Monthly Archives: November 2012

Open Ballet Class
Saturday 1st December 2012, 11.30-1.00pm Intermediate/Advanced class
Summertown United Reformed Church Hall, Banbury Road, Summertown

Two years ago I opened the Saturday 11.30 class to visitors to view, in aid of the re-flooring of the hall.  It seems a good moment to open up this class once again to friends, colleagues and neighbours who would like to see what we do, and to show off the refurbished hall and its improved floor and what it is contributing to the work. I am very proud of the standard that has been achieved by dancers attending and would like to celebrate it.
You are most cordially invited to come, watch and enjoy.  Please do bring any friends, family or colleagues who might be interested.  We will try and squeeze in as many as we can.
Hoping to see you on Saturday…

Desperately contemplating the prospect of Christmas shopping?  Help is at hand… Recently arrived, the Ballet in Small Spaces calendar for 2013 brings together a selection of pictures from the company’s 2011 tour by leading dance photographer Bill Cooper.  Featured ballets are the cool classical Inside Out and colourful Commedia; the dancers showing elegant line and exuberant character are Caroline Crawley, Bethany Elliott, David Horn, Jack Jones, Katherine Kingston, Diarmaid O’Meara and Patrick Wood.  Inspiring imagery on the wall for a whole year…

This limited edition is now available for £10; in purchasing it you will not only be supporting Ballet in Small Spaces, but also The Exuberant Trust, the Oxfordshire charity supporting young people’s aspirations in the arts.  Email me If you would like to order a copy.  Calendars will also be on sale in Flash in the Pan pop-up shop in South Parade, Summertown from 1st to 22nd December, and at the URC Christmas Fair on Saturday 8th December.


Photo by Bill Cooper:  Bethany Elliott in Inside Out

An update on forthcoming Monday 12.00-2.00pm contemporary classes at URC.

26th November:  One more Exploring Ballet Principles workshop/class with Susie, a chance to sample this if you missed the previous two.  Read about them here:
3rd December:  No class because of the Oxford Dance Forum AGM at the Old Fire Station
10th December and 17th December:  Two classes with Flavia Coube who brings a broad background in different dance disciplines to her current Butoh influenced work and improvisation – more details to follow!

Classes will resume in the New Year as follows:
7th, 14th, 28th January and 4th February:  Four sessions with Marina Collard, recently arrived in Oxford, again more details to follow.
21st January:  No classes because of the next Drawing Dance workshop.
Plans for classes from February 11th to be confirmed.  Watch this space…


In May we presented an evening of dance exploring dance and ageing at the Ivy Arts Centre in Guildford. Here’s the project website:

The first piece on the programme, Late Work, gets another outing on 21st November at Roehampton University as part of the event detailed below.

Late Work is for four performers – dancers (us) Susie Crow and Jennifer Jackson with musicians Malcolm Atkins and Andrew Melvin –  and interweaves set and improvised dances.  At the heart of the work are questions about how the individual artist is in dialogue with her/his own body or ‘instrument’ and the body of shared disciplinary knowledge – and how improvisation practices and collaboration might give artistic shape to this dialogue.  It is performance as research – so we need an audience who will enjoy engaging in the ideas and challenges that dance and ageing presents.  We would be delighted to see you there.

Jennifer and  Susie Read More

I have just taught two workshops for the Monday contemporary class series exploring ballet principles.  Previous ballet classes aimed at contemporary dancers have not always had much uptake, so I was pleasantly surprised when interest was expressed in including some ballet sessions in the programme.  Recent experience of ballet teaching and study has reinforced the conviction expressed by Roger Tully that it is not enough now to teach the steps, we need to articulate the underlying principles, all too often taken for granted, unexpressed and therefore in danger of being misunderstood by students attending to ballet’s surface of illusion.  So the idea arose to offer a workshop rather than a conventional class to highlight through practice some of ballet’s fundamental concepts; such as verticality, spiral and opposition, en dehors and en dedans. Read More

The Bacc for the future campaign raising awareness of the threat to arts education in schools raised by Michael Gove’s EBacc is gaining increasing support among the arts and education community and institutions.  Please take a moment to find out about it and lend your support!  You can find links to the petition and recent coverage about it here on Oxford Dance Writers: