The second DANSOX summer school was a triumph. Delivered remotely in the middle of a pandemic that has driven theatrical and academic activities online, it was a wonderful opportunity for an international audience to enjoy seven pre-recorded lectures on dance by practitioners, early career researchers, and a leading dance critic. The programme fell into two halves: a two-lecture memorial to Paul Taylor, followed by five lectures investigating the inter-textual and interdisciplinary nature of dance, and a concluding live Webinar on Zoom chaired by Professor Sue Jones.

Alastair Macaulay’s opening lecture was actually the last talk to be uploaded after which it was well worth returning to listen again to all the lectures in their correct order: Macaulay’s talk prepared the ground, sowing seeds for themes that the other speakers, whether by accident or design, picked up upon, including modernism and post modernism; the corporeal and abstraction; musicality; classicism; the visual arts, and the choreographer as dramatic poet. (more…)

Pina Bausch led dance towards its conceptual frontier.  While some twentieth century choreographers pushed the human body to physical extremes, she extended its psychological, intellectual and emotional range.  Her dancers speak, run, conjure, play party games, and sometimes dance very beautifully, but it is the underlying meaning of her work that drives 1980.

The entire stage, grassed over and decorated with a single toy deer, a piano, spotlights and two rubbish bins is the setting for a series of manic birthday party events, in which adults chant songs and repeat games over and over, slowly mesmerising the audience.  In the second act, it is the scene of a bizarre garden fete, complete with beauty contest.  Nothing is quite as it seems (more…)