Exciting news: Sonia York-Pryce’s short film Interprète/Inappropriate Behaviour featuring the danced responses of 8 mature dancers from the UK and Australia to her original dance motif has been awarded the Gold Medal in the first ever “Joie de Vivre” Dance Film Competition being run by Pavilion Dance South West in celebration of UN International Day of Older Persons on 1st October.  The winning films will be being shown in various arts and health venues in the South West over the month of October, and you can see details about them on PDSW’s website here:

Watch Sonia’s film here

Full credits for Sonia’s film can be found here

You can read more about how the film came to be made and Sonia’s research with mature dancers here

And find links to the contributions of some of the British dancers involved here


A brief update on Sonia Yorke-Pryce’s project with older dancers, Inappropriate Behaviour, of which it has been fascinating to be a part, with news of showings of the work in Australia this summer.  Sonia’s filming of 4 Australian dancers and 4 British dancers interpreting her original motif was exhibited in a video installation in the Whitebox Gallery of Queensland College of Art at Griffith University from Tuesday 28th July to Friday 31st July.  Sonia will also be making a presentation about her work on this as part of the DANscienCE FESTIVAL this weekend 21st to 23rd August at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane.  This will include a showing of the final cut of her short film incorporating the interpretations of all 8 dancers: Ann Dickie, Jennifer Jackson, Susie Crow, Nicholas Minns (UK) and Anca Frankenhauser, Ross Philip, Patrick Harding-Irmer and Susan Barling Australia).

Nicholas Minns and Jennifer Jackson rehearsing for Inappropriate Behaviour, Ivy Arts Centre January 2015

Nicholas Minns and Jennifer Jackson rehearsing for Inappropriate Behaviour, Ivy Arts Centre January 2015

Watch Sonia’s final cut here

Read more about Sonia’s work here


Late July and August can be an arid time for keen dancers in Oxford, as local dance schools take a well earned break from their regular teaching schedules, maintaining a reduced programme to cater mainly for students with impending exams and more advanced dancers keen not to lose momentum and fitness.  This year for the first time Lizie Giraudeau and I decided to add something to the summer mix by programming an intensive week of daily daytime classes for adult learners at URC, with two hours of ballet in the morning and two hours of contemporary dance in the afternoon.  A range of flexible options were offered to allow for those unable to commit to a whole week full time.  For those attending the ballet the two hour intermediate/advanced class enabled some time each day for study of a section of classical repertoire; the contemporary class was designed to accommodate different levels of experience, thus giving newcomers an opportunity for an immersive introductory experience.

Summer Workshop ballet group 7 August 15

Summer Workshop ballet group 7 August 15

The ballet classes took as their focus the opening of the legendary Kingdom of the Shades (Act 3) from Petipa’s La Bayadère, set to the tuneful and danceable music of Ludwig Minkus. Read More

Curated by veteran dance and theatre critic Donald Hutera the vibrant GOlive Dance and Performance Festival began in London two years ago and is now moving out for the first time, with performances coming up in Oxford at the Burton Taylor Studio Wednesday 15th to Saturday 18th July and in Winchester at the Chesil Theatre on 24th July.  Having performed previously for GOlive in London this year and in 2013, I am delighted to be part of the eclectic mixed bill at the Burton Taylor with colleagues Ségolène Tarte and Marie-Louise Crawley, showing pieces from the Avid for Ovid repertoire on Friday 17th and Saturday 18th.  Other Oxford based artists include Crossover Intergenerational Dance with Cecilia Macfarlane, Marina Collard, hip-hop crew Beat Street and Anuradha Chaturvedi of Drishti Dance.  Exciting visitors showing their work in Oxford for the first time are Hanna Wroblewski, Sarah Kent, Mara Vivas, Shane Shambhu, Ffin Dance and Susan Kempster.  Not to be missed!  Get your bookings in soon, the Burton Taylor is an intimate venue…

