At our recent workshop we explored and developed dances based on Ovid’s account of the funeral of Memnon, the warrior son of Aurora, Goddess of the Dawn, who is killed in battle by Achilles. Malcolm and I showed a version of this to illustrate Helen Slaney’s paper on Ancient Dance in Modern Dancers at the 14th Annual Postgraduate Symposium on the Performance of Ancient Dance held at the Ioannou Centre the following day Tuesday 1st July. We have continued working on this piece, and will be perfoming it on Saturday 19th July as part of the Iffley Music Society Summer Community Concert. Held at the beautiful and atmospheric St Mary’s Church in Iffley Village, this popular annual concert with time for an interval picnic in the churchyard is the final event of this year’s season by Iffley Music Society; it features locally based performers and this year includes dance with live musical accompaniment. Read More
I have just posted a new page on this blog about the emerging Avid for Ovid group (see above). Please check it out to find out more about this exciting project which brings together the academic research being conducted at Oxford University through Ancient Dance in Modern Dancers and artistic research by local Oxford dancers and musicians, with a view to presenting performances which draw on ancient techniques to tell stories in dance.
Monday 30th June saw a preliminary workshop session at URC in Summertown with the Avid for Ovid team and classicist Dr Helen Slaney, anthropologist Dr Caroline Potter, doctoral researcher Sophie Bocksberger and special guest dancer Marie Louise Crawley, who brings not only expertise in contemporary dance and mime, but also a background in Classics. She has been associated with the project since last year, and in May gave a workshop on the use of the neutral mask, as one of a series of thought provoking sessions over three days looking at how stories are told in dance through different genres and techniques. Great to have her powerful and inspiring contributions in improvisation tasks as we looked closely at examples of transformation in Ovid’s Metamorphoses and how these might be wordlessly conveyed; we look forward to further collaboration with Marie-Louise.
This session was planned to start the ball rolling for more intensive work over August with a view to showing work in progress at the end of that month. Watch this space for updates about the work as it develops…