Images Ballet Company is the performing group of the graduating ballet students at London Studio Centre, and their appearance at Cornerstone last night was an exciting opportunity to see new dancers and new (or nearly new) works. Artistic Director Jennifer Jackson presented a programme of dances by four choreographers (Hubert Essakow, Erico Montes, Bim Malcomson, and Morgann Runacre-Temple), which demanded lyricism, attack, humour and acting ability, and the dancers rose to the occasion magnificently. (more…)

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Coming to the area for the first time, Images Ballet Company is proud to present a programme of entertaining dance, reflecting the diversity and beauty of Ballet today, that will appeal both to ballet lovers and those new to dance.  Directed by Jennifer Jackson, Images Ballet Company is one of four touring 3rd year companies from major vocational school London Studio Centre. The aspiring professionals of the company take centre stage to showcase theatrical and vibrant ballet with stylish costumes and a rich musical palette.

Working with Images for her third successive year, acclaimed choreographer Morgann Runacre-Temple has re-created Mozart’s Women: The Kingdom of Back, her exquisitely detailed portrait of three women in Mozart’s life, with a new cast. Bim Malcomson explores of the humour of being human.  Former Royal Ballet and Rambert soloist, Hubert Essakow presents encounters between live music and dance, while Royal Ballet artist Erico Montes’ choreography and process has richly enhanced the dancers’ feeling for flow and epaulement.

Music is central to this year’s show.  Viola and guitar duo Elliott Perks and Tom Ellis have arranged Schumann’s Marchenbilder to be played live for Cut Out, Hubert Essakow’s dances with space and gravity.  Bim Malcomson has used music from Joby Talbot’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland for Red Queen Brouhaha, her witty exploration of ideas from Lewis Carroll’s imaginative world. In the centenary year of votes for women in this country, Erico Montes has been drawn to the music of a little known African American composer, Florence Price, for his Sonata in Colour.

Louie Whitemore and Andrew Ellis have brought their expertise in costume and lighting to finesse the visual landscape.

A note from Artistic Director, Jennifer Jackson;

“The dancers you see tonight specialise in classical ballet in their professional training at London Studio Centre. Three second year students are joining the graduating class on tour and all have been involved in working with choreographers, designers, musicians, production staff, repetiteurs and teachers over the past three months to create the programme. Each ballet grows from a unique creative process through which the dancers develop as versatile collaborative artists, honing professional skills that are required to meet the diverse expressive and performative demands of the ballet today. It is a great privilege to work with these artists and alongside the excellent educators at London Studio Centre. I am hugely thankful for their contributions and support of Images’ work and our exploration of ballet as creative artistic practice.”

Performance:  Wednesday 13th June, 7.30pm

Venue:  Cornerstone Arts Centre, 25 Station Road, Didcot OX11 7NE

Tickets:  Book online here, or call the Box Office on 01235 515144

Find out more about Images Ballet Company here

About London Studio Centre:

Founded in 1978 by Bridget Espinosa, London Studio Centre offers a comprehensive Theatre Dance Course for students who are dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in all aspects of the theatre. LSC is thrilled to announce the validation of its enhanced Theatre Dance course, which continues to offer students a broad and versatile training but further allows students to specialise in Classical Ballet, Contemporary Dance, Jazz Dance or Music Theatre.

Graduate students have embarked on successful careers, joining companies such as Rambert Dance Company, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, Michael Clark Company, Richard Alston Dance Company, Henri Oguike Dance Company, Phoenix Dance Theatre, The Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, Scottish Ballet, Spirit of the Dance, JazzXchange, Stomp, ZooNation, the Royal Shakespeare Company and Royal National Theatre, as well as performing on Broadway and the West End in musicals including Wicked, Chicago, Matilda, Hamilton and Cats.

Many students have also worked on numerous television programmes and films and in the commercial sector. Many graduates also are working as independent, creative artists in dance and theatre.

Find out more about the school here

 

October 2017 marks the 25th anniversary of the death of choreographer Kenneth MacMillan.   The festival Kenneth MacMillan: a National Celebration hosted by the Royal Opera House brings together two weeks of performances of MacMillan repertoire by not only the Royal Ballet, but also Birmingham Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, Northern Ballet, Scottish Ballet and Yorke Dance Project, who will be performing his late work Sea of Troubles in the Clore Studio and on tour.  Oxford Dance Writers pays its own hommage to the master here: Susie Crow, a founder member of chamber company Dance Advance for whom Sea of Troubles was originally made and and herself an original cast member, writes about the work, its genesis, and the experience of reviving it for performance by today’s dancers.

