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Diary - Archive
Ana Barbour at Minster Lovell Hall
(Photo: Robin Cooke)

Class flyer
Classes flyer (click to see PDF)

Mortimer Hall class
Class at Mortimer Hall (Photo: Robin Cooke)

Diamond Night 17
Diamond Night 17
Diamond Night 17
Diamond Night 16
Diamond Night #17 (Photos: Alan Frank/Bruno Guastalla)

Mad Hatter's Tea Party
Mad Hatter's Tea Party
'Mad Hatter' improvisations at Heath Farm, 2017
(Photos: Robin Cooke)

Rousham — the arcade and the octagon pool
(Photos: Ana Barbour)

Ana Barbour
Ana Barbour in Rope Rock R…

Minster Lovell
Minster Lovell
Minster Lovell
Ayala, Ana, Karen, Cath, and Robin at Minster Lovell
(Photos: Robin Cooke and Ana Barbour)

Dolls' House
Limina flyer
(Photo: Paul Freestone; design Ayala Kingsley)

Diary Archive - 2017

(This archive page may contain broken links, and may be incomplete.)


We are sorry to tell those who do not already know the sad news that our lovely, creative, and caring Ana, a member of Cafe Reason since 1999 and an inspiring teacher, passed away on 6th November. She fought for her life against poor odds with typical lightness, courage and humour, and is an irreplaceable loss to all who knew and loved her. We hope that our upcoming show — Limina — the final event of our 20th-anniversary year, will be a tribute to her as well as a celebration. She will always be our guiding light and lives on in the dance inside us all.


Classes: Our open butoh classes currently run approximately every two weeks, in alternating venues. See the classes page for more information. Note that our last class in 2017 is on 9 December and our first class of 2018 is on 13 January.

This Diary page will be updated with information as it becomes available. To be kept up-to-date with our plans, why not join our mailing list?



Feb 3rd — Retrospective film night
Mar 25th — Diamond Night #17
Apr 21st — Retrospective film night
May 6th — Mad Hatter's Tea Party
Jun 3rd — Rousham Gardens: dance for film
Jun 17th — Yumino Seki workshop
Jul 15th — OLd Fire Station: performance by Ana Barbour
Aug 5th — Minster Lovell Hall: site-specific improvisations
Sep 23rd — Workshop with Macarena Ortuzar
Oct 13th — Retrospective film night
Dec 4th-11th — Freud Café: 20 years of Café Reason Exhibition
Dec 10th — Freud Café: 'Limina' performance

Friday 3rd February 2017 — 7.00 pm

Film Night 1

1 Westbury Crescent, OX4 3RZ
(Courtesy of Malcolm Atkins)
Bring a dish and/or drink to share and a cushion/beanbag to sit on.

This is an informal evening, showing some rarely-seen footage from our earlier performances (specially digitised for us by Peter Jones). See if you can spot the younger versions of us or past members (or even yourselves). We will be screening more recent work in a separate film night later in the year. As space is limited, please contact Ayala Kingsley to reserve a place.

Saturday 25th March 2017 — 8.00 pm

Diamond Night #17

(See the main Diamond Night page for general information about these events.)

The seventeenth in our series of arts evenings, bringing 'uncut performance gems' (ours and others') into the spotlight.

Oxford Brookes University Drama Studio
Headington Hill Campus
Headington Hill, Oxford
Cost: FREE (Donations very welcome.)
Time: 7:30 pm for 8:00 pm start

Directions... map
...from central Oxford, follow High Street over the river to the roundabout at The Plain, take the first exit (St Clements) and continue past traffic lights and straight on up Headington Hill, past the park, and then take the first driveway to the LEFT near the top of the hill, into the Brookes University Headington Hill Campus. Go past the gatehouse and take the 2nd turning on the right. The Drama Studio is a smallish, squarish building with railings outside the door, set back from the main driveway. It is usually possible to park there on Saturday evenings.

...from London, buses go every ten minutes at peak times and run all night. Catch either the Oxford Tube, or the X90, and ask for the'Gyspy Lane' or 'Brookes University'stop. Get off the bus and CROSS THE ROAD. There are two campuses, and the one you want is the less obvious one, a few metres further down the hill towards Oxford city centre and on the right hand side of the road.


Friday 21st April 2017 — 7.00 pm

Film Night 2

1 Westbury Crescent, OX4 3RZ
(Courtesy of Malcolm Atkins)
Bring a dish and/or drink to share and a cushion/beanbag to sit on.

This is an informal evening, showing some excerpts from our post-millennium performances, including theatre pieces (e.g. The 'If' Path, Precarious Footing) and site-specific work (e.g. at the Botanic Garden). We will be screening more recent shows in another film night later in the year. As space is limited, please contact Ayala Kingsley to reserve a place.

