Dance and Academia


‘I’m always accused of dealing only with sex and violence but what I really deal with is life and death.’  Thus quoted Monica Mason, opening the St Hilda’s College/DANSOX Conference Kenneth MacMillan: Making Dance Beyond the Boundaries held on Saturday 16th March 2019.

Dame Monica, former Principal Dancer and Director of the Royal Ballet Company, was just one of many sharing their memories of MacMillan and his creative approach at this smörgåsbord of delights blending academic research, choreography and performance. On a wet and windy day, in political and climatic times that can sometimes feel reminiscent of the dark events triggered at Mayerling, we were treated to talks by MacMillan’s widow Deborah on how MacMillan worked with designers, Guest Lecturer Natalie Wheen on his innovative use of music, choreologists on how Benesh notation helps to preserve his choreography, and academic specialists on his historical imagination. The conference concluded with excerpts from a reconstruction of Playground by Yorke Dance. (more…)

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The DANSOX Conference Kenneth MacMillan: Making Dance Beyond the Boundaries was an opportunity to reflect on and discover more about one of the twentieth century’s greatest choreographers. It was attended by distinguished practitioners and scholars in dance, and generously open to the wider University and general public.

Dame Monica Mason and Deborah, Lady MacMillan gave insights into what it was like to work with Kenneth MacMillan, his interest in contemporaneous events in society and the arts, his willingness to engage with designers new to the theatre, and his relationship with and support from Ninette de Valois. (more…)

Dance Scholarship Oxford (DANSOX) presents a one-day conference on the life and work of the great twentieth-century choreographer Sir Kenneth MacMillan (1929-1992). MacMillan stands among the great innovators of his time in theatre, film, art, music, and dance. This not-to-be-missed conference will discuss his work, the challenges of preserving the record, and explore little known early work, his literary and musical choices, design, and choreographic method. Guest speakers include: the artist and widow of Sir Kenneth, Lady MacMillan; the former Principal and Director of the Royal Ballet, Dame Monica Mason; the music expert, Natalie Wheen; and choreologist, Anna Trevien. Dancers, artists, and filmmakers who worked with Kenneth will join the conversation. A performance/lecture of the reconstruction of Playground with Yorke Dance will conclude the conference.

Date:  Saturday 16th March 10.00am-6.00pm

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

Tickets: Free and open to all, please book tickets here at Eventbrite

 

The St Edmund Hall Centre for the Creative Brain invites you to join them at Saint Edmund Hall, University of Oxford, for an afternoon symposium combining science, virtual reality and performance to explore the neuroscience of dance.  The symposium will explore the link between science and dance in many forms. Featuring talks from Dr Guido Orgs, on how the brain mechanisms of movement perception underlie the aesthetics of dance; Dr Karen Wood and Rosemary Cisneros, on the Wholodance project exploring movement perception and digital technology; and Dr Peter Lovatt (also known as Dr Dance), on his work as a cognitive and dance psychologist. The symposium will close with a dance performance by Aneyn O’Grady (amo dance) in collaboration with Lewis Hunt Onatra.

Drinks will be served throughout the symposium.

The symposium is free and open to all.  We welcome undergraduates, post-graduates, parents, academics, scientist, artists and anyone with an interest in the link between science and dance.

The Centre for the Creative Brain is generously supported by St Edmund Hall and the Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging, University of Oxford

Date:  Saturday 23rd February 2.00-6.00pm

Venue:  Saint Edmund Hall, Queen’s Lane, Oxford OX1 4AR

Tickets:  Register to attend via Eventbrite here

This collection of essays, articles and interviews, accompanied by a DVD, is enlightening, entertaining and scholarly. Robert Helpmann joined the Vic Wells Ballet in 1933, and was a major influence in the development of ballet in England, but despite being the subject of three biographies (by Elizabeth Salter, Anna Bemrose, and Kathrine Sorley Walker), by the early years of this century his fame was fading and his choreographic work Miracle in the Gorbals (1944) was almost lost.

The story of this ballet’s miraculous recovery threads through the book, and draws together memories, commentary, film footage and analysis. (more…)

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.

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.

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