Dancin' Oxford Festival 2008

A month of dance events across Oxford
Feb - March 2008

March 10, 2008
The Little Horse and Micro-Moments  
Tac-au-Tac Youth Dance Theatre  
Oxford Playhouse, Sunday 9th March
In essence this was rather similar to the Dance Box performed in February at the Pegasus Theatre – a collection of dance improvisations devised and performed by local children and teenagers. The children were on the whole both tidy and pretty, and their costumes were well-designed and made. The Playhouse is of course a superior venue and this meant a high level of technological competence in light and sound.

The programme opened with ‘The Little Horse’, based on the famous children’s book The Little Wooden Horse. Performers ranged from little tiny moppets in shiny colourful one-pieces who scampered about delightfully, to coltish proto-teens. After the interval older children and teenagers performed a series of six ‘Micro-Moments’ inspired, so the programme tells us, by episodes in daily life. One or two of the teenagers were very talented dancers, managing the difficult combination of being both graceful and athletic, and could be watched with enjoyment.

The theatre was packed, largely with the families of the performers, who responded with creditable enthusiasm to all the performances. 

March 5, 2008
All That Jazz - Birmingham Royal Ballet;  
New Theatre, Tuesday 4th March 2008.
Jazz and ballet may not be a traditional pairing but David Bintley's confident choreography has fused them into an extraordinarily expressive whole. The emotional range of the dance matches the rhythm, melody and erratic sonorous effects of the music, and it's clear that Bintley knows and delights in this music. The sequence as a whole explores love - earthly, mythical, varied, stronger than death - through a love affair with Jazz itself.

The eponymous sequence is as atmospheric and unsatisfying as reading short stories. Starting with 5 lighted panels on stage and the familiar melody of Dave Brubeck's Take Five, the 5 dancers whirl and pass each other, changing speed and direction to emphasize the rhythms. The dances in this section all take the music as their inspiration, and the choreography is sympathetic. But they interpret it in very different ways. At times the emphasis is on playing around with the rhythm, in other sections it's about the filling the stage with shapes, and in some it's more like dance as a visual respresentation of the melodic line. In Flying Solo Kosuke Yamamoto runs full tilt, stops, turns and shoots off again, mirroring the intricacies of the music. He does it all with perfect balance and poise, and deserves his rapturous applause. In Four Square the dancers keep up a clapped rhythm, handing it from one to another and not dropping a beat.

The score for The Orpheus Suite by Colin Towns is inspired by Duke Ellington. It's bold and striking - the crashing brass and percussion in your ears and the impossibly crowded stage in front of you assault and overload the senses. The myth is stylishly updated, so that Aristaeus is not a Beekeeper in the literal sense, but rather a euphemistic one - with his bees (or "Moisturisers") more like Fembots. A coloured series of panels made a versatile backdrop with doorways appearing and disappearing. What made this piece so incredible was its emotional depth. Orpheus (Iain Mackay) and Eurydice (Elisha Willis) were absolutely brilliant in their dancing and expression, and after braving Hades to find her, Orpheus' anguish at losing his wife again was heartwrenching.

By contrast the last act - The Shakespeare Suite - is a sequence of pastiches. They show a series of pairs of characters and their courtships. Romeo and Juliet (Jamie Bond and Natasha Oughtred) were suitably sweet and infatuated, and by turns couples were clinging and fighting, dependent and interdependent. Aside from Hamlet (Alexander Campbell) tearing himself to pieces the emotion didn't blaze as in Orpheus' story. It was odd to see a play as complex as Macbeth reduced and condensed into a single pas de deux, and the vignettes were generally lighthearted.

Throughout the evening the ballet was tempered with other genres - fitting to accompany Jazz with its chequered pedigree. The Colin Towns Mask Orchestra were absolutely superb, and finished with an encore which not nearly enough people stayed for! In fact the whole event was a bit sparsely populated. Nothing short of a full house would do justice to this performance and the rich excitement of new choreography superbly executed.

March 3, 2008
Okan’Nijo - ONE
Pegasus Theatre, Friday 29th February

Pegasus theatre regularly gives us the opportunity to be amazed and moved. Bode Lawal Sakoba Dance Theatre was no exception. This is dance that sweeps you up into a broader wider world. Live drumming on a Yoruba Bata set and a Western kit gives energy and power, whilst contemporary music and post-modern movement with deep roots communicate pure emotion. You can still see them in London on 16th March.

