Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Eccentric, Comic and Popular Dance for Actors & Clowns in Barcelona June 2016

Eccentric, Comic and Popular Dance for Actors & Clowns in Barcelona June 2016

The Actors Space
6-12 June 2016 (inclusive of travel days) 
Fee: £300 / €400 inclusive of tuition, accommodation and meal

The Dorothy's Shoes daffy dance workshop is back in Barcelona for 2016!

This week-long intensive workshop looks at the many and various possible uses of popular dance forms in contemporary performance; investigates the vaudeville tradition and its applications in modern theatre, performance and clown; and explores the potential of eccentric dance in the creation of comic or grotesque characters. Specifically, students can expect to:

Learn basic skills in ‘stage dance’ 
Learn classic pre-existing Eccentric Dance routines, such as those popularised by Laurel & Hardy, and the legendary Sand Dance.  
Explore a number of popular dance rhythms such as Charleston, Tango, Jazz/Swing, Rumba-Bolero/Mambo and investigate how these can be used for theatrical or comic effect
Develop  their own clown or comic persona.

The workshop culminates in a cabaret evening.

This workshop was a fabulous success at the Actors Space in 2015, attended by a broad range of people with different experiences and talents who worked, played, danced, laughed and lived together for one fabulous week.

There will be  new routines for 2016 alongside the old favourites, so if you have previously taken part, come back! There will be a substantial fee reduction for course returners, or for previous students of other courses at The Actors Space.

Arrive: Monday 6 June 2016
Course: 5 days, Tuesday 7 – Saturday 11 June
Depart: Sunday 12 June

Please email for further information and to book. Call +44 7752 142526. See

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Dorothy's Shoes / Aurelius Arts at SPILL Festival London 2015

We are delighted to announce that In My Room, an intimate interactive installation, has been accepted into the marvellous and inspiring SPILL Festival. 

It can be seen at Toynbee Studios Thursday to Sunday 29 October – 1 November, and Thursday to Saturday 5 – 7 November 2015. See  

In My Room invites its audience to enter a time capsule. Finding themselves in what purports to be a teenage girl’s bedroom in the 1970s, they are free to rifle through the piles of punk fanzines, fetish clothes, LPs, and teen magazines; take in the walls collaged with gig posters, pages torn from porn mags, and scrawled-over wallpaper; and snuggle down on the Sex is no Emergency bed.

Accompanying sound installation (by James Foz Foster) fuses 70s pop tunes with a poetic reflection on the sexualisation of girl children. The work is both an exhibition of original pop/punk/porn artefacts; and a reflection on the legacy of sexual abuse in the 70s, which the punk movement called out, parodied, and subverted.

All press or booking enquiries to: 

Or call Dorothy Max on: +44 7752 142526

Dorothy Max Prior has over thirty years experience in the performing arts – from punk-rock drummer to performance artist; ballroom dance teacher to street arts choreographer and site-specific theatre-maker. She is a co-director of The Ragroof Players, and also creates projects under the name Dorothy’s Shoes, with commissioned shows and events for a diverse range of festivals and venues including LIFT/ BR-116, Sacred at Chelsea Theatre, Entre_Lugares festival (Brazil), and Tenuta dello Scompiglio (Italy).

‘By far the most exciting commission of the festival.’ Alice Jones, Independent, on Kissing the Gunner’s Daughter, Dip Your Toe, Brighton Fringe, 2012

‘Interactive, rich with meaning. A world of languages ​​that combine to give the viewer a highly exciting experience that stimulates the collective imagination.’ Partegrafica (Italy) on Sisters of Hera, 2014

More About Dorothy Max Prior

Dorothy Max Prior works under the name Dorothy's Shoes, also creating projects that are presented under the name Aurelius Productions.

Much of her work takes place in public spaces, or is created to be responsive to one particular site, or to a certain genre of sites (public buses, beaches or ballrooms, for example!)

Her focus is on work that is placed outside of regular theatre and arts spaces; in work that blurs the boundaries between artist and audience; and in work that challenges restricted and outmoded expectations of ‘community and participatory arts’. 

Aurelius Productions / Dorothy's Shoes likes best to create new work for new environments, and would love to hear from anyone with an interesting site/venue/festival seeking unusual interactive / immersive performances and installation works. These works can range from small-scale installation and promenade works/public space interventions, to large-scale whole-evening immersive performance events. 

Please contact for further information or to start a conversation about possibilities.

We can also re-work existing pieces for new places. 

Pre-existing works that can be commissioned for reworking in new environments include:

Sisters of Hera Part 3: The Feast (originally commissioned by Tenuta dello Scompiglio, Italy)

Sisters of Hera was a major site-responsive work, indoors and outdoors, created over a year (2014) at Tenuta dello Scompiglio, Tuscany, Italy. It consisted of three parts, The Hunt, The Homecoming, and The Feast. Parts 1 & 2 were truly site-specific to the woods and meadows of Tuscany, but The Feast is moving forwards!

We give you an interactive Feast of music, dance, sculpture, shadow puppetry, and live drawing, created by a core team of four artists (Dorothy Max Prior, Isobel Smith, James Foz Foster, and the Baron Gilvan), who work with other professional or community artists to create an immersive evening, built around a grand feasting table, that explores the eternal tug between the wild and the tamed,  honouring the gods and goddesses of Olympia with a contemporary twist.

Behind the Moon, Beyond the Rain (originally commissioned by Anglo-Brazilian festival LIFT/BR-116 2011)

Audience (both those in the know, and those encountered along the way) are taken on a fairy-tale journey across a city. Taking its inspiration not only from The Wizard of Oz but also from a whole wealth of folk and fairy tales about ‘journeying’ and ‘migration' the piece is an interactive/participatory promenade performance through streets, public spaces, and on public transport.

