Oxford Dance Writers is delighted to welcome experienced dance critic David Bellan, formerly writing for the Oxford Times, as a guest reviewer; here writing about the recently performed programme of new works by the Yuka Kodama Ballet Group in association with Oxford University Ballet Society.

It’s several years since I have reviewed this company of talented amateurs, but I was as impressed as ever.

They opened with A Night in the Tropics, with tuneful piano music by the exotic Louis Moreau Gottschalk – a half Jewish, half Creole virtuoso pianist admired as a child by Chopin and Liszt. The work falls into seven parts, allowing Kodama to highlight most of her cast, choreographing for each performer according to their abilities. It has a classical look. It was well danced, and clearly well rehearsed. Most impressive, for entirely different reasons, were the company’s two boys: Matt Pybus and Taiga Kodama-Pomfret. (more…)

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