Ovid’s Metamorphoses – an epic poem exploring myths of transformation, love and loss – is the inspiration for a new work created by young Swiss dance company Le Marchepied. Their latest work – forming part of their tour of the UK – is the result of their collaboration with Ancient Dance in Modern Dancers (ADMD).  ADMD is a TORCH (The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities) funded project that seeks to investigate the Roman dance form tragoedia saltata (Roman pantomime) and to “develop ways of articulating the knowledge derived from kinaesthetic engagement with ancient material.”

The performance itself was preceded by a free workshop in the Jacqueline du Pré Music Building, at St. Hilda’s College, Oxford.  The workshop was open to anyone who wanted to learn more about the form of trageodia saltata and how it may be used in a contemporary setting to generate movement material or interpret ancient texts.  Helen Slaney (Classics Fellow at St. Hilda’s College) of ADMD kicked off proceedings with an intriguing, informative introduction to the form of Roman pantomime.  Referencing texts by ancient satirist Lucian, Slaney detailed the necessity of narrative precision in the dance form and also stated particular movements – such as freezing, falling or reaching – that would have been used by performers to physically recount the mythological tales. (more…)

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Myths of transformation, love and loss are brought to life the way the ancient Romans would have seen them danced.  In collaboration with Oxford University researchers, Swiss company Le Marchepied have created their version of the popular Graeco-Roman dance form orchēsis, also called tragoedia saltata, or tragic pantomime. Their performance Metamorphoses is accompanied by an open interactive workshop on orchēsis taking place at St Hilda’s College in the morning of Saturday 20th. Audience members are warmly invited to participate or observe in advance of the evening’s performance (for more information on the workshop or to book a place, please contact helen.slaney@st-hildas.ox.ac.uk).
Since 2013, the Ancient Dance in Modern Dancers research project has been working with groups and individuals, including the Oxford-based Avid for Ovid, to develop a range of conjectures for how orchēsis might have appeared. In their experimental reconstruction, Le Marchepied will present a series of individual interpretations based on mythological scenarios from the Roman poet Ovid’s Metamorphoses, known to have been used as a libretto for orchēsis. They bring to life Ovid’s vibrant tales of gods, mortals, passion, loss, and transformation in a way that has not been seen since antiquity. This performance will form part of Le Marchepied’s 2016 tour of the United Kingdom.

Performance:  Saturday, 21 May 2016, 6.00pm

Venue:  The Old Fire Station, 40 George Street, Oxford, OX1 2AQ

Tickets:  Free, available from www.ticketsoxford.com or 01865 305305

You can find out more about Le Marchepied here and about Ancient Dance in Modern Dancers here

In continuation of the fascinating research work begun in 2013 on ancient Roman pantomime, Ancient Dance in Modern Dancers (ADMD) in association with Avid for Ovid (A4O) are pleased to invite you to an afternoon of talks and performance on Friday 28th November.

ADMD Colloquium 2

Lady Brodie Room, St Hilda’s College  1.30pm – 5.00pm

The theme of this year’s colloquium is Communicating Nonverbal Emotion. Confirmed speakers include Susan Jones (Oxford), Anne Woodford (École Normale Supérieure), and Audrey Gouy (Ca’ Foscari). A detailed programme will be available shortly at http://www.torch.ox.ac.uk/ancientdance. We also invite your participation in a round-table discussion on the future of the network.

A4O present Morphing in Progress

Al Jaber Auditorium, Corpus Christi College, Oxford   5.30pm – 7.00pm (Doors open 5.15)

A showing of new work under development by Avid for Ovid (Susie Crow, Ségolène Tarte, Marie-Louise Crawley & Malcolm Atkins).  The showing will be followed by a Q&A with A4O about their creative process. http://avidforovid.blogspot.co.uk

For more details or to register, please contact helen.slaney@st-hildas.ox.ac.uk or sign up via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/744532448933358/  The event is free of charge but we would like to keep track of numbers for catering purposes. If you’re unable to join us for the whole event, you are welcome to attend either the talks or performance separately.

ADMD acknowledges the support of The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH).

Metamorphoses – dance interpretations of the poetry of Ovid is an evening of dance and music based on interpretations of Ovid’s Metamorphoses performed by members of the Avid for Ovid group who have been working  in collaboration with the Oxford University research project Ancient Dance in Modern Dancers.  The event is a showing of work in progress, and will involve audience participation in that artists and academics will be asking for feedback.  Dancers Susie Crow and Ségolène Tarte with composer Malcolm Atkins introduced by classicist Helen Slaney will demonstrate some of their practical processes and emerging studies.  The researchers are eager to find out what audience members see in the pieces and how the communicability of an ancient solo narrative dance form might be developed in a contemporary context. (more…)