Last year Oxford company Ballet in Small Spaces rehearsed, produced and opened its new show at the Castle, Wellingborough; a centrally situated municipal arts centre with a fully equipped flexible theatre capable of holding up to 500 people in conventional format or of showing work in the round, supported by a studio theatre rehearsal space, small dance studio and a full time professional technical and administrative team.  This April I was part of the company performing Dancing the Invisible at the Ivy Arts Centre, University of Surrey in Guildford, a similar flexible theatre space only recently converted from an old sports centre; here alongside the theatre a large dance studio where we rehearsed daily, other rehearsal rooms and production facilities, and a technical crew in which students from Guildford School of Acting could learn by working alongside seasoned professionals.

I revelled in these working conditions which on both occasions enabled focused professional work to be intensively developed, honed and presented at a high standard.  It is not currently possible to work like this in Oxford because Oxford lacks performing arts facilities like these.  (more…)

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Dance Writers of the Future 2012

Following the successful Dance Writers of the Future project initiated by Ballet in Small Spaces in 2009, Oxford Dance Writers announces a second competition to find talented young writers on dance.  This year’s competition focuses on Dancin’ Oxford 2012, whose programme of exciting dance events, activities and performances from 18th February to 28th March provides multiple opportunities for reflective writing and critique.

  • Entrants are asked to submit a piece of original critical writing about an event taking place as part of the Dancin’ Oxford 2012 programme.  This could be a review of a performance, an account of a workshop experienced, discussion of a talk or conference presentation etc.
  • Length to be approximately 400 words.
  • Entries to be sent to Susie Crow of Oxford Dance Writers either by email, or hard copy by mail – see contact details below.  Please include with your entry your full contact details, including postal address, telephone and email, also date of birth.  Incomplete submissions cannot be accepted.
  • Deadline for submissions 5.00pm Monday 2nd April.
  • A panel of experienced professionals will judge entries and select winners in two categories; under 18 years and 18-22 years.
  • Prizes will include pairs of tickets for forthcoming dance performances in Oxford, including Matthew Bourne’s Nutcracker, and dancers of English National Ballet and Flawless in Against Time at the New Theatre, and joint subscriptions to Dancing Times and Dance Today.
  • A selection of entries including the winners will be published online on the Oxford Dance Writers website, and the competition will be publicised in Oxford Times and nationally through Dancing Times who will publish two winning entries online.

Guidelines for writers:

“Good dance criticism is a multi-faceted endeavour.  It involves – at a minimum – description, interpretation and value judgement.”  – Roger Copeland

The judges will be looking for:

  • Flair, imaginative response
  • Evidence of some informed understanding
  • Inclusion of specific detail and useful information
  • Quality of written English

For the full Dancin’ Oxford 2012 programme:

http://www.dancinoxford.co .uk

For information and samples of writing from the previous competition:
http://www.balletinsmallspaces.co.uk/dance%20reviews.html

For further information about the competition, and to submit entries:

Susie Crow, Oxford Dance Writers

28 Victoria Road, Oxford OX2 7QD

Tel:  01865 557098              Email:  susiecrow@gmail.com