PinDrop Creative & Oxford University Buddhist Society present a fascinating forthcoming event, Journey into Jatakas.  Oxford based Composer/Producer Sebastian Reynolds will be joined by the curator of the Ashmolean Museum’s acclaimed Imagining the Divine exhibition Jas Elsner, Jataka scholar Dr Sarah Shaw and Oxford University Classics scholar Professor Fiona Macintosh for a lunchtime talk on new dance and music production Mahajanaka Dance Drama – a collaboration between internationally renowned artists from Bangkok, Thailand and the UK.  Join in with the discussion facilitated by dramaturg Miranda Laurence to discover Jataka mythology, and how one of the oldest surviving stories in the world has inspired a contemporary re-telling. In the forthcoming production Neon Dance Artistic Director and choreographer Adrienne Hart and composer Sebastian Reynolds collaborate with musicians and dance artists from Thailand and the UK to retell the story of Mahajanaka Jataka, a shipwrecked prince who survives alone at sea until the goddess of the ocean comes to his rescue. Bringing together eastern and western musical traditions, this beautiful show fuses ancient and modern, and will preview at Wiltshire Music Centre on 2nd April 2018.

Date:  15th February 12.00 – 1.00pm

Venue:  Headley Lecture Theatre, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

Free Entrance

Facebook event page:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1953595548239167/

Tickets for the Mahajanaka Dance Drama preview at Wiltshire Music Centre can be bought here

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“I want everybody to think alike… It’s happening here all by itself without being under a strict government; so if it’s working without trying, why can’t it work without being Communist? Everybody looks alike and acts alike, and we’re getting more and more that way. I think everybody should be a machine.” – Andy Warhol

On Thursday 7th April, The Ashmolean Museum opened its doors after hours for “Warhol Late” – a celebration of the recent Andy Warhol: Works from the Hall Collection exhibition. The evening event transported visitors back to 1960s New York by transforming the Ashmolean’s café into an underground “Factory Party”. The party was an eclectic array of happenings and performances inspired by Warhol; DJs, a “Warhol yourself” station kitted out with a variety of wigs, a silent disco, participatory screen tests… and contemporary dance. (more…)

Scholarly, artistic and professional, Avid for Ovid’s highly original creative work was on show in a series of performances as part of the Ashmolean’s wildly popular sell-out DeadFriday Halloween happening.

Accompanied by Malcolm Atkins, dancers Susie Crow, Marie-Louise Crawley and Ségolène Tarte used Roman pantomime to explore the grief and horror of death. As we sat on the floor of the Cast Gallery, a line of candles marking the edge of the performance area like footlights, we saw expressions of human and beyond-human emotion, the quality of each experience being powerfully affected by whether or not the dancers wore masks. Crow, who was unmasked, gave a profoundly moving portrayal of Aurora grieving for her son Memnon that fell firmly within the range of human empathy. On the other hand, when the dancers wore masks, Crawley’s dread-inspiring transformation into a tree and Tarte’s terrifying embodiment of a werewolf seemed almost to pierce the veil that hangs between the natural and the supernatural.

Among the academic papers, craft workshops, musical performances and a theatrical re-enactment of a Roman funeral, Avid for Ovid evoked both pity and terror in its audience: the ultimate Halloween experience.

Maggie Watson

1 November 2015

Opportunities this week to enjoy the work of Oxford based Amarita Vargas, both as artist and flamenco dancer performing in the Ashmolean Museum’s Magic Night event on 16th May. As part of Oxfordshire ArtWeeks Amarita is opening her studio at Cuckoo Lane, North Leigh, showing abstract work capturing essence and energy flow in the immediacy of the moment.  “Different instruments dance differently; the brush has both a heel and a tip and can apply strong or light pressure. A piece of charcoal can roll, jump, skip or drag along slowly. Reed pen, fingers or crayon – there is always rhythm, pulse and movement which make up the final composition. The drawings must have aliveness and vibration – they must still ‘sing’ once they are completed…” (more…)

In The Heart’s Desire the world of the senses is revealed in voice and movement. Café Reason Butoh Dance Theatre and Moving Tone embark on a collaborative investigation into the five senses, Free Will, and the reconciliation of opposites among the classical statuary in the atmospheric setting of the Randolph Gallery of Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum, with a work-in-progress performance on this coming August Bank Holiday.  A chance to see the fruits of the first stage in development of a major new work, The Heart’s Desire, created jointly by Cafe Reason with voice artist Anne L. Ryan (Moving Tone). (more…)

One of the oldest museums in the world, the Ashmolean in Oxford invites Siobhan Davies Dance to present a performance at their May LiveFriday event.  Songbook is a fast and illogical score performed by four dancers stationed in a row behind their music stands. Featuring too many words, sounds and movements, the feat often seems absurd and impossible. It was originally composed by Matteo Fargion for Siobhan Davies Dance’s ROTOR in 2010 and will be performed amongst the museum’s collections as part of an evening curated by Wilderness Festival. (more…)