Looking back on the last day of 2017… This site has been very quiet this year; but even if artistic production and performance has been less in evidence there has been significant BiSS activity of other sorts, both study and teaching…

Having formally presented to the Roehampton dance research community in November 2016, in the New Year I submitted an initial chapter and a summary plan of my dissertation for examination by my Director of Studies Emilyn Claid, supervisor Geraldine Morris and Internal Examiner dance philosopher Anna Pakes. A viva on these submissions in May happily confirmed my upgrade in the PhD progress; the green light to go ahead and write. Read More

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Now that we are in December and Christmas is hurtling towards us, here are dates for the end of this term of ballet classes at URC and the beginning of next.  Classes will continue as normal until and including Saturday 16th December; the only exception being that Ségolène Tarte will teach the advanced class on Thursday 14th December.  I shall then take a Christmas break, resuming teaching the normal schedule from Thursday 11th January; thus the first Saturday classes will be on 13th January and the first Monday classes on 15th January.

Over the Christmas break however it will be possible to do advanced class with Ségolène at Mortimer Hall in Marston on Tuesday 19th December; and she also plans to resume teaching this class on Tuesday 9th January (to be confirmed).

Enjoy the festive season, and here’s wishing you a very Merry Christmas and all good wishes for a Happy New Year!

Susie

Delighted to alert you to the news that Ségolène Tarte has confirmed that she will be teaching a new ballet class on Tuesday evenings at Mortimer Hall in Marston, starting from 26th September, and every Tuesday evening until (and included) 19th December, see below for full details.  Ségolène has been an inspiring presence in URC classes both as a dancer and more recently as a teacher, drawing on her European training background to bring an enriching and distinctive flavour to her classes.  A great addition to Oxford’s ballet teaching provision – enjoy!

18.15 – 19.45 Advanced adult ballet @ Mortimer Hall (OX3 0PH)

She will also consider doing an improvers/intermediate adult class if there is sufficient demand.
The price for a class will be £10 pay-as-you-go.

Mortimer Hall is a lovely village hall with a sprung floor. There is an area for changing in the adjacent room, although no showers, and full access to the kitchen.  It is located at the Marston end of the Marston Ferry Road at 40 Oxford Road, Old Marston, Oxford OX3 0PH.
There is space for parking in front; it’s in easy cycling reach of the city centre and Summertown, using the cycle path along the Marston Ferry Road; it is also accessible by bus: 14A (stop: Old Marston Library), and 14, 700, X3, X13, S7, and S5 (stop: Cherwell Drive).

Ségolène requests that those interested in coming along to the advanced class, or in a possible improvers/intermediate class, should contact her with any queries: segolene.tarte@gmail.com.

Other classes she will be teaching on a regular basis this term:
Wednesdays at Rye St Antony [OX3 0BY] (for Penny Cullerne-Bown’s East Oxford School of Ballet) [1/2 term break dates tbc]
Fridays at URC [OX2 7HN] (for Paula Nattrass’s Oxford Academy of Dance) [1/2 term break dates tbc]

And here is a short biography for those interested in knowing a bit more:

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Ségolène Tarte studied ballet with Geneviève Guillée, of the Paris Opera Ballet, at the “conservatoire municipal du XVe – Frédéric Chopin” (Geneviève danced with the Paris Opera Ballet company for 20 years, reaching the grade of “grand sujet” in 1961; she further sat as a panel member on the jury of the Paris Opera Ballet company’s annual internal promotion contest in the 1980s, whilst teaching at the conservatoire). Ségolène pursued her ballet training in Berne (Switzerland) with Ivana Halamka (soloist at the Prague Chamber ballet, at ballet Karlsruhe, then ballet mistress at the Berne Statdttheater Ballet) and joined the semi-professional company City Ballett Halamka for 5 years where she danced a number of solos, whilst completing a PhD in Biomedical Engineering. In parallel with pursuing her academic career, working as a Digital Humanist in close collaboration with Classicists at the University of Oxford, Ségolène’s move to Oxford in 2008 has seen her debuts as a choreographer, improviser, and ballet teacher. She has shown her work at various venues in Oxford, including at the Pegasus Theatre and the Old Fire Station, and teaches for a number of well-established dance schools in Oxford. Drawing on her training in the French School of ballet, through her ballet classes, Ségolène strives to share the joy of movement and the subtleties of intention through movement. Her favourite technical foci are: presentation and articulation of the feet and lower legs; fluidity and breath in the movements of the upper body; and precision and clarity in the orientation of the body in space.