In abstract Aiduronijo (Clockwork), the performers moved like soulless wind-up toys to tick-tock music – the tyranny of time. The drums arrived, the intensity grew and abandon ruled. This was the Only Time – Now – joy in the moment. It cannot last. Clad in snowflake white lace, Bode Lawal emerged from a huddled hooded cloak. His tremorous dance spoke of the terror of transience, the ultimate yet beautiful doom. For a second, the clockwork seemed to be winding down, but humanity fought back – love, pleasure, teasing, anything to keep him from the door. But time came back – drew us in, unstoppable, undeniable – the End.

The second piece, Ogo (Glory) was an utterly unselfconcious dance of spirit and belief. To gospel singer Smokie Norful’s devout song ‘God is able’, Bode Lawal and Kristin Kelly danced in awe and wonder, in sorrow, deliverance, and gratitude. The sincerity of their movements gave power to the melisma – the gospel technique of extending sylla-a-a-a-a-a-ables much abused by Pop Idol contestants.

Okan’Nijo (One) was extraordinary. Developed in collaboration with contemporary and traditional dance companies in Brazil, India and China, this piece made me want to understand everything about everything: What did the first dance look like? How did all the human eddies and swirls of migration, colonisation and forced movements of population lead to the different dance traditions? How does the nature and wildlife of a place influence its dance? I am left with moments – graceful courting cranes, possession by thunderous forces, cartwheeling ebullience of spirit, symmetry, strength.

February 21, 2008
DANCE BOX, Pegasus Theatre, Feb 20-23 2008
This is a collection of dance performances, inspired by art, created and performed by groups of children from age 3+, teenagers and adults. The Pegasus Theatre is a community dance theatre where children of all ages can join dance sessions; it is minimally funded by grants from various councils, and is kept running by lots of very hard work and constant fund-raising efforts on the part of cheerful, dedicated people. This is very laudable and wonderful. Last night’s performance had three noteworthy components. The first was the opening piece, performed by the tiniest children and one parent each, called Brushstrokes. It will remind people who don’t have any little children of their own how extraordinarily beautiful and graceful they can be; it was a beautiful demonstration of the trust and love that exists between them and their parents. There was one entertaining refusenik, who stomped off to the edge of the stage and stood with folded arms, pouting lips and lowered brow – I don’t think this was part of the performance – and expressed his unwillingness to join in the lovely dance by kicking his long-suffering mummy when she invited him to return. A star in the making, and a radical over-turner of gender stereotypes – the audience loved him.

The second was a solo piece by a grown-up lady dancer called Naomi Morris, called MeterMetre. The origin of this was an improvised performance confined to a 1 metre square space. It was graceful, athletic, thoughtful, expressive; unfortunately for us, last night she had to perform it in the interval and without music, which was a shame; but I understand that on the subsequent nights it will be returned to its proper place in the second half.

The third was the final piece, A Secco, a very interesting ensemble based on Michelangelo’s paintings in the Sistine Chapel, performed by older teenagers to Vivaldi’s Cello Concerto. Slow, measured, and making use of a giant picture frame, the dancers truly surrendered their individuality to form patterns which broke and moved again, enacting the creation scenes. It was exquisitely performed and oddly moving.

That was three out of eight good ones, so not bad. The rest were suitable for the fond parents who made up the bulk of the audience. I have to admit, that after seeing the astoundingly brilliant performance a couple of weeks ago in the Westgate Centre by a Barton-based Hip-hop dance group (sorry I can’t remember their name), who also consisted of local children and teenagers, I was a teeny bit disappointed by the general quality of the dancing; but my neighbour kindly informed me that it wasn’t so much about the dancing itself as about teaching children to work together as a team, be confident, be expressive, be creative, etc. However, I would exhort everyone to go, or at least to contribute to Pegasus’ fund-raising to refurbish and improve the theatre – it was very hot and it smelled of feet (with a teensy hint of armpit) and it definitely needs an upgrade.

