Attending the Dancing Human Rights event at The Old Fire Station on 1st February, curated by Dr Dana Mills as part of Oxford Brookes University’s Think Human Festival, was a deeply moving and thought-provoking experience.  Three very different pieces were shown and brought out different responses in me as I watched.

Eliot Smith’s solo excerpt from Pitman depicted the world of the coal miner with his lamp and shovel.  We felt his sweat and labour in the oppressive and cramped working conditions.  We saw the relentless drudgery but also the sense of pride and relief when at last he found the freedom to stand tall and stretch to full height again after a hard day’s work hunched underground. (more…)

Why host an event which presents dance work focusing on various human rights issues in 2020?  This is a volatile time for many of us in the world, although the concept and ethos of human rights enables us to reflect upon the fact that at any given time human beings are fleeing persecution and seeking to affirm their human rights.  And so, in our turbulent times it is urgent to ask—what is our commitment as artists and human beings to the idea and practice of human rights?

My own introduction to human rights came a long time before I knew what that concept entails.  My political education was on the pro-Palestinian Israeli left, and so I’ve come to learn of human rights from the wrong side of history.  Even when my every day was shielded by walls and checkpoints from events of huge historical consequence occurring sometimes less than a few miles away, I knew well these events are part of my own life. And I realized early on that no one is free until everyone is free, and our human fate is entangled in others and so we have responsibilities towards them. (more…)

What can contemporary dance tell us about human rights? What can hip hop say about equality and human dignity? Join an evening of dance and discussion to find out.  Curated by scholar of dance and political philosophy Dr Dana Mills, this programme at the Old Fire Station is part of Oxford Brookes University’s forthcoming festival Think Human – what does it mean to be human in 2020?.

Dancing Human Rights offers an exciting opportunity to watch live dance that explores the theme of human rights, with powerful performances from respected dance artists Blakely White-McGuire, Eliot Smith and Oxford based emerging group Body Politic Dance; and to celebrate art’s power to challenge the social and political turmoil we face around the world today.

Performance:  Saturday 1st February, 6.00pm

Venue:  Arts at The Old Fire Station, 40 George Street, Oxford OX1 2AQ

Tickets:  The event now is sold out but if you would like to attend, or for more details, please contact Dana on d.mills@brookes.ac.uk

For more information about this programme read the curator’s blog here

Imaginative and talented pianist Késia Decoté invites all to her PhD final show myths and visions at Oxford Brookes University:

Myths and visions will be a piano/body performance of pieces for extended piano techniques, a journey to imaginary worlds of myths and illusory images.  It will include works by composers Henry Cowell, John Cage, Marisa Rezende and João de Sousa Carvalho.

There will be three sessions: 21st (9.15pm), 22nd (7.25pm) and 23rd June (6.00pm) in Oxford.  Please find more information on my website: https://kesiadecote.wordpress.com/2017/05/29/myths-visions-piano-body-performance/

Please book your seats well in advance (there are only 12 seats per session) by emailing me at kesiadecote@gmail.com

In your booking I will give you personalised information about meeting point and about the performance itself (there are some moments that you will be asked to move from one place to another, but that will be nice and easy, I promise 🙂 )

I have the honour to have Joëlle Pappas as my movement director in this project, and the amazing support of Oxford Brookes Sonic Art Research Unit SARU.  My PhD research has been kindly sponsored by CNPq – Brazil.

I will be delighted to have you with me in this culmination of a journey!”