Sleeping Beauty by Let’s All Dance was a joy to watch. The cast of seven dancers delighted their audience of small children from the start with a brief introduction to ballet gestures for them to try for themselves and look out for during the performance. The story was slightly modified: Carabosse becomes wicked because King Florestan breaks her heart by marrying Queen Celeste but they all forgive each other at the end.

This was a delightful introduction to the ballet, which retained plenty of choreographic references to Petipa’s text. Rosy Nevard delivered Aurora’s Act One solo with speed and attack, and Synanne Day’s Lilac Fairy included the huge developpés with ronds en dedans. There was even a Rose Adagio, albeit with only one prince (whom Aurora definitely did not want to marry), played by James Aiden Kay. (more…)

Dancin’ Oxford‘s annual festival of dance this year provides a packed and varied programme of performances, workshops and discussions, something for everyone to enjoy, in a range of venues.  Here for convenience is a list of all the performances: for details of practical workshops and taster sessions check out the Dancin’ Oxford website here or the links embedded to particular events.  Look out too for Dance Audience Club sessions on 29th February, 3rd March and 6th March; find out more about these friendly opportunites to think and talk about the dance you see with others here.  And if planning to take in several events, why not avail yourself of a Festival Pass which will get you reductions on ticket prices… find out about this here.  A reminder too that the exhibition of photographs by Colin Jones, Backstage at the Ballet, continues to the end of the Festival; further details here.

Moving with the Times:  Pegasus Theatre, Friday 28th & Saturday 29th February, 7.30pm

This annual platform features different companies in new work that is often explosive, moving and thought provoking.  This year’s companies are Amy Foskett Dance in Burning House, Thomas Page Dances in Commonality, and Drishti Dance in Sanket.  Find further information about the programme and how to book here

Festival Launch:  Westgate Centre, Saturday 29th February 12pm-5.00pm

A vibrant afternoon of free dance performances from professionals and local youth dance groups, including Infuse Dance’s BodyGuards, Step2Dance, Messy Jam, TPD Young Artists, Kapow Dance Circus Theatre, Pro-Motion and a special preview of Neon Dance‘s show Puzzle Creature.  Find out more here

Neon Dance Puzzle Creature: Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Sunday 1st March at 11.00am, 12.00pm, 1.00pm, 2.00pm, 3.00pm, complete performance 7.00pm

Experience 10 minute excerpts or a complete performance of this remarkable immersive contemporary dance piece from creative director Adrienne Hart, composer Sebastian Reynolds, designers Numen/For Use, and three exceptional dance artists. Find out more about the evening performance here, and afternoon Encounters here, and read Jenny Parrot’s report of the complete show in a recent performance here

Let’s All Dance Sleeping Beauty: Cornerstone Arts Centre Didcot, Sunday 1st March 1.00pm & 3.00pm

A family friendly version of this much loved ballet with Tchaikovsky’s sumptuous music, talented young dancers and gorgeous costumes.  Find out more here

Joelle Pappas Nocturne:  St Nicholas Church, Abingdon, Sunday 1st March 3.00pm

Lyrical contemporary dance from Oxford dance artist Joelle Pappas inspired by sculptures of Camille Claudel in a programme of French music and song with Diana Hinds (pianist) and Rory Carver (tenor).  Find out more here, and read Maggie Watson’s review of this atmospheric show here

Gecko and Mind the Gap in A Little Space:  Oxford Playhouse, Tuesday 3rd & Wednesday 4th March 7.30pm

Physical theatre company Gecko and performers from Mind the Gap, one of Europe’s leading learning disability theatre companies, come together in an exciting new show with stunning visual imagery.  Find out more here

Richard Chappell Dance Still Touch:  Pegasus Theatre, Friday 6th March 7.30pm

Choreographer Richard Chappell has collaborated with sculptor Anna Gillespie in an evocative work which explores touch through the relationship between three dancers and three life-size sculptures, find out more about this fascinating project here

Sonia Sabri Dance Same Same… but Different: The North Wall, Saturday 7th March 2.00pm

Another family show combining Kathak, hip hop, contemporary and street dance with live music and physical storytelling; playful and feel-good.  Find details here

Enjoy!

A huge inflated plastic bubble fills the theatre space, we remove our shoes and are ushered in 8 at a time, told to stand, sit or move around as we please (but like most audiences, don’t budge once we decide to sit!).  The bubble is constantly being filled with air and we must enter quickly so the entrance can be zipped shut again to avoid too much deflation.

