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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Ana Barbour’s  Rope, Rock, R… investigates and plays with various materials like a rope, wool, a stone, and experiments with the qualities of these often oppositional and complementary props. She does this with a virtuosity and variety of ideas, aesthetic and controlled use of movement which is a pleasure to watch. (more…)

The first edition of Oxford Dance Forum’s ODF Presents… at The Old Fire Station showcased work-in-progress by five Oxford based dance artists and companies, as part of a three year Arts Council England funded professional development programme.

Ana Barbour:  Rope, Rock, R…

The opening piece of the evening unwound from a quiet, subtle beginning to great sweeps of movement and sound. The idea of examining the way that a lifeless object such as a length of rope can move and change shape, was an intriguing one, and an original way to develop a performance piece. There was some interesting use of multimedia, with projected images which Ana interacted with quite directly at times, at other times providing a less prominent backdrop.  It felt as though a large span of emotions and characteristics was explored in a short time, from intricate delicate movements and a soft, almost caressing interaction with the hanging rope on stage, to a cheeky, flirtatious moment of tango, and the violent rage of the rock star. Throughout all of these elements, Ana maintained a relationship with the audience; from defiant stares to small smiles and moments where she was facing away from us, one felt included in the journey that played out. The quick switch between different temperaments and movement styles in an instant was impressive, as was her innovative use of the props and media.  (more…)

Completing a summer day of dance in Oxford following on from Dancin’ On The Green, some of Oxfordshire’s finest companies and choreographers invite you into their world of movement, music and storytelling , in an eclectic, exciting and mesmerising preview of new works in progress.

Work developed with the support of Oxford Dance Forum will be presented by the following selected artists/companies: Ana Barbour, Paulette Mae, Lunas Dance Project, Smidgen Dance Company and My Johansson.

“ODF Presents…” is part of a three-year Arts Council England funded professional development programme Evolution – which aims to support artists in the development of their own artistic practice and the creation of new work.

Date:  Saturday 15th July, 7.30pm

Venue:  Arts at the Old Fire Station, 40 George Street, Oxford OX1 2AQ

Recommended for ages 10+.

Duration: 90 mins approx.

Tickets:  £7, £6 concessions 

Book online here

Arts at the Old Fire Station offers a free companion ticket to disabled patrons. Please book via phone (01865 263990) or e-mail (tickets@oldfirestation.org.uk) to claim this.
Are you a member of Crisis Skylight Oxford?  Arts at the Old Fire Station shares the building with Crisis and offers 4 free tickets per show to homeless clients. Sign up in advance at Reception.

Find out more about Oxford Dance Forum here

 

 

OffBeat is a hive of new performance in Oxford, a festival of brand-new theatre, comedy, dance, family shows, spoken word and music. It’s a place for you to see something which wouldn’t usually come here. It’s a blind date with a show you could fall in love with. And – lucky you – it’s right on your doorstep.  Take a chance on something exciting.

A collaboration between Oxford Playhouse and Arts at the Old Fire Station, with short performances across the Old Fire Station and BT Studio.  See below for a summary of shows for dance lovers: (more…)

Oxford based company Justice in Motion is making waves with work which is a compelling and passionate mixture of dynamic physical theatre, dance, music, spoken word and film, creating entertaining and thought provoking experiences dealing with topical issues for today’s challenging audiences.  The company returns to the Old Fire Station for three performances at the beginning of June.  Inspired by true accounts of human trafficking, of dreams, broken promises, resilience and above all hope, BOUND tells of three people’s journeys into the unknown.

The show, suitable for 14 years and over, is followed by a post show discussion with the performers and human trafficking experts.

How far would you go for a better life?

★★★★ ‘Despair and compassion with moving brilliance’   Oxford Times

‘It was fantastic seeing and hearing how visibly moved the large audiences of visitors were by your performances’ Ashmolean Museum LiveFriday Curator

Performances:  Friday 2nd June 7.30pm, Saturday 3rd June 2.30pm and 7.30pm

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

Tickets:  Full price £12, concessions £10

Book online here or call the Box Office on 01865 263990

Bound trailer – Justice in Motion from Justice In Motion on Vimeo.

 We offer a free companion ticket to disabled patrons. Please book via phone (01865 263990) or e-mail (tickets@oldfirestation.org.uk) to claim this.
Are you a member of Crisis Skylight Oxford? We share the building with Crisis and offer 4 free tickets per show to homeless clients. Sign up in advance at Reception.

Following their successful visit to the Old Fire Station last year, mapdance, University of Chichester’s MA touring company,  returns to Oxford to perform diverse repertoire by renowned and upcoming contemporary choreographers.  This year the company has commissioned new works by Shobana Jeyasingh, Lea Anderson, Cai Tomos and Hagit Yakira. The mixed repertory offers a refreshing mixture of dance theatre, intricate lyrical choreography, fast-paced athleticism and wry humour.

‘…leaping and turning in zesty spurts with an insouciance that leaves nothing to chance’  Donald Hutera, The Times

Performance:  Thursday 18th May 7.30pm

Venue:  Arts at the Old Fire Station, 40 George Street, Oxford OX1 2AQ

Tickets:  £12 Full price, £10 concessions

Book online here or call the Box Office on 01865 263990

We offer a free companion ticket to disabled patrons. Please book via phone (01865 263990) or e-mail (tickets@oldfirestation.org.uk) to claim this.
Are you a member of Crisis Skylight Oxford? We share the building with Crisis and offer 4 free tickets per show to homeless clients. Sign up in advance at Reception.

Find out more about mapdance here