politics, artistic expression and meaning through the layering of multimedia, sound and physical motion.  Joel’s work features the talented Austrian vocalist Michaela Riener, whose recent solo engagements include works by Steve Reich, Michael Gordon (with dance company EmioGreco|PC), Louis Andriessen (La Passione, TAO) and Hanns Eisler (with the Asko|Schönberg Ensemble).  Her soloistic capabilities, as well as her experience with Ensemble Klang and numerous early music ensembles, make her the ideal candidate for this central role of Grim’s Ditch.  Joseph Currie (Wadham) investigates different kinds of time in movement, motivated by the structural difference of heartbeats and breaths, alongside ideas about gendered breath and the expressive apparatus behind screaming.  A new instrumental piece for the ensemble, written by former Oxford composer, Sophie Sparkes, will also be premiered at the main performance on Friday evening.

Anna Appleby – CUE
Joel Baldwin – Grim’s Ditch (feat. Michaela Riener – mezzo soprano)
Joseph Currie – How many eyes do we have then, being two…
Sophie Sparkes – new work

Both open rehearsals (3-5pm on 4th and 5th July) and the performance at 7:30pm on 6th July will be livestreamed.

Date(s):  Friday, 6 July 7:30pm
Venue:  Jacqueline du Pré Music Building, St Hilda’s College, Oxford OX4 1DY
Tickets:  £25 (+£5 per open rehearsal session); £15 students (free entry to open rehearsals) Available online here
St. Hilda’s Alumnae Ticket Offer:  There is a 20% discount offer available for the alumnae of St. Hilda’s College to mark the 125th Anniversary of St. Hilda’s College. Please email the Development Office for more information.

You can find more information about this event here

Last Thursday, on a snowy night, St Hilda’s College Oxford warmly welcomed the local dance community to learn more about Fred Astaire, arguably the greatest dancer of the twentieth century. New York Times critic Alastair Macaulay gave an entertaining, witty and enlightening talk, as he showed us a series of filmed dance excerpts, while placing Astaire’s work in its cultural and choreographic context. (more…)

Aptly following its recent showing of the documentary film New Wave Ballet, another DANSOX event exploring legendary dance performances on film.  DANSOX welcomes as distinguished guest lecturer Alastair Macaulay, Chief Dance Critic of the New York Times, who will discuss the legendary Fred Astaire’s life and work with illustration and film footage. Not to be missed!

Date:  Thursday 1st March 2018 5.30pm

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

Free and open to all, followed by drinks reception
Reserve a seat via: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/dansox-lecture-alastair-macaulay-on-fred-astaire-tickets-41211053370

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