The ‘Oss & The Ox is a contemporary outdoor performance event that brings the excitement and immediacy of ancient ritual into new, urban contexts.
Directed by choreographer Kate Flatt and music director Musician Adriano Adewale, The ‘Oss & The Ox is a lively, processional street performance project involving 8 professional performers and up to 40 local children, bringing together dance, music and crafts from the folklore of England and Brazil. The performance features two colourful, larger-than-life figures: the Ox (the Bumba meu Boi) from Brazil and the ‘Oss (the Hobby Horse) from England, which are traditionally performed in outdoor, community-led contexts.
The ‘Oss and the Ox are two figures in large, sculptural costumes performing vigorous folk-inspired dance. These two figures will be led by two “teaser” dancers who will also interact with the audience. Each team will lead a processional street performance from opposite ends of a town or city site, tailored to the site and accompanied by live music, to a central, celebratory mock battle.
The entire audience will participate in the work by joining in with call-and-response sections of music and movement at the climax of the performance. This central section will include the ritual enactment of the mock-death and resurrection of both the Ox and the ‘Oss; the re-generation of the animals’ life force, represented by exciting, energetic dancing, will involve the clapping and chanting from whole audience.
The performance can be booked in:
– a participatory version with dance and music performed by young community participants (from local schools, choirs, music schools, youth theatres, and dance groups),
– a touring version performed by 8 professional artists, suitable for a range of outdoor festivals.
The ‘Oss & The Ox will reach new and diverse audiences through our participatory programmes and the outdoor settings in which this work will be performed.