February 18, 2008
Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre: James Son of James at the Playhouse, Fri February 15th 2008 - Sat February 16th 2008
James Son of James is the third in a trilogy. The hero returns home to a small community in the middle of Ireland half way through his father’s funeral. He hasn’t been home for such a long time that hardly anyone knows who he is, and he plans to leave very soon. After saving the daughter of a local shop-owner from drowning herself, he is fêted as a hero and changes his plans. Little by little he influences the grim lives of the traumatized inhabitants of the small town – he introduces a beautiful east European girl to a lonely farmer, he starts a “breathing class” for stressed-out wives and daughters, he helps the childless wife of the policeman to conceive – and for a brief time he is universally beloved. But then, wouldn’t you just know it, human nature asserts its fundamental spite and envy, and it all goes horribly wrong – he’s blamed for a crime he didn’t commit, for having affairs he didn’t have, and the older generation, each of whom has some reason to hate him, ends up lynching him rather stylishly with the outdoor party lights.

This is what the programme had to say about the first in the trilogy, Giselle: “It’s a darkly comic, anarchic tale of betrayal, abuse, and disaster, cauterized by an impossibly beautiful final act involving androgynous Wilis dancing in a bogland setting … Giselle offers a raw exposition of the harsh, inbred nature of rural life, which surprisingly, because of the beauty of the dance scenes, leaves one feeling sanctified – or, at least, somewhat less traumatized.” That works just as well for James Son of James (except that I have no idea what Wilis might be). I may as well say at once that I think this a case of Emperor’s new clothes. You can see that it is brave, and raw, full of passion and energy, and for that reason you really really want to like it – and, unless they were pretending, some very august reviewers in national papers did like it very much – but ultimately it was hollow and unsatisfying, and the longest ninety minutes I’ve spent in a theatre for some time.

Mostly this was because of some very clunky and unsubtle symbolism, a certain amount of repetitiveness, and a weakness of core, of heart, in the story. This is not in the least the fault of the performers, who threw themselves into it heart and soul, and were absolutely wonderful; superb dancers, more than competent actors, and perfectly adequate singers. Head and shoulders above everyone else was the astonishing Daphne Strothmann as the Politician’s wife. She moved with a tense, febrile energy, composing her features into a driven, hatchet-like mask, becoming an unstoppable Lady Macbeth-like arch-manipulator, who will do anything to further her husband’s career – including sedating their teenage son so that he won’t tell the truth until after the election, setting up poor old James as a scapegoat for said son’s crime, and turning the poor policeman into a vengeful and violent nutcase with a few well-chosen words on the likely paternity of his wife’s baby. This character is so immense in its appetites that she single-handedly drives the action of the play and overshadows the other characters, especially James, rather in the way that Satan dominates Paradise Lost.

The dialogue is very much on the spare side, and not always as diamond-like as that electrifying scene where the Politician’s wife incriminates James (would she have done it if he hadn’t turned down her advances?). The Dance takes the place of what dialogue and action provides in normal plays, symbolizing the relationships of the couples. Sometimes this works beautifully, as with the Policeman’s wife frantically clawing at his trousers in her desperation to be impregnated; other times it doesn’t, as much of this relationship dance is kind of samey, a balancing act that veers, Apache-like, between brutality and tenderness. Sometimes the dances reminded me very strongly of the sculptures of Gustav Vigelond in that amazing sculpture park in Oslo – they had that same quality of being simultaneously monumental and intimate, and disturbingly honest. This will take many members of the audience way outside their comfort zone. I now realise that I’m talking myself into liking this after all. It did seem long at the time, but in retrospect it was not dull. It’s on for just one more night. Go see it and make your own mind up.

February 18, 2008
Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre: James Son of James
at the Playhouse, Fri February 15th 2008 - Sat February 16th 2008
There is a lot to say about this dance theatre production from the excellent ‘Fabulous Beast’ dance company, the final part of the company’s renowned Midlands Trilogy: the dancing was seemingly effortless and fluid, the characters were strong and convincing, and the story was well-told, leading the audience through a string of events to an ending that you would not predict.

The story is based around the homecoming of a man, James, who returns to the small community he has left years before, to attend his father’s funeral. He is now a stranger in the town he is from but his ‘return to the fold’ prompts a hearty welcome even from those who don’t remember him. As the action unfolds, it soon becomes clear why he would have felt the urge to leave in the first place – this is a remote and isolated community, where the horizons of its more established inhabitants do not extend beyond the town borders, and where the natural urge of the young for self expression, adventure and change are well and truly stifled. The well-travelled and exotic James brings with him the outside world, with all its enticing mystery and danger, and even though he is a quiet and unassuming character, he soon finds himself at the centre of attention for various individuals in the community, who each have their own reasons to try to get close to him.

