Finishing off

102-a4Just touching base after what was a very busy and enjoyable week here at FFIN DANCE. The main goal of our most recent week in the studio was to finish the creation period of Sue’s new work Virago. Not only was this achieved but we also had the pleasure of spending an afternoon with the brilliant Paul Trask, our photographer as well as some exciting conversations about the next steps for the company.

The creation of Virago has been a very special and personal process that I believe has brought the company firmly together ahead of our next performances. The story of Minnie McGuire along with the social issues it relates to have really pulled on our heart strings as well as conjured up many different images and thoughts that have inspired our creative work in the studio. The movement feels very honest and physically challenging to dance and that combined with the way Sue has stitched the work together makes for something that I’m sure will be very exciting to watch. Beyond the movement is a variety of different music as well as voiceovers and there will be plenty more to please the eye including our striking set and lighting designs. I think I speak for all the dancers when I say we can’t wait to share it with our existing audiences as well as with new ones!

For the first part of the week we were joined by Rochelle who is on work placement from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Rochelle joined us for company class as well as observing our (sometimes chaotic) rehearsal process! With all the current company dancers having spent some of their training at Trinity Laban, it was lovely to welcome Rochelle and we hope she enjoyed her time getting a taste of how a small professional dance company works.

The week was also underpinned by the looming result of our bid to become the new leaseholders of Beaufort Theatre & Ballroom, an exciting prospect that could bring in so many more opportunities for the company and the surrounding community.

Watch this space for more information about all that is FFIN DANCE!

Julian x

New company dancer – part 1

523238_10151376905219344_497662062_nHello all, this is my first blog post as a new company member of FFIN DANCE.
I was delighted to be offered the role of company dancer back in August and feel especially privileged to be joining the company ahead of the 10th anniversary next year. My first encounter with the company was back in 2012 when I participated in the professional Easter intensive and performed in a new piece, Homage to Cello, as part of the Easter Dance Faktry Festival. I thoroughly enjoyed the taster of Sue’s detailed choreographic style, the connections to the music and how she allowed each dancer to play to their strengths in the work. I was encouraged to apply for this opportunity by fellow company dancer, Catrin Lewis, with whom I was in the same year of study at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.

My working relationship with Catrin began this same year, performing in each other’s choreographies as well as sharing the Laban stage in a commissioned work by Kerry Nicholls in 2013.

Catrin continued to keep me in the loop with all the goings-on at FFIN DANCE when she officially joined the company upon her graduation. I also maintained contact with Sue, informing her of my own professional development as I toured with EDge, the postgraduate performance company at London Contemporary Dance School. This contact sustained my interest in the company and in February 2014 I made a trip to The Met in Abertillery to join company class. I was then offered to shadow some of the company rehearsals with Gary Lambert and in July joined Catrin as a teacher on the Blaenau Gwent Senior Summer Dance School. As a new company dancer, I am full of excitement as to what the coming year will have in store. I look forward to the studio research and all of the creative outcomes and challenges it will bring. I also can’t wait to perform and share our work with a variety of audiences in different locations. I’m hopeful that I’ll offer a new flavour to what is already a dynamic group of professional dancers.

Julian

 

No let-up

zFVQHQFuInCF47CmeVmCghZ8ItsuNxPMCunTK2Odqbsvi4iMaUZGB8PT2HNPFmmRhav2cKfTvYOdd60DaZUmitFkAdAQQxr7XnA97qd3O1h18hFjHjVzdlkoPuEpr6xOu8Y2yC5MEmOMUe6lOcl1OWqnQ4dIAbh4kG7iSC5gyU3T8AFXn0ZBXPzxTdGeFyjzEqih3nO2Just when the school term ends and everyone is talking holidays, many dance companies are gearing up for summer schools, festivals and European touring, and FFIN DANCE is just one of those such companies.