You can find out more about GOlive Oxford and book tickets here

and on Oxford Dance Writers here

and for GOlive in Winchester here

And check out Avid for Ovid’s developing work here

See you at the BT…


Two of Oxford’s most experienced teachers, Susie Crow and Lizie Giraudeau, come together to give a week of summer classes in ballet and contemporary dance at URC in Oxford from Monday 3rd of August to Friday 7th August. Aimed at students and adults the schedule offers a daily two-hour morning ballet class and two hour afternoon contemporary workshop in the spacious and peaceful environment of the United Reformed Church Hall (URC) on Banbury Road in Summertown, equipped with a Harlequin sprung floor. The perfect opportunity both for development of old skills and exploration of new, to experience and enjoy a concentrated week of dancing with like-minded companions, or dip in to try something new.  Find out more… Read More

Hard to believe that two weeks has already passed since the performance of inflect, unravel at Donald Hutera’s GOlive Festival at the Giant Olive Theatre above the very agreeable Lion and Unicorn pub in Gaisford Street, Kentish Town.  A packed house, and even more packed dressing room, for this informal eclectic closing evening where Jennifer Jackson and I along with musicians Jonathan Rees and Jenna Sherry shared the bill with a rich range of dance and performance: Mamoru Iriguchi’s wacky multi-layered 4D Cinema: Screen 2, Alice Labant’s fluid solo Je m’appelle Reviens accompanied by the mysterious swooshings of her washing machine cycle; heartwarming Corali Dance Company in a summery quartet, powerfully brave Hanna Wroblewski’s dark solo My Heart became this Monster, Mara Vivas’ cool gestural Triptych and Fred Gehrig’s quizzically suggestive A Tree.  Great to be part of this vibrant sharing of new ideas in an intimate space, ingeniously lit and cheerfully compered by Donald Hutera.  The future of GOlive at this location has been somewhat up in the air of late but, with luck and perseverance, it will continue here as well as elsewhere; there are imminent dates at the Oxford Playhouse Burton Taylor Studio July 15-18 and Chesil Theatre, Winchester July 24.  More information to follow…

Sharing inflect, unravel at Holy Trinity Church Hall, Barnes - photograph by Adrian Hobbs

Sharing inflect, unravel at Holy Trinity Church Hall, Barnes – photograph by Adrian Hobbs

Grateful thanks are due to Holy Trinity Church in Barnes which afforded free space for us to rehearse in their peaceful church hall; on Wednesday 17th June we did an informal showing there for local parishioners, well received and followed by tea, chat and strawberries.  It has been great to be able to work on this piece in gorgeous studios at the Royal Ballet Senior School in Covent Garden, at the Ivy Arts Centre of Surrey University and once again at Cornerstone Arts Centre in Didcot.  We hope that there will be further opportunities to perform it, and there is another movement from Ravel’s lovely work to be developed; watch this space…

Delighted to report that Sonia York-Pryce has recently finished editing the video footage taken during her visit  to the UK in January, as part of primary research and creative practice for her PhD research project Ageism and the Mature Dancer.  Under the title Inappropriate Behaviour she has made short films of 8 dancers’ interpretations of an original movement motif of hers, set to contemplative music by American composer Bill Ryan.  Here is a link to her short compilation Interprète – the beginning featuring the British contingent; myself, Jennifer Jackson, Nicholas Minns and Ann Dickie:

And see the links below for our varying takes on her original material: – Susie Crow – Jennifer Jackson – Nicolas Minns

You can find out more about Bill Ryan and his music here

To Worcester by train on Saturday 7th February for another performance of Two old instruments with Jonathan. Our second show in a library, this time in the intimate Studio of The Hive, Worcester. This state of the art building opened in 2012 combines the public library, University of Worcester library and access to County Council services in a single open plan structure. On a Saturday afternoon it was exhilarating to see it teeming with families visiting its extensive and welcoming children’s library spaces with their panoramic outlook, and using its friendly café; this striking piece of architecture evidently establishing itself among local people as a valuable and homely amenity.

