Oxford Dance Writers is delighted to welcome experienced dance critic David Bellan, formerly writing for the Oxford Times, as a guest reviewer; here writing about the recently performed programme of new works by the Yuka Kodama Ballet Group in association with Oxford University Ballet Society.

It’s several years since I have reviewed this company of talented amateurs, but I was as impressed as ever.

They opened with A Night in the Tropics, with tuneful piano music by the exotic Louis Moreau Gottschalk – a half Jewish, half Creole virtuoso pianist admired as a child by Chopin and Liszt. The work falls into seven parts, allowing Kodama to highlight most of her cast, choreographing for each performer according to their abilities. It has a classical look. It was well danced, and clearly well rehearsed. Most impressive, for entirely different reasons, were the company’s two boys: Matt Pybus and Taiga Kodama-Pomfret. (more…)

The long established Yuka Kodama Ballet Group, which operates in association with Oxford University Ballet Society, offers an extensive programme of adult ballet classes informed by the Russian tradition, including opportunities for male dancers and pas de deux work.  It presents its annual summer show at Wychwood School once again; an opportunity to see what this committed and enthusiastic group of local dancers can do.  This year the programme consist of the intriguingly titled A Rehearsal Scene from Don Quixote, and The Bright Stream set to Shostakovich’s dazzling score.

Performances:  Friday 1st June 7.30pm, Saturday 2nd June 2.00pm and 6.30pm

Venue:  Wychwood School, 74 Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 6JR

Tickets:  £12/ £8.50

Purchase on the door or buy online here

Find out more about the group on Facebook here

Find out about Oxford University Ballet Society here

The annual opportunity for local Oxford adult ballet dancers working with long established teacher Yuka Kodama to show off what they can do.  This year’s chosen reinterpretation of a classic work is the perennial lighthearted favourite Coppelia.

Performances: Friday 30th May 7.30pm, Saturday 31st May 2.00pm & 6.30pm

Wychwood School, 74 Banbury Road, OX2 6JR

Tickets: £11-00 /£8-00  available from Yuka in classes, on the door, or online here

Find out more about Yuka Kodama Ballet Group here

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/216113785265301/