In my opinion the most remarkable of this year’s Dancin’ Oxford festival events, out of those I saw, was Decreasing Infinity, an evening of classical Indian dance and contemporary work at the Pegasus Theatre. First came two pieces for a solo male dancer in the Bharatanatyam dance form of the Tamil Nadu region in South India. It is very energetic and virile, with a lot of stamping, turning, and flexing of the hands. The stamps especially show great power, as if the force of the movement goes right into the ground below the dancer. Legs are held bent at the knee for long periods. The strength held in the thighs seems quite superhuman. In the jumps the dancer’s torso remains at the same height, moving only horizontally. He seems held up by the energy he has taken from the ground, while the legs move from stamp to stamp independently. (more…)

Freedom is in many ways an idea that can only really ever be expressed fully by dance – the sheer abandon of movement without restriction or concern for social protocols. In taking the concept of freedom as their inspiration, the Jasmin Vardimon Company bravely dived into a bottomless pit of human feeling, for what is more endless, and more important to the human soul than freedom? It is one of these things, much like control, that are only defined by their absence or felt in moments of restriction. Yet we spend a good deal of our time ignoring it, existing in the grey area between, plastering smiles upon our frustrated faces. (more…)

For the last fortnight the Pegasus Theatre has been the welcoming centre for Dancin’ Oxford; hosting workshops, open rehearsals and performances, its cheerful upstairs café bar a meeting place for the Oxford dance community as well as a varied public.  After showcasing new works by local artists in Moving with the Times, and Hannah de Cancho’s company Sole Rebel Tap, last week saw performances by festival guests Balbir Singh Dance Company and TV’s “I Got To Dance” semi-finalists Cerebro offering two very different evenings of predominantly male dancing. (more…)

Man was born free, but everywhere he is in chains?

What does it mean to be free? Since the days of Plato until post-modernism thinkers and activists have offered competing interpretations of the concept of freedom. In a wonderfully turbulent sequence of lyrical scenes of movement Jasmin Vardimon shows how dance theatre can illuminate further the complexity of one of the most fundamental concepts in politics.

The power of this piece lies in the combination of movement that draws the spectator into the performers’ physicality; mesmerising sets that change with the mood and the energy of the piece, and allow the performers to enact their fantasies in a giant playground; a varied musical score that enables the shift from one definition of the concept of freedom to another; and a delicate presence of a non-narrative that combines all of the above into a coherent whole which does not require us, as spectators, to sign up to one definition of freedom but rather enables us to enjoy the complete spectrum of interpretations. (more…)

Dancin’ Oxford, 1 – 11 March 2013, has 6 fabulous free street dance events in addition to an exciting array of performances in the city’s venues. Participants are professional and amateur, choreographers and dancers mostly from Oxfordshire though with some notable exceptions. (more…)

Dance and Academia: Moving the Boundaries presents:

‘Dance, Body, and Identity’

Convenor: Miranda Laurence
In partnership with Oxford Dance Forum and Dancin’ Oxford 2013

This one-day symposium brings together dance practitioners, academics and professionals from different fields, to explore concepts of Dance, Body and Identity. The day will be structured to allow much time for reflection and discussion, in an inclusive and friendly environment.   All welcome.

Saturday 9th March 2013, 10am-5.30pm

Old Fire Station, George Street, Oxford (more…)

Presented by Pegasus and Oxford Dance Forum

First Stage in the Pegasus Studio is where you the public can see new performances being made. This Dancin’ Oxford 2013 preview (festival starting in March), is an opportunity to be the first to see new dance work in progress for the festival. Your post show feedback will help shape the artists’ final productions.  Limited places, so call to reserve without delay…

Friday, 25 January, 7.30pm

Suitable for ages 14+ – no charge

Book Online or call 01865 812150

Visit the Dancin’ Oxford 2013 website for more Festival details