Nocturne is a unique collaboration between classical musicians and Joëlle Pappas Projects which fuses unusual French music and expressive contemporary dance, in a way that enhances and enlarges the audience’s experience. The music is far more than a backdrop for the dance; and the dance is far more than an enactment of the music.  See this first in the Ante-Chapel of New College, with further performances in and around Oxford scheduled for early 2020.

A solo dance piece accompanies lyrical live music and song, exploring the dynamic relationship of movement and sound.  Joëlle Pappas performs a new contemporary dance work to Fauré’s Nocturne No 1 and Takemitsu’s Rain Tree Sketch II. She takes inspiration from the life and sculptures of Camille Claudel (1864 – 1943) who, after being Rodin’s talented assistant and muse, spent the last 30 years of her life interned in a psychiatric institution.

Tenor Rory Carver (winner Le Jardin des Voix 2019) performs a sequence of 19th-century French songs with pianist Diana Hinds. The songs include Fauré’s much-loved Clair de Lune (set to poetry by Verlaine), Debussy’s magnificent Le Jet d’Eau (Baudelaire) and finishes with a lovely French gem  L’heure exquise (Verlaine) by Reynaldo Hahn.

Performance:  Thursday 12th December 7.30pm

Venue:  New College Ante-Chapel, Holywell Street, OX1 3BN

Tickets:  £12/£10 available on the door

Find out more about Joëlle Pappas Projects here or on Facebook here

Further performances of Nocturne in 2020:

16th February, 7:30pm (£15) The Abbey in Sutton Courtenay

24th February, 1pm  St Michael at the Northgate, Oxford

1st March, 3pm (£10)  St Nicolas Church, Abingdon (Abbey Chamber Concerts)

Hosted by Dance Scholarship Oxford (DANSOX), Fertile Ground visits Oxford for the first time with a dynamic programme of dance, film and live music. Twilight Dances is a dance and music collaboration between Fertile Ground and Montréal based Quatuor Voxpopuli.  Fertile Ground’s current cohort of four young female professional dancers from the North East take to the stage in a new work created by Artistic Directors and former Rambert dancers Malgorzata Dzierzon and Renaud Wiser.  Performed to Schubert’s String Quartet No.14, Twilight Dances explores the eternal quest for the one thing that we cannot have – immortality.

The evening opens with a new musical performance composed by Voxpopuli’s Artistic Director Patrick Mathieu and a new film commission Trying to Make Sense – Make Sense of It by celebrated movement and theatre artist Wendy Houstoun.

Performance:  Wednesday 23 October, 7:30pm

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

Tickets: £15 regular/£5 students.  Book online here or call the Playhouse Box Office on 01865 305305

Find out more about the work of Fertile Ground here

Find out more about Wendy Houstoun here

 

Returning to Oxford, this time to the Playhouse, is James Wilton Dance, one of Europe’s most in demand dance companies.  They present The Storm, a whirlwind of lightning fast athleticism, where acrobatics, break-dancing and martial arts fuse to form dance that will blow audiences away.
You can’t see the wind, but you can see how it changes objects.
You can’t see unhappiness, but you can see how it changes people.
A low becomes a depression, a depression becomes a storm.
When you’re unhappy people say “it will all blow over”. 
There is a calm before the storm, is there one afterwards?
 
In this storm can you find peace?
 

Premiered in autumn 2018, The Storm features 7 dancers, a specially composed thundering electro-rock score by Amarok/Michal Wojtas, and scientific input from Dr. David Belin, Lecturer in behavioural neuroscience at Cambridge University

Performance:  Tuesday 22nd October 7.30pm

Venue:  Oxford Playhouse, 11-12 Beaumont Street, Oxford OX1 2LW

Tickets:  £25.00/£20.00/£15.00/£10.00 Available online here or call the Box Office on 01865 305305

Duration: 1 hour 32mins with interval

Find out more about the company here

Oxford’s next Dance Scratch Night presented by Oxford Dance Forum (ODF) will take place at the Old Fire Station on Tuesday 24th September.  Another exciting opportunity to support the emerging work of local and regional dance makers.  Artists showing their work for this edition will be Gemma Peramiquel, Jenny Parrott and guest artist Attila Andrasi; and there will also be a chance to view a film (work in progress) by Naomi Morris & Phil Oakley.

