Community Asset Transfer

The dance faktry Education & outreach Image Paul Trask

The dance faktry
Education & outreach
Image Paul Trask

The company is delighted to let you know that we are in the final stages of a business plan to Blaenau Gwent CBC to take over the stewardship of The Beaufort Theatre in Ebbw Vale as a community asset transfer from the Council.
As the company is moving forward, we feel that we would like to provide even more opportunities in Blaenau Gwent for our unique services as the only professional dance company in residence in the Valleys

 

The dance faktry Education & outreach Image Paul Trask

The dance faktry
Education & outreach
Image Paul Trask

We plan to work in partnership with Aneurin Leisure Trust and other partner organisations in delivering high quality arts services to the community through shared performance events, weekly classes and holiday clubs; working with the existing users of the venue and inviting new users to use the building as a community hub for arts.

 

We will be creating new jobs together with training opportunities for volunteers in order to assist people from the community to gain experience for employment in marketing, admin, catering and customer care.

We plan to utilise the existing bar area as a café and bar, which will be open during the daytime for the community, using locally sourced produce as much as possible and promoting nutritional eating.

We will be working with guidance and the full support of Coalfields Regeneration Trust and will be seeking business/corporate sponsorship and grant funding for exterior signage and improvement.

hpOur Artistic Director Sue Lewis says “our whole plan for the venue involves providing even more platforms for people to enjoy arts in the community and will by no means just be a place to house FFIN DANCE We welcome collaborations, partnerships and micro businesses using the space to achieve their aims too and wish to see the venue open each day and evening.  Our wish is for sustainability and to enhance local services that may be lost due to budget restraints and service cuts.

My passion for the community to enjoy arts in this iconic building is at the fore-front of this plan”

 

We would welcome your support and comments, please feel free to comment in the comments space on this page or e mail us at info@ffindance.co.uk

 

Winter dance faktry festival 2016

winter dance faktry festival 2016

winter dance faktry festival 2016

Our twice yearly festival for dance will be held at The Met in Abertillery on November 12th 2016 at 7.30pm.  It’s an opportunity for children, young people and emerging professional dancers to perform and share their work to a packed audience which is supportive and full of enthusiastic friends and parents.

It’s a most special event which aims to promote dance in the community and provide dancers with a professionally produced showcase, giving the festival participants a taste for performance and choreography

 

Outreach at its most rewarding

2 of our youngest dancers at Desire To Dance Brynmawr

2 of our youngest dancers at Desire To Dance Brynmawr

The past month has been truly rewarding with our dance faktry projects running concurrently at Brynmawr and Tredegar. Our Desire To Dance Project successfully ran at Tredegar and London last season; together with generous funding from Tai Calon Community Housing, we ran a similar project in Brynmawr for the children of the community in that area. They worked for 4 intensive full days over 2 weekends with Effie, Catrin, Louis and Cariad and produced a lovely piece of work focussing on touch and skin.

At Tredegar Comprehensive School Catrin, Julian and Louis worked with a group of young Performing Arts students to create a piece of work that was choreographed to music written by GCSE Music students from the school. 2 intense evenings from 3.30pm – 8pm were spent making the work.  We facilitated this project with funding from a legacy given to Arts Development at Aneurin Leisure, kindly donated to give young people experience with music and theatre.

The 2 pieces were shown to friends and family at the Annual Dance Showcase organised by Aneurin Leisure Arts Development at The Met Theatre in Abertillery, our home theatre.

Desire To Dance Brynmawr

Desire To Dance Brynmawr

The experiences gained by the children and young people were many, but I think the most valuable things learnt were working together to produce a high quality product and digging dip and finding inner strength especially when exhausted!  Of many evaluations from the project participants who were all wowed by their achievements was a comment to Catrin – “you’ve changed my life” – a lump comes into my throat as I write.

Moving on then, we turn our thoughts to our next outreach project, the Summer Dance School. More about that very soon, please feel free to pass on this flyer to all young people who you think may benefit ..

summer school 16

 

 

 

 

 

 

sue lewis

Excitement in the air

Rachel picAs the winter dance faktry festival rehearsals begins to step up and everybody starts working even harder, there’s always that excitement and eagerness that fills the air.