 

Hard to believe that September has now begun, so here is the programme of ballet classes for this term at URC. The schedule continues as usual with the following classes running, prices as before £10 per class with the 10th class free:
Mondays: 4.15-5.30pm Adult beginners’ ballet
5.45-7.15pm Intermediate ballet
Thursdays: 10.00-11.30am Advanced ballet
Saturdays: 10.00-11.15am Adult beginners’ ballet
11.30am-1.00pm Intermediate/advanced ballet
The first classes of this term will be on Saturday 9th September, but please take note that there will be no classes on Saturday 16th September when URC celebrates its Summer Fair in the Hall.

For those of you who have enjoyed Ségolène Tarte’s classes over the summer break period, she will now be teaching at URC on Friday evenings this term for Oxford Academy of Dance, continuing the good work of Karen Sellick, including an opportunity for beginners to explore more challenging material:
Fridays: 6.15-7.15pm Improvers ballet
7.15-8.30pm Intermediate/advanced ballet (with a possibility of extending this to 8.45pm if numbers permit)
These classes will cost £10 a session pay as you go, or you have the option to make a one-off payment of £90 for the 10 lessons of the term. Please contact Paula Natrass about this:
Phone: 07913 995963
Email: paula@oxfordacademyofdance.co.uk
The first class of term will be on Friday 15th September, and there will be a half term break, date to be confirmed.

Ségolène will also be teaching Intermediate/advanced and adult ballet classes for East Oxford School of Ballet on Wednesdays at Rye St Antony School afternoon and evening; please contact Penny Cullerne-Bown for further details:
Phone: 01865 847747
Email: pcb@eastoxballet.co.uk

Plenty to get your teeth into this term! I look forward to seeing you in class soon…

Susie

Although there will be a break from the full class schedule over the summer, I am very glad to report that some ballet classes are continuing at URC under the elegant and meticulous teaching of Ségolène Tarte.  See below for a list of classes to the end of July and first week of August:

Monday 24th and 31st July 5.30-7.00pm

Thursday 27th July 10.00-11.30am

Saturday 5th August 11.30am-1.00pm

Ségolène will also be teaching on Tuesdays 18:30-20:00pm between and including 25th July and 29th August but excluding 8th August at St Matthew’s Church Hall, Marlborough Road, Oxford OX1 4LW.

Ségolène will be teaching a mixed level class; this would not be suitable for absolute or very recent beginners but could accommodate those beginners with some experience who might like a further challenge.  She is charging the current rate (£10 per class), but these classes will not go towards Susie’s loyalty card.  Following a break from 7th to 14th August it is likely that the Saturday classes at URC will continue through to the beginning of September; Thursday classes may continue if numbers are sufficient.  To register your interest in summer classes at URC please sign up to Ségolène’s Doodlepoll here

Enjoy – and, as they say, keep dancing!

Susie

Spring is here and Easter approaches. There will be a short break from ballet classes at URC, so here are some dates for the diary:

The final classes of the spring term will take place on Saturday 8th April.

Ballet classes will resume after Easter on Monday 24th April with the usual schedule:
Mondays: adult beginners’ ballet 4.15-5.30pm, intermediate 5.45-7.15pm
Thursdays: advanced 10.00-11.30am
Saturdays: adult beginners 10.00-11.15am, intermediate/advanced 11.30am-1.00pm
I plan to continue teaching until early July; date of finish of term to be confirmed.

Please note: there will be no class on Thursday 4th May because of local elections (hall in use as a polling station).

Happy Easter!
Susie

Looking back on the review of 2015, 2016 didn’t work out quite as expected – but in a year of global upheaval that is perhaps hardly surprising…

Following on from Two old instruments, an amazing opportunity had presented itself in December 2015 to work with Baroque musician Evelyn Nallen on a recreation of what could claim to be the first dramatic ballet in which a story was told without recourse to words, but through dance and mimetic gesture. John Weaver’s The Loves of Mars and Venus was premiered on 2nd March 1717 at Drury Lane.   His original scenario survives, and Evelyn and dance historian Moira Goff had used it as a base to put together a score of suitable period music; the idea to recreate the work incorporating some authentic dance material of the period but to reset ensembles and the gestural scenes, which Weaver had originally “attempted in imitation of the Pantomimes of the Ancient Greeks and Romans”.   This fascinating project was set to be unveiled on the 300th Anniversary in a truly period magnificent setting with a team of 14 dancers, 7 musicians and an actress. Unfortunately despite our best efforts and heavyweight support from some big names including Dr Richard Ralph, Weaver’s biographer, we were unable to raise sufficient funds; and ultimately lost our venue through factors beyond our control. The project has now morphed into an intimate play with music and authentic dance “Mr Weaver’s Dramatick Entertainment”, but I am sadly no longer involved. I will however keep you posted of performances of what should be a very enjoyable celebration of a truly notable date in the history of ballet. Read More