We are pleased to announce our new work for 2017 – Virago
John F. Wake
You may remember that our AD Sue worked in partnership with Welsh author John F. Wake to create Missing Pages a few seasons back? After a very exciting phone conversation Sue was very inspired by a character in John’s new book, Minnie McGuire. John is researching into Minnie’s story for a book on Victorian crimes in Wales which will be launched in November of this year.
The book will be looking at other stories too, but it’s Minnie’s tale that FFIN DANCE will be taking on board; she was reportedly the most arrested person in Victorian Wales, with some sad, funny, naughty and memorable moments that Sue and the company will be translating into movements.
As the company moves on into its second decade, we have plans to expand in a variety of different ways, one of which includes the expansion of our Board of Trustees.
We are delighted that Brigadier Robert Aitken CBE has joined us as Patron and Andrew Tuggey CBE is our Company Champion.
Here’s a little more about them:
Brigadier Robert Aitken CBE
Brigadier Aitken is currently Lord Lieutenant of Gwent and has lived in Gwent since childhood. Following a choral scholarship to Oxford, Brigadier Aitken was commissioned in the Royal Regiment of Wales. He had a distinguished military career lasting 34 years during which time he was awarded a CBE.
He is currently the Director of Music in Hospitals Cymru/Wales, a charity that provides live music events in healthcare settings. He is an Officer of the Order of St John Cymru, and chairman of 3 military charitable trusts. He is also Honorary Colonel of Gwent and Powys Army Cadet Force.
Andrew Tuggey CBE
Andrew Tuggey CBE is Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK’s Chief Executive & Secretary; he also is Secretary of the CPA British Islands & Mediterranean Region. Highly experienced in international outreach, parliamentary strengthening and parliamentary diplomacy, he served in the Army prior to his current appointment, latterly as a Defence diplomat with the FCO. Andrew has a BSc (Eng) and speaks French, German, Malay and Nepalese. He served as High Sheriff of Gwent and is currently a Vice Lord Lieutenant (VLL) in Gwent
We are seeking offers from the community for other Trustees, please contact us by e mail email@example.com
More of our new ventures to follow.
FFIN DANCE would like to offer 2 dancers who have undertaken professional dance training or are currently still in training an opportunity to participate in Decisive Moments August 29th – September 2nd 2016
This is a project that the company is rolling out in partnership with Aneurin Leisure Arts Development and is facilitated by Ann Sholem and Roy Campbell-Moore and will be held at The Met in Abertillery from 10.30 am – 5pm each day
The dance project will include class teaching sessions, creative workshops, choreography sessions and performances, along with joint sessions with photographers to assess and be inspired by the material they are generating. The ambition is to give dancers a broader appreciation of how different artforms work collaboratively. There will be combined showings of work between dancers and photographers, followed by discussions regarding artistic and technical outcomes. Dance workshops will stress the importance of creating ‘Decisive Moments’ in space and time and each residency concludes with performances for public and photo exhibitions of the participants’ work.
The ambition for Decisive Moments (dance) is to enable dancers to achieve greater skills and a higher level of artistic creativity, empowering them to move into new territory with their work. The project intends to change perceptions of critical analysis, enlarge artistic imaginations and how to become involved in presenting work to the general public.
Each dancer will be expected to contribute to appraising the development of the work as it progresses and presenting a confident face to the world.
Each dancer needs:
Skills and abilities that match the general skill level of the group of dancers. Mixing beginners and advanced level dancers is frustrating. No disrespect to either… it’s a simple fact of life
Dance practice clothing appropriate to the working situation. Willing to work both in bare feet and in trainers
Time management skills. Being on time and being available for all the dance sessions is vital for effective group dynamics to work well
Curiosity and energy
If you are interested in putting yourself forward for consideration please e mail firstname.lastname@example.org or text 07854 910926 by 5th August 2016 5pm *There is no participation fee for this project
The next performance of our current tour -t e n – takes place this coming week at Oxford’s Old Fire Station Arts Centre.
