Nocturne is a unique collaboration between classical musicians and Joëlle Pappas Projects which fuses unusual French music and expressive contemporary dance, in a way that enhances and enlarges the audience’s experience. The music is far more than a backdrop for the dance; and the dance is far more than an enactment of the music.  See this first in the Ante-Chapel of New College, with further performances in and around Oxford scheduled for early 2020.

A solo dance piece accompanies lyrical live music and song, exploring the dynamic relationship of movement and sound.  Joëlle Pappas performs a new contemporary dance work to Fauré’s Nocturne No 1 and Takemitsu’s Rain Tree Sketch II. She takes inspiration from the life and sculptures of Camille Claudel (1864 – 1943) who, after being Rodin’s talented assistant and muse, spent the last 30 years of her life interned in a psychiatric institution.

Tenor Rory Carver (winner Le Jardin des Voix 2019) performs a sequence of 19th-century French songs with pianist Diana Hinds. The songs include Fauré’s much-loved Clair de Lune (set to poetry by Verlaine), Debussy’s magnificent Le Jet d’Eau (Baudelaire) and finishes with a lovely French gem  L’heure exquise (Verlaine) by Reynaldo Hahn.

Performance:  Thursday 12th December 7.30pm

Venue:  New College Ante-Chapel, Holywell Street, OX1 3BN

Tickets:  £12/£10 available on the door

Find out more about Joëlle Pappas Projects here or on Facebook here

Further performances of Nocturne in 2020:

16th February, 7:30pm (£15) The Abbey in Sutton Courtenay

24th February, 1pm  St Michael at the Northgate, Oxford

1st March, 3pm (£10)  St Nicolas Church, Abingdon (Abbey Chamber Concerts)

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…)