The site of the proposed dance 'cube' - a field entrance near Elsfield, Oxfordshire

Invitation to dance: Cube

In February 2022, I invited members of Oxford Contact Dance to join me in creating a landscape dance called ‘Cube’ which involved dancing with two concrete cubes set in the countryside near Oxford.

I’d previously created a landscape dance which was a solo called Torus 2.3.3. This time, it’d involve concrete blocks that stopped access to a farmers field at Elsfied near Oxford. This dance would – I hoped – involve several dancers, invited from Oxford Contact Dance.

I publicised the dance event on the website and newsletter of Oxford Contact Dance, as well as in social media, and event listing websites. The intention was to meet in central Oxford and cycle out to the field with the blocks – about a 15 minute ride.

What happened?!

There were three expressions of interest in the dance. However, one person didn’t turn up (without even cancelling); another turned up without a bicycle to travel to the site; and the third cancelled prior to the event. Hence, the ‘Cube’ dance is yet to be created!

What did I learn

As I’ve written previously, I learn so much from my ‘students’! While this event was without charge, it was possibly too much of an ask!

The dancers had to turn up with a bicycle – in winter, and then cycle out to the site. At the time, the new variant of Covid-19 – the omicron variant – was rife and it had led to the curtailment of indoor classes which I’d hope to hold from January.

While an outdoor dance (with social/physical distancing) might have seemed necessary due to the Covid situation – it wasn’t attractive to potential dancers! I had thought the cycle ride to the site was fun and desirable but people my have considered as too burdensome.

Or perhaps the general situation with Covid – again – had simply meant people didn’t want to take risks or were simply demotivated and fatigued by it all? Maybe three responses in the face of a continuing epidemic was actually – good!! You can but try!

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