Last year Oxford company Ballet in Small Spaces rehearsed, produced and opened its new show at the Castle, Wellingborough; a centrally situated municipal arts centre with a fully equipped flexible theatre capable of holding up to 500 people in conventional format or of showing work in the round, supported by a studio theatre rehearsal space, small dance studio and a full time professional technical and administrative team.  This April I was part of the company performing Dancing the Invisible at the Ivy Arts Centre, University of Surrey in Guildford, a similar flexible theatre space only recently converted from an old sports centre; here alongside the theatre a large dance studio where we rehearsed daily, other rehearsal rooms and production facilities, and a technical crew in which students from Guildford School of Acting could learn by working alongside seasoned professionals.

I revelled in these working conditions which on both occasions enabled focused professional work to be intensively developed, honed and presented at a high standard.  It is not currently possible to work like this in Oxford because Oxford lacks performing arts facilities like these.  (more…)

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