To end the half term break on a high note Dancin’ Oxford presents a free aerial dance performance by the amazing French aerial dance company Compagnie Retouramont, returning to Oxford to perform Gravitational Waves in the atmospheric environment of Oxford Castle Quarter on Friday 29th and Saturday 30th May.  Compagnie Retouramont transforms outdoor spaces with a thrilling combination of video projection, sound and aerial dance.  A sculptural framework attached to the facade of a building provides the dancers with a unique performance space to explore the interaction between architecture, sound, projected images and movement. Dancers animate the space in multiple dimensions where the movement is not only seen but heard as the sculpture transposes their every move into sound, and creates a virtual gravity.
Probably the best spectacle in Oxford this summer – don’t miss it!

Performances:  Friday 29th and Saturday 30th May, 9.30pm

Venue:  Oxford Castle Quarter

Watch a video of Compagnie Retouramont here

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The concentrated format of recent editions of Dancin’ Oxford has made it seem more like a festival, generating excitement through a swift succession of varied events and usually one night stands; however with that comes the difficulty of invidious choices, what to see and attend, and regrets at performances missed.  Particularly an issue for dance where much regular activity is squeezed into the evenings and weekends rather than the normal working day, and dance lovers and practitioners must therefore choose between doing and viewing.  Cheering to report that despite this a couple of shows by popular local performers managed to sell out, making me for one less guilty about not having been able to support them from the audience.  I chose to focus on the interaction of science and dance, a dominant theme of this year’s festival, with plenty of opportunities for questions and discussion. (more…)

I arrived late to find myself in the middle of Selfies x4 by Marina Collard Company. On stage were 4 young female dancers Lorea Burge, Alice Labant, Mathilde Lepage Bagatta and Carolina Ravaioli – dressed in jeans and a pairing of blues and reddish tops. Sometimes they stood and gazed vacantly, other times they preened, sat, walked, jumped or danced; some lovely consecutive moves, responses, stopping and starting between the pairs. Behind them, ‘selfie shots’ – pictures of faces – built up in a mosaic of squares over the back screen and disappeared again to reappear in another configuration. The soundtrack a hubbub of background noise: talking, sometimes in English, sometimes in a foreign language, a lot of giggling and awkward noises, the clattering, clanking sounds of a canteen. The whole aptly expressing the isolating (alienating?) contentment and self absorption of selfie culture.  At the end we were treated to the two pairs becoming a four and posing for each other and us; a connection warmly appreciated by the audience. This work was a collaboration between Marina, Paul Whitty (sound/music) and Vicki Rucinska ( film/projection). (more…)

The church was silent. The rustles and settling of the audience were allowed to calm. In silence and in low light we took in the gentle movement of light white cloth softly rippling and billowing. Giving time to arrive, to notice our breathing. Eventually two figures slowly appeared bearing accordians. Breathing accordians, the opening and closing of the bellows connecting with our breathing and encouraging us to expand our breath into our lungs, my ribs opening as the concertina.  An old man balancing a beautiful long and twisted driftwood branch on his shoulder slowly and carefully entered, the light behind him casting shadows of the fragile balancing act. The stick left the man’s shoulder to find a home leaning against the strong stone pillar. (more…)

I have come alone tonight and I notice that I feel particularly at ease in my own company. I enjoy my separateness to others. As if in response to this, the effect of the performance was to make me conscious of my singularity. It allowed me to turn in on myself and to notice my embodied being: the skin I am encased in, the breath inside me. At the same time, it evoked a sense of an expansive world around us: far-away places and open space. The Pneȗma Project mimicked the act of breathing: drawing us in to ourselves and sending us out to the unknown. (more…)

I squeezed into the last available seat at the North Wall for this sell out show.  No frills indeed, just some branches lashed together suspended to act as a hanging space for long black coats and a salmon coloured skirt, and rough boxes for sitting on. Two musicians emerged discreetly from the gloom to set up a subtle pulse with guitar and percussion, later joined by singer Anna Colom Tadeo; three enigmatic young women in long jersey frocks donned the sombre coats and came forward with signature movement phrases before joining together as a stately chorus, moving as one with softly menacing clapping; setting the shape for an evening in which blazing individuality emerged from and returned to a tightly-knit ensemble. (more…)

For the first time the beautiful church of St John the Evangelist, now a stunning concert venue, joins the Dancin’ Oxford venue line-up. The Pneûma Project is a collaboration by dance artist Miranda Tufnell, visual artist David Ward and musician Sylvia Hallett.  This engaging exploration of breath offers its audience a beautiful and immersive performance, in which movement, sound, light and visual imagery combine to evoke the poetics of breath. Moment by moment we draw on the invisible air, catch scents, sounds, messages and signals. Our lives are suffused with myths and folklore images of the life-giving potency of breath – of breath lost and regained.

Pneûma:  nju ma, noun, Philosophy, Greek = wind, breath,spirit, that which is blown or breathed

The performance features dance artists Cai Tomos, Eeva Maria Mutka, Tim Rubidge and musician Jonah Brody.

“The combination of excellent dancing and extraordinary music was intensely moving.  I can’t wait to see the full realisation of this idea.” Orlando Gough, composer

Performances:  Wednesday 25th and Thursday 26th February, 7.30pm

Venue:  St John the Evangelist, Iffley Road, Oxford OX4 1EH

Running time:  50 minute, no interval.  Suitable for all ages.

Tickets:  £12, £10 concessions.

Box Office Telephone:  01865 305305

or book online via Tickets Oxford here

www.dancinoxford.co.uk