For the past few weeks, the company has been recruiting and planning the new A Level Dance course that will commence in September, finalising the timetable and content last Friday.  There are still some places left, please contact us if you would like to be considered.
Next week, I am commissioned by Blaenau Gwent Arts Development to make a new work for the senior summer dance school, a privilege and pleasure to which I am looking forward immensely.  I started the summer school many years ago now and I’m glad to see that it has grown and developed into one of the best summer dance schools in Wales – offering great value and expert tuition all in one package.

Then the company is off to Germany once again.  Our associate choreographer Gary Lambert is curating a dance festival at the wonderful Schloss Burg Namedy in Andernach, hosted by the Princess Heide von Hohenzollern.  We will be performing our triple bill Inspired in the amazing castle spiegelsaal (hall of mirrors) which will be the last time that we perform this bill.  Last summer we received 3 encores after each performance – a tough act to follow!

FFIN DANCE Synapsequence Choreography: Gary Lambert Image Laura Mumby

FFIN DANCE
Synapsequence
Choreography: Gary Lambert
Image Laura Mumby

And my thoughts now turn to the new season for 2014, commencing work in the studio in September.  The company says goodbye to dancer Adam Murphy and we welcome recently graduated dancer Catrin Lewis.  Catrin is no new-comer to the company: she has performed with our 2nd company ffin2 and also served her apprenticeship with us back in 2008.  She was invited by Gary Lambert to perform in his work Synapsequence last season when she was on work placement with the company, making such an impression that we snapped her up immediately on her graduation from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Dance and Music earlier this month.

 

We will be platforming her latest work Stand Up Straight as part of our new triple bill for 2014

So no rest just yet, wheels keep rolling at the FFIN machine.  We’ll be blogging from Germany, please join us and keep in touch with our shenanigans …

sue lewis

 

Catrin to join the team

FFIN DANCE Synapsequence Choreography: Gary Lambert Image Laura Mumby

FFIN DANCE
Synapsequence
Choreography: Gary Lambert
Image Laura Mumby

We are really pleased to share with you that Catrin Lewis will be joining the company from August to perform our last show of Inspired 2013 at Burg Namedy and will continue to work with us into the new season.  She has previously danced with the company as an apprentice dancer and also with ffin2 and we are most happy to welcome her into full company status.

 

 

 

There will be lots more info on Catrin, so keep tuned in …

sue lewis

My eventful trip to Trinity Laban

New work Catrin Lewis

New work Catrin Lewis

May 9th 10.40 am arrived on train to find someone sitting in my reserved seat, who obviously had no idea about reservations, quiet carriage etiquette or general manners whilst eating (maybe she wasn’t taught as a child to keep mouth closed whilst chewing). Phone charger breaks.  Good start I thought.

Train 30 minutes late into Paddington, central London packed. La,la,la.  Return journey eventful!  Stuck in Edgware Road missed train from Paddington by 2 minutes.  No phone battery, no train. Eventually got back to Newport at 2am station locked, lift turns up 2.20 am.  Arrived back at Hobbits cold, wet, hungry and truly exhilarated.  Read on…

 

I don’t usually bring too much of my home and family life into my blogs, but here is an exception.
I had the privilege of watching my daughter Catrin’s final piece of choreography yesterday which was being assessed as part of her Dance course at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.  She has made the piece on company dancer Megan Griffiths together with BA3 dancers Lily Turner, Russell Fine,Heli-Maria Latola and Gordan Raeburn who did a valiant job with some pretty gritty movement phrases.  It was spectacular!  An excellent piece of choreography including good structural device and relevant movement content to the subject of Vertigo.  Great lighting too under the watchful eye of the genius Faye Patterson.

Audience reaction was good, we all felt that we could have watched another 10 minutes, even though Catrin said they couldn’t have given any more, the dancers disagreed with her!  A piece which is certainly going to be developed at some point in time.

Another privilege was to watch Julian Lewis’ rehearsal as I couldn’t get to his showing today.  Some excellent performances from his dancers and a refreshing dance idea developed into a mature and complex new work called Surrealist Entity.

