After St Hilda's and the DANSOX Research Network

Our alumna, Anna Appleby (Music, 2011), returned to St Hilda's College as one of the composers of the interdisciplinary event, Motion and Meaning, in July 2018.

Anna was pleased to have the opportunity to come back to College, which had felt like ‘home’ to her as an undergraduate student. She applied to study Music at St Hilda’s having been attracted by the creative environment that nurtures and encourages musicians. That the Jacqueline du Pré Music Building is on site was a huge incentive. She was also inspired by the research interests of tutors, Professor Martyn Harry, Dr Jonathan Williams and Alexandra Buckle.

Anna worked with Ensemble Klang, one of Holland's most influential contemporary music groups, and leading contemporary choreographers and dancers on Motion and Meaning. The project, which was a collaboration between Dance Scholarship Oxford (DANSOX) and the Liveness, Hybridity & Noise Series, stretched the possibilities of dance and music. New works by Anna and three fellow composers were presented to the audience, who had a rare opportunity to watch the process of truly interdisciplinary new work coming together at open rehearsals before the final performance at the Jacqueline du Pré Music Building.

During her time at St Hilda's, Anna was very involved in College life and took part in many events at the JdP. At the start of her undergraduate life, she felt sure that she wanted to be a composer. However, she had a lot to learn about the other things surrounding music, including its history. Her time here shaped her not only as a musician but also as a person, as her studies helped her to think more critically and analytically. Would she encourage other music students to apply here? Definitely! Anna enjoyed being part of a musical community and she felt that for an artist, there was no better place than St Hilda’s. From the College, Anna went to Rambert Dance where she was Music Fellow from 2016 – 2017. She learned how a dance company works and her collaborations with composers produced two pieces with electronic music. They were performed at the National River Stage and the Southbank Centre.

When asked why audiences should not miss the opportunity to see Motion and Meaning, Anna replied, ‘this is a great opportunity to see the arts come together. It is always exciting to see new works. Being able to see the work coming together as well as the final result is rare. This is a really high-quality production that brings together Ensemble Klang and leading choreographers in a new way. It is really special that they are here. The evening offers great variety, as the three pieces are very different. There is something for everyone.’

If you missed it or want to see it again, you can watch Motion and Meaning here.

Anna (third left) with dancers, choreographers, and fellow composersDANSOX: Motion and Meaning with Ensemble Klang and Leading Contemporary DancersDANSOX: Motion and Meaning with Ensemble Klang and Leading Contemporary DancersDANSOX: Motion and Meaning with Ensemble Klang and Leading Contemporary Dancers