The Dancing Lives conference at Wolfson College offered an exceptional opportunity for archivists, academics and dance practitioners to discuss and discover new ways to research and write about dance and dancers’ lives.

The speakers for first panel, on Historical Dancing, demonstrated the vast range of material that dance historians draw upon to investigate the past. Mike Webb and Jennifer Thorp used Jeffrey Boys’s manuscript annotations in his almanac of 1667 to paint a picture of the social dancing scene in seventeenth century London; Michael Burden used caricatures vividly to recreate and interpret the scandalous adventures of Mademoiselle Mercandotti, and Julia Bührle showed how the technological invention of the lithograph helped to make Marie Taglioni a ‘superstar’. While the first four speakers showed how creatively scholars use documents, images and ephemera to advance our knowledge, the plenary session, in which Sue Jones expertly interviewed Jennifer Homans, began to explore what the dance itself can reveal. (more…)

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How do people write about the lives of dancers and choreographers?  How does dance as a silent form represent life stories?  The Oxford Centre for Life-Writing and Dance Scholarship Oxford (DANSOX) are hosting a one-day colloquium Dancing Lives on Saturday 8th July exploring this.  The day will feature: Jennifer Homans, Founder and Director of The Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University, in conversation with Professor Sue Jones; Dame Monica Mason, former ballet dancer, teacher, and artistic director of the Royal Ballet, on travelling and dancing; contributions from Michael Burden, Mike Webb, Jennifer Thorp, Jane Pritchard, Judith Mackrell, Michael Huxley, Funmi Adewole, and Ramsay Burt; and a closing performance by Simone Damberg Würtz & Liam Francis from the Rambert Contemporary Dance Company.

Date:  Saturday 8th July, 9.00am-6.30pm

Venue:  Wolfson College, Linton Road, Oxford OX2 6UD

Tickets:  £20, or £10 for unwaged delegates. Booking here: http://bit.ly/OCLW-Dance

There are a small number of B&B rooms available at Wolfson College for 7th and 8th July. These can be booked here using the Promotional Code: DANCE2017

For more details please contact The Oxford Centre for Life-Writing here

Download the full colloquium programme here

Dance and warfare are two human activities in which human beings engage their bodies; train them, refine them, discipline them. What is the place of the human body in war in our day and age, asks choreographer Rosie Kay? And how are our attitudes towards war shaped by our own experience of being are lived bodies, always in danger of harm, but also able to work within our embodied experience, train the body, work within it, push it further? Rosie Kay’s work The body is the frontline: 5 Soldiers engages those questions- and other layers related to warfare in a subtle, nuanced and sensitive way.

Recent debates on modern warfare, from the invasions to Iraq and Afghanistan, to possible intervention in Syria, often neglect the effect foreign policy, weaved together in Cabinet Offices has on living, breathing bodies that execute them. The term “boots on the ground” is a strong example of that; we too often do not think of those who fill those boots as well as those who will be harmed by them. Rosie Kay’s work does just that. (more…)

5 SOLDIERS is a moving, dramatic and unique work that looks at how the human body remains essential to war, even in the 21st century.  Choreographer Rosie Kay brings her acclaimed work, currently touring the UK, to Oxford for performances at Wolfson College on 2nd and 3rd of May as part of the Art and Conflict Symposium 2015 with the support of the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, University of Oxford and Wolfson College.

A visceral ‘tour de force’ of the senses, 5 SOLDIERS provides an intimate view of the training that prepares our soldiers for the sheer physicality of combat, for the possibility of injury, and the impact conflict has on the bodies and minds of everyone it reaches.  The piece has a powerful physicality, moments of humour and is full of honesty, all inspired by input from serving and former soldiers, and has been endorsed as ‘getting it’ by its military audiences. In movement, the performance weaves a story of physical transformation, helping us to understand what makes a soldier and how the experience of warfare affects those that choose to put their life on the line. (more…)

The Wolfson Arts Society, the Oxford Colombian Society and the Oxford Latin American Society present Fernando Montaño, Colombian dancer and first artist with the Royal Ballet, London in The Dying Swan male version: a talk, performance and discussion.

Saturday 3 May at 6.30 pm

Leonard Wolfson Auditorium, Wolfson College, Linton Road, Oxford OX2 6UD
All welcome, Free entry.

For more information please contact; Jan Scriven
Arts Administrator, Wolfson College  www/wolfson.ox.ac.uk/
+ 44 (0)1865 512891