Being involved with the winter dance faktry festival this year I will be performing with Combination Dance and I’ll be performing a solo piece of my own. For the Combination piece I will be performing with a variety of dancers; we enjoy rehearsals as there is always laughter involved but we are keen to make sure everything is right for the piece.
My very first solo choreography will be showing what I have learnt from studying A Level Dance with FFIN DANCE. I’ve enjoyed learning about the different ways of developing a motif and structuring my own choreography, I never realised how important all the little details were!  I’ve really enjoyed learning about all the topics and music making, I come home every day thinking what can there be to learn next? There is always something new it never ends and I love it!
I am nervous but with a mixture of excitement at the same time to be part of the winter dance faktry festival show this Saturday – and now I can not wait for the show to begin!

Let’s show them what we can do guys!
Rachel

Awards Evening with SCARF Dance and AYDC

Monday 10th December saw the presentation of awards to our young dancers who dance weekly with the FFIN DANCE dance faktry.  It was a lovely evening which started with a short class while the parents and friends had coffee and cakes (all home made and donated!)

SCARF Dance and Abertillery Youth Dance Co (AYDC) both performed pieces of work created for them by Sue Lewis of FFIN DANCE to the delighted parents and friends in the audience which was then followed by a presentation of ceritificates to the dancers for attendance, endeavour and commitment.

SCARF Dance and AYDC have been working in partnership with the dance faktry for five years and has gown and developed at a steady and consistent rate, with waiting lists for all classes and a new round of auditions for the youth company.

The community of Abertillery is exceptionally proud of the way in which the young people participate in our classes and clubs, and rightly so – they are an absolute joy to teach!

For further information please follow this link

 


Time To Reflect

 

Usually in August, I can get a little time to reflect and think in terms of both where the company has been in the past year and where it is going to in the future year.  However August 2012 saw the company really take off in new directions following invitations to perform at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh and Tanz@Namedy in Germany.  As a result we were straight back into the studio to make my new work Missing Pages in September, and we haven’t stopped since!

I now have a little bit of breathing space to reflect before January.

I love the period of Advent before Christmas, but am ever mindful of the fact that Christmas time for some people is very painful having lost loved ones: I think particularly of the family of Keith Dykes, our Chairman of the Board, who passed away very suddenly this week.

The warmth of people at this time of year is a real incentive to assess the work that FFIN DANCE undertakes in the community and new projects are planned and waiting to go, funding permitting.  Next week we celebrate at the awards evening for SCARF Dance and Abertillery Youth Dance Company where our community dancers will be presented with certificates for endeavour, attendance and commitment.  I look forward to watching the youth dancers and children perform for their families and friends in an informal sharing, ending in a cuppa and cakes.  The community can be very proud of them.

A few weeks back, I looked back at a 5 year business plan that I wrote in 2007 and was amazed at what the company has achieved in that time.  Although I had the utmost faith that we would do what we set out to do, I never thought that we would surpass that by so much.

So a full circle has evolved: five years has passed since the Arts Council turned our grant application down and we have done it on our own! But never a person to burn my bridges, I am off for a meeting at the Arts Council of Wales tomorrow to see how things have changed in the funding strategy and to boast about the company tucked away in a small Welsh valleys town, who now have a world-wide following, over 517,666 hits on our website in 12 months and an audience that many larger companies would be very happy to have.  Wish me luck …

sue lewis

Degrees of Freedom

Choreography: Gary Lambert
Sound score: Otis Lift
Original lighting: Ross Cameron

Degrees of Freedom was first commissioned for Edinburgh Dance Base in 2004 for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and will form part of the new triple bill for FFIN DANCE  – Inspired

The work was initially a response to limitations impacted on the body after a long career in dance; it explored the changing identity of the body and its relationship to the physical. The work was initially set through a series of improvisations that followed the physical theme of limitation due to physical degeneration.For the original performer/choreographer, it was the recognition of an end of a known type of physicality and a wrapping up of a performance career that had span over twenty years. (There are no meanings, just a habitual need to move)

It’s an intimate solo work exploring the changing identity of the body and its relationship to the physical and I will be working with company dancer Megan Griffiths to make a new work on her using the original piece as a starting point.