The story is told through dance, spoken word and song, and it is to its producer’s credit that words are not used where bodily expression works better. There are dramatic moments – an attempted suicide, a confrontation between a couple split by suspicions of infidelity, the pain of a man dealing with the death of his wife - moments of beauty – the moonlight dance of young would-be lovers, the mixed emotions of a couple whose attempts to start a family are failing, the tightrope tension of the tango between the politician and his wife - countered by moments of pure comedy – the town doctor with his secret ambition to be a hairdresser, James’ yogic breathing sessions that the community’s women gatecrash, and the rebellious outbursts of the politician’s teenage son - which all build up to paint a picture of a scarily close-knit community. The characters are very human, and their actions, though sometimes extreme, do not seem out of character, which gives the ending (which I won’t reveal!) all the more poignancy. This production is a treat for the imagination, and will give you much food for thought long after the final fade to black.

February 14, 2008

CANdoCO Dance Company, Oxford Playhouse, Wed Feb. 13th 2008.
Double bill: The Stepfather & And Who Shall Go To The Ball, from disabled and non-disabled contemporary dancers.

Yoking together two extraordinarily diverse pieces – and immersing themselves so completely in the logic of each that the contrast seemed to make perfect sense – was only the first of the brave and successful moves made by CanDoCo.

Their opener – Arthur Pita’s ‘The Stepfather’, was really more of a piece of silent theatre than pure dance. The piece took its structure from a piece of dark country written by the Violent Femmes, whose narrative of familial murder is played out in its entirety at the beginning before being (literally!) rewound and expanded into a tale of infidelity and madness. This was not a terribly physical piece – apart from a couple of intensely sexual duets, both involving Bettina and a grandstanding solo from Frederick Opoku-Addaie as barman ‘Jimmy Horn’, movement was subordinated to the impetus of the storytelling. However, there were some moments of real physical wit – the clever use of a second male dancer (Marc Brew) as a spectral ‘double’ to the troubled Stepfather (Jorge M. Crecis), and an hilarious ‘sex scene’ in which limbs (and crutches) poked at impossible angles through holes in the disturbingly scrawl-covered curtain that formed the main backdrop.

The second half – Rafael Bonachela’s ‘And who shall go to the ball?’ could not have been more different. It was no surprise to read that production designer Torsten Neeland has a background in industrial design - his brutal architecture of light and metal thoroughly complemented the aggressive geometry of the dancers themselves as they jerked, writhed and battled to Scott Walker’s angular bursts of experimental sound. I was reminded, at times, of the robotic factory workers in Fritz Lang’s ‘Metropolis’. The most compelling segment was a tragic duet between Brew and Crecis, working together as beautifully as in the earlier piece, conveying a desperate need to connect with each other even as their movements relentlessly pushed them apart.

CanDoCo aim for accessibility, but that doesn’t mean the same thing as ‘easiness’. This was hard stuff to watch. That was partially due to the sheer amount of action happening on the stage – there was always more than one place to look. But it was also down to the piece’s starkness, its refusal to mean anything beyond its own physicality. It defied analysis, yet ultimately the emotions that drove it were so visible on stage, and the entire company so committed to their expression, that this didn’t seem to matter.

February 13, 2008
Stomp @ The New Theatre, Tue 12th - Sat 16th Feb 2008

Binmen have never looked so good.

Stomp is a riot of ingenious percussive rhythms and comic interactions, combining the best of street theatre and mime to create a family show with cross-cultural appeal. It's hard for anyone to resist a repetitive beat, and it's testament to this fact that by the encore the entire stalls audience is on its feet, clapping vociferously - and in time.

Commencing with the famous 'Brooms' piece, the 8-strong Stomp cast take us through a sequence of vignettes using different scrapyard/street cleaner finds as their central percussive device. Continuity between the scenes comes mainly from the panto-style comic sympathy the audience develops for the picked-on 'fool' of the cast, who gets the raw end of every deal, much to our amusement. The individual characters are different and strong, and it's fun to imagine that we might be being treated to magnified versions of the performers' true personas. They are all good dancers, actors and percussionists, and their collective range stretches from masterfully delicate (eg. the delightfully ambient, almost classical 'tubes' piece, one of the only tonal works) to thunderously electrifying (those plastic drums sound like concert timpani, but the rhythms are from Notting Hill Carnival - I can't stop jigging in my seat!).

