The eleventh in Cafe Reason‘s series of Diamond Night arts evenings, this time curated by Ana Barbour and Paul MacKilligin and featuring live music, voice, dance and film, bringing ‘uncut performance gems’ into the spotlight.

“…with an eye made quiet… we see into the life of things.”
(William Wordsworth)

Cafe Reason is engaged in a continuous process of exploration and experimentation through its classes and through works-in-progress, and has long-term ideas both for live performance and dance for film, as well as responding to opportunities that present themselves along the way. The group is always interested in collaborations with musicians, visual and film artists, or creating site-specific performances in unusual locations. (more…)

Café Reason’s 10th  Diamond Night.   24th November 2012

Six different works covering dance, poetry, projection, live music, film and voice in Café Reason’s 10th Diamond Night  organised this time by Paola Esposito and Fabrizia Verrechia.  There was a good turn out for the cosy space of Oxford Brooke’s drama studio.  Good to see this support for new work.

The first piece by Anne Ryan was a short vignette in which a face peers out from a frame.  A soundtrack of recorded voice traces a range of emotions expressed in the subtle changing nuances of the framed face. Simple, elegant and strong. (more…)

Cafe Reason presents Diamond Night 10

The tenth in Cafe Reason’s series of bi-monthly arts evenings, bringing ‘uncut performance gems’ by members of the group and guests into the spotlight.  Conceived by Jeannie Donald-McKim, Diamond Nights – Explorations in performance is an informal platform for sharing new performance ideas, choreographies, experiments and collaborations. (more…)

Movement on the edge of stillness…sound on the edge of silence…

Sound for Butoh workshop, South Devon, 22 and 23 September 2012.

Space and time seemed to open up on this weekend workshop – perhaps it was the voice and breathwork that stilled my monkey-mind and allowed me to see more deeply into the heart of things. I remember Kate standing on the rocks of Bell Tor on Dartmoor, hair blowing in the wind, her long limbs mirroring the flight of a crow and the sweep of the desolate landscape; Fabrizia rolling her soft body on the jagged rocks by Prawle Point as the wild whipping sea crashed around her. This was the fourth in a series of workshops co-led by musician Adrian Freedman and myself exploring how butoh dancers can create soundscapes within which to move. (more…)

Saturday 26th May 8.00pm, Drama Studio, Oxford Brookes, Headington Hill Campus

Diamond Nights is a series of bi-monthly arts evenings, hosted by Cafe Reason, which brings uncut performance gems to a wider audience.  Conceived by Jeannie Donald-McKim, this informal platform is for sharing new performance ideas, choreographies, experiments and collaborations… (more…)

Diamond Nights at Brookes Studio Theatre 28th January 2012 – Susie Crow writes:

The seventh edition of Café Reason’s regular “Diamond Nights” was an intimate evening of poetic experiments in theatricality.  Introduced by Ana Barbour and lit by Pete Green, the performance began with Ayala Kingsley’s Trunk.  In near darkness assistants drew aside a black velvet curtain to reveal a trunk which began to creak and twitch, its lid tentatively ajar to reveal slivers of torchlight; then streams of bubbles, followed by two grey clad hands as exploring creatures.  Gradually the trunk opened to reveal Ayala as an enigmatic siren bathing and ultimately paddling off on a sea of fabric with her bath-brush… a succession of winning images worth developing.

Flavia Coube’s solo Child juxtaposed her insightful portrayal of childishness with a haunting song by Joanna Nielson which gave an edge of darkness.   In a baggy dress with oversized checks, and hair held by an unruly pink bow Flavia’s comical persona was communicated through wide eyes and ungainly limbs.  Admirable articulation in the fluid and expressive detail of every part of body and face gave this solo clarity and touching authenticity.

A powerful opening to Ségolène Tarte’s Splice as her shadowy figure found its agitated way to a central hanging rope and pool of light.  This work in progress has expanded since previous performances, building its emotional resonance as Ségolène has developed a vulnerable and shifting relationship with the rope, almost lending it life and a character of its own.  She is finding a personal dance language which integrates her balletic grace and vocabulary with strongly defined expressive movement.

Cellist Bruno Guastalla and Macarena Ortuzar continued their fruitful collaboration with Slate.  Sophisticated software allowed the live and recorded cello to be fragmented and randomly fed back and layered, creating an atmospheric sound world into which Macarena crept down the stairs.  Bent back with a layer of skirt over her head, she felt her way into the space with tremulous fingers.  At times she seemed headless, I lost the sense of which was her body’s back and front.  Once fully revealed the image conveyed by her demure cream frock was subverted with movement of delicacy and anguished grotesquerie, suggesting deep and painful stories.

Dariusz Dziala’s video short Cabbage was a lighthearted and surreal collage of images set to a Polish folk song, dazzling in its witty unpredictable invention and inclusion of dance footage both historic and of Café Reason dancers.  Here was editor as choreographer, making surprising combinations of literal and abstracted images dance.

Finally A Walk, a structured group improvisation by Jeannie Donald McKim, Fabrizia Verrechia, Flavia, Ségolène and Ayala with Bruno on cello and singer Janna Ferrett, triggered by Ivor Cutler’s Life in a Scotch Sitting Room, with playful interaction and exchange of a variety of hats.  Hats off to the Café Reason team this evening for conjuring up such arresting dream worlds…

Cafe Reason are hosting another ‘Diamond Nights‘ at the Brookes Drama Studio, Headington Hill campus this Saturday 28th January.
A variety of experiments and works in progress by members of Cafe Reason and invited guests with dance, theatre, live music, word and video.
They look forward to seeing you there.
Please arrive 7.45 for 8.00 start as the door opens straight on to the stage.
Donation (£3-5) appreciated.
For directions please check the Cafe Reason website:  http://www.cafereason.com