Once inside the audience huddle in small groups on the floor.  There is an air of anticipation and curiosity. Throughout the space hang white mesh sculptures moulded into the shape of body parts.  These ghost images bob up and down in the space as the air level fluctuates and the final members of the audience are let in.  Three dancers enter with them and begin to walk about the space. They appear human but there is something very alien about them at the same time.  A soundtrack with a voice begins, and the dancers are signing the words, the voice repeats itself ‘we have decided not to die’. (more…)

Puzzle Creature is a multi-disciplinary dance work by Neon Dance that asks us to forget our mundane everyday and immerse ourselves in the magic of movement.  Inspired by the death-eluding architecture designs of Arakwara and Madeline Gins, director Adrienne Hart has collaborated with three exceptional dance artists to create an immersive dance experience.

From the Cornerstone foyer, step inside an inflatable set design and allow yourself to be transfixed by performers dressed in wearable artefacts created by artist Ana Rajcevic as they transport you through choreographed action. Accompanied by a newly commissioned score for eight speakers by composer Sebastian Reynolds, this unique performance combines British and Japanese Sign Language and audio description alongside Reynolds’ evocative score.

Guaranteed to be a transformative experience, join us for Puzzle Creature and enter a space where there is no barrier between the artist and the audience.

Performance:  Wednesday 23 Oct 2019 7:30pm

Venue:  Cornerstone Arts Centre, 25 Station Road, Didcot, Oxon OX11 7NE

Tickets: £14, £12 concs, £5 for under 26s: 50% Members Discount.  Book online here, or call the Box Office on 01235 515144

Find out more about Neon Dance here

 

 

Images Ballet Company presented a programme of joyful, colourful and musical work at Didcot Cornerstone Theatre on Thursday. Interlacing originality with tradition, the opening work, Interplay by Mikaela Polley, set the tone for the evening as light gradually bathed the backdrop in blue, revealing percussionist and composer Martin Pyne upstage right, and seven dancers stage left, silhouetted in beautifully placed classical ballet poses.

Images is the company of London Studio Centre’s graduating ballet students (six women, two men this year) and it gave the dancers the chance to work with four different choreographers on new works, exploring ballet as a means of expression and communication. The light hearted Interplay, with its changes of direction and use of pointe and swift, darting petit allegro was full of friendly interactions between the dancers. (more…)

This week Didcot’s Cornerstone Arts welcomes Images Ballet Company for the second time, in an evening that highlights the dynamic range and beauty of ballet today.  This company of aspiring ballet professionals with “coltish freshness” (Dancing Times) take centre stage in four exciting works by internationally established and rising choreographers working across the globe today.

Former Scottish Ballet Director Ashley Page creates playful neo-classical dances to music by Britten, while Andrew McNicol draws on Ravel’s lush Miroirs for an intimate portrait of women. Ballet and contemporary dance maker Cameron McMillan pushes balletic lines into fresh classic form and Mikaela Polley and percussionist Martin Pyne collaborate to bring brand new ballet and music together. Vibrant dancing set off with stylish costume and a rich musical palette, including live percussion, promises a performance that will entertain and surprise ballet lovers and newcomers to dance alike.

“Their show was one of the most exciting I’ve seen in years with a wonderful and eclectic choice of repertoire, danced with passion and verve”
-Bruce Marriot, Dance Tabs

Directed by former Royal Ballet soloist, Jennifer Jackson and presented by London Studio Centre, one of the country’s most prestigious performing arts colleges, Images Ballet Company is one of four touring companies made up of final year students – INTOTO DANCE (contemporary dance) THE JAZZ DANCE COMPANY (jazz theatre dance) IMAGES BALLET COMPANY (classical ballet) and SEEDTIME (music theatre).

Founded in 1978 by Bridget Espinosa, London Studio Centre enjoys an international reputation for its outstanding professional theatre training in the performing arts. Students experience exceptional teaching in a vibrant atmosphere at London Studio Centre’s home in the award winning arts centre, artsdepot.

Performance:  Thursday 13th June 7.30pm

Venue:  Cornerstone Arts Centre, 25 Station Road, Didcot, Oxon OX11 7NE

Tickets:  £12.50 (concessions £10, Members’ discount 20%)  Book online here or call the Box Office on 01235 515144

Find out more about Images Ballet Company here

 

Images Ballet Company is the performing group of the graduating ballet students at London Studio Centre, and their appearance at Cornerstone last night was an exciting opportunity to see new dancers and new (or nearly new) works. Artistic Director Jennifer Jackson presented a programme of dances by four choreographers (Hubert Essakow, Erico Montes, Bim Malcomson, and Morgann Runacre-Temple), which demanded lyricism, attack, humour and acting ability, and the dancers rose to the occasion magnificently. (more…)