One of the best things about Stomp is that it seems so implausibly difficult for the cast to hold together, but that by the end, the entire audience is treated to a demo of just how simple it can be to repeat a complex beat pattern en masse. Yes, even we flabby plebs can just about do it. But doing it whilst wearing sinks, wielding bin lids and swinging from chains, all as part of a tightly choreographed routine? Well, that's really something else.
Swan Lake is one of the most well-known and beloved ballets in the history of dance. A classic tale of love and betrayal, death and deception, it has undergone many re-incarnations since the original production in 1877. One of the most famous was the partnership of Fonteyn and Nureyev as Odette/Odile and Prince Siegfried, which many would describe as the definitive performance. Leads Nao Sakuma and Iain Mackay had a hard act to follow, but – impressively - follow it they did.

Sakuma in particular was unforgettable as Odette/Odile: she managed the transition between tragic heroine and enchanted trickster perfectly. Her Odette was lyrical and beautiful, haunted and haunting, whilst she played Odile as an icily brilliant coquette, smiling cruelly throughout her seduction of the Prince. Indeed, it is this contrast between the two worlds which the Prince inhabits that make the ballet what it is. It is a ballet of four acts, split between the court and the lakeside. The court alone would become a little repetitive and dull (which it verges on even in this production), technically impressive but lacking emotion. Likewise, the scenes by the lakeside could be overpoweringly dark without the splendour of the court to provide variation. It is when the Enchanter of the lakeside Baron von Rothbart invades and overshadows the world of the court that a sense of excitement, and of menace, is conveyed.

The stage design plays an essential role in creating the opposition between these two worlds, and this production has managed this perfectly. To begin with, the very spectacle of the thing is fantastic. The stage in the court scenes is beautifully dressed: indeed, it often bears more resemblance to a sumptuous window display than to a stage set. The costumes are likewise intricate and gorgeous, with those of the more minor roles taking full advantage of huge sweeping capes and outrageous headwear. Even the props are ostentatiously beautiful. This wordly attractiveness is the very opposite to the almost unearthly lakeside. The opening of the final Act is particularly evocative, involving smoke pouring off the stage and the forms of the swans rising from beneath it. It is these swans, alongside the (adorable) cygnets, that help to create the sense of otherness that characterizes these scenes; their presence on stage throughout the final pas de deux of the principals is at once moving and atmospheric.

Indeed, it is the final act that is the highlight, as well as the climax, of the ballet. The orchestra, which is flawless throughout, creates an atmosphere of impending doom, whilst Tyrone Singleton’s Baron is so believably evil that he is later booed during his curtain call. The choice to place the death of the lovers off-stage, so that the audience sees only their ascension to the ‘place of eternal love’, provides an excellent counterpoint to the pathos of Benno (danced by the excellent Kosuke Yamamoto) carrying his friend’s body. Yet it is the final pas de deux of the lovers, followed by their acceptance of death, which provides the emotional core of this scene: beautifully acted by the principals, and brilliantly executed, it is hugely moving, and simply unforgettable.
Last night, a little bit of Harlem came to the Pegasus Theatre as the Oxfordshire Touring Theatre Company (OTTC) presented Ain’t Misbehavin’ – a celebration of the music of Fats Waller. Is it a musical? It’s packed with music but it doesn’t have a story. Is it a concert? It’s continuous music but there is acting and dancing, too. The best way to describe it is five singers/actors/dancers and a terrific musical trio having a wonderful time performing music by one of the most prolific songwriters and performers of the pre-war era.

In a non-stop barrage of well-known songs (Ain’t Misbehavin’, T’Ain’t Nobody’s Biz-ness If I Do, Honeysuckle Rose, The Jitterbug Waltz, I Can’t Give You Anything But Love, among others) the moods echo the writer’s life, with swings from happy to sad, sophisticated to sleazy. The excellent cast obviously enjoy themselves and it’s astonishing how five people can fill the stage so effectively.

The set is simple and highly effective; the singing is mostly good; the dancing is excellent (credit to choreographer Sue Colgrave); and the asides are frequently hilarious. Unlike some shows I’ve been to, I got the impression that the cast really want the audience to enjoy themselves and go out of their way to involve and amuse us.

The band deserves a special mention, especially pianist and musical director Dominic Harlan. He plays stride piano superbly (if you go to the show, try to watch his hands – they move so fast and with such precision!) and he even set himself the task of picking up a piece of music that is started by a recording of Waller himself. Even if the rest of the show hadn’t been there, I’d have been happy to watch Harlan play all night.