So many more mature and established choreographers showing work on the current dance scene could have learned a few things from the refreshing and simplistic approach to work by these young choreographers.  No endless passages of simply filling in the musical structure, thoughtful linear structure and design collaboration with no pretentious lip service.  Let’s see more of this!

So, exhausted and frazzled I arrived home to Wales, but so very glad I had made that journey to experience first hand the joys of new art in the throes of its creation.  Thank you.

Inspired leaving the nest

Missing Pages Image Paul Trask

Missing Pages
Image Paul Trask

And so here we are, it’s the opening of our tour Inspired 2013,  we open at Laban Theatre London this evening. How exciting.

Yesterday we spent the day in Studio 7 at Trinity Laban rehearsing all 3 pieces – Missing Pages, Degrees of Freedom and Axiom Tangent, putting the FFIN machine into action.  Whilst the dancers were in the studio, there was a whole lot of technical stuff going on in the theatre. The Laban Theatre technical crew under the direction of Fay Patterson, were rigging and focussing lights together with Mark Read our production manager, and setting the stage ready for today’s technical and dress rehearsals.

Photographer Paul Trask has spent the last 2 days observing the pieces and getting a good grip on some tasty shots that he will be taking for promotional material for the company.  He is an amazing artist, he will watch and wait and always seems to capture the essence of our work in his images.  We’re all looking forward to seeing the results, which of course we will share with you.

During the day, I met up with Ronen Kozokaro (composer of Synapsequence) and Oli Newman (composer of Axiom Tangent) which was great.  Made some new friends which is always good and met up with some familiar ones too – how come work is such good fun?

And so today has come – opening night later tonight – and time for Gary and I to hand over our work to the dancers and the production team.  Do we trust them?  Of course we do, our creations are now flying the nest and we are very much looking forward to sharing them with you all.

Many thanks to you for following us through our blogs, tweets and FB posts, stay with us now throughout our tour and let us know what you think of the show

sue lewis

Box Office Links INSPIRED Spring Tour 2103


Missing Pages
Photo Paul Trask

Please find below our spring/summer touring dates for INSPIRED

Tuesday March 5th 2013  7.30pm – Laban Theatre Creekside, London

Tuesday March 12th  7.30pm - Coleg Morgannwg Nantgarw, Cardiff Wales Box Office: 01443 663013

Saturday March 16th 2013  7.30pm - Canolfan Uchledre, Holyhead, Wales

Thursday May 16th 2013  7.30pm – The Met Abertillery, Wales

Thursday June 6th 2013  7.30pm – Chapter Arts, Cardiff

August 12th – 16th 2013 - Burg Namedy Germany

 

 

 

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 

 

 

All Change

Yesterday saw a change of direction for the dancers as they travelled from Wales to London to work with Gary Lambert spending a day rehearsing Synapsequence.  Next week we will be performing Synapsequence and Five Dances at the DanceLive 2012 Contemporary Dance Festival in Aberdeen.

The company has been in the studio for the past month making Missing Pages with me, so it was a complete head and body change for them to do Synapsequence.  As always, working with Gary was a pleasure and a joy.  Gary works with us again in February 2013 creating a solo for company dancer Megan entitled Degrees of Freedom together with a new ensemble for our 4 dancers, Axiom Tangent.

We are really looking forward to performing in Aberdeen next Tuesday, a first for all of us.  The Festival opening this week with Andy Howitt’s piece Deliberance, which received rave reviews.  We are hoping to make new contacts and friends and start building a Scottish following for FFIN DANCE

And so on to today – planning Half Term Holiday Dance Club, the Winter Dance Faktry Festival, Winter Intensives and tour booking.

Hope to see you next week Tuesday 23rd October at The Lemon Tree in Aberdeen, it’s going to be a great night.  Tickets £7.50

sue lewis