Spring is coming, and with it Oxford’s very own festival of dance Dancin’ Oxford in its 2018 edition.  Lots of fascinating peformances to come with an emphasis on physical theatre and storytelling as well as some tantalising workshops and taster sessions.  See below for Oxford Dance Writers list of performance events and dates in Oxford with links to further information and booking details.  Check out the Dancin’ Oxford website for details of additional performances in Didcot and Banbury, as well as workshops and classes and the Dance and Academia conference. (more…)

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Heralding the arrival of Dancin’ Oxford 2018 in an exciting preview event, Euton Daley’s Unlock the Chains Collective presents a powerful evening of dance theatre #Ending the Silence at the Old Fire Station, building on last year’s work commissioned by Dancin’ Oxford #Black Lives Matter.

Unlock the Chains Collective asks: Where are our heroes, history makers and change makers? Why are so many not recognised in our history books or halls of fame?  In the form of a trilogy #Ending the Silence is a protest-for-change style of theatre exploring the Black experience and struggles for justice, equality and human rights:

#Black Lives Matter – a historical reflection juxtaposed with modern day resistance, protest and struggle.

#Walking on Eggshells – struggles, stories and perspectives on surviving.

#Hope – dreams, aspirations and looking forward.

“So original and thought-provoking”  Audience member

The evening starts with drumming in the bar at 7.00pm, before the performance at 7.30pm, and will be followed by a DJ set at 9.00pm.

Unlock the Chains Collective produces dance theatre projects fusing storytelling, performance poetry and design, giving opportunities to Black artists to explore their experience, culture and identity as well as create and showcase work. #Ending the Silence will kick-start a year of remembrance and celebration around the 70th anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush from the West Indies at Tilbury Docks in 1948, and with it the first large group of post-war immigration into Britain.

Performances:  Thursday- Saturday 22nd-24th February, 7.00pm for 7.30pm

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

Tickets:  £10, £8 concessions, Students/under 16s £6

Book online here, or call the Box Office on 01865 263990

Find out more about the company and Euton Daley here

Dance and Academia‘s fascinating seminar series programmed by Miranda Laurence continues this week with its third session presented by Professor Nicky Clayton and Clive Wilkins (Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge):

What is dance without an audience? An investigation beyond language and the complexity of our social interaction to explore wordless thoughts~ to include demonstrations of tango and magic.

i. Does an audience have to be real?
ii. Is dance without an audience merely ritual, resulting in an altered state, and if so, what kind?
iii. Is dance without an audience simply the confirmation of a heartbeat?
iv. Is the introspection of an intimate partner dance audience free, and if so, what is being explored?
v. Is dance without an audience the opportunity to invent and explore realities that exist outside of the compass of shared experience?

Date:  Tuesday 6th February, 6-8.15pm

Venue:  Heritage Learning Centre, Town Hall, St Aldate’s, Oxford OX1 1BX

Tickets: £5 cash on the door per seminar (£1 off for any repeat attenders). Please email miranda.c.laurence@gmail.com to reserve your place.

The seminar series concludes with a Culmination Conference  during the Dancin’ Oxford Festival.  A whole day provides opportunities  for exploring responses around questions of dance and audience. Themes will include dance in ritual and worship contexts; the role of the dance critic; a workshop on the Visual Matrix Method of accessing audience response; investigations into performer-audience connections across Bharatanatyam dance, site-specific work and other disciplines.

Date:  Saturday 3rd March, 10.30am-4.30pm

Venue:  Harold Lee Room, Pembroke College, St Aldate’s, Oxford OX1 1DW

Tickets:  £20 – please book here
Includes lunch and refreshments

For further information visit www.mirandalaurence.co.uk

Dance and Academia: Moving the Boundaries, convened by Miranda Laurence, returns this academic year with a thought-provoking series of three seminars exploring the provocative question “What is Dance without an Audience?“. For academics in all disciplines, dance artists and movement practitioners, and anyone else who wants to exchange thinking about dance!

Tuesday 3rd October 6.00-8.15pm: Chloe Metcalfe (Roehampton University)

When non-dancers dance: considerations of audience and performer in contemporary British community-dance events.

Social dance blurs the distinction between audience and performer. Nowhere is this more true than in community barn dances, usually held by non-performance based organisations across England. This evening will feature a brief talk about the concept of performer within this context, drawing upon PhD research of such dances in Buckinghamshire. This will be followed by a fun, practical workshop where the concepts of audience and performer are engaged with.

Tuesday 5th December 6.00-8.15pm: Susie Crow and Maggie Watson (Roehampton University and Oxford dance practitioners)

Looking in and looking out: ballet performance from the perspective of the viewer and the doer

Presentations and discussion which focus on the audience-performer relationship in ballet, seen from different perspectives but both raising questions about the identity of the work.  Maggie Watson uses the example of the first performances of Marius Petipa’s La Bayadère by the Royal Ballet in 1963 to reflect on how the historical and cultural context surrounding performance may colour audience perceptions of a work and understanding of its significance.  Susie Crow draws on her own experience as a ballet dancer and choreographer to reflect on the contribution of space, place and different publics to shaping the work in performance, and in consequence to the development of ballet as a form in itself.

Tuesday 6th February 2018, 6.00-8.15pm: Nicky Clayton and Clive Wilkins (Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge)

What is dance without an audience? An investigation beyond language and the complexity of our social interaction to explore wordless thoughts~ to include demonstrations of tango and magic.

  1. Does an audience have to be real?
  2. Is dance without an audience merely ritual, resulting in an altered state, and ifso, what kind?
  3. Is dance without an audience simply the confirmation of a heartbeat?
  4. Is the introspection of an intimate partner dance audience free, and if so, whatis being explored?
  5. Is dance without an audience the opportunity to invent and explore realitiesthat exist outside of the compass of shared experience?

Dates:  Tuesdays 3 October, 5 December 2017, 6 February 2018 6.00-8.15pm

Venue:  Heritage Learning Centre, Town Hall, St Aldate’s, Oxford OX1 1BX

Tickets:  £5 cash on the door per seminar (£1 off for any repeat attenders).

Please email miranda.c.laurence@gmail.com to reserve your place.

Presented as part of Dancin’ Oxford 2018 www.dancinoxford.co.uk