Stop Press:  Two old instruments will next be performed 7.30pm Saturday 7th February 2015 at The Hive, Worcester, details here:

To purchase tickets call The Hive on 01905 822866; download the Hive Spring events brochure:

BiSS The Hive Whats On Jan-April 2015

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 an intimate and delightful music and dance collaboration, Two old instruments, in which gamba player Jonathan Rees and Susie Crow of Ballet in Small Spaces reflect on both history and memory.

Susie Crow and Jonathan Rees in Two old instruments - photo by Dulcy Lott

Susie Crow and Jonathan Rees in Two old instruments – photo by Dulcy Lott

Following showing as work in progress in July 2013 at Clarence Mews in Hackney, Two old instruments was premiered in April 2014 as part of the programme Visible Music, alongside Dances, Oracles, Mysteries which featured pianists Julian Jacobson and Mariko Brown, singer Jenny Miller of Barefoot Opera and dancers Chiara Vinci and Francesco Mangiacasale in evocative response to Debussy piano pieces, songs, and the composer’s little-known ballet Khamma.  The programme was performed at Bristol Music Club, St. Leonard’s Church in Shoreditch and The North Wall Arts Centre in Oxford.




Susie in Two old instruments - Drawing by Antonia Bruce

Susie in Two old instruments – Drawing by Antonia Bruce


Two old instruments was also the subject of evocative drawings by artist Antonia Bruce featured in Blue Moon, her successful exhibition of drawings of dancers at Art Jericho in Oxford April-May 2014; and excerpts from the piece were performed at the exhibition opening and closing events. Read about the exhibition here, and see more of Antonia’s drawings here.


The piece also received two performances in St Helen’s Central Library on May 17th; read more about this here.




What the critics and audience said:

“Dance and music in perfect partnership” – read David Bellan’s review for the Oxford Times here

“…memory danced as a reminder for us all…” – read Barbara Berrington’s response on Oxford Dance Writers here

“…fascinating… responsive communication…” – read Alexandra Stacey’s impressions here

Susie Crow and Jonathan Rees in Two old instruments -photo by Dulcy Lott

Susie Crow and Jonathan Rees in Two old instruments -photo by Dulcy Lott

In the Financial Times Clement Crisp wrote:

“Susie Crow, formerly a fine dancer and choreographer with the Royal Ballet’s second troupe, now makes dance in spaces where ballet might seem cramped – but with her skilled creations is not.  Latterly she has been producing stylish work with the viola da gamba player Jonathan Rees.  You can sample her creativity on YouTube or seek it out in live and vivid performance.  I admire her.”

Financial Times, May 10th/11th 2014  Critic’s Choice, Life and Arts section p14

“…simple, elegant and charming…” – read Emily Romain’s review for Oxford Dance Writers here

You can find videos of extracts of Two old instruments on the Video links page here

And find out about Jonathan’s other projects here

Two old instruments is designed to be seen in the round and is suitable for a range of venues; churches, halls, beautiful rooms, libraries, theatrical and historic settings.  This 40 minute piece is flexible in format and can be adapted to suit particular audiences including the performers talking about the work either during the piece or in question and answer format after (1 hour duration).  It can be performed without theatrical lighting, although it does require a smooth floor (wood or stone but not carpet).  If you are interested in booking a performance please contact Susie:

Tel:  01865 557098


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