Sea of Troubles was commissioned from Kenneth MacMillan by Dance Advance for touring to small and mid-scale venues.  It was officially premiered on March 17th 1988 at the Brighton Festival.  A tour of over 35 performances in what was then the Southern, South East and Eastern regions followed, culminating in two performances at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. In the following year there were further performances by the company including at Madrid’s Festival de Otoño, and the company was supported by the British Council to perform it at festivals in China and Germany.  In 1991 the work entered the repertoire of Scottish Ballet for a few performances; and in 2002 it was performed by an ensemble lead by Adam Cooper and Sarah Wildor at the Exeter Festival in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of MacMillan’s death.  It was revived at short notice by Scottish Ballet for performance at the Edinburgh Festival in 2014; and in 2016 was remounted from the original notation by Jane Elliott for Yorke Dance Project, who are currently touring it and performing it at the Clore Studio at the Royal Opera House as part of Kenneth MacMillan: A National Celebration.  I was called in as a member of the original cast to coach and rehearse a new generation of dancers. (more…)

We reprint this review with kind permission of the author on whose blog Rebecca Nice: Dance Writer it first appeared.

Jennifer Jackson and Susie Crow (BIG Ballets), Late Work, opened Wednesday 25th Septembers show sitting well within a billing of several collaborations between artists. This emphasis on collaboration was reiterated by dancers Crow and Jackson who invited musicians Malcolm Atkins and Andrew Melvin on stage by opening two side doors for their entrance. This introduced them as performers and set a precedent for the rest of the night. Built on improvisations between musicians and dancers, Late Work questioned the function of ballet and rebelled, albeit creatively, against its structures. (more…)

September promises to be an exciting month for Oxfordshire based dance artists, several of whom are performing at the new GOlive Dance and Performance Festival curated by dance critic Donald Hutera (the Times) at the Lion and Unicorn Theatre in London.  Part of the Giant Olive Community Theatre Company, and now going into its twenty-fifth year, Kentish Town’s only theatre has firmly established itself as a cultural centre for high quality and innovative theatrical productions.  Resident Company Giant Olive have produced over twenty of their own productions at the venue, including classics, new writing, musical theatre projects and contemporary ballet productions and have also played host to over 300 visiting companies in the last five years.

London will get a chance to see work by the following Oxfordshire dance artists: Paulette Mae, Marina Collard, Nick McKerrow of Anjali, Cecile Feza Bushidi, Ana Barbour, and Susie Crow with Jennifer Jackson as BIG Ballets. (more…)

This appeared originally online as part of a series of ongoing reflections on the process of making and performing work for Jennifer Jackson’s mature dancers’ project Dancing the Invisible, which showed work in performance last year at University of Surrey’s Ivy Arts Centre, and at the Michaelis Theatre at Roehampton University.  In a recent blog post Susie wrote:

Ashton used to say that watching The Sleeping Beauty was like having a private lesson in the art of composition in classical ballet (Kavanagh 1996, p.309).  The richness of Petipa’s choreographic text (despite its mutability and variation from one production to another) and the particular poetic and historic symbolism of the work, give it layers of significance and the potential for depth in individual artistic interpretation; to my mind according it the equivalence in status of such canonical musical masterpieces as the Bach cello suites, which invite artists to measure themselves and make a definitive personal statement of their understanding through their performance of the work. (more…)

Another performance of work featuring Oxford artists, this time at Roehampton University…

In May we presented an evening of dance exploring dance and ageing at the Ivy Arts Centre in Guildford. Here’s the project website:
http://www.surrey.ac.uk/dft/research/currentprojects/dancingtheinvisible/

The first piece on the programme, Late Work, gets another outing on 21st November at Roehampton University as part of the event The Mature Performer, organised by Dance Diary at the Michaelis Theatre.

Late Work is for four performers – dancers (us) Susie Crow and Jennifer Jackson with musicians Malcolm Atkins and Andrew Melvin –  and interweaves set and improvised dances.  At the heart of the work are questions about how the individual artist is in dialogue with her/his own body or ‘instrument’ and the body of shared disciplinary knowledge – and how improvisation practices and collaboration might give artistic shape to this dialogue.  It is performance as research – so we need an audience who will enjoy engaging in the ideas and challenges that dance and ageing presents. (more…)