Ain’t Misbehavin’ is at the Pegasus until Saturday 8th March before embarking on a tour of small theatres and village halls throughout Oxfordshire and elsewhere, until 12th April. Director Brendan Murray says that OTTC’s mission is to take Big Theatre to small places. He’s succeeding admirably!
I didn't know what to expect of this show, not being a ballet fan. Also the idea of a jazz orchestra bursting with leading British jazz improvisers having to play to a score didn't seem to make sense. But the dancers and musicians combined to provide a visual, a musical, an emotional and, also, an intellectual feast. Together with an imaginative lighting set and great costumes this made for a stunning, high quality show.

Choreographer David Bintley has created three ballets reflecting his passion for jazz. In a superb night his re-telling of the Orpheus myth as an allegory for jazz with an exciting original score by Colin Towns had moments of Latin percussion and even a touch of industrial metal with one of four percussionists striking a metal sheet. Inspired by bleak moments in the lives of Duke Ellington and Miles Davis, the underworld becomes a hellish brothel into which Orpheus's beloved Eurydice is seduced and stung by a pimp, to the sound of a Miles-like muted trumpet. But the Miles trumpet is also the soundtrack for Orpheus leading his beloved out of the underworld.

The storytelling which took you on a journey of the emotions was gripping from start to finish. Even the seemingly impossible task of choreographing the dismemberment of Orpheus by the Furies on stage is convincing.

The other two ballets are a series of scenes rather than a complete story. The opener 'Take Five' has much cooler music, with a quartet playing the scores from the Dave Brubeck Quartet's catalogue and the dancers in clean-looking late-fifties-early-sixties-style costumes.

In 'The Shakespeare Suite', Bintley and Towns adapt and take liberties with 'Such Sweet Thunder', the Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn musical portrait of Shakespearean characters. A lot of fun is had in the dances of Bottom with Titania, and of Kate with Petruccio and the mixing up of all the characters that included Richard the Third doing a turn with Desdemona. But it will be the chilling Lady MacBeth dancing on a blood red stage while her husband wielded his murderous knife which will stay in my memory longest.

The strong ensemble of dancers did justice to all the surprises, playfulness, pathos and drama in Bintley's choreography. The jazz players in the pit paid them the compliment of craning their necks at every opportunity to watch them. The ensemble and solo playing in what was a massive orchestra by jazz standards was superb despite Colin Towns himself and trumpet lead, Guy Barker, being away in Australia with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. And yes there was some improvisation.

After the curtain finally fell on the dancers after tumultuous applause, the orchestra treated us to a great encore number.
The annual Dancin’ Oxford’s 2008 festival kicked off its month-long programme of events with a talk from multi award-winning choreographer Wayne McGregor. Resident choreographer at the Royal Ballet and founder and Artistic Director of Wayne McGregor | Random Dance (Resident Company at Sadler’s Wells), McGregor is known for his innovative, physically exacting choreography and ground-breaking collaborations across music, film, science and technology and the visual arts.

McGregor’s latest project, Entity, is no exception, working as he has been with specialists from fields as divergent and unexpected as robotics, artificial intelligence, cognitive science and digital art. Returning to themes explored in his 2004 work, AtaXia, about a medical condition that affects coordination, Entity examines the connection between cognition and movement. Beginning with the premise that dancers are possessed of extraordinary physical ability, both natural and developed, McGregor worked alongside a team of scientists to study his cast of dancers and the exceptional cognitive processes that are the happy province of the hyper-coordinated.

Out of this collaboration Entity, the performance, was born. Comprising two contrasting works and performed by ten dancers in concert with Patrick Burnier’s seven-screen installation, it is set entirely to live music. McGregor commissioned two dramatically different scores for the project – a string quartet by Nico Muhly and experimental electronica by Jon Hopkins. This Sci-Art symbiosis promises to be a must-see for contemporary dance fans.
It’s time to don those dancing shoes and tap into this year’s dance festival. From ballet to hip hop, contemporary to Bollywood dancing there is something here for everyone no matter what gender, age, background or ability people possess. For those who like to just sit back and watch then you’d better be ready for some spectacular dance routines coming to you from a variety of acts such as Stomp at the New Theatre and the CandoCo at the Oxford Playhouse. Then for those who would like to become more involved in the Dancin’ Oxford festival there are workshops that aim to give people a flavour of the types of dance out there. Who knows perhaps Oxford has it’s own version of Darcey Bussell or maybe Darren Bennett?
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