Full marks should go to Oxford Playhouse for bringing us a UK premiere as part of Dancin’ Oxford’s 10th birthday celebrations. The Playhouse is now the regular venue for the Oxford Greek Play[1], and so Thomas Noone’s dance work inspired by Euripides’ Medea co-produced by Mercat de les Flors was an apt choice.

A powerful opening solo for the dancer playing Medea set the foreboding atmosphere, as she obsessively repeated sequences of movements to an electronic soundscore, her speed and intensity reminiscent of Wayne McGregor’s work. Noone’s choreographic style, which makes frequent use of a distinctive lift in which one dancer is passed horizontally around the waist of another, may also hint at Russell Maliphant’s influence. (more…)

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Enchantment, joyfulness, playfulness; hypnotic and powerfully evocative. These are the words that come to mind after coming out of Joëlle Pappas’ wonderfully assorted dance programme of works old and new Duet Squared (and more) at the Old Fire Station last Friday, 4th March.

The evening consisted of 5 pieces, with as a prelude the short film Buried Memories from 2004 in which dancer Galina Kalicin danced a trail inspired by stones, bricks and steps through Brookes University’s Harcourt Hill campus on a sunny afternoon.   Tales without Words, set to Satie’s mysterious Trois morceaux en Forme de Poire played live by pianists Diana Hinds and Elizabeth Kreager, was a storming in of 31 young dancers onto the stage, drawing beautiful free lines across the space, some more evocative of a ‘togetherness ensemble’ than others, all accentuating an enchaînement of body movement. Joëlle’s unique ability to bring together young dancers – even those not yet technically sophisticated, but all invariably conveying a real feel of dancing joyfulness from within – never ceases to surprise me. (more…)

Leap Day Dancing is a special programme of works by Oxford artists featuring dance, live music and film to join Dancin’ Oxford’s tenth anniversary celebrations.  Guest performers will include Crossover Intergenerational Dance, Joelle Pappas Projects and Jos Baker presenting the UK premiere of his new solo Of No Fixed Abode.  Full programme:

Allan Hutson with his solo performance Am I Real! which takes the Idea of objects having a soul from the ballet Petrushka.  Left on the shelf in the toy shop, a lonesome figure is destining to venture out and explore the beauty life has to offer.

Taut from Cecilia Macfarlane’s Crossover Intergenerational Dance, explores architectural forms and archetypal relationships between generations. Inspiration is taken from the live music of the cello, the sounds that emerge as the strings meet is echoed in the dance. (more…)

This year Oxford celebrates the 10th anniversary of its very own springtime dance festival in Dancin’ Oxford 2016.  Watch out for an action packed 11 days including performances by locally based companies and visiting national and international artists, as well as a host of enticing workshops in a range of genres.  Here is a calendar of performance dates for your diary with links to further information and booking:

Friday 26th-Saturday 27th February, Pegasus Theatre:
Moving With the Times.  The annual platform of new work by Oxford dance artists includes Dancin’ Oxford & Pegasus commissioned pieces from in.motion dance (contemporary), Body Politic (hip hop) and Drishti Dance (contemporary/kathak) and We Were Youth, choreographed and performed by 3 male dancers who started dancing in Oxford and are now at the top of their game, dancing with such international companies as DV8, Hofesh Shechter and Peeping Tom.

Further info here

Saturday 27th February, Bonn Square:
Dancin’ Spaces.  Celebratory open air free performances in the city centre; companies performing Hawk Dance Theatre, infuse DANCE, Granny Turismo, Company Chameleon, Ajos Dance and Sole Rebel Tap.
Monday 29th February, Old Fire Station:
Leap Day Dancing.  A special programme of works featuring dance, live music and film to join Dancin’ Oxford’s tenth anniversary celebrations. Including Oxford artists Crossover Intergenerational Dance, Joëlle Pappas Projects, Susie Crow, Paulette Mae, Alan Hutson and the UK premier of Jos Baker’s new solo work Of No Fixed Abode.
Further info here
Wednesday 2nd March, The North Wall:
In The Happiness  Karla Shacklock Company combine choreography, spoken word and live sound in fast and furious devised physical theatre.
Further info here
Friday 4th- Saturday 5th March, Old Fire Station:
Duet Squared and More.  Joëlle Pappas choreographs and directs a poetic programme of contemporary dance to piano duets by Maurice Ravel and Erik Satie, played live by Diana Hinds and Elizabeth Kreager. The evening also presents dance to compositions by Douglas Young and Benjamin Britten.
Further info here
Friday 4th-Saturday 5th March, Oxford Playhouse:
Thomas Noone and Mercat de los Flors Barcelona present the UK premiere of Medea, Noone’s powerful version of Euripides’ ancient tragedy, an exquisite evening of dance packed with emotional charge.
Further info here
Saturday 5th March, Pegasus Theatre:
The Black Album. A triple bill in which three distinctly different hip hop choreographies are woven together like a concept album, taking you on a soulful journey through many shades of black.
Further info here
You can find the full Dancin’ Oxford 2016 festival programme including all the workshops here
Book soon, most venues will quickly fill…
Enjoy!

Dancin’ Oxford writes: “Don’t miss this week’s Pegasus and Dancin’ Oxford Dance Scratch Night.   This evening of new work is the first opportunity for artists appearing in Moving With The Times (our February dance showcase for Oxford dance artists) to air their choreography and get feedback on the pieces they are creating.  Companies performing include Body Politic, Drishti Dance and in.motion dance. We are hoping for a really friendly, supportive and knowledgeable audience for the artists, and it would be wonderful if you would be able to join us.”

Date:   Friday 22nd January, 7:30pm

Venue:  Clore Dance Studio, Pegasus Theatre, Magdalen Road, Oxford OX4 1RE

Tickets:   £3
Book online here:  or call 01865 812150