Presented at OVADA by the Contemporary Arts Research Unit (CARU) based at Oxford Brookes University, Body and Music is an evening of dance and music where pianist Késia Decoté will be joined by dancer and choreographer Joëlle Pappas, musician and composer Bruno Guastalla and composer Sarah Westwood to bring you pieces inspired by puppetry, myths, visions, and cable cars.

The evening opens with a new trio piece especially devised for this show, with Késia, Joëlle and Bruno. Késia will also be performing  myths & visions (this will be the last chance to see this much loved solo piano + dance show in central Oxford).  The programme also includes Joëlle and Bruno’s Traits, commissioned for this year’s Dancin’ Oxford Festival, and a new work for piano and electronics by Sarah.  See full details of the programme below.  (more…)

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“Spring is coming…” I wrote in posting an advance round-up of performance and other events for this year’s edition of Dancin’ Oxford Festival 1st – 11th March 2018. It would perhaps have been more appropriate to post “Winter is coming…” as the arrival of the “Beast from the East” took some casualties in the first weekend of programming. Heavy snowfall and consequent travel disruption led to the postponement to a later date (to be announced) of the one day Dance and Academia conference, with several guest speakers unable to get there. That same day (Saturday 3rd March) Company Chameleon’s performance at Pegasus Theatre was also cancelled.

Other companies who had arrived in Oxford a day or two earlier before the snow were able to continue with scheduled performances in true “the show must go on” style, and with encouragingly healthy audiences. At the end of Theatre Ad Infinitum’s Friday evening performance of Odyssey at The North Wall, performer George Mann gave a heartfelt thanks to those that had made it. I found this lively retelling of Homer’s great story of journey and homecoming well worth crunching through silent snowy streets for. (more…)

A Captivating Performance and an Unmissable Experience

#EndingTheSilence is a tripartite production that builds on the previous work performed by Unlock the Chains Collective. The first part of this performance, #BlackLivesMatter premiered in March 2017 in the Pegasus Theatre. Capitalising on its success, the collective have built on it, developing two following parts, called #Walking on Eggshells and #Rise Up.

For Unlock the Chains Collective, theatre and performance is a fundamentally holistic and immersive experience that doesn’t begin merely when the curtain rises. Walking into the Old Fire Station a little before the performance, I was greeted by a drumming set performed by Natty Mark-Samuels, Francis Boua, and Bawren Tavaziva, which wonderfully hinted towards the rhythm and the energy yet to come in the second part of the performance. (more…)

Based on T.S.Eliot’s Four Quartets, this piece was an impressive performance from a young dancer-choreographer and his fellow artists. The structure was of four separate chapters (one for each section of a poem) which worked well, although there was room for even more space for the audience to assimilate each individual section. The programme described the overall narrative as ‘from a place of being lost to a state of empowerment and acceptance’ and this certainly came across: the figures seemed to be searching and grasping at the start, and by the end they had become more animated, grounded and secure. (more…)

Dance? Mime? Theatre? Peut-Etre . . .

When I was asked to review a children’s show called Tidy Up, I immediately anticipated an hour or so of theatrical fun. I also gleefully anticipated that my children, aged five and nine, would receive a subliminal message that tidiness is COOL! I was not disappointed.

The three Tidy Up performers had a giggling North Wall audience in the palms of their hands from the very beginning, accompanying the slapping of their hands on their bottoms with cheeky, over the shoulder winks. With the performers enjoying themselves, the fun was infectious. (more…)

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…)

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