Saturday 6th May 2017 — 2.30-6.00 pm

Mad Hatter's Tea Party

Heath Farm, Swerford, near Chipping Norton, OX7 4BN

A great opportunity to create a surreal wonderland! There will be costumes, an open stage, picnic blankets, improvising, eating, sharing, games, fire… and a huge yurt, in case the weather is not as kind as it could be.

The whole family is welcome, with plenty of space to run free or lie down and relax. Please bring food to share. Dress as colourful or quirky as you like. If you're not up to playing/performing, then come as guests to the Mad Hatter's Tea Party and lend your eyes and ears to whatever unfolds.

Saturday 4th June 2017 — 1.00-6.00 pm

Dance for film at Rousham

In another 20th anniversary event, Café Reason returns to one of its favourite locations — the unspoilt 18th-century landscape gardens of Rousham House, near Lower Heyford (OX25 4QU). Filming in this stunningly romantic setting, with its pools and classical follies, has been a work-in-progress for several years. We will revisit some of these special places in the garden to create new footage, which we hope to show later in the year.

Saturday 17th June 2017 — 10.00 am-4.30 pm

Yumino Seki workshop: butoh with somatic approach

Mortimer Hall, Old Marston, OX3 0PH

The somatic approach is the study of a 'person' as a living, functional body, integrating the body, mind, and emotion, while using movement as the main exploratory tool. Shifting attention from 'action' to 'active listening', we investigate unique, individual expression. Using sensory experience as guidance, we will make an enquiry into the transformative nature of the body, where process becomes the work itself.

Yumino Seki is a Japanese butoh practitioner and a certified somatic movement educator and therapist, who has trained with Tadashi Endo, Yumiko Yoshioka, Carlotta Ikeda, and others. Concerned with the authenticity of the temporal body and informed by the cultural depth and diversity of both the UK and Japan, her work has been a gradual exploration of collective and self-identity.

"My work starts from trust; trusting that the body has its own intelligence and experience. Not moving, but being moved. Raw yet subtle, meditative yet self-destructive, stark yet sensual. Conflict and harmony co-exist in an ambiguous way. I explore and reflect the inner self, where the body becomes mere 'being' and where a point of transformation occurs."

£40 in advance, £50 on the door. Please contact Ayala Kingsley for more information and to book a place.

Saturday 15th July 2017 — 7.30 pm

Old Fire Station: performance by Ana Barbour

Oxford Dance Forum showcases a mix of new work from five artists, including our own lovely Ana Barbour in Rope, Rock, R…, which she first presented at Diamond Night #16. For tickets, contact the Old Fire Station.

Saturday 5th August 2017 — 1.00-6.00 pm

Minster Lovell Hall: site-specific improvisations

An afternoon of improvised dance pieces in the wonderful, romantic setting of this ruined 14th-century manor house by the River Windrush. This was the site of our co-production with Coral Arts in 2000, The Forest That Sailed Away. Bring a picnic, a blanket, an umbrella, and your favourite costume. For more information contact Ayala.

Saturday 23rd September 2017 — 11.00 am-5.00 pm

Outdoor workshop with Macarena Ortuzar

Michael's Folly, Henderson Place, Epping Green, Hertfordshire, SG13 8NE

This is an opportunity to take part in a day-long intensive workshop at Fabrizia's beautiful Strawbale Dance Studio and in the surrounding natural environment.

The work will focus on bringing back the spirit of physical practice, as well as the exploration of a dance coming from the environment, and will be based on the principles of Body Weather and its transformations through time. We will observe carefully the distance between body and space and the speed in which we move in response to the relationships created between our imagination and the senses.

For more information contact Fabrizia.

Macarena Ortuzar is a solo artist and experienced dance teacher, currently based in Oxford. Her vision of a dance/body is strongly influenced by her time spent as member of the Tokason Butoh Troupe in Japan, led by dance maker Min Tanaka (creator of Body Weather) and the somatic approach to the body in transition.

Friday 13th October 2017 — 7.00 pm

Film Night 3

1 Westbury Crescent, OX4 3RZ
(Courtesy of Malcolm Atkins)
Bring a dish and/or drink to share and a cushion/beanbag to sit on.

This is the last of our retrospective film nights, showing edits of more recent theatre performances, such as Matrix and Dolls' House, some Diamond Night excerpts, and brand-new site-specific work filmed at Rousham Gardens. As space is limited, please contact Ayala Kingsley to reserve a place.

Sunday 10th December 2017 — 6.00 pm

Limina performance

Freud café-bar, Walton Street, OX2 6AH

This 'cabaret-style' performance was conceived as an Extra-Shiny-Diamond-Night — that is, a mix of pieces devised by different members of the group and presented in an informal setting. Following a week-long exhibition of archive material, and the last of our 20th-anniversary events, we hope the evening will have a party atmosphere and be a splendid celebration of Café Reason's originality and creativity. (See the Limina page for more about the show.) Tickets (£8 in advance) can be booked online from Eventbrite. Wine, beer, cocktails, and other drinks, as well as delicious party food, will be available to purchase.

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