It is that time of the year again, suddenly Christmas is looming with urgent gift shopping imperatives.  But don’t worry, once again Oxford Dance Writers is here to help with our round up of dance publications reviewed and received this year, from the highly academic and practical to the entertaining memoir and gorgeously illustrated records of companies and dancers; for the dance lovers in your lives, or to add to your own Christmas wish list…  Great thanks once again to all our reviewers! (more…)

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‘In 40 years of doing this, I’ve never done it,’ says Deborah Hay in Becky Edmund’s 2014 film Turn Your Fucking Head. I watched it earlier this year at JW3 in London and the absurdity of this quote made me laugh out loud.  For the (relatively little) I know of her work and (comparatively large) respect I have for it, this quote sums up the indefinable nature of experimental contemporary dance.  In Hay’s case, a specific dance practice which has evolved over four decades, and has led her to consider the body and choreography very differently.

After seeing the film, I was both fascinated and perplexed by her work, especially by this idea of her confident not-knowing. This book, Using The Sky, develops her research – a quest which shows both an unfaltering belief in her pursuit, and an honesty and openness to uncertainty. It is also wickedly funny. (more…)

Oxford Youth Dance extend a warm invitation to all their friends to the third and final event of their 30th Anniversary Year.  Ranging over a day the Living and Moving Archive Event and Celebration will take place in OYD’s three homes.  Daytime activities are curated by a team of four young people currently or previously members of OYD; their Four Rooms Project at Fusion Arts and East Oxford Community Centre will include taster workshops, film screenings, performances, archival exhibitions and food and drink.  In the evening activity will continue at Ark T Centre with the launch of Cecilia Macfarlane and Ruth Pethybridge‘s book Any Body, Any Age, Any Dance published by People Dancing (formerly the Foundation for Community Dance).  There will also be a film screening and four specially choreographd dances by Crossover Intergenerational Dance Company to go with the chapters of the book, followed by a birthday supper and disco.  This event is for EVERYONE; from those who began with Cecilia in 1986, through to those who are interested in beginning dance in the future.

OYD hopes that you will join them for some or all of this special day, and look forward to seeing you there!

OYD Team:  Cecilia Macfarlane, Elly Crowther, Rachel Gildea

OYD Creative Apprentices:  Emily Wheeler, Charis Taplin, Alfie Bowlby, Callum Ruddock

Date:  Saturday 17th September 2016

11.00am-4.00pm:  Fusion Arts and East Oxford Community Centre, 44 Princes Street, Oxford OX4 1DD

7.30pm -late:  Ark T Centre, Crowell Road, Oxford OX4 3LN

Free, all welcome

Oxford Youth Dance gratefully acknowledges support from Oxford University and Oxford City Council Culture Fund.

 

I have come alone tonight and I notice that I feel particularly at ease in my own company. I enjoy my separateness to others. As if in response to this, the effect of the performance was to make me conscious of my singularity. It allowed me to turn in on myself and to notice my embodied being: the skin I am encased in, the breath inside me. At the same time, it evoked a sense of an expansive world around us: far-away places and open space. The Pneȗma Project mimicked the act of breathing: drawing us in to ourselves and sending us out to the unknown. (more…)

Dance and Academia: Moving the Boundaries is an Oxford-based project which aims to facilitate dialogue between practitioners and academics in any field who have an interest in any aspect of dance or movement. It aims to be a genuinely interdisciplinary platform where intersections between research and practice in dance can be explored.  To chime with this year’s Dancin’ Oxford Festival, Dance and Academia presents Dance Discourse in Merton College in the heart of Oxford University.

How do we approach meaning in text and movement?  Miranda Laurence has convened an interactive afternoon of exploration in movement and thought, where all attendees will be invited to join the discussion, and where the content of the day may take its own course. To guide participants through this process, three guest facilitators will open up conversations, using starting points from text, poetry, and movement tasks to generate debate, pose questions, and provide some tools for our explorations (more…)

Gender:  my initial thoughts were:  are we still talking about this? Isn’t it a bit overdone? I think it’s fair to say that it is a bit passé in academic circles. I for one, definitely overdosed on feminist texts at University, indulging in the likes of Simone De Beauvoir and Judith Butler, who talk about gender as fluid – a social construction which shifts with cultural change. It’s hard to know where to go from there… That said, it is true that there has not been anywhere near as much written about men and masculinity as there has about women and feminism.

Dance is a good place to start when addressing gender. It is a body-based art form which can flirt with boundaries and has an ability to transform bodies in space and time. In dance academia, it was Ramsay Burt’s seminal text The Male Dancer (1995) which really brought questions of masculinity to light, challenging representations of men in twentieth century dance.  With Burt’s text in mind, When Men Dance takes the conversation further, around the world in fact, looking not only at the West but the Middle East and Asia in particular. (more…)

Dance and Academia: Moving the Boundaries presents:

‘Dance, Body, and Identity’

Convenor: Miranda Laurence
In partnership with Oxford Dance Forum and Dancin’ Oxford 2013

This one-day symposium brings together dance practitioners, academics and professionals from different fields, to explore concepts of Dance, Body and Identity. The day will be structured to allow much time for reflection and discussion, in an inclusive and friendly environment.   All welcome.

Saturday 9th March 2013, 10am-5.30pm

Old Fire Station, George Street, Oxford (more…)