the burning question…


On Thursday 14 February 2013 Oxford dancer Jane Connelly attended the V-Day Oxford Rising Flashmob at Bonn Square, part of the One Billion Rising movement that happened globally that day.  She writes:

So how did I get there? An article in The Guardian mentioned One Billion Rising; I looked up the website and the Flashmob instructions by Debbie Allen (choreographer from the Fame movie and TV series; “cos fame costs and this is where you start paying!”). I agreed with the concept of using dance as a weapon against rape and violence; I was hooked and knew that I wanted to be part of this! I responded to the email call to find local organisers, and that led to Oxford Rising in Bonn Square at 1.30pm on Valentine’s Day. (more…)

Advertisements

Last minute, but a fascinating opportunity…  a talk by Jonathan Mills, Director and Chief Executive of the Edinburgh International Festival.  A wonderful speaker on the arts, Jonathan Mills is an expert on music in performance and in architectural acoustics.    All are welcome!

MANSFIELD LECTURE SERIES
Convenor:  Baroness Helena Kennedy, QC

“ART – THE GREAT CONVERSATION OF MANKIND”

JONATHAN MILLS
Director and Chief Executive of the Edinburgh International Festival

FRIDAY 8TH  FEBRUARY AT 5PM
Junior Common Room, Mansfield College

Writing about the Female Choreographers’ Collective performance in October whetted my curiosity as to what might be discernible differences between the work of female and male choreographers; I approached other performances viewed recently with my antennae thus attuned…

To the Old Fire Station on 20th October to see Cecilia MacFarlane’s reflection on the tragic accidental death of her son “I’ll leave you to yourself then…”.  A small, pugnacious figure with cropped white hair, Cecilia began encased in a fragile egg of white mesh with blood red ribbons, painfully hatching, her face contorted as she slowly emerged.  (more…)

In the face of Michael Gove’s initiative to replace GCSEs with the new EBacc,  the Bacc for the Future campaign is organising a petition which now has increasing support among the arts community and institutions:
“The English Baccalaureate (EBacc) threatens the very future of creative subjects – like Music, Art, Design & Technology, Drama and Dance.  By missing them off its list of core areas children must study, the Government is undermining their place at the heart of learning.
Your voice is vital to help change this.  Without them, our children will be denied the balanced education they need to grow and thrive. Without them, the skills that drive our creative economy will be lost.” (more…)

Last Saturday 13th October I went with much curiosity and anticipation to the newly formed Female Choreographers’ Collective (FCC) platform performance “We Face Forward” at St. Paul’s Church in Covent Garden.  Formed by two enterprising choreographers Holly Noble and Jane Coulston, the FCC is asking questions about the persistent invisibility of the work of women choreographers, rarely commissioned or programmed by established mixed repertoire companies, and lacking the media profile of their fashionable male counterparts.  Ask yourself how many current male choreographers of national standing you can name – and then name female choreographers of similar status.  Harder, isn’t it? (more…)

Experienced improviser and composer Malcolm Atkins shares his recent practice working with dancers, and raises intriguing questions about the relationship between dance and music…

Improvised music for improvised dance

As part of my practice of accompanying dance I regularly improvise for Café Reason Butoh Dance Theatre Classes. These improvisations which are solo responses to exercises and pieces developed in class, have evolved over the years I have been doing this. I was asked to record some by the class organisers and have started doing this and making them available as free downloads on a bandcamp site I set up in my name.

I have made them freely available so that anyone attending the class can develop their ideas between classes by being reminded of what they were working on but also to demonstrate that spontaneous musical improvisation in support of dance can create a very particular musical atmosphere which is often determined by the style of dance and the way the dancer stimulates and responds to a dynamically created musical accompaniment. (more…)

After a summer of invisible dance here in Oxford (see The summer of big and small) autumn arrived with some unexpected riches.  Good things in small packages were a couple of classy programmes of dance at the Burton Taylor Studio; the mesmerising Aakash Odedra in Rising, and the very likeable Yorke Dance Project. Before that Candoco at the Playhouse were inspiring and exemplary in performance of a richly varied triple bill of works by Javier de Frutos, Wendy Houston and Trisha Brown, whose Set and Reset was reset specially for the company, marking its 20th birthday.

But I was saddened and puzzled by the small audiences for these high quality and thoroughly enjoyable live dance shows. (more…)

« Previous PageNext Page »