Dancin’ Oxford‘s annual festival of dance this year provides a packed and varied programme of performances, workshops and discussions, something for everyone to enjoy, in a range of venues.  Here for convenience is a list of all the performances: for details of practical workshops and taster sessions check out the Dancin’ Oxford website here or the links embedded to particular events.  Look out too for Dance Audience Club sessions on 29th February, 3rd March and 6th March; find out more about these friendly opportunites to think and talk about the dance you see with others here.  And if planning to take in several events, why not avail yourself of a Festival Pass which will get you reductions on ticket prices… find out about this here.  A reminder too that the exhibition of photographs by Colin Jones, Backstage at the Ballet, continues to the end of the Festival; further details here.

Moving with the Times:  Pegasus Theatre, Friday 28th & Saturday 29th February, 7.30pm

This annual platform features different companies in new work that is often explosive, moving and thought provoking.  This year’s companies are Amy Foskett Dance in Burning House, Thomas Page Dances in Commonality, and Drishti Dance in Sanket.  Find further information about the programme and how to book here

Festival Launch:  Westgate Centre, Saturday 29th February 12pm-5.00pm

A vibrant afternoon of free dance performances from professionals and local youth dance groups, including Infuse Dance’s BodyGuards, Step2Dance, Messy Jam, TPD Young Artists, Kapow Dance Circus Theatre, Pro-Motion and a special preview of Neon Dance‘s show Puzzle Creature.  Find out more here

Neon Dance Puzzle Creature: Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Sunday 1st March at 11.00am, 12.00pm, 1.00pm, 2.00pm, 3.00pm, complete performance 7.00pm

Experience 10 minute excerpts or a complete performance of this remarkable immersive contemporary dance piece from creative director Adrienne Hart, composer Sebastian Reynolds, designers Numen/For Use, and three exceptional dance artists. Find out more about the evening performance here, and afternoon Encounters here, and read Jenny Parrot’s report of the complete show in a recent performance here

Let’s All Dance Sleeping Beauty: Cornerstone Arts Centre Didcot, Sunday 1st March 1.00pm & 3.00pm

A family friendly version of this much loved ballet with Tchaikovsky’s sumptuous music, talented young dancers and gorgeous costumes.  Find out more here

Joelle Pappas Nocturne:  St Nicholas Church, Abingdon, Sunday 1st March 3.00pm

Lyrical contemporary dance from Oxford dance artist Joelle Pappas inspired by sculptures of Camille Claudel in a programme of French music and song with Diana Hinds (pianist) and Rory Carver (tenor).  Find out more here, and read Maggie Watson’s review of this atmospheric show here

Gecko and Mind the Gap in A Little Space:  Oxford Playhouse, Tuesday 3rd & Wednesday 4th March 7.30pm

Physical theatre company Gecko and performers from Mind the Gap, one of Europe’s leading learning disability theatre companies, come together in an exciting new show with stunning visual imagery.  Find out more here

Richard Chappell Dance Still Touch:  Pegasus Theatre, Friday 6th March 7.30pm

Choreographer Richard Chappell has collaborated with sculptor Anna Gillespie in an evocative work which explores touch through the relationship between three dancers and three life-size sculptures, find out more about this fascinating project here

Sonia Sabri Dance Same Same… but Different: The North Wall, Saturday 7th March 2.00pm

Another family show combining Kathak, hip hop, contemporary and street dance with live music and physical storytelling; playful and feel-good.  Find details here

Enjoy!

A fascinating opportunity at the Jacqueline du Pré Music Building to see dance and story telling from a venerable tradition in a new international collaboration.  Oxford based composer/producer Sebastian Reynolds and Neon Dance Director Adrienne Hart collaborate with award winning Thai dance artist Pichet Klunchun to retell the story of Mahajanaka Jataka; one of the oldest surviving folk tales in the world.  Bringing together eastern and western dance and music performance traditions, this enchanting production fuses ancient and modern with animated scenes from Bristol’s Sun & Moon Studios.

Informed by research trips to Bangkok to explore Jataka mythology and Buddhism in contemporary Thailand, and subsequent studio time in the UK, Mahajanaka Dance Drama previewed at Wiltshire Music Centre with an excerpt presented as part of the sold out Neon Dance Wild Card at Sadler’s Wells in 2018.

Performance:  Wednesday, 13th November, 7.30pm; pre-show talk with Dr Sarah Shaw 7.00pm

Venue:  Jacqueline du Pre Music Building, St Hilda’s College, Cowley Place, Oxford OX4 1DY
Tickets:  £13 stalls, £18 gallery, £5 students  Book tickets online here

Find out more about Neon Dance projects here

 

 

A huge inflated plastic bubble fills the theatre space, we remove our shoes and are ushered in 8 at a time, told to stand, sit or move around as we please (but like most audiences, don’t budge once we decide to sit!).  The bubble is constantly being filled with air and we must enter quickly so the entrance can be zipped shut again to avoid too much deflation.

Once inside the audience huddle in small groups on the floor.  There is an air of anticipation and curiosity. Throughout the space hang white mesh sculptures moulded into the shape of body parts.  These ghost images bob up and down in the space as the air level fluctuates and the final members of the audience are let in.  Three dancers enter with them and begin to walk about the space. They appear human but there is something very alien about them at the same time.  A soundtrack with a voice begins, and the dancers are signing the words, the voice repeats itself ‘we have decided not to die’. (more…)

Puzzle Creature is a multi-disciplinary dance work by Neon Dance that asks us to forget our mundane everyday and immerse ourselves in the magic of movement.  Inspired by the death-eluding architecture designs of Arakwara and Madeline Gins, director Adrienne Hart has collaborated with three exceptional dance artists to create an immersive dance experience.

From the Cornerstone foyer, step inside an inflatable set design and allow yourself to be transfixed by performers dressed in wearable artefacts created by artist Ana Rajcevic as they transport you through choreographed action. Accompanied by a newly commissioned score for eight speakers by composer Sebastian Reynolds, this unique performance combines British and Japanese Sign Language and audio description alongside Reynolds’ evocative score.

Guaranteed to be a transformative experience, join us for Puzzle Creature and enter a space where there is no barrier between the artist and the audience.

Performance:  Wednesday 23 Oct 2019 7:30pm

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

Tickets: £14, £12 concs, £5 for under 26s: 50% Members Discount.  Book online here, or call the Box Office on 01235 515144

Find out more about Neon Dance here

 

 

Due to unforseen events this event has had to be cancelled.  It is hoped that it can be rescheduled for 2017.  Oxford Dance Writers will keep you posted…

Pichet Klunchun is an award winning contemporary choreographer who tells stories through the evolving body movement of Thai dance.  PinDrop director Sebastian Reynolds met Pichet Klunchun in Bangkok in May 2016 during an Arts Council England/British Council funded research trip. The duo have been collaborating together with Neon Dance Company for the past week at DanceXchange, Birmingham developing ideas for a contemporary Dance Drama inspired by the classical Indian epic Mahajanaka; part of the Jatakas mythology.

This is a unique opportunity to learn more about Pichet’s background and current practice. The 30-minute talk will be followed by a Q&A.

Date:  Monday 17th October, 6.30-7.30pm

Venue: the Judges Room, Oxford Town Hall, St Aldates, Oxford OX1 1BX.

Free admission

Project supported by Arts Council England, British Council, University of SOAS, Oxford Dance Forum and DanceXchange Birmingham.

For more information contact Adrienne Hart at NEON DANCE:
neondance.org | +44 (0) 7947 221 531