The final week of April brought thought-provokingly contrasted dance performances to Oxford. On Tuesday 23rd at the New Theatre the BalletBoyz performed their latest programme Them/Us, shortly to be opening for their first West End season at the Vaudeville Theatre. This two-part programme involves all six male dancers in both pieces. Opening the evening Them was a collaborative choreographic venture by the dancers drawing on elements of their own individual movement, sharing them in a succession of often playful episodes and exchanges. Set in a twilight zone, a gleaming stainless steel tubular cube framework and sleek satin shell suits brought enlivening geometric dashes of light and colour, red, blue, green and purple. The cube defined shifting spaces which the dancers could manipulate, inhabit, swing from and climb up. Movement combined sharp crisp gesture with a lyrical contemporary idiom, integrating tumbling and floorwork in response to Charlotte Harding’s lively but dark toned score; suggestions of character and relationship were glimpsed and a feeling of camaraderie and group identity emerged, even if overall the episodic structure of the piece did not build a sense of narrative or situational development. The performers conveyed lithe fluidity and a smooth assurance, distinct from the rawness of previous BalletBoyz ensembles; no longer projecting a company narrative of emerging talent and inexperienced diamonds in the rough, but a polished professional group. (more…)

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Join Dancin’ Oxford for a fabulous summer afternoon of performances on the Dance Stage in Gloucester Green.  The varied programme includes national professional companies James Wilton Dance (who performed Leviathan to a sell-out audience at Pegasus this March), Company Chameleon, Sole Rebel Tap and C-12 Dance Theatre, plus the ever popular Grannny Turismo (who are bringing their revved-up shopping trolleys back to the streets of Oxford!) plus talented local street dance crews Beat Street and Step2Dance.  It’s free, it’s exciting, it’s awesome, it’s the very best in dance to the heart of the City! All afternoon there will be much to see and enjoy (including a mass Zumba workout!).

Stay for 10 minutes, for an hour or all afternoon. See below for a schedule of performing groups.  Bring the family, a picnic or choose from the many street food stalls on site selling food from around the globe. Fun for everyone, and best of all its free!

Date:  Saturday 15th July, 12.00-4.00pm

Location:  Gloucester Green Market Square, Oxford OX1 2BU

Dancin’ On The Green features:

James Wilton DanceLeviathan
A 25 minute performance of the sell-out show seen at Pegasus in February, Leviathan will leave you gasping for air under the sheer ferocity of movement. A cast of 7 will wow you with a blend of athletic dance, martial arts, capoeira and partner-work, accompanied by a powerful electro-rock soundtrack by Lunatic Soul! Follow Captain Ahab and the crew as they search for the great white whale Moby Dick…you won’t regret it

Company ChameleonPush
Athletic yet sensitive, Push is a beautiful yet powerful and engaging male duet, which looks at the different stances we take as relate to one another. The piece looks at how we push to exert dominance and control, and at other times choose to submit and step back
Choreographed by Anthony Missen and Kevin Edward Turner, aka Company Chameleon.
Co-commissioned by Without Walls and Dance Initiative Greater Manchester

Sole Rebel TapSpatterdash
An energetic and colourful tap show to an electro-swing soundtrack created especially by The Chicken Brothers. Sole Rebel Tap’s glamorous dancers tear up the stage with spats, fishnets and tailed jackets dancing to well- known music, creating an uplifting and popular show which will appeal to all ages.

Plus, don’t miss some of the best Urban Dance crews Oxford has to offer, including Beat Street and Step2Dance

C-12 Dance Theatre return to Oxford with Secret Encounters – A series of short dance pieces, choreographed by exciting, diverse and award winning choreographers that will pop up unexpectedly. Inspired by “First encounters that last forever”, the pieces will transform outdoor spaces into a live performance for a brief moment. The times will be secret, the locations will be secret…… Catch them if you can! CLICK TO WATCH TRAILER

Dancin’ on the Green is supported by Oxford Playhouse

12.15 – 12.35pm – Music (DJ Set)

12.35 – 12.40pm – Beat Street (street dance)

12.40 – 12.50pm – Sole Rebel Tap – ‘Spatterdash’

12.50 – 1.10pm – Company Chameleon – ‘Push’

1.10 – 1.15pm – Step2 Dance (street dance)

1.15 – 1.40pm – James Wilton Dance – ‘Leviathan’

1.40 – 1.50pm – Sole Rebel Tap – ‘Spatterdash’

1.50 – 2.05pm – Granny Turismo (On the Green)

2.05 – 2.10pm – Compere

2.10 – 3.00pm – Zumba ‘Summer Jam’ (with George Martini & team)

3.00 – 3.05pm – Beat Street (street dance)

3.05 – 3.25pm – Company Chameleon – ‘Push’

3.25 – 3.30pm – Step2 Dance (street dance)

3.30 – 3.55pm – James Wilton Dance– ‘Leviathan’Dancin’ on the Green

(more…)

The whole production of NobulusOut of the Shadow is cinematic in its scope. The choice of music throughout the piece is populist in its approach; featuring extremely famous classical pieces and intertextual references intermixed with music from well-known film soundtracks. The first half (undoubtedly my favourite) focusses on the creation of life; the combination of the imaginatively choreographed group-created forms and musical grandeur reminded me of the Rite of Spring and Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony scenes in Disney’s Fantasia.  The large and dynamic cast of dancers  engaging in acrobatics, breaking, ballet and popping and locking helps to create an energetic pace that is steadily maintained throughout the production, which adds to the filmic quality of Out of the Shadow. (more…)