Following last Sunday’s performance for CARU, the Avid for Ovid team will all be performing this Friday afternoon 3rd October as part of the Festival of Ancient Tales being masterminded and hosted by East Oxford Community Classics Centre run by the Iris Project at Cheney School in Headington. Lots to enjoy at this lively event: stalls, activities, dance, drama, music, an exhibition and talks by famous authors; full details here. Avid for Ovid will be in action at 3.45pm and 4.45pm in room L2 – only 15 minutes, so don’t be late! Follow this event on our Facebook event page here.
Avid for Ovid has not been idle since Metamorphoses, our showing of work in progress at Corpus Christi College on 28th August; read Ségolène Tarte’s blog post about it here, where you can also find our programme and evocative images by Bruno Guastalla. Since then, Ségolène and Malcolm have shown two pieces at the Contemporary Arts Research Unit‘s (CARU) 1st birthday event Where’s the Art? at Modern Art Oxford on Sunday 28th September. You can see some of Pier Corona’s fabulous pictures of Ségolène in full transformation and Malcolm at the keyboard on the new Avid for Ovid Facebook page here, but here are a couple to give a flavour of the occasion…
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…
Ballet in Small Spaces on tour… Delighted to give details of further performances of Two old instruments on Saturday 17th May in St Helen’s Central Library as part of the St Helen’s Arts in Libraries Programme supported by Arts Council England through Lottery funding:
Jonathan Rees and Susie Crow of Ballet in Small Spaces have been delving into the music and dance of the 18th century, inspired by the salon pieces of composer and viola da gamba virtuoso Carl Friedrich Abel. Their unique performance infoms a contemporary interpretation reflecting on both history and memory. The viol or viola da gamba is one of a family of bowed, fretted and stringed instruments that first appeared in the mid to late 15th century, and was most popular in the Renaissance and Baroque periods.
2.00pm Afternoon family focused shortened performance and talk: Grab the opportunity to speak with the professional dancer and musician and enjoy seeing them perform up close. Listen and learn about the history and stories behind the instrument, music and dancing.
5.00pm Early evening full performance: Share an intimate and delightful early evening of music and dance collaboration, with top performers conjuring forgotten pasts into present life through unusual repertoire…
St Helen’s Central Library, The Gamble Building, Victoria Square, St Helen’s WA10 1DYY, Merseyside
Tickets can be reserved for FREE by emailing email@example.com or by calling 01744 677087 (You will be asked to contribute what you can afford on the day; 1p, £1, £10, no amount is too big or too small)
Flyer here: pic.twitter.com/KMHhDIyv0K
Find out more about St Helen’s Council Arts Service here – and what’s on in St Helen’s here
Here are links to two short videos of extracts from Two old instruments made by talented video maker Chris Atkins and filmed on location at Braziers Park in March. Still time to book tickets for forthcoming performances as part of the programme Visible Music, see information here.
http://youtu.be/ik2rXbZSq34 Strong Women
Art Jericho was packed yesterday evening for the opening of Antonia Bruce‘s Blue Moon exhibition of drawings fof dance. The evening included brief performances by some of the dancers that Antonia has been drawing over the past months; a chance for spectators to see exactly what the artist has been striving to capture, and to see how Antonia’s evocative calligraphic images relate to and evoke real bodies in motion… here are a couple more of her drawings made in rehearsals of Two old instruments. The exhibition continues until 11th May – and pictures are already selling fast…
Looking through Dulcy Lott’s pictures from the Two old instruments photo shoot at picturesque Brazier’s Park on a sunny spring day in March; here is one to give a flavour of the piece in an intimate historical setting. First glimpse of costumes by designer Ellen Nabarro, the dress realised by expert maker Roz Culling.
Those of you following this blog will already have seen some of the beautiful artwork generated by Antonia Bruce in response to the Skinner Releasing Technique classes led by Lizzy Le Quesne at URC this term and last. From 17th April to 11th May Jenny Blyth Fine Art at Oxford’s Art Jericho is hosting Antonia’s exhibition Blue Moon, which lovers of dance must not miss. “Antonia has created a beautiful portfolio of drawings in Indian ink that articulate the language and expression of contemporary dance. Working closely with international dancers, she draws from life in the rehearsal studio on scrolls of paper. Antonia captures the myriad forms of movement using a ph of gestural marks that range from broad vigorous brush strokes to delicate hairline filaments. At time she adds colour, and perhaps a pure powdered cobalt blue for texture. Antonia’s drawings have a calligraphic quality that reflect the fluidity and language of the individual dancers that she works with; a minimal yet resonant sensibility from Marina Collard, balletic dance with an eighteenth century flavour from Susie Crow, and a rigour and dynamic that infuses the Protein Dance troupe’s street fights.”
Delighted to announce performances of Visible Music on 25th, 27th and 29th April. This intimate and pleasurable evening of dance and music in collaboration brings together top performers from Ballet in Small Spaces and Barefoot Opera, conjuring forgotten pasts into present life through danced realisations of unusual repertoire.
The salon pieces of 18th century composer and viola da gamba virtuoso Carl Friedrich Abel range in character from exuberant and playful to wistful and melancholic. They are the inspiration for Two old instruments in which Jonathan Rees and Susie Crow reflect on history and memory.
Dances, Oracles, Mysteries features pianists Julian Jacobson and Mariko Brown, singer Jenny Miller and dancers Chiara Vinci and Francesco Mangiacasale in evocative response to Debussy piano pieces, songs, and the composer’s little-known ballet Khamma, blurring the boundaries between performing disciplines to create a subtle but exhilarating narrative.
25th April 7.30pm Bristol Music Club, 76 St Paul’s Road, Clifton BS8 1LP
27th April 7.30pm St Leonard’s Church, Shoreditch High Street, London E1 6JN
Prices £13, £11 concessions plus 10% booking fee; or £15 on the door.
29th April 8.00pm The North Wall Arts Centre, South Parade, Oxford OX2 7JN
Book tickets for this performance here or call the box office on 01865 319450
Prices £13, £11 concessions plus £1 booking fee