Performance:  Tuesday 24th Sptember, 7.30pm

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

Tickets:  £5, available online here, or call the OFS Box Office on 01865 263990

 

Aporia, presented by Thomas Page Dances at the Old Fire Station last night, is a work of gruelling physicality. It is also didactic and earnest, and felt at times like a lecture illustrated by movement. Billed as an investigation that explores social unrest and the relationship between peace and conflict, the work’s movement vocabulary is vigorous to the point of violence: the dancers throw themselves at the floor landing hard on their hands and feet, contort their backs twisting into backbends with rolling ankles, or confront each other like martial arts practitioners (Page had early training in kick-boxing). Page is not limited by adherence to a specific dance system, and seems to have devised his own training method: company class includes a programme, referred to with some dread by the dancers, as ‘The Ten’, in addition to improvisation and work based on whichever piece is in performance. (more…)

After the success of A Moment at this year’s Offbeat Festival, company Thomas Page Dances led by Oxford-born choreographer Thomas Page is returning to the Old Fire Station with their latest contemporary dance ensemble work Aporia. The company has a choreographic practice rooted in socio-political ideas in movement; following performance at the Resolution Festival, they were deemed “in a different league” with a 4-star review and complimented on their “natural affinity for deeply felt movement” for the ensemble work Aporia.  Charged by a unique electronic score from composer Max Winter, five performers challenge the themes of life’s perpetual aporia within human nature. This highly physical work brings together expressive movements with compelling reflections of spoken-word, under a chic geometric lighting design by Joel Levine, to explore the paradoxical relationship of peace and conflict.  Featuring poignant solos and a series of powerful duets, enhanced by the equally physical costumes by designer Rosie Whiting, this work journeys through key events of the human experience; love, confrontation, and death.

Following the performance, the company would like to invite the audience to stay for an informal ‘Question and Answer’ session. During this Q+A session audience members will be able to speak freely with the choreographer, performers and collaborators about both the performance and process.

TPD are excited to be bringing the work to Oxfordshire home of their contemporary dance training programme and Youth Company.  Thomas Page, artistic director, said:

“We’re really excited to be bringing Aporia to Oxford, working with such an amazing team of artists who are all so passionate about the work and raising the profile of dance in Oxford.”

“The response and experience of sharing Aporia, alongside our workshop and discussion around the work has been truly wonderful. I plan to keep developing the work and looking forward to organising a tour nationally for 2020, and who knows maybe internationally too!”

Performance:  Saturday 27th July 2019, 7.30pm

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

Tickets: £10 – £14 book online here or call the box office on 01865 263990

Duration:  40 minutes plus Q&A

 

Extras: Intense/flashing lights

 

The final week of April brought thought-provokingly contrasted dance performances to Oxford. On Tuesday 23rd at the New Theatre the BalletBoyz performed their latest programme Them/Us, shortly to be opening for their first West End season at the Vaudeville Theatre. This two-part programme involves all six male dancers in both pieces. Opening the evening Them was a collaborative choreographic venture by the dancers drawing on elements of their own individual movement, sharing them in a succession of often playful episodes and exchanges. Set in a twilight zone, a gleaming stainless steel tubular cube framework and sleek satin shell suits brought enlivening geometric dashes of light and colour, red, blue, green and purple. The cube defined shifting spaces which the dancers could manipulate, inhabit, swing from and climb up. Movement combined sharp crisp gesture with a lyrical contemporary idiom, integrating tumbling and floorwork in response to Charlotte Harding’s lively but dark toned score; suggestions of character and relationship were glimpsed and a feeling of camaraderie and group identity emerged, even if overall the episodic structure of the piece did not build a sense of narrative or situational development. The performers conveyed lithe fluidity and a smooth assurance, distinct from the rawness of previous BalletBoyz ensembles; no longer projecting a company narrative of emerging talent and inexperienced diamonds in the rough, but a polished professional group. (more…)