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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

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…

Susie

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:

https://vimeo.com/119615078

And see the links below for our varying takes on her original material:

https://vimeo.com/131751942 – Susie Crow

https://vimeo.com/131639723 – Jennifer Jackson

https://vimeo.com/131616011 – Nicolas Minns

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

GOlive is a dance and performance festival curated by the arts journalist Donald Hutera (The Times, etc) and produced by George Sallis, founder of the Giant Olive Theatre. It launched in autumn 2013 as an eclectic, intimate and playfully unpredictable platform for dance-based and other work by performing artists of all stripes. GOlive’s base has been the Lion and Unicorn pub theatre in Kentish Town, which is also where the latest and laboratorial edition is in progress until June 18.

Hutera is hosting each evening during a nine-night season where the spotlight will be on dance and movement with special emphasis on the work of women spanning the generations.  Under the name of BIG Ballets, long standing colleague Jennifer Jackson and I are delighted to be performing once again at GOlive on Thursday 18th June in inflect, unravel – a dance and music collaboration exploring Ravel’s Sonata for violin and cello with violinist Jenna Sherry and cellist Jonathan Rees (viola da gamba player from Two old instruments).

Jenna Sherry  and Jennifer Jackson rehearsing inflect, unravel at Ivy Arts Centre Guildford

Jenna Sherry and Jennifer Jackson rehearsing inflect, unravel at Ivy Arts Centre Guildford

You can find out more about the Festival programme and how to book here

Read Rebecca JS Nice’s review of Jennifer’s and my previous appearance at GOIive in 2013 here

And read Nicholas Minns’ review of Late Work here

We all look forward to seeing you there!

Susie

After the August days of summer sunshine it’s briskly back to work in September, rehearsing for forthcoming performances of Late Work with Jennifer Jackson and musicians Malcolm Atkins and Andrew Melvin at the new GOlive Dance and Performance Festival curated by dance critic Donald Hutera (the Times) at the intimate Lion and Unicorn Theatre in London.  Part of the Giant Olive Community Theatre Company, and now going into its twenty-fifth year, Kentish Town’s only theatre has firmly established itself as a cultural centre for high quality and innovative theatrical productions.  GOlive runs from the Monday 9th to Sunday 29th September, see the full programme and booking details here:

http://www.lionandunicorntheatre.com/golive.php

Late Work performances are at 7.30pm on Tuesday 24th and Wednesday 25th September; more information about Jennifer’s Dancing the Invisible project of which it was a part, audience comments and link to the Late Work blog can be found here:

http://www.surrey.ac.uk/schoolofarts/research/dance/dancingtheinvisible/

Jennifer Jackson and Susie Crow in the Haiku section of Late Work at the Ivy Arts Centre, Guildford

Jennifer Jackson with Susie Crow and Malcolm Atkins  in the Haiku section of Late Work at the Ivy Arts Centre, Guildford, May 2012