CARU | Contemporary Arts ReSearch Unit presents an evening of dance and music, featuring Sarah Westwood, Joelle Pappas, Bruno Guastalla and Késia Decoté.

Supported by: OCM, OVADA Gallery, SARU (Sonic Art Research Unit) and Oxford Brookes University

7.30pm (doors open at 7pm), Friday 8 June 2018

OVADA Gallery

14A Osney Lane

Tickets: £10 / £8 (early bird bookings before 26 May)

‘Tout organisme est une mélodie qui se chante elle-même.’ (Maurice Merleau-Ponty)
Working together on this piece, the ‘places’ of the title are not set positions: we inhabit the same space for a while, a space which is resonant and elastic.
Piano: Késia Decoté
Dancer and Choreographer: Joëlle Pappas
Music and Soundscape: Bruno Guastalla

Cable Veins 2016
piano + electronics

Composer and performer: Sarah Westwood

Cable Veins was conceived after two moments: 1) watching a dancer/non-pianist playing across a piano before one of our rehearsals at Centre national de la danse, and 2) whilst taking a cable car ride. What struck me in both instances was the amount of movement seen verses the sounds heard; both the dancer and the whirring cogs of the machine making sound yet producing a more intricate movement. This was a quality I wanted to investigate, to create a ‘pianistic cog’ gesture, which in turn would create the sound. All in a meditative state.


Dancer and Choreographer: Joëlle Pappas
Music and Soundscape: Bruno Guastalla
Dramaturgy adviser: Miranda Laurence

Traits explores the attitudes and behaviour of a complex character fervently looking for a sense of coherent identity. It draws inspiration from puppetry traditions from around the world. This piece was commissioned by Dancin’Oxford and the Pegasus Theatre for Moving With The Times, 2018.

Myths and Visions

Part I: Myths
Henry Cowell – The voice of Lir, for piano [tone clusters] (1920)
Aeolian Harp, for piano strings (1923)
The Banshee, for piano strings (1925)
John Cage – Bacchanale, for prepared piano (1940)
Part II: Visions
Sara Carvalho – inside silence, for prepared piano and toy piano (2012)
Marisa Rezende – Miragem [Mirage], for piano and mallets (2009)
John Cage – A flower, for voice and closed piano (1950)

Performer: Késia Decoté
Movement director: Joëlle Pappas

Myths and Visions was originally conceived as part of Késia Decoté’s doctoral research at Oxford Brookes University. It combines piano performance with dance, offering an alternate experience of a classical music recital.

‘Késia Decoté takes bold risks both with her choice of repertoire and by challenging the conventions of piano performance, and she emerges triumphant.’
– Colin May, music writer (Nightshift, Oxford Times)

Sarah Westwood writes acoustic and electronic music. She was awarded the 2015 Bliss Trust Scholarship for artistic development in California and was a visiting scholar at UCSD. Sarah collaborates with dancers Eleven Farrer House, has been a composer for Phoenix Dance Theatre’s ‘CCLAB’ and a musician for Xavier Leroy’s ‘In Vivo Danse’, Pompidou Centre. 2018 sees her composing for Illuminate Women Concert Series, L’imaginaire and Pestova/Rees/Roche Trio, amongst others; with works performed in Georgia, Lithuania, USA, Portugal, France and UK. Alongside composing, Sarah is event co-ordinator & a guest artist for a contemporary music and electronics residency in Madeira (

Joëlle Pappas is the founder director of Tac-au-Tac Dance Theatre in Oxford and teaches on the Royal Ballet School’s Primary Steps programme. She launched Joelle Pappas Projects in 2015 for which she has choreographed and directed several successful projects funded by Arts Council England, Swindon Dance, Richard Dawkins Foundation and Oxford City Council.

Bruno Guastalla makes and repairs violins and plays and writes music, often with dance. He works in association with the dancer Macarena Ortuzar and has collaborated with Cafe Reason and DEC Project. He is a member of Set Ensemble and Oxford Improvisers. He also plays with Confluence Collective, an Oxford based multi-cultural community group.

Miranda Laurence works as a dramaturg with UK and international dance artists, alongside directing the Oxford-based ‘Dance and Academia’ programme, and a role as Visual Arts Development Officer at Reading University. She is currently in receipt of funding for a year-long self-led professional development programme for dance dramaturgy by Arts Council England using public money via the National Lottery. She is also supported by Oxford Dance Forum, South East Dance, Pavilion Dance South West and Falmouth University.

Késia Decoté is a pianist from Vitoria, Brazil. She holds a BA (Cum laude) and Master Degree in Piano Performance from Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Rio de Janeiro, BR), MA (Dist) and PhD in Contemporary Arts and Music from Oxford Brookes University (Oxford, UK). She studied under Mr. Luiz Senise and Dr. Myrian Dauelsberg (piano), and Prof. Ray Lee (Contemporary Arts and Music). Késia has been developing a rich and diverse career, as piano soloist, chamber music instrumentalist, contemporary music interpreter and as a musician in theatre productions. As a soloist, Késia has performed solo piano recitals to great acclaim in cities including Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Vila Velha and São Paulo (Brazil), Aveiro (Portugal), Oxford and London (UK). Késia Decoté was a co-founder and member of the avant-garde Brazilian Music group PianOrquestra – 10 hands and a prepared piano, and features in their first DVD.

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