In an exciting day at the Old Fire Station sharing the recent work of Oxford dance makers, Oxford Dance Forum (ODF) celebrates its Evolution Programme, acknowledging the end of this productive three year Arts Council England/Oxford City Council funded initiative, and marking the beginning of a new entirely independent phase for Oxford Dance Forum.

In December 2019 Claire Thompson, who has overseen ODF since 2006 as part of her role as Dance Officer for Oxford City Council, will be taking a step back to enable the Forum to become fully artist-led. Claire has been pivotal in fundraising for initiatives that support local dance artists as well as building partnerships both within Oxfordshire and other regions, and ODF members are extremely grateful for her work over the past 13 years, as well as for the contributions of many local dance artists who since 2006 have voluntarily given their time as members of the ODF Steering Group.

ODF’s aim is to support Oxfordshire dance artists in their ongoing research and development as makers, teachers, and performers, so please encourage those you know to come along to this event to celebrate its work to date, or consider donating to the ODF collective to help it to continue supporting Oxford’s vibrant and dynamic dance community.

Screenings of dance films, documentaries and performances will run through the afternoon in the dance studio and foyer alongside performances and sharings of Oxford dance artists’ work, see full programme below.

Date:  Sunday 13th October 1.30-9.00pm

Venue:  The Old Fire Station, 40 George Street, Oxford OX1 2AQ

Tickets:  All tickets are free, but booking is essential.  You can book online for individual events here, or call the Box Office on 01865 263990

as follows:

Mae
1.30pm & 4pm (15 mins) Dance Studio
An informal and intimate opportunity to listen to a specially created podcast by Mae based upon her explorations into creating sound, particularly the use of contact mics, as part of her Evolution funding. Mae will be present to share her feelings on dance experimentation whilst also showing film clips and objects used within the research.

Jenny Parrott, Joëlle Pappas and Christopher Redgate, and Naomi Morris
1.50pm & 4.20pm (1 hour approx) Cafe and Loft
An intriguing and entertaining promenade event of dance, live music, projections, and dialogue that takes place in the Cafe and Loft. Ages 18+ (contains nudity).

Miranda Laurence
3.05pm (45 minutes) Dance Studio
Join Miranda Laurence for a discussion exploring how to watch dance and get more out of it. This talk is open to all – dance makers, regular dance watchers, and those who may have little or no experience of watching dance.

Body Politic, Justice in Motion, Segolene Tarte, Sole Rebel Tap, and Unlock the Chains Collective & Kuumba Nia Arts
6pm (1.5 hours approx) Theatre
A rare opportunity to experience an eclectic mix of works created by 5 Oxford based dance artists and companies, presenting short excerpts in styles ranging from hip hop to butoh, tap to physical theatre, and ballet to performance poetry.

Advertisements

“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…)

A reminder of the forthcoming Dance Scratch Night presented by Oxford Dance Forum (ODF) in partnership with Arts at the Old Fire Station) on 27th March.  These occasions provide a great opportunity to see work-in-progress by local dancers and groups, and contribute to a feedback discussion with the artists (guided by a facilitator).  Most of the artists presenting are recipients of ODF financial support (through the Evolution programme), which has helped them to develop these dances.

This occasion includes pieces by Ségolène Tarte, Smidgen Dance Company, Jenny Parrott & Unlock the Chains Collective.

Do come along to support the artists, and enjoy a great evening of emerging dance.

Performance:  Tuesday 27th March, 7.30pm

Venue:  Old Fire Station, 40 George Street, Oxford OX1 2AQ

Tickets:  £5 through the OFS box office in advance online here or on the door.

A Captivating Performance and an Unmissable Experience

#EndingTheSilence is a tripartite production that builds on the previous work performed by Unlock the Chains Collective. The first part of this performance, #BlackLivesMatter premiered in March 2017 in the Pegasus Theatre. Capitalising on its success, the collective have built on it, developing two following parts, called #Walking on Eggshells and #Rise Up.

For Unlock the Chains Collective, theatre and performance is a fundamentally holistic and immersive experience that doesn’t begin merely when the curtain rises. Walking into the Old Fire Station a little before the performance, I was greeted by a drumming set performed by Natty Mark-Samuels, Francis Boua, and Bawren Tavaziva, which wonderfully hinted towards the rhythm and the energy yet to come in the second part of the performance. (more…)

This was at three-part evening: first drumming in the bar by Natty Mark-Samuels and Francis Boua, then the performance (which the drummers also accompanied), and afterwards a DJ set.

The central event was Unlock the Chains Collective’s performance of #Ending the Silence, Euton Daley’s blistering commentary on the aftermath of empire and colonialism. Part One (entitled #Black Lives Matter) opens to the sound of emergency vehicles, and we see the performers dressed in black and white on a set with two soapbox stands and a pair of large grid frames, one placed on the floor the other leaning against the back wall. Overhead, a screen displays Derek James’ filmscape of words, names and images. (more…)

Heralding the arrival of Dancin’ Oxford 2018 in an exciting preview event, Euton Daley’s Unlock the Chains Collective presents a powerful evening of dance theatre #Ending the Silence at the Old Fire Station, building on last year’s work commissioned by Dancin’ Oxford #Black Lives Matter.

Unlock the Chains Collective asks: Where are our heroes, history makers and change makers? Why are so many not recognised in our history books or halls of fame?  In the form of a trilogy #Ending the Silence is a protest-for-change style of theatre exploring the Black experience and struggles for justice, equality and human rights:

#Black Lives Matter – a historical reflection juxtaposed with modern day resistance, protest and struggle.

#Walking on Eggshells – struggles, stories and perspectives on surviving.

#Hope – dreams, aspirations and looking forward.

“So original and thought-provoking”  Audience member

The evening starts with drumming in the bar at 7.00pm, before the performance at 7.30pm, and will be followed by a DJ set at 9.00pm.

Unlock the Chains Collective produces dance theatre projects fusing storytelling, performance poetry and design, giving opportunities to Black artists to explore their experience, culture and identity as well as create and showcase work. #Ending the Silence will kick-start a year of remembrance and celebration around the 70th anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush from the West Indies at Tilbury Docks in 1948, and with it the first large group of post-war immigration into Britain.

Performances:  Thursday- Saturday 22nd-24th February, 7.00pm for 7.30pm

Venue:  Arts at the Old Fire Station, 40 George Street, Oxford OX1 2AQ

Tickets:  £10, £8 concessions, Students/under 16s £6

Book online here, or call the Box Office on 01865 263990

Find out more about the company and Euton Daley here

I arrived late to find myself in the middle of Selfies x4 by Marina Collard Company. On stage were 4 young female dancers Lorea Burge, Alice Labant, Mathilde Lepage Bagatta and Carolina Ravaioli – dressed in jeans and a pairing of blues and reddish tops. Sometimes they stood and gazed vacantly, other times they preened, sat, walked, jumped or danced; some lovely consecutive moves, responses, stopping and starting between the pairs. Behind them, ‘selfie shots’ – pictures of faces – built up in a mosaic of squares over the back screen and disappeared again to reappear in another configuration. The soundtrack a hubbub of background noise: talking, sometimes in English, sometimes in a foreign language, a lot of giggling and awkward noises, the clattering, clanking sounds of a canteen. The whole aptly expressing the isolating (alienating?) contentment and self absorption of selfie culture.  At the end we were treated to the two pairs becoming a four and posing for each other and us; a connection warmly appreciated by the audience. This work was a collaboration between Marina, Paul Whitty (sound/music) and Vicki Rucinska ( film/projection). (more…)