Wayne McGregor’s Atomos asks the question, ‘What is a body?’ An atom, etymologically speaking, is something that cannot be cut and this work is concerned with identifying the irreducible elements that make up the indivisible building blocks of humanity.

It fails, but the failure is interesting. McGregor faces a similar problem to his predecessor the Roman poet Lucretius in his poem De rerum natura (‘On the nature of things’), in that the vocabulary of his chosen language (in McGregor’s case, dance) is resistant to being broken down into its smallest constituent parts and unsuited to pinning down or precisely defining ideas and concepts. (more…)

One of the highlights of the forthcoming Dancin’ Oxford 2015 Festival; Random Dance, the company of  multi award-winning British choreographer Wayne McGregor renowned for his highly innovative collaborations across dance, film, music, technology and science, will be coming to Oxford Playhouse for two performances on 3rd and 4th March.  Atomising bodies, movement and film, McGregor’s Atomos features his ten incredible dancers performing their unique style – sculptural, rigorous, jarring and hauntingly beautiful.  Collaborating artists include lighting designer Lucy Carter and filmmaker Ravi Deepres, along with costumes by the ground-breaking designers of wearable technologies, Studio XO. Neo-classical ambient composers A Winged Victory For The Sullen provide the soaring score. (more…)

Once again Oxford puts on its dancing shoes for its annual festival Dancin’ Oxford.  This year’s edition starts on Wednesday 25th February and ends on Monday 9th March; its lively and wide ranging programme includes not only performances but workshops and activities to join in.  The Festival’s public launch will take place on Saturday 28th February between 10.00am and 4.00pm with free outdoor performances in the city centre, including Broad Street and Bonn Square, and featuring previous festival favourites Granny Turismo, Body Politic and Being Frank.

Companies performing in the Festival include:

The Pneûma Project at St John the Evangelist Church, Wednesday 25th and Thursday 26th February

Moving With the Times, the annual showcase of work by Oxford based dance makers and performers, this year featuring Cecilia Macfarlane, Melissa Holding, Hilary Kneale, Justice in Motion, Marina Collard, and Alan Hutson and Nicola Moses-Thrower of Unlock the Chains Collective; Pegasus Theatre Friday 27th and Saturday 28th February (more…)

For its first event of 2015 Dance Scholarship Oxford, DANSOX, presents internationally acclaimed choreographer Wayne McGregor in conversation on the topic of ‘Dance and Neuroscience‘.  Resident Choreographer of the Royal Ballet and Director of Random Dance, McGregor will talk about his choreographic practice with Dr Phil Barnard of the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit of Cambridge University, and Arts Producer Eckhard Thiemann.  There will also be an exhibition of the choreographer’s work.  An unmissable opportunity to hear from this influential choreographer whose work Atomos will be performed by his own company Random Dance at the Oxford Playhouse on Tuesday 3rd and Wednesday 4th March as part of this year’s Dancin’ Oxford Festival.

Date:  Tuesday 10th March 2015, 5.30-7.00pm, followed by refreshments.

Venue:  Jacqueline du Pré Building, St Hilda’s College, Cowley Place, OX4 1DY

Free and open to all but booking is essential.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/dansox-presents-wayne-mcgregor-in-conversation-dance-and-neuroscience-tickets-15217280295

Any queries or for further information, please contact Dr Susan Jones or go to www.torch.ox.ac.uk/dansox

DANSOX is supported by University of Oxford TORCH

Look out for further DANSOX events coming up this year…

 

Wayne McGregor’s Raven Girl is a brave experiment with narrative form, which springs from an exciting collaboration between author, designers, composer and choreographer.  Wonderful but subtle use of cinematic effect enhances the sepia-shaded set, and the choreography makes full use of the extraordinary technical capacity of the Royal Ballet’s principal dancers.

McGregor asked Audrey Niffenegger for a “new dark fairy tale”, and the result is a gloomy and sometimes macabre story, which includes a strong element of magic.  But magic does not make a fairy tale:  to be true to the genre, the story must, firstly, address what Bruno Bettelheim calls our “existential anxieties and dilemmas”, and, secondly, offer us a solution to them.  This, the ballet fails to do.  (more…)

Writing about the Female Choreographers’ Collective performance in October whetted my curiosity as to what might be discernible differences between the work of female and male choreographers; I approached other performances viewed recently with my antennae thus attuned…

To the Old Fire Station on 20th October to see Cecilia MacFarlane’s reflection on the tragic accidental death of her son “I’ll leave you to yourself then…”.  A small, pugnacious figure with cropped white hair, Cecilia began encased in a fragile egg of white mesh with blood red ribbons, painfully hatching, her face contorted as she slowly emerged.  (more…)

Viscera/Infra/Fool’s Paradise Royal Ballet Mixed Bill, Saturday 3rd November 2012

This triple bill opened with Viscera, a work originally created on Miami City Ballet and presented for the first time by the Royal Ballet. Choreographed by the newly appointed Artist in Residence Liam Scarlett to Lowell Liebermann’s Piano Concerto No.1 this was a thrilling, exhilarating ballet. (more…)

Booking is opening for the new season of transmissions from the Bolshoi in Moscow, which includes classic productions and choreographers and dancers Svetlana Zakharova, Maria Alexandrova, Ruslan Skvortsov, David Hallberg and Wayne McGregor… (more…)