Another fascinating DANSOX (Dance Scholarship Oxford) event hosted by St Hilda’s College Oxford bringing together thinking and practice, providing a rare opportunity to glimpse the process of creating a new ballet in an interdisciplinary workshop with writer, Marina Warner, choreographer Kim Brandstrup, pianist and composer Joanna MacGregor, and professional dancers.

Rawaa comes from Arabic – the root for words
 meaning ‘to water’ and ‘to relate’ and provides the dominant metaphorical motif of the ballet’s mood and movement.  Affinities emerge between poetic metre, musical pulse, and water management (water wheels, aqueducts) in Arab culture.  The ballet will offer a counterpoise to the orientalism of Scheherazade, exploring the inner lives and drives of legendary women performers from the Middle East who have attained mythic status.

Venue:  Jacqueline du Pré Music Building, St Hilda’s College, Cowley Place, Oxford OX2 9AZ

Dates:  Sunday 12th – Tuesday 14th November 9.30-6.30pm  Open to the public on Tuesday 14 November at 5.30pm to view the workshop in action.

The event is free and open to all but booking is essential; register here to attend. Open at other times by request – contact Professor Susan Jones.

 

 

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Rambert’s adventurous programme shows a commitment to new work and artistic collaboration that gloriously affirms the company’s long heritage and roots in the post-Diaghilev dance diaspora.  The evening opened with Kim Brandstrup’s Transfigured Night, followed by Didy Veldman’s The 3 Dancers, and concluded with a revival of Christopher Bruce’s Ghost Dances. Live musical accompaniment was intrinsic to the immediacy and vigour throughout.

Brandstrup’s study of painful choices as a couple’s relationship teeters on the brink of failure courageously uses the music (Arnold Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht) that Antony Tudor chose for his ballet Pillar of Fire, but his conception is original and completely different from Tudor’s. (more…)

A welcome return to Oxford’s New Theatre by the magnificent Rambert Dance Company bringing a powerful triple bill which combines one of the company’s most iconic works with two recent successes.

Christopher Bruce’s 1981 work Ghost Dances is one of the most celebrated contemporary dance pieces of its generation.  This masterpiece is an evocative tribute to the victims of political oppression in South America. It tells stories of love and compassion, as death – in the form of the iconic “ghost dancers” – interrupts the daily lives of a series of ordinary people. Visually referencing celebrations of the Day of the Dead, and driven by the bewitching rhythms of traditional Latin American songs, it’s a moving, intensely human work.  Ghost Dances returned to UK stages for the first time in 13 years in November 2016, and tours throughout 2017.

Love, desire and betrayal are the ingredients of the shocking true story which inspired Picasso’s masterpiece, The Three Dancers. Rambert springs Picasso’s painting from the canvas to the stage, bringing to life his Cubist vivid imagery and the themes of ecstasy and doom which haunt the work. Didy Veldman’s The Three Dancers, with orchestral music by leading Australian composer Elena Kats-Chernin, reveals the passion within one of the 20th century’s greatest artworks.

Didy Veldman is a former Rambert dancer who has an international choreographic career. She co-founded Compagnie Alias with Guilherme Botelho in Switzerland, and has worked extensively with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal and with Cedar Lake in New York.  Elena Kats-Chernin’s original score is jointly commissioned by Wimbledon International Music Festival, Australian Festival of Chamber Music and Dancenorth in Australia, and Sitka Summer Music Festival, El Paso Pro Musica and West Bach Festival in the USA.

In Transfigured Night two lovers meet by moonlight, and a dark secret threatens to tear them apart. Created by two-time Olivier-award winning choreographer Kim Brandstrup, it is a dramatic love story, with intimate duets and spectacular ensemble dancing amplifying the beauty and romance of its Schoenberg score.  In February 2017, Kim Brandstrup won the award for Best Modern Choreography for Transfigured Night, at the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards 2016.

Performances:  Wednesday to Friday 15th-17th March 7.30pm

Venue:  New Theatre, George Street, Oxford OX1 2AG

Tickets:  £13.90 – £33.40 plus £4.00 transaction fee*

Book online here

On Thursday 16th there will be a free pre-performance talk at 6.30pm

Find out more about the works and Rambert Dance Company here

Kim Brandstrup’s residency at St Hilda’s last week was a rare opportunity to observe part of the process of creating new dances through a series of open workshops and two ‘showings’. When I crept into the Gallery of the Jacqueline du Pré Music Building on Tuesday the atmosphere below was quiet and studious. Brandstrup sat on the edge of the stage. Behind him, dancer Liam Francis was silently stretching, curling and extending his body, waiting his turn, while Simone Damberg Würtz and Tobias Praetorius used the specially-laid dance floor to work on a duet. It gradually became apparent that the dancers, the choreographer and cellist and composer Oliver Coates were collaboratively investigating questions about the relationship between rhythm, music and dance. (more…)

Another fascinating event from DANSOX who are this month hosting a choreographic workshop with internationally renowned choreographers, musicians, and dancers exploring the relationship between music and dance in the practice of choreography.

Artists in residence this summer at St Hilda’s College, Kim Brandstrup (international choreographer) and Oliver Coates (cellist/composer) joined by renowned pianist Joanna MacGregor, will direct a workshop with professional dancers.

All welcome to drop in at any time to observe, comment, discuss on each day, and come to showings on Wednesday July 20th and Thursday 21st. Do let us know if you want to come. For more information, timetable, and to book a seat at the showings, contact Susan Jones.

Dates: Tuesday 19th July 2016 09:00am to Friday 22nd July 2016 21:00pm

Venue:  Jacqueline du Pré Music Building, St Hilda’s College, Oxford, OX4 1DY

Free and open to all (booking advised)
Details online here
Find out about DANSOX here

Inspired by a painting, a poem, Bach, Stravinsky, Schoenberg and the CERN Hadron Collider, Rambert’s exciting and innovative triple bill showed how choreographers can start from utterly different places.

Rambert has a scientist in residence (Professor Nicola S. Clayton), but it was artist Katie Paterson who took Mark Baldwin to CERN, where he found out about the properties of quarks. The Strange Charm of Mother Nature is a virtuoso dance piece in two movements; the first, to Stravinsky’s Dumbarton Oaks, gives us slow duets, set against dancers who ricochet across the stage like neutron stars; the second, to Bach’s third Brandenburg Concerto, bursts through space in a blaze of colour with spectacular spins and leaps, the embodiment of cosmic energy, yet strangely cool and scientific. (more…)

Entitled Mapping motion: impulse, object and trajectory, this talk and demonstration opened with a discussion of the need for the creative artist to identify and then focus on the ‘object’ of his or her work. For choreographer Kim Brandstrup, the ‘object’ is a single movement that stops. Working with Royal Ballet dancers McNally and Sambé, he demonstrated how a series of sustained movements constrained by predetermined periods of time can become the building blocks of a dance work. Just as a poet may work within a strictly defined verse form, using its rigour to release the inner voice, Brandstrup uses time, broken down into specified sections of related lengths, to set free choreographic creativity. (more…)