It is inspired by the notion that all strangers are friends that you haven’t yet met, and that everything you need in life is here right in front of you, within grasp. It aims to distract passers-by momentarily from their daily lives, and to activate the environment around each small intervention. The piece is seen as a psychogeographic journey that gives homage in small ways to geographical/architectural landmarks along the chosen route, and engages passing members of the public (in streets, at bus stops, at stations, in parks, by canals or rivers) in gently surreal encounters and non-threatening interventions to daily life. 

Encounters can include: communal singing on a bus; dancing a waltz along tree-lined avenues; a picnic in the wilderness; joining a carnival procession along a station walkway. The piece is substantially reworked for each new environment and responds to architecture, landscape, history and community in the chosen site(s).

Flying Down to Rio, (co-commissioned by Sacred Festival at Chelsea Theatre in London, 2011, and Entre_Lugares at Sergio Porto in Rio 2012)

Experience Fred and Ginger ‘Doing the Carioca’, and indulge your secret love of samba-kitsch at the Copacabana with Barry Manilow. Come to a carnival in a closet, visit the Michael Jackson shrine, and explore your fantasy self at the pound-store fancy dress stall. Flying Down to Rio is an idiosyncratic response to a real and imagined Rio – an immersive installation and performance set in a specially-created dancehall environment, offering a reflection on cultural tourism. 

Audience members are guests in the 'dancehall' and experience a full two-hour programme of performance, film, installation/sculptures, and interactive activity – with plenty of opportunity to join the dance. Created in collaboration with Matthew Blacklock, with design/installations by Isobel Smith, sound by James Foz  Foster, photography by Natasha Nixon, and film by Gabriel Foster Prior and Rosie Powell.

Dorothy's Shoes presents The Toy Town Bordello (created with support of the Basement Arts Centre, Brighton, where it was a regular monthly fixture under the name Basement Bordello for three seasons 2008–2010)

The Bordello is a an evening (up to three hours) of immersive and interactive performance and installation, set around a whole venue, with three or more distinct spaces: The Ballroom That Time Forgot, a dancehall where one can encounter extraordinary reworkings of classic ballroom/social dances; the Sideshow of Shadows film/installation room; the Badstock Bar Staad for music, table-top puppetry, games, and truly live art; and perhaps also a Secret Attic/Cupboard/Basement for small-scale and intimate installation work. 

Dorothy's Shoes works with the host venue to find the best use of the available spaces for each Bordello. Led and hosted by a core team of four artists (Dorothy Max Prior, Matthew Blacklock, Isobel Smith, and James Foz Foster), with other artists invited to contribute to each special evening. Previous regular collaborators have included Lillian Henley of 1927 theatre company, The Baron Gilvan, Paul Harrison of X-Piano, The Ragroof Players, Katie Etheridge, and Tom Adams. There is an option of working with artists local to each venue hosting the Bordello, to include their work in the evening's programme.

A Doll's House – After Ibsen

A sound and vision sculpture of found objects/ sound installation, featuring a specially composed soundscape. The piece references Ibsen's classic text through visual images/artefacts placed in and around a modified doll's house, accompanied by a soundscape of deconstructed text, music and found sound. Originally created for Clockworks – Live Art in a Shop Window for Brighton Festival 2005, the piece was reworked/remounted in 2009 and is currently available. It can be placed in a variety of different environment, inside a small space of a gallery or venue, or as originally intended inside a shop window, the sculpture viewed through glass and the soundscape heard through a grating or other outlet. Can run on a loop for as long as is required.
NB This installation can also be included in a package for The Toy Town Bordello

All enquiries to: or call +44 7752 142526

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Eccentric, Comic and Popular Dance for Actors and Clowns
A Residential course at The Actors Space in Sunny Spain

3 June 2015 @ 16:00 – 9 June 2015 @ 10:00
Cost: €380 – inclusive of tuition, accommodation & meals
Tutor: Dorothy Max Prior

Booking enquiries: 
Tel: +44 7752 142526
£280 inclusive of tuition, accommodation & meals

Pay here:

Workshop Payments

Fancy a week of deft and daft dancing in the beautiful Catalan hills in sunny June? Gorgeous farmhouse, tasty meals – and a great week of dancing delights! A relaxed, fun workshop aimed at professional actors/clowns/dancers – although enthusiastic amateurs with some dance experience very welcome too!

From the Music Hall and Variety stages of Europe to American Vaudeville and the Hollywood heyday of silent film; through the longstanding Cabaret traditions to contemporary Clown and Postmodern Performance – Eccentric Dance has manifested in many different ways. An inspirational list of artists – from Charlie Chaplin, Laurel & Hardy, and Josephine Baker through to modern purveyors such as Liz Aggiss, Spymonkey and even Gangnam Style star Psi – have contributed to the development of the form.

The workshop will look at the many and various possible uses of comic and popular dance forms in contemporary performance; will investigate the vaudeville tradition and its applications in modern theatre, performance and clown; and will explore the potential of eccentric dance in the creation of comic or grotesque characters.

Course tutor Dorothy Max Prior has over thirty years experience in the performing arts – from punk-rock drummer to performance artist; ballroom dance teacher to street arts choreographer and site-specific theatre-maker. She has an ongoing interest in social dance, vaudeville, and popular theatre, and endeavours to both honour and usurp those traditions in her performance work. She is a co-director of The Ragroof Players, working mostly as choreographer/dance teacher and dramaturg, and also makes her own work under the name Dorothy’s Shoes

For more about the Actors Space's facilities and location see their website – but NB they are not handling bookings for this course, please contact Aurelius Productions for all enquiries.