Ana’s Time, a celebration in film, poetry and music of Ana Barbour’s contribution to the arts, took place at Film Oxford the day before what would have been her fifty-second birthday. The audience, which included many of her collaborators, shared laughter and tears as a showing of some her short films brought back memories of Barbour as a performer and creative artist.

Barbour’s film output demonstrates even more than her live performances her capacity to imagine and then present to others her extraordinary vision of the world. Borderlands, opens to the sound of marching feet, before fingers, and then hands, seem to tiptoe over a mossy wall. There is a troubling humour about her presentation of the human body in the landscape as apparently disembodied body parts squirm through vegetation. Footage, a film around a line-up of bare feet, and Eye-I, in which an eye watches from the side of the screen, are witty but unsettling; in Crow’s Playmates, Barbour seems to levitate above the billowing grass, while in My Time (2011) she confronts the problem of her ageing body. The irony is that Barbour did not live to grow old. (more…)

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Confluence Collective is inspired by the musical traditions of Oxford’s richly diverse communities. Its unique and constantly expanding repertoire blends music from Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America. Confluence Collective has no boundaries; its musicians will transport you from Portugal to the Punjab, from Spain to Senegal, from Iran to India, in fact to anywhere in the world.  Increasingly dance is becoming a part of Confluence events which are open to all, and the Collective welcomes dancers of all genres.

The next monthly Confluence Cafe takes place on Saturday 19th May.  At this free event there will be music, dance and poetry from around the world, as expressed by people living in Oxford. There will be food and good company, and if you would like to perform or take part in a performance, then there will be plenty of opportunity. Bring and share food, music, dance or poetry or just come along and enjoy.

There will be some special considerations of the work of Rumi and a chance to join in with some group songs written for the Littlemore Oratorio – in particular All Shall be Well arranged from mystic words by Andrew Smith and Malcolm Atkins

The Confluence Collective look forward to seeing you there.

Date:  Saturday 19th May 2.00-5.00pm

Venue:  St Luke’s Church, Canning Crescent, Oxford OX1 4XB

Find out more here

 

liminal /ˈlɪmɪn(ə)l/ (adj.)
Relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process.
Occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold

At the winter solstice, as the earth tilts fractionally once more towards the sun, in the glimmering pre-dawn stillness, at the moment before waking when the dream dissolves, or just before sleep as the moorings of consciousness are let slip, or as the last breath leaves the body and the soul drifts away, or at the point when the old order is left behind and the new is all ahead – these liminal states and the possibilities they suggest are explored in Café Reason Butoh Dance Theatre‘s new, part-improvised show Limina.

With this theme of beginnings and endings, transition, and duality, the company looks back to its past and forward to its future, with a ‘cabaret-style’ performance that offers an eclectic mix of reimagined early work and fresh choreography from newer members – a dreamlike series of short butoh-inspired pieces, combined with live music and video. Long-term collaborators Malcolm Atkins, Bruno Guastalla, and Pete McPhail will provide an exciting and original musical interpretation. (more…)

Late on Monday 6th November 2017 Ana Barbour, much loved, inspirational and guiding presence in the Oxford dance scene, passed away having battled with cancer.  Her touching funeral at the home she loved on Sunday 12th November was attended by numerous family, friends, and colleagues, and was a celebration of her life and achievements in speeches, songs and dance.  I felt honoured to speak on that occasion about Ana’s work as a dance artist in Oxford, and I am posting here my speech to pay tribute to her.  You can also find links below to her own blog Anadances, Cafe Reason of whom she was an integral part, and the DEC Project; and her own occasional writings for this blog.  Oxford Dance Writers would really welcome other voices in this endeavour of remembrance, so please use the comments facility below to add to this partial picture your particular memories of Ana.  Thank you!

