ODF Presents… at The Old Fire Station is becoming a crucial annual fixture in Oxford’s dance calendar, showing new works (in-progress) developed with the support of Oxford Dance Forum.  In this year’s edition Ségolène Tarte, Ajos Dance and Scarlett Turner invite you into their world of movement, music and storytelling, offering a preview of eclectic and mesmerising new works:

Ajos Dance & Company‘s Payson is inspired by the Philippine traditional art of chanting epic poems about the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Fusing Filipino arts culture with western contemporary dance, the work is a cross-art collaboration between dancers and live musicians.  Payson is a colourful and dramatic new celebration directed and choreographed by JJ Formento with dance artist Samantha Harper-Robins and musician Gendy Nicolson and her Oxford-based Filipino band members.  Ajos Dance is a social enterprise fighting poverty in the Philippines through education, arts and local community projects.

Scarlett Turner‘s Come as You Are is a solo piece exploring gender neutrality, obscure sexuality and personal identity.  Scarlett Turner identifies the self struggles of gender stereotypes, non-binary and pan sexual identity through personal experiences from childhood to adulthood.  This solo investigates statement of social identity through contemporary dance, spoken word and live imagery.

Imagine an intimate mythology unfolding through classical form and everyday objects. In her new piece Body-No-Body, set to an excerpt of Simeon ten Holt’s hypnotic Canto Ostinato, Oxford based dance artist Ségolène Tarte invites audiences to take a fresh look at ballet and butoh, and at their emotional eloquence.  With this poignant performance meandering between mystical reverence, angst and enlightenment, the dancer shapes a strange universe and is shaped by it.  Let yourself slip into this mysterious yet familiar world… be transported, charmed, moved by a constellation of delicate hesitant steps, balletic grace and pure expressive movement

“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.

Performance:  Saturday 14th July 7.30pm

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

Tickets:  £10, £8 concessions

Call 01865 263990 or book online here

Find out more about Oxford Dance Forum here

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Swan Lake remains at the heart of the classical ballet repertoire. Its choreography by Marius Petipa and music by Tchaikovsky have ensured its place in any dance company worth its claim to pre-eminence. And the music’s 19th century blend of the classical with the romantic has ensured audiences with a love of great music if only a passing interest in dance. Nevertheless, it has to be said that the growth of contemporary choreography and the increased number of smaller dance companies have rather reduced the appetites of both dancers and audiences for this extremely demanding, long, old, and often tired ballet. I include myself among those who have felt they had seen enough Swan Lakes to happily miss the next one. It is with this in mind that I say how suddenly I have been swept off my feet and made to believe again in the evergreen nature of the work, its music, its potential for surprise. (more…)

Images Ballet Company is the performing group of the graduating ballet students at London Studio Centre, and their appearance at Cornerstone last night was an exciting opportunity to see new dancers and new (or nearly new) works. Artistic Director Jennifer Jackson presented a programme of dances by four choreographers (Hubert Essakow, Erico Montes, Bim Malcomson, and Morgann Runacre-Temple), which demanded lyricism, attack, humour and acting ability, and the dancers rose to the occasion magnificently. (more…)

Coming to the area for the first time, Images Ballet Company is proud to present a programme of entertaining dance, reflecting the diversity and beauty of Ballet today, that will appeal both to ballet lovers and those new to dance.  Directed by Jennifer Jackson, Images Ballet Company is one of four touring 3rd year companies from major vocational school London Studio Centre. The aspiring professionals of the company take centre stage to showcase theatrical and vibrant ballet with stylish costumes and a rich musical palette.

Working with Images for her third successive year, acclaimed choreographer Morgann Runacre-Temple has re-created Mozart’s Women: The Kingdom of Back, her exquisitely detailed portrait of three women in Mozart’s life, with a new cast. Bim Malcomson explores of the humour of being human.  Former Royal Ballet and Rambert soloist, Hubert Essakow presents encounters between live music and dance, while Royal Ballet artist Erico Montes’ choreography and process has richly enhanced the dancers’ feeling for flow and epaulement.

Music is central to this year’s show.  Viola and guitar duo Elliott Perks and Tom Ellis have arranged Schumann’s Marchenbilder to be played live for Cut Out, Hubert Essakow’s dances with space and gravity.  Bim Malcomson has used music from Joby Talbot’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland for Red Queen Brouhaha, her witty exploration of ideas from Lewis Carroll’s imaginative world. In the centenary year of votes for women in this country, Erico Montes has been drawn to the music of a little known African American composer, Florence Price, for his Sonata in Colour.

Louie Whitemore and Andrew Ellis have brought their expertise in costume and lighting to finesse the visual landscape.

A note from Artistic Director, Jennifer Jackson;

“The dancers you see tonight specialise in classical ballet in their professional training at London Studio Centre. Three second year students are joining the graduating class on tour and all have been involved in working with choreographers, designers, musicians, production staff, repetiteurs and teachers over the past three months to create the programme. Each ballet grows from a unique creative process through which the dancers develop as versatile collaborative artists, honing professional skills that are required to meet the diverse expressive and performative demands of the ballet today. It is a great privilege to work with these artists and alongside the excellent educators at London Studio Centre. I am hugely thankful for their contributions and support of Images’ work and our exploration of ballet as creative artistic practice.”

