The DANSOX event Making “The Cellist” was an exciting opportunity to watch choreographer Cathy Marston’s creative process as she rehearsed her ballet based on the life of Jacqueline du Pré.  Du Pré, who died of multiple sclerosis (MS) at the age of forty-two in 1987, was an Honorary Fellow of St Hilda’s, and the evening began, fittingly, with a performance of Fauré’s Elegy in C Minor by St Hilda’s musicians Holly Jackson and David Palmer.  An open rehearsal, with Royal Ballet dancers Beatriz Stix-Brunell and Calvin Richardson, and discussion of Marston’s work followed.

Interviewed by her scenarist Edward Kemp, Marston eloquently described how her sister, a drama teacher, had used an old cello to stimulate improvisation, and realised that the idea held great potential for a ballet.  Marston is acutely aware of the sensitivity of her subject matter (her mother has MS), and rather than trying to reproduce the symptoms, she seeks to express what it feels like to have the disease.  She approached du Pré’s widower Daniel Barenboim at an early stage to gain his blessing, but the ballet is not an exploration of family relationships; it is about the gift and burden of talent. (more…)

Dance Scholarship Oxford, DANSOX begins its 2020 programme with an exciting evening of music and dance: Making The Cellist.

In the lead up to the highly anticipated premiere of The Cellist in February, the Royal Ballet and choreographer Cathy Marston come to Oxford to discuss Cathy’s choreographic process for her new work for the Royal Ballet inspired by the momentous life and career of the renowned cellist, Jacqueline du Pré, in the building named after her; including live demonstration by dancers from the company.

Date:  Monday, 20th January, 8:00pm

Venue:  Jacqueline du Pré Music Building, St Hilda’s College, Cowley Place, Oxford OX4 1DY

Tickets: The event is free and open to all, but booking is essential. Book online here

Refreshments will be available.

 

Audiences can’t resist the “joyously unpredictable” (Guardian) programmes danced by Ballet Black, returning for their third visit to Oxford Playhouse.

Led by Artistic Director Cassa Pancho, this company celebrates dancers of black and Asian descent, showcasing technique, precision and grace in specially commissioned pieces. As part of their latest double bill, Cathy Marston, renowned for her expressive and beautifully crafted work, has choreographed a new narrative ballet for the Company. Inspired by Can Themba’s South African fable The Suit, this is the first dance adaptation of the affecting short story.  Completing the evening is Arthur Pita’s Olivier nominated A Dream Within A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a heady piece of dance-theatre for which Pita also earned a Critics’ Circle and South Bank Award nomination following its premiere in 2014.

Performance:  Wednesday 7th November 7.30pm

Venue:  Oxford Playhouse, Beaumont Street, Oxford, UK, OX1 2LW 

Tickets:  £25/£20/£15/£10  Book online here or call the Box Office on 01865 305305

Age Guideline 12+

Duration: 1 hour 35mins with interval

Find out more about Ballet Black here

Read previous ODW reviews of Ballet Black performances here and here

Another unique opportunity to get an insight into the work of a major current choreographer.  Cathy Marston will be undertaking a week long residency at the Archive  of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama, APGRD, 1-5 June 2015, with the support of St Hilda’s and DANSOX. Working with 2 professional dancers and a group of Oxford scholars, Cathy will spend the week choreographing to the ancient Greek text of Odyssey Book XI.  The aim of this project is to explore how the mythical content of Odysseus’ visit to the underworld (the katabasis,) as well as its dactylic hexameter metrical form, can be translated into the medium of dance.

As the culmination of this week’s residency there will be a lecture demonstration on June 5th at 5pm in the Lecture Theatre, Classics Centre, in which Marston will discuss her approaches to adapting works of literature into dance performances with APGRD Visiting Scholar Tom Sapsford. Cathy will then also show and discuss the material which she has developed throughout the course of the week with performances from professional dancers Charlotte Broom and Aaron Vickers.

CATHY MARSTON has made works for several major European ballet companies, was director of Bern Ballet Switzerland (2007-13), and most recently was a Clore Cultural Leadership Fellow (20013-14). Cathy has a long history of adapting literary texts into unusual and thoughtful dance adaptations and has previously made works based on Shakespeare (Romeo and JulietA Midsummer Night’s Dream), Ibsen (GhostsA Doll’s House), and Kundera (The Unbearable Lightness of Being) amongst others.

Date:  Friday 5th June, 5.00pm

Venue:  Ioannou Centre, 66 St Giles, Oxford OX1 3LU

Free, all welcome; no booking required.

Find out more about the APGRD here