GALLERY: Oxford’s annual Spring Dance Festival is as inclusive and adventurous as ever

Dancer Lindsey Butcher courtesy of Scarabeus. Credit Mark Morreau

The 2018 Dancin’ Oxford festival is probably the best yet, with more professional companies, lots of taster sessions plus extraordinary aerial performances on the new Westgate Shopping Centre façade, March 2 to 11.

Now in its 12th year and funded by Oxford City Council and Arts Council England, Claire Thompson, Oxford City Council Dance Officer said “Each Festival has its strengths and this Spring one is no different. I am delighted that we have now engaged with venues all over the county with a wide variety of performances that should suit all tastes.  For our annual free event in Oxford City Centre  we are upending the dance floor for a series of aerial performances danced to a driving musical score. What a treat.”

Gravity & Levity (March 10) one of the UK’s leading aerial dance companies revel in animating architecture, upending the dance floor to view the city from a whole new perspective.  It will scale the Westgate Shopping Centre façade to dance up, down and across, to a lively musical score.

The annual Moving with the Times (March 9 and 10) comprises of 3 specially commissioned pieces by Dancin Oxford and Pegasus and feature Oxford performers Joelle Pappas, Lunas Dance and Orley and Sermet. The themes range from an exploration of attitudes and behaviours to motherhood.

One of last year’s Moving with the Times performers Richard Chappell Dance wowed audiences and now has a show for 4 dancers at the end we begin (March 8) based on TS Elliot’s poems.

The other two big shows this year are Gecko’s The Wedding (March 1 to 3) and Tango Moderno (March 5 to 8),  the latter starring Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace.

The North Wall plays host to four dance performances including the return of the popular children’s’ dance company Peut-Etre Theatre with a new show Tidy Up (March 10).

Outside the city The Mill in Banbury will host J&D Acrobats’ Knot (March 9) and Cornerstone Didcot New Art Club’s Cupid’s Revenge.

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