Ana Barbour

When I mounted the Solos Project for Oxford dance artists in 2008 Ana was one of six dancers who showed solos in the Burton Taylor’s intimate studio space. Her Butoh inspired piece Baggage accompanied by the atmospheric music of her long term friend and collaborator Malcolm Atkins was a remarkable episode in which having entered bowed down by a bundle on her back she burrowed into the baggage itself, morphing into surreal shapes and images of confined struggle that were humorous, poignant and dreamlike. It was my first experience of Ana as creative imagination and compelling performer. (more…)

A World of Signs and Types is a danced geography of the Oxford community of Littlemore and its collective unconscious. This is a collaborative and community based artistic experiment including dance, music, writing, and film created to conjure up a pure visceral experience from the subconscious while being presented with the recorded unconscious. Two sleepers alight upon multiple portals to the community, rest upon relics of the past, and synchronistically meet at the heart of the community while spoken dreams carry us through, distort, and cast contrasting shadows upon what is seen. The assembled dreamscape colorfully invites the viewer to an intuitive journey through music, dance, and spoken word.

A World of Signs and Types, devised and created by dancer/choreographer Michelle Azdajic, film maker Chris Atkins and musician/composer Malcolm Atkins, will be shown with improvised live musical accompaniment as part of Littlemore Hopes and Dreams, a fantastic concert that will include the Littlemore Mass (composed for Littlemore using melodies from different Oxford communities); songs chosen by the Response Singing Group; and songs chosen by the Littlemore Over 60s Lunch Club.

All are welcome to this special summer concert.

Performance:  Sunday 25th June, 3 pm

Venue: St Mary and St Nicholas Church, 12 Dudgeon Drive, Littlemore Oxford OX4 4QL

For more information contact Rev’d Margreet Armitstead by email here, or telephone 01865 748003

Find information about this event on Facebook here

This film can also now be accessed on YouTube here.

Women GOLive has continued to surprise, excite and entertain Oxford audiences with eclectic but well chosen performances of highly original work. The second and third nights of this four-night run included traditional and experimental South Asian dance from Arunima Kumar and Anuradha Chaturvedi, new contemporary dance works from visiting artist Salah El Brogy and Welsh company Ffin Dance (who bravely gave new takes on iconic music), a fresh work from Hanna Wroblewski, Mara Vivas’ and My Johansson’s interactive performance installation, and humour from Sarah Kent and Aliki Mbakoyianni. A terrific line-up. (more…)

A welcome performance at the Pegasus by Drishti Dance led by exquisite Kathak dancer Anuradha Chaturvedi, showing recently developed works.  Chaturang, or the four colours, is an exploration of the vast breadth and versatility of the traditional Indian form Kathak through a dynamic quartet of dance works, each varied in characteristics, yet uniquely beautiful.  This production is an experiment in adapting the dance form not only to explore varied narrative styles, but also to emphasize its vast breadth and versatility.
Dramatic in essence,  Mohini dips into the ancient Puranic story to present a ballad.  Laya Anulaya (la-ei Anu-la-ei), an in-depth technical study, is an inward facing narrative, a dialogue between the percussionist and dancer.  Panchatva, explores the connections between the elements and human senses, re-imagining the Nritta (pure dance) aspect of Kathak in tandem with Digital Media.  Antaraal is a contemporary Kathak work bringing together movement, music and poetic text by Mohan Rana, exploring the journey through time and the spaces between. (First seen at Pegasus in Moving With the Times in February 2016).

Concept and Choreography – Anuradha Chaturvedi
Dancers – Aiyana Tandon, Anuradha Chaturvedi, Anju Rajukumar, Meena Anand, Sonali Sibal Alim, Sarika Shah and Shyam Patel
Poem (Antaraal) – Mohan Rana
Tabla – Amritpal Singh
Santoor – Kaviraj Singh
Music – Malcolm Atkins, Gulshan Bharati
Rhythm Compositions (Laya Anulaya) – Late Arjun Mishra, Vikas Mishra and Anuradha Chaturvedi
Costumes – Shruti Mohan
Images – Anand Muthuswamy

Date:  Saturday 11th June 2016, 7.30pm

Venue:  Pegasus Theatre, Magdalen Road, Oxford OX4 1RE

Tickets: £13, £9 concessions, £6 under 18s, (£1 off for Dancin’ Oxford Pass holders)

Book online here, or call the Box Office on 01865 812150

Find out more about Drishti Dance here