Dancin' Oxford announces festival details

Movement: Paulette Mae performs her expressive Sea Me routine in front of the organiser of Dancin’ Oxford, Claire Thompson

Movement: Paulette Mae performs her expressive Sea Me routine in front of the organiser of Dancin’ Oxford, Claire Thompson Buy this photo

First published in News thisisoxfordshire: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering North Oxford, Jericho and Summertown. Call me on 01865 425498

OXFORD’S annual dance festival is preparing to waltz its way into the city once again – but with some new additions.

Dancin’ Oxford runs from February 29 to March 10 and is putting on activities and performances for people of all skill levels.

The festival, which started in 2007, is now approaching its eighth year.

Director Claire Thompson said it was still going from strength to strength.

She said: “This year there are new attractions as well as additions to last year’s events which we are very excited about.”

For the first time, the Old Museum space in Oxford’s Town Hall will also play host to festival activities, including the Night Ball.

She said: “It is the first time we have used the space and we will also be doing some family activities.

“The Night Ball is a professional cabaret performance, but the audience can also join in at the end.”

Also in the hall will be Paulette Mae’s Sea Me, a solo dance performance which features “a mix of genres”.

Ms Mae, 31, said: “It is about finding a voice of your own amongst a sea of other human voices.

“The performance at times explores forming a new language, or even a new species.”

Using rehearsal space in both the Pegasus Theatre and the Old Fire Station, Ms Mae, from Headington and a dancer since childhood, has spent more than a year developing her performance.

Lots of colours and different styles of art will be on show throughout, she added.

Returning shows include the interactive outdoor dance display Meeting Point at Bonn Square.

The digital performance was conceived by Oxford artists Naomi Morris and Neil Smith.

“Passers-by can stand in front of the some cameras and control the images and soundtrack music with their movements,” Ms Thompson explained.

“We have come a long way since we first began.

“The arts council has now invested for the next three years and it is very challenging at the moment to win public funding.

“Our aim is to get as many people to engage with dance as possible, whatever their experience.”

Dancin’ Oxford starts on February 28 and ticketed events start at £3. For more information call 01869 337940.

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