“Spring is coming…” I wrote in posting an advance round-up of performance and other events for this year’s edition of Dancin’ Oxford Festival 1st – 11th March 2018. It would perhaps have been more appropriate to post “Winter is coming…” as the arrival of the “Beast from the East” took some casualties in the first weekend of programming. Heavy snowfall and consequent travel disruption led to the postponement to a later date (to be announced) of the one day Dance and Academia conference, with several guest speakers unable to get there. That same day (Saturday 3rd March) Company Chameleon’s performance at Pegasus Theatre was also cancelled.

Other companies who had arrived in Oxford a day or two earlier before the snow were able to continue with scheduled performances in true “the show must go on” style, and with encouragingly healthy audiences. At the end of Theatre Ad Infinitum’s Friday evening performance of Odyssey at The North Wall, performer George Mann gave a heartfelt thanks to those that had made it. I found this lively retelling of Homer’s great story of journey and homecoming well worth crunching through silent snowy streets for. (more…)

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Spring is coming, and with it Oxford’s very own festival of dance Dancin’ Oxford in its 2018 edition.  Lots of fascinating peformances to come with an emphasis on physical theatre and storytelling as well as some tantalising workshops and taster sessions.  See below for Oxford Dance Writers list of performance events and dates in Oxford with links to further information and booking details.  Check out the Dancin’ Oxford website for details of additional performances in Didcot and Banbury, as well as workshops and classes and the Dance and Academia conference. (more…)

We know a great deal, yet very little, about Nijinsky.  The traces of his life, his dancing and his choreography have been used to create biographies, reconstructions, plays, films, novels and documentaries, but we can never, of course, recreate the experience of watching him dance.  Kally Lloyd-Jones’ work addresses a very specific aspect of Nijinsky’s life; his tragic descent into madness.  Nijinsky’s Last Jump asks what happens when someone loses touch with what the rest of the world considers to be reality.

At the start, we encounter Old Nijinsky (James Bryce), confined within a set that represents both the asylum and the theatre (the flowers, the dressing table, the posters), before his younger self (Darren Brownlie) leaps through the window stage right and collapses panting on the floor.  We know from Old Nijinsky’s ports de bras, the costume and the music that this is Le Spectre de la Rose, and throughout the work Lloyd-Jones uses musical references to conjure up instantly the ballets that shaped and punctuated Nijinsky’s life. (more…)

The tale of the quintessential vampire, Dracula, has been told many a time and in many a medium.  Indeed, it is one of those narratives which, for the spectator, merge into a long genealogy of receptions and reproductions. This genealogy disables us from distinguishing the history of reception from the story itself. This position of a story entrapped between narrative and its reception presents anyone contributing to this genealogy a double challenge: not only conversing with the characters and bringing them to life, but conversing with all the other storytellers who have done so before. Mark Bruce does so beautifully in this new production of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. (more…)