Ancient Dance in Modern Dancers

Ancient dance

Over the past few months, a team of researchers from the Faculty of Classics and the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Oxford have been conducting a practice-based study into the ancient dance form tragoedia saltata, or Roman tragic pantomime. The pilot phase of this study is now complete, and we hope now to present the initial findings in conjunction with open discussion of the place of dance in academia, approaches to dance history, and intersections between dance scholarship and practice.

Confirmed speakers at the colloquium include Ruth Webb (Lille), whose work on tragoedia saltata in antiquity provided essential groundwork for this study; Armand D’Angour (Oxford), specialising in the relationship between ancient music and poetic metre; and Stacey Prickett (Roehampton), addressing cultural aspects of dance reconstruction. Project participants Ségolène Tarte (Oxford) and Emily Biggs (Birmingham) will be reflecting on the process from the perspective of dance practitioner and classicist respectively. There will also be live performances by other participants in the project. We hope that the format of the day will allow plenty of opportunity for cross-disciplinary discussions and interaction.



Perspectives on Dance in Antiquity

Armand D’Angour (Oxford)

Emily Biggs (Birmingham)

Ruth Webb (Lille)



Perspectives on Dance in Academia

Ségolène Tarte (Oxford)

Stacey Prickett (Roehampton)






Video footage and presentation of results

Helen Slaney, Caroline Potter & Sophie Bocksberger (Oxford)



General discussion






Live performances

Marie-Louise Crawley

Susie Crow & Malcolm Atkins

Heidi Seppälä



Wine reception