Recent work

Ana Barbour (1966-2017) was an Oxford based dance practitioner whose skill, warmth and commitment to others is sorely missed by the Oxford community. Much of her dance work was expressed through film which she used as a medium to explore new ideas in movement as well as express her personal feelings and interests.

Anas Time


The following is as Ana left her website. Above are events of remembrance or are otherwise relevant.

Summary of recent works.  Underlined titles link to pages with more information/images.


photo: Josh Tomalin

‘Rope Rock R…’

Inspired by a length of rope, the image of long white tresses and the weight of rock.

How neutral or not are these materials in our hands?


Performed at OFS as part of ‘ODF Presents’ July 2017.

Reviews at Oxford Dance writers: Elizabeth Spight

and Jess Ryan-Phillips



photo: Peter Jones


This solo using ropes, rock, projection and devised soundtrack was originally made for Donald Hutera’s Women Go Live at OFS, Oxford. July 2016.









Butterfly with Ana Barbour in Dolls' House Cafe Reason web photo Paul Freestone

photo: Paul Freestone


Inspired by the sight and sound of a butterfly flapping at a window desperate to escape.  Short solo piece using projection, pre-recorded sound and the live rustling of tissue paper costume.  Performed at OFS dance scratch and as part of Cafe Reason’s Dolls’ House. 2015 and 2016.  Also at Go Live at OFS 2016.


2015-11-28Robinduet2 (copy)‘Inside Outside’

Short Duet plus one.  Opposites attract.  Similar but opposite. Exploring contrasting characters and qualities. Tension and balance.

Coping with and absorbing difference.  Where is the story made.

Performed at OFS scratch, Diamond Nights and Dolls’ House.

Listening with Ana Barbour (left) and Jeannie Donald McKim in Dolls' House Cafe Reason photo Paul Freestone

photo: Paul Freestone


‘Gaspard and Marguerite’

Short theatrical duet Co created with Jeannie Donald-McKim as part of Cafe Reasons ‘Dolls’ House’ Jan 2016.  Performed at Pegasus Theatre Jan 2016





test shot. Josh Tomalin

Resting Places – An invitation to lie down

Exhibition, performance and research action.

A collaboration with Rachel Gildea (dancer) and Josh Tomalin (photographer) . ‘ Resting Places’ is the first stage of my project ‘Invitation to lie down’.  Exhibition/installation, talk and lie-in held at The Old Firestation Oxford as part of ‘Playground on Fire’ 2015.  Enabled through the fantastic support of the Playground Skyrocket Scheme.

Examining the beauty and necessity of rest. An invitation to consider how we might look differently at the idea of rest in public spaces. A call to action and rest.  What structures, spaces or designs would facilitate rest in public spaces?  What is offensive about lying down in public?



DSC_0751 (copy)

photo: Paul Freestone

‘The Heart’s Desire’

A collaboration between Cafe Reason Butoh Dance Theatre and Anne L Ryan.  Inspired by the famous tapestries of The Lady and The Unicorn housed at The Cluny Museum in Paris, Anne L Ryan proposed a voice and movement exploration of the senses and their role in our lives.  As co-director there was much navigation through the new collaboration and drawing together of many strands of choreography, sound and references. The use of voice by the dancers – recorded and live was a (good) challenge for the group and added to the texture of this rich, sensual and grotesque piece.

The  group performed a work in progress at The Ashmolean, Oxford Aug 2013, made a visit to study the tapestries in Paris in Jan 2014 and performed further works in progress at Diamond Nights and ODF Dance Scratch in April 2014 before presenting 2 nights of the full length work at The Old Firestation, Oxford in June 2014. programme

The team was further strengthened by the support and expertise of Jill Elliot (composer, musician), Josh Tomalin (lighting), Dom Hargreaves (sound),  Joanna Matthews (marketing, stage management).  We are grateful for the in kind space support we received from Oxford Brookes via Russell Anderson and from the Old Firestation, the video documentation by Peter Jones and Erika Montengro and the financial support of Oxford Culture Fund and The National lottery through Arts council England.



Copy of Tuning

Photo: Naomi Morris


The star of ‘Tuning’  is the fantastic rug I used in Inertia and has grown out of a short section of that piece.  I wanted to explore more what this amazing rug could offer as well as work on a ‘low tech’ solo.

Tuning is a search.  It is a listening.  It is trying to find a way forward through the pressures and negatives which are impacting on individuals, society and nature.  It is a struggle against the dehumanisation and degradation that is taking place everyday in this global economy.

‘Tuning’ is also a celebration of the mysterious and of transformation.  This big green rug  is at once landscape and living creature, costume, prop and world.  The rug is a shape shifter out of which human and other forms emerge.  It has a voice buried in the weight of its fronds.  It has something to say.

I showed ‘Tuning’ first at the GOlive festival 2013 curated by Donald Hutera (review) and developed a further section which took me in to a new territory of voice and sound performed in LEAP, Woking Dance Festival.

