Late on Monday 6th November 2017 Ana Barbour, much loved, inspirational and guiding presence in the Oxford dance scene, passed away having battled with cancer.  Her touching funeral at the home she loved on Sunday 12th November was attended by numerous family, friends, and colleagues, and was a celebration of her life and achievements in speeches, songs and dance.  I felt honoured to speak on that occasion about Ana’s work as a dance artist in Oxford, and I am posting here my speech to pay tribute to her.  You can also find links below to her own blog Anadances, Cafe Reason of whom she was an integral part, and the DEC Project; and her own occasional writings for this blog.  Oxford Dance Writers would really welcome other voices in this endeavour of remembrance, so please use the comments facility below to add to this partial picture your particular memories of Ana.  Thank you!

Ana Barbour

When I mounted the Solos Project for Oxford dance artists in 2008 Ana was one of six dancers who showed solos in the Burton Taylor’s intimate studio space. Her Butoh inspired piece Baggage accompanied by the atmospheric music of her long term friend and collaborator Malcolm Atkins was a remarkable episode in which having entered bowed down by a bundle on her back she burrowed into the baggage itself, morphing into surreal shapes and images of confined struggle that were humorous, poignant and dreamlike. It was my first experience of Ana as creative imagination and compelling performer. (more…)

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September promises to be an exciting month for Oxfordshire based dance artists, several of whom are performing at the new GOlive Dance and Performance Festival curated by dance critic Donald Hutera (the Times) at the Lion and Unicorn Theatre in London.  Part of the Giant Olive Community Theatre Company, and now going into its twenty-fifth year, Kentish Town’s only theatre has firmly established itself as a cultural centre for high quality and innovative theatrical productions.  Resident Company Giant Olive have produced over twenty of their own productions at the venue, including classics, new writing, musical theatre projects and contemporary ballet productions and have also played host to over 300 visiting companies in the last five years.

London will get a chance to see work by the following Oxfordshire dance artists: Paulette Mae, Marina Collard, Nick McKerrow of Anjali, Cecile Feza Bushidi, Ana Barbour, and Susie Crow with Jennifer Jackson as BIG Ballets. (more…)