 “A day in Lambert’s universe leaves the audience alert and amazed. His expressive strength resides in articulating with efficiency an aesthetic that captures the attention of the audience and at the same time demanding from it to focus on the detail of each movement” DANZAHOY

“Gary Lambert – a personal aesthetic” Susana B. Williams

I am very much looking forward to seeing what new qualities will be brought about as we work in the studio, and look forward to sharing that with Megan and of course you the audience.

Gary Lambert 

 

 

Packed House

Laura Mumford Photography

Last Saturday was our 5th annual Winter Dance Faktry Festival held at our home base in The Met in Abertillery.

64 community dancers, 10 professional dancers, 2 photographers, 6 volunteers and 3 technicians brought together a showcase performance that ranged from professional dance pieces to works in progress that have been made during community projects over the past term.

We were joined by professional dance companies Ceyda Tanc Dance and Exim Dance, together with our youth groups from the community.

I am delighted to say that we played to a packed house, full not only of excited and supportive parents and friends but also the general public who wanted to come and share our work.  The comments and feedback that we have received have been overwhelming with many congratulations on our achievements.

The Festival has grown and developed over the years and each year sees us making new friends and links and truly is a great celebration of our work and commitment to providing opportunities for young dancers and choreographers to stage their work with professional guidance and support.

Easter Dance Faktry Festival 2013 will be our next venture, we look forward to seeing you all again

Please keep following our company progress via Twitter #ffin dance and join our Facebook pages

sue lewis

Partnerships

As part of our continuing commitment to new dance in Wales, our education and outreach unit, the dance faktry, recently underwent a youth project with Taikabox.

Our senior youth dancers, Abertillery Youth Dance Company, worked with Tanja Raman of Taixabox, to make a piece of work to include in the show Beyond The Body.

The show was presented at The Met in Abertillery on November 20th 2012.  The young dancers opened the second half of the show with a piece of work created by Tanja, which was threaded into the show as a whole.

The 9 young dancers gained a lot from working with live musicians and were very excited to be performing in a professional dance show for the second time in just 4 days, as they had also performed a work created for them by FFIN DANCE director Sue Lewis just days before in the FFIN DANCE Winter Dance Faktry Festival

It is opportunities like this that stay with a young dancer for life, with your support, we can continue to develop new and emerging dance talent in our communities.

 

Social Enterprise Day

It’s Social Enterprise Day and Catherine Evans, Wales Co-operative Centre Marketing Manager, is spending some time with Ffin Dance in Abertillery, South Wales.

Dancer leaping into the air

Ffin Dance performer takes flight!

Ffin (pronounced Feen) Dance is a social enterprise which was founded in 2003 by charismatic Artistic Director Sue Lewis. Sue spent many years developing dance in the South Wales Valleys, first as Head of the Dance Department at Ebbw Vale Comprehensive School and subsequently as Director of Blaenau Gwent’s flagship Youth Dance Company, The Move.

The South Wales Valleys is one of the poorest areas in the UK with disproportionately high unemployment and many families living just below the poverty line. Whilst many urged Sue to set up a dance company in the more cosmopolitan environment of Cardiff, she was clear that everyone should have access to high quality, contemporary art, and so decided to base herself and her company in Abertillery.

Traditionally, arts companies have tended to rely on grants to survive, but since Sue found that many grants came with strings attached, she decided to follow a social enterprise model and rely on income earned from classes, ticket sales and commercial opportunities. This has given the company the freedom to pursue its own strategic goals, and forced them to become more entrepreneurial, ambitious and pro-active as a result. The company also has some high profile supporters as a result of its social enterprise status. Internationally renowned performance architect Sheron Wray made a new piece for the company in 2009, and Gary Lambert, a critically acclaimed performer and choreographer, is now the company’s Associate Director. These high profile connections have enabled Ffin Dance to extend its touring programme and it now regularly performs at international festivals across the globe.

Ffin Dance performer

Bending over backwards to make things work!

Today will be a very busy day for the company as it prepares for its Winter Dance Faktry Festival. This is a two-day event which pulls together performances by a number of local community dance groups as well as two fledgling professional companies, who are being given a public platform for the first time to showcase their work. The shows are on at The Met in Abertillery (more details at http://www.the-met.co.uk/events).

The main job for today is to get everything ready for the performances. This means working with the technical team to plan for the final rehearsals, rigging the theatre lighting, making decisions about how to photograph and film the show and making sure all the dressing rooms are ready for when the performers arrive.

Its going to be a busy and exciting day!