It is a very good sign when, at the end of a dance piece, as the audience applauds, you assume only twenty minutes has passed and are surprised to discover it is more like forty. This was my pleasant experience at the end of Two old instruments, a simple, elegant and charming piece, presented by Ballet In Small Spaces, which brings to the fore the fundamental interplay between dancer and musician; an interplay so essentially at the heart of dance as a performance art. (more…)

Visible Music; playing the past, dancing the present brings together top performers from Ballet in Small Spaces and Barefoot Opera, in performances in Bristol, London, and at Oxford’s The North Wall on  25th, 27th and 29th April.  This intimate and pleasurable evening of dance and music in collaboration conjures forgotten pasts into present life through danced realisations of unusual repertoire.  The salon pieces of 18th century composer and viola da gamba virtuoso Carl Friedrich Abel range in character from exuberant and playful to wistful and melancholic.  They are the inspiration for Two old instruments in which Jonathan Rees and Susie Crow of Ballet in Small Spaces reflect on history and memory.  Dances, Oracles, Mysteries features pianists Julian Jacobson and Mariko Brown, singer Jenny Miller and dancers Chiara Vinci and Francesco Mangiacasale in evocative response to Debussy piano pieces, songs, and the composer’s little-known ballet Khamma, blurring the boundaries between performing disciplines to create a subtle but exhilarating narrative.

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An unexpected side effect of glorious summer heat… Over the last weekend some of the acoustic panels on the ceiling of United Reformed Church Hall have fallen off.  The Hall is therefore not safe to use for the time being until the problem is sorted. So all remaining classes and activities of this term have had to be cancelled, and sadly also the planned showing of work in progress on Two old instruments on Saturday 20th July.  Please do pass this information on to any friends and colleagues who may have been planning to come to activities at the Hall over the next week; there will still be work in progress by Oxford dance makers to be seen on Friday 26th July at the Old Fire Station, see the previous post…