The APGRD is a research project based in the Classics Centre at the University of Oxford. It investigates the performance of ancient texts in any medium and any period, from Greek tragedy to Roman epic, from stage to screen, from antiquity to the present day.

A world-renowned international research centre, the APGRD has been at the forefront of classical reception studies for over fifteen years and is a pioneer in classical performance reception. For more information visit the About us section, or to learn about our archives and resources visit Research collections.


Choreographing the Katabasis

Choreographer Cathy Marston will be undertaking a week long residency at the APGRD, 1-5 June 2015, with the support of St Hilda's and DANSOX. Working with 2 professional dancers and a group of Oxford scholars, Cathy will spend the week choreographing to the ancient Greek text of Odyssey Book XI.  The aim of this project is to explore how the mythical content of Odysseus’ visit to the underworld (the katabasis,) as well as its dactylic hexameter metrical form, can be translated into the medium of dance.

As the culmination of this week's residency there will be a lecture demonstration on June 5th at 5pm in the Lecture Theatre, Classics Centre, in which Marston will discuss her approaches to adapting works of literature into dance performances with APGRD Visiting Scholar Tom Sapsford. Cathy will then also show and discuss the material which she has developed throughout the course of the week with performances from professional dancers Charlotte Broom and Aaron Vickers.

CATHY MARSTON has made works for several major European ballet companies, was director of Bern Ballet Switzerland (2007-13), and most recently was a Clore Cultural Leadership Fellow (20013-14). Cathy has a long history of adapting literary texts into unusual and thoughtful dance adaptations and has previously made works based on Shakespeare (Romeo and JulietA Midsummer Night's Dream), Ibsen (GhostsA Doll's House), and Kundera (The Unbearable Lightness of Being) amongst others.


Interactive Multimedia e-books

We are proud to announce the launch of our new research project for 2015: Interactive Multimedia e-books. Sponsored by an AHRC Follow-on Funding award, this project will produce two, freely downloadable, interactive multimedia e-books based on the performance histories of Medea and Agamemnon. The e-books will include different pathways intended to appeal to a greater variety of audiences from across the globe – in schools and universities, in the creative industries, and amongst the wider public. Further details are available on our new project page.

Ars Longa Prize 2014

We are delighted to announce the winner of the Ars Longa Prize (2014), for an Essay on the theme of the operas of Richard Strauss and Greek tragedy:

First Prize (£250): Lissa Crofton-Sleigh, 'Helen with the Blue Dress on: Strauss' Die Ägyptische Helena'

There was no second prize awarded this year. The Judges this year were: Raymond Holden (Royal Academy of Music), Fiona Macintosh (Oxford), Michael Silk (KCL). 

We wish to register our deep condolences to the family of Michael Kennedy, who had very kindly agreed to act as a judge shortly before he died at the end of 2014. We are enormously grateful to Raymond Holden for agreeing at short notice to act as the third judge. The idea for this prize came from Professor Richard Rose and the funds from the Ars Longa Trust. 

Communicating Ancient Greece and Rome

On 15 December 2014, the second of our two-year training programmes on public engagement - Communicating Ancient Greece and Rome - culminated with the 20 participants (graduates and early career researchers from 12 different UK universities) presenting their professional outreach projects. Generously funded by the AHRC, our trainees have produced a stunning range of programmes which allow new audiences to engage with the Classics. Our Projects Showcase page gives details of all the projects and shows why we are so proud of their achievements.