Performance:  Wednesday 13th June, 7.30pm

Venue:  Cornerstone Arts Centre, 25 Station Road, Didcot OX11 7NE

Tickets:  Book online here, or call the Box Office on 01235 515144

Find out more about Images Ballet Company here

About London Studio Centre:

Founded in 1978 by Bridget Espinosa, London Studio Centre offers a comprehensive Theatre Dance Course for students who are dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in all aspects of the theatre. LSC is thrilled to announce the validation of its enhanced Theatre Dance course, which continues to offer students a broad and versatile training but further allows students to specialise in Classical Ballet, Contemporary Dance, Jazz Dance or Music Theatre.

Graduate students have embarked on successful careers, joining companies such as Rambert Dance Company, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, Michael Clark Company, Richard Alston Dance Company, Henri Oguike Dance Company, Phoenix Dance Theatre, The Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, Scottish Ballet, Spirit of the Dance, JazzXchange, Stomp, ZooNation, the Royal Shakespeare Company and Royal National Theatre, as well as performing on Broadway and the West End in musicals including Wicked, Chicago, Matilda, Hamilton and Cats.

Many students have also worked on numerous television programmes and films and in the commercial sector. Many graduates also are working as independent, creative artists in dance and theatre.

Find out more about the school here

 

If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise…

Let’s All Dance returns to the Old Fire Station with  Teddy Bear’s Picnic, a delightful treat for very young audiences. Combining classical ballet, physical theatre, gorgeous visuals and crystal-clear story telling, this fresh, innovative dance company pitches another production perfectly to engage and enthrall all children, including those with special needs.

Our teddies would love you to join them as they eat, dance, play and have fun! Little ones can bring their own teddy, clap along and have their photo taken with the dancers!

Running time: 30 mins + photo opportunity.

Suitable for all, especially 0 – 5 years, children with special needs, families and nurseries.

Performances:  Saturday 13th May 1.00pm & 3.00pm

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

Tickets:  Full Price £8.50, concessions £7.00, babies £2, Family ticket £28

Book online here, or call 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.

The Royal Ballet present George Balanchine’s brilliant evocation of the sparkle of emeralds, rubies and diamonds in his full length ballet Jewels at the Royal Opera House, showing in live transmission at Oxford’s Phoenix Picturehouse.

Balanchine’s glittering ballet was inspired by the beauty of the gem stones he saw in the New York store of jewellers Van Cleef & Arpels. He went on to make history with this, the first abstract three-act ballet, first performed in 1967 by New York City Ballet.  Jewels was performed in full by The Royal Ballet for the first time in 2007, using costume designs from the original NYCB production and new set designs by Jean-Marc Puissant.

Each of the three movements draws on a different stone for its inspiration and a different composer for its sound. The French Romantic music of Fauré provides the impetus for the lyricism of Emeralds.  The fire of Rubies comes from Stravinsky and the jazz-age energy of New York. Grandeur and elegance complete the ballet in Diamonds, with the splendour of Imperial Russia and Tchaikovsky’s opulent Third Symphony.  Each section salutes a different era in classical ballet’s history as well as a distinct period in Balanchine’s own life. Through it all, Balanchine displays his genius for combining music with visionary choreography.  Jewels is a masterclass in the many luminous facets of classical ballet and indeed of The Royal Ballet itself, the intensity of the soloists and the precision of the entire Company.

Performances:  Tuesday 11th April 7.15pm, and Encore repeat showing Tuesday 18th April 12.00

Venue:  Phoenix Picturehouse, 57 Walton Street, Oxford OX2 6AE

Tickets:  Tuesday 11th screening Adult £22, Child £10, Student or Retired £17.50, Family x4 £64

Tuesday 18th screening Adult £17.50, Child £10, Student or Retired £15, Family x4 £55

Book online for Tuesday 11th screening here and Tuesday 18th screening here

For one evening, the Bolshoi takes on a bold new challenge performing  Hans Van Manen’s Frank Bridge’s Variations, Sol León and Paul Lightfoot’s Short Time Together and Alexei Ratmansky’s Russian Seasons. This encounter between some of the best dancers in the world and the masters of contemporary choreography results in an outstanding synthesis, raising Van Manen’s formal beauty, León and Lightfoot’s intensity, and Ratmansky’s witty brilliance to a new level.

Music: Benjamin Britten, Max Richter, Ludwig van Beethoven, Leonid Desyatnikov
Choreography: Hans Van Manen, Sol León, Paul Lightfoot, Alexei Ratmansky
Cast: The Bolshoi Principals, Soloists and Corps De Ballet

Performance:  Sunday 19th March, 3.00pm

Venue:  Phoenix Picturehouse, 57 Walton Street, Oxford OX OX2 6AE

Tickets:  Book online here or call 0871 902 5736