I am grateful to Pegasus Theatre and Russell Anderson at Brookes University for support with space in the development of this piece, to Yael Karavan who has mentored me and to Lizzie Giraudeau, Flavia coube and Anne Ryan who have all contributed helpful feedback.




Still from video: Naomi Morris


This piece applies the physics concept of Inertia that ‘ A body will remain in the same state  whether in stillness or in constant motion until or unless subject to some external force such as air resistance, surface friction or some other force’  to the more personal and psychological experience of inertia.  An exploration of motivations, this solo/duet is the first part of Inertia which I hope to follow with a group choreography focussing on different rhythmical patterns and speeds of bodies in space when funding permits.

A first time collaboration with dance artist and videographer Naomi Morris this solo/duet version includes live camera, shadow play and prop manipulation.   The soundtrack incorporates interviews on what motivates people to get up in the morning and music and sound by Efthymios Chatzigiannis and Malcolm Atkins.  The project benefitted from the support of ODF homebed Germinator at OFS and mentoring from Yael Karavan.  Inertia was commissioned for inclusion in Dancin’ Oxford as part of Moving with the Times  2013.


photo: Paul Freestone

‘Still Standing’

Choreography for 5 dancers.  This was created for inclusion in ‘Matrix’ ,  Cafe Reason’s production at The Pegasus Theatre, Oxford.  June 3-4th 2011.  An intrinsic part of the choreography was the video created by Dariusz Dziala and the soundtrack made with the assistance of Malcolm Atkins.

Dancers were: Ayala Kingsley, Paola Esposito, Segolene Tarte, Fabrizia Verrechia and Paul Mackilligin.

Driving past newly planted trees in their green shelters, the arrangement of verticals on the land and their movement even though they were of course still gave me my starting point.  Verticals and horizontals.  Lovely, straightforward and formal.  With limited rehearsal time I worked with very simple movements.  The choreography began with small sketch images of dancers and screen forms.

Working on the soundtrack enabled me to get clearer about the structure and shape and also to be able to create and communicate appropriate ‘cues’ for video and dance.  In the theatre the lighting design of Chris Nairne added yet another dimension.




photo: Paul Freestone

 ‘Don’t Worry’

Short solo again devised for inclusion in ‘Matrix’ with projection by Dariusz Dziala and music by Malcolm Atkins.  I decided to use a short scene that had emerged in the R&D for ‘My Time’ but which didn’t make it in to the show in March.  Still exploring themes of infirmity and adjusting to bodily changes I also wanted to create a piece that was quite light in tone, a little melancholy, whimsical and quirky.

The title came from the piece of music created by Malcolm for the moon section in ‘my time’.  I asked him to create something ‘light and bubbly’ or ‘tinkly’ to frame it with.  Additionally he put in a sad tune/song based on a poem about ageing which at first I objected to.  However, on reflection (and knocking back the vocals a bit) the shift in mood actually enabled me to create a more meaningful piece.  The lovely blues and pinks of the lighting (Chris Nairne) really helped with creating magic.

With me on stage was my grandmother’s walking stick and my brother’s skateboard.  One of my favourite props -the helium balloon- filled my costumes.  I am still investigating the smallest size at which a helium balloon will float (and still remain floating between the time of buying it and taking it to the theatre for performance!…)

see video record of  ‘don’t worry’



‘Matrix’ by Cafe reason

Matrix was performed in the newly reopened Pegasus Theatre.  The production was also the first in many where the pieces originated from different members of the group  -this was due to the success of our bi monthly ‘Diamond Nights’ giving experience and confidence to individuals to show their own work.   The show had two key aims 1) to show the range and variety of voices creating new work within Cafe Reason and  2) to celebrate the newly refurbished theatre by spilling the performance out in to the cafe, foyer and corridors.

Local musicians Malcolm Atkins, Bruno Guastalla and Pete McPhail made outstanding contributions to the success of the show as did the lighting design of Christopher Nairne.  We were also helped by Peter Green with all things technical and practical including light operation and Peter Jones with filming the show and preparing a publicity trailer based on Diamond night documentation video. Yael Karavan’s workshop with us in the spring gave us the tools for creating our own ‘Foyer fools’ which featured in the preshow and interval.

The management of this production was also a new departure as this time we had a steering group of 3 – Jeannie Donald McKim, Ayala Kingsley and myself.  Cafe Reason is constantly evolving as is our way of working and this was one more stage/experiment a long the way.   We are grateful to the Pegasus theatre and The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation for their support for this production.


photo by Matthew Hamilton-Green

photo by Matthew Hamilton-Green

‘My Time.’

Solo collaboration with VJ artist Dariusz Dziala.
Live dance and film work commissioned by Pegasus Theatre and Oxford Dance Forum for their ‘Moving with The Times’ programme for the Dancin’ Oxford festival 2011. This work was performed on March 10th and 11th 2011 at The Pegasus Theatre.
Exploring the potential of light, camera, projection and dance to express the impact of physical degeneration on the dancing body. Enhanced by specially commissioned soundtrack by Malcolm Atkins.

This production was supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

See video record (Matthew Hamilton Green) of ‘My Time’ here


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