Women GOLive is curated by Dance Critic Donald Hutera and features work by women choreographers, he states “men are welcome too”
We will be performing Memoir and Duetti on Friday 15th July at 7.30pm and Memoir and True on Saturday 16th July at 7.30pm
We hope you can join us, here’s the link for details and how to book tickets
Last night saw the beginning of an extensive summer education and outreach programme. Our company dancers Catrin, Julian and Sarah worked with over 60 children in Blaenau Gwent linking in with our new work from t e n Tour 2016 with partner organisations Toppers Dance and Aneurin Leisure Trust. Later this week we will be working with another 50 children and young people at The Beaufort Theatre in Ebbw Vale.
Next month, we will be working with children in Brynmawr as part of a partnership programme with Tai Calon Community Housing, bringing professional dance to young people over a period of 2 free weekend courses. We will also be working with the Music Department at Tredegar Comprehensive: using music composed by the pupils themselves, we will be choreographing a new piece of work to be performed in the Aneurin Leisure annual dance showcase.
July sees the company delivering a number of Summer Dance Schools in Blaenau Gwent in partnership with the Arts Development team at Aneurin Leisure.
If you’d like any information about dates, venues and how to enrol, please text 07854 910926 or e mail email@example.com
From July of this year, Sarah Lee will be joining the company, until then she will be on our team helping to deliver workshops and summer dance clubs. We are delighted that she is joining us, and we’ll be giving you more information within the next few days, so you can get to know her better.
Sarah Lee (seen in the image above, dancer on the left) is a beautiful dancer, who also happens to run her own Beauty Salon in Cardiff, having returned to Wales upon graduating from the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music And Dance.
The company is offering a volunteers opportunity for a stage management assistants role. The role will involve assisting the technical manager and the FFIN DANCE team to set up classes, workshops and performances at venues.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a little more information and to register an expression of interest.
So, how do you measure success? A variety of ways I rather imagine, but in the case of our Easter Intensives and Easter Dance Faktry Festival, we like to think that it’s quality performances and happy people.
We recently spent time in the studio with 3 amazing people: Sarah Lee Pryke (professional dancer), Louis Norman (dance graduate) and Jasmine Morgan (youth dancer and trainee) as part of the Easter Intensives where our company dancers taught some of my new work True to our guests. The end result was performed in the festival in front of a packed and appreciative house at our home theatre, The Met in Abertillery. In addition to our professional guests, we had over 60 children and young people performing and sharing their new work which they have been rehearsing since Christmas. I’ve said it before, and will doubtless say it many more times, it’s such a huge privilege to share in work created by these young people and to treat them to a platform where the work is staged and managed by our professional technical team.
So next up is another week in the studio with myself and the FFIN company dancers finalising our work for our new t e n Tour 2016. If you would like to do professional company class with us, drop us a text 07854 910926 or e mail email@example.com
FFIN DANCE is ten years old this year and we celebrate with our new triple bill t e n
In just a week, our company dancers are all back in the studio, and we can now share the content of our new triple bill line up. We started work on my new piece True back in the Autumn of 2015, and we’ll be just finishing off this delightful quartet for the full company next week.
The second piece is a New Work, that’s a collaboration between myself and 2 of our company dancers Catrin and Julian. Performed as a duet, it will be very much a reflection of the 2 dancers and their personalities. Watch this space over the coming weeks for more blogs and tweets.
And to complete the bill will be Duetti, which I made for the company back in 2008. Accompanied by the haunting songs of Björk, Duetti is as the name implies, a series of duets. Sometimes working with the songs and other times existing as 2 separate elements, the dancers execute lyrical duets.
The organic nature of the songs from Medúlla refer to the purest essence of something and explore the ritual power of the voice in a way that’s primal and elaborate. Several of the songs are sung in Icelandic, which work particularly well with movement. The rolling r’s, guttural stops and elongated vowels reflect the alternately chopped and soaring arrangements behind them.
Unfettered sensuality winds through the songs, with Björk’s voice being miked very closely giving the sense of listening to her from inside her larynx. I was originally inspired by the landscape of Northern Tuscany, when I created the duets: often jagged but occasionally silky and always stunning, the duets unfold in a seamless and intricate order, each one developing from its predecessor.
Described by an audience member at Chisenhale in 2008 – “DV8 meets Matz Ek”
As always we will be posting blogs and tweeting our studio experiences, hope that you’ll join us in our conversations.