Two years has passed since our last list of recommendations for Christmas gifts for the dance lovers in your life (check it out here); time for another round-up of fascinating and enjoyable reads featured by Oxford Dance Writers, to ease your Christmas shopping travails or request for your own Christmas stocking… Special thanks to Maggie Watson whose many informative and insightful reviews will help you choose the ideal gift…

First up a couple of recent books to enthuse and inform aspiring dancers and balletomanes – perfect Christmas presents:

The Ballet Lover’s Companion, by Zoë Anderson. Yale University Press, 2015

Zoë Anderson has compiled 140 ballets in a comprehensive survey of the repertoire, organised historically and geographically.  A sumptuous and enjoyable gift; read Maggie Watson’s review here. You can buy this book here (more…)

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Followers of Oxford Dance Writers who enjoyed Jane Connelly’s description of One Billion Rising  or Emily Coats’ account of her Swan Lake dance protest  will be fascinated by this book.

In Embodied politics: dance, protest and identities Stacey Prickett approaches her vast subject by means of four discrete but interlinked essays, in which she considers dance activism firstly in the US and then in Britain in the 1920s and 1930s, before turning to look at developments in the San Francisco Bay area around the turn of the 21st century and finally the South Asian dance movement in Britain. There is a logical chronological sequence to the work, but each of the four chapters has its own intrinsic structure and could be read independently.  Prickett uses the introduction and conclusion to draw together the threads that run through the work (more…)

Over the past few months, a team of researchers from the Faculty of Classics and the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Oxford have been conducting a practice-based study into the ancient dance form tragoedia saltata, or Roman tragic pantomime. The pilot phase of this study is now complete, and the team hope now to present initial findings in conjunction with open discussion of the place of dance in academia, approaches to dance history, and intersections between dance scholarship and practice. (more…)