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

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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