This collection of essays, articles and interviews, accompanied by a DVD, is enlightening, entertaining and scholarly. Robert Helpmann joined the Vic Wells Ballet in 1933, and was a major influence in the development of ballet in England, but despite being the subject of three biographies (by Elizabeth Salter, Anna Bemrose, and Kathrine Sorley Walker), by the early years of this century his fame was fading and his choreographic work Miracle in the Gorbals (1944) was almost lost.

The story of this ballet’s miraculous recovery threads through the book, and draws together memories, commentary, film footage and analysis. (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…)

The next DANSOX event (supported by The Oxford Research Centre for the Humanities, TORCH) brings another distinguished artist to Oxford to St Hilda’s College.  In Mapping Motion: impulse, object and trajectory – reflections on music and choreography, internationally renowned choreographer Kim Brandstrup will conduct a workshop/presentation with Royal Ballet dancers Marcelino Sambé and emerging choreographer Kristen McNally to explore choreographer’s methods and sources.

Music inhabits the mysterious no man’s land between mathematical construction and human emotion – nothing is so abstract in its means and yet so immediate in its effect. Choreography exists in the same sphere, where choreographic choice seems to obey both logics. The creative challenge is to navigate between the two – so that the spectators are never really sure or even aware what drives the piece – whether it is the formal or the human, the conceptual or the narrative – whether all is planned or a product of chance.”  Kim Brandstrup.

Venue: St Hilda’s College, Oxford, Jacqueline du Pré Building

Date:  Tuesday, May 19, 2015 – 5:30pm to 7:00pm

Followed by refreshments

Free and open to all, but booking essential

Book at https://eventbrite.co.uk/event/16378395221/

More information about DANSOX and TORCH here