The finale

Burg Namedy

Burg Namedy

Well what a tour it has been. Last week saw the company travelling to Milton Keynes to perform, for the final time this season, in the Motus Dance Festival.

It was such such a lovely day and a great way to say goodbye to the current ‘Still Standing’ tour. The sun was shining and we had an incredible space to perform in. Ffin Dance was a group of happy chappies.

We performed three of the four pieces of rep (Fractal, Sentient Trace and Stand up Straight) which all seemed to go down very well with the audience.

I always feel quite sad to say goodbye to pieces, especially when you have just reached that stage where you know the pieces so well that you don’t have to worry about what comes next, or looking for those little intricate moments, or trying to remember corrections you have been given or one of the other thousands of things that performers have to think about for new pieces. My main aim for our last performance was to enjoy it. Luckily I did.

Fractal is always a bit of nightmare to get yourself ready for. The material for the whole piece requires a lot of stamina, both mental and physical. There’s a lot of standing on one leg, hitting double pirouettes, intricate foot work, unison to get, musical phrasing etc. These combined are all things that I worry about and usually things that I’m trying to get everytime. Sometimes I’d be concentrating so hard on trying to find these that I’d come off stage and would only see the things that I didn’t do right rather than look at what I did get right. It was so nice to come off stage on Sunday after Fractal and think ‘ooo I enjoyed that!’.

Sentient Trace has been a special piece for me to perform this tour. Working with both Gary Lambert and Catrin Lewis was such a privilege. I have known Catrin for many years and being able to work and perform with such a close friend gave the piece a totally different quality. We know each other so well that the piece could grow and change throughout the tour. It was a very different type of piece to what I have performed in previous seasons with Gary but it was definitely an experience that I won’t forget.

Last on the bill was Stand up Straight. I felt that the company really went for it.  We had the space to really indulge in the ‘motion not movement’ brief that we have been working to. I know I woke up with some bruises from this on the following Monday!

It was also a bittersweet end to the tour as it marked my last performance with the company. I joined the company in 2010 as an apprentice when I was a fresh faced graduate and I now leave my position as dancer and assistant to the director with all the knowledge and experience I have gained but hopefully still looking fresh faced.

It has been an incredible journey for me with the company and one which I will struggle to put into words. I have learnt so much from Sue, the dancers and all the other guest artists who I have had the privilege to work with and I would like to thank everyone who has been a part of the Ffin Dance family, past and present, who has been a part of my journey. Words can not describe.

Thank you also to everyone that has supported the company by attending workshops, classes, shows, drink receptions at Hobbits. Your feedback has been invaluable and I will take it all away with me.

I can honestly say that working with the company has never been a chore and I’ve always felt so lucky that I’ve looked forward to going into rehearse and perform during every creation period – except using the bus to get to the valleys!

I have many happy memories to take away with me and I will always look back at my time at Ffin with fondess and a sense of great achievement.

I wish the company the best of luck for their future and I look forward to watching them from the other side of the stage on their next tour.

Diolch yn fawr and toi toi toi.
Meg x

 

Tara Ffin Tara

Summer sizzles

IMG_1941Some of you may remember our online Sponsume appeal for our summer holiday dance clubs for children in Blaenau Gwent; well happy to say that we reached our target of £400, due to your really generous donations.  Together with financial assistance from Tai Calon Community Housing and the Archbishop of Wales Children’s Fund we will be running our free holiday clubs for children.

Our New Ground team will be running a series of holiday dance clubs around the county starting in July and continuing through the school summer holidays.  The volunteers will be led by company dancer Catrin and our professional practitioner Krystal.  They have already received some training leading groups and in customer care and are very keen to get going.  Please see our what’s on page for details (you will need to turn the page for August)

Motus Dance Festival

Motus Dance Festival

Before we start, we have just one more performance of our Still Standing Tour 2014 at Motus Dance Festival at Milton Keynes this weekend.  We will be performing our triple bill at the Festival at The Venue MK.  Theo Clinkard also performing, so we’re in good company!

It would be great to see you there, here’s the booking details

 

In all, a great way to end our 2014 season, a quick break for me late August and then back to it all in September – hope you’ll join me (not for the break in Spain that is!)

sue lewis

Last leg

Fractal Image Paul Trask

Fractal
Image Paul Trask

And so we are on to the last stretch of our 2014 tour, Still Standing.

It’s been a great tour and we have received some great audience feedback: some venues enjoying some of the pieces more than others and then conversely other places getting more from the diversity of the programme.

With our last 2 performances coming up, we travel to London tomorrow to perform Stand Up Straight by Catrin Lewis at Greenwich Dance.  Next week sees our first (and hopefully not last) visit to The Venue at Milton Keynes, where we perform our triple bill as part of the Milton Keynes Dance Festival Motus.

As a company we are very much looking forward to making new friends at these 2 venues as well as seeing familiar faces too.

In addition to these 2 performances I have also been planning the New Ground summer holiday dance club programme with our youth volunteers.  Joining our teaching team will be Krystal Dawn Campbell who has been working with me this term in the dance faktry gaining valuable hands-on experience with class management and working with children and young people.  These classes will be free for children in Blaenau Gwent: the scheme has been awarded financial assistance by Tai Calon, the Archbishop of Wales Children’s Fund, Sport Relief and very generous donations via our online giving scheme.

So an early night for me and off to London in the morning.  Hoping to see you at Greenwich tomorrow and at MK next Sunday.

sue lewis