The Hive, Worcester

The Hive, Worcester

Our evening show was the first dance event in a developing programme of small-scale performances. Afterwards our small but appreciative audience, including two young children, asked interested questions about the viola da gamba, unknown to most, and about the emergence of ballet in the eighteenth century… we felt encouraged by their engagement and concentration – and fascination with footwork!

Susie and Jonathan rehearsing Two old instruments, Diamond Studio, Corenerstone

Susie and Jonathan rehearsing Two old instruments, Diamond Studio, Corenerstone

Preparations for this performance took us twice to Didcot where we benefitted from the Cornerstone Arts Centre’s enlightened offer of reduced price rehearsal space in their bright purpose built dance studio, providing an ideal working environment of professional standard, cheaper than anything available in either Oxford or London. Cornerstone offers a cheering example of a local authority investing in a well equipped and centrally located arts facility, with friendly staff and an open door policy. A big thank you – welcoming artists in to use the facilities at off-peak times offers a lifeline to small scale initiatives developing and refining their work.

Here’s hoping that over time performing artists can become embedded, and audiences for dance and music built in these aspirational public spaces…


TOI Cornerstone Susie & Jonathan 27 jan 15

Delighted to announce a forthcoming performance of Two old instruments by viola da gamba player Jonathan Rees and myself on Saturday 7th February.  This piece celebrating the music of 18th century viola da gamba virtuoso Carl Friedrich Abel was premiered last year and performed in a variety of venues.  Once again we are in a library, this time Worcester’s state of the art The Hive which since its opening in 2012 has uniquely brought together both the city’s public library and University of Worcester Library in a stunning honey-coloured new building.

Susie and Jonathan in Two old instruments at Braziers Park, phot by Dulcy Lott

Susie and Jonathan in Two old instruments at Braziers Park, photo by Dulcy Lott

We will be performing in the intimate Studio at 7.30pm as part of a developing programme of events, download the Spring brochure here:

BiSS The Hive Whats On Jan-April 2015

Booking details can be found on page 23, and online here.  Tickets for Two old instruments can be purchased in person from the Information Pod on Level 1 of The Hive, or can be booked by calling 01905 765576 (Monday to Friday, 9.00am-5.00pm).  Find out more about Two old instruments, including further images, reviews and video clips here.

We look forward to seeing you there…



Start as you mean to go on…

This year’s creative endeavours got off to a positive and life affirming start. I joined colleagues Jennifer Jackson and Nicholas Minns in the spacious dance studio at the Ivy Arts Centre at University of Surrey once again on 6th January at the request of dancer and researcher Sonia York-Pryce, to contribute to her research into older dancers.

Sonia’s research into ageism and the mature dancer began in 2013 as part of her Bachelor of Digital Media (Hons) at the Queensland College of Art, Griffith University, Australia. She called it Does the Dancing have to Stop? and initially involved dancers Jennifer Jackson and Louise Lecavalier in interviews and questionnaires about their process, fitness, and performance thoughts.  This and a short film using archive footage of the young Sonia and the mature became the creative input of her degree; watch the film here.

Read More

It is New Year’s Eve, so time once again to look back on the year and take stock before ringing in 2015… A useful exercise!

A year of performing, testing my limits as a “mature“ dancer, at a time when there seems to be gradually increasing interest in older performers. Two old instruments, my collaboration with viola da gamba player Jonathan Rees, was paired with Dances, Oracles, Mysteries devised and performed by artists of Barefoot Opera in the double bill Visible Music for a mini tour of performances in Bristol, Shoreditch and Oxford at the end of April. Subsequently Jonathan and I also performed twice in the welcoming setting of St Helen’s Central Library in May.  Response has been most positive and we already have a further performance of this adaptable piece confirmed for another library, this time in the intimate studio space of state-of-the-art The Hive in Worcester on 7th February. You can find full information about this project here. Read More