Just 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!
We have just spent the past week finishing off our new workVirago. A productive and action-packed week including our new season photo shoot with Paul Trask, a work-placement by a lovely dance student from Trinity Laban Conservatoire, an exciting glimpse at our new logo and marketing strap lines designed by company dancer Julian and of course the underlying tension of just under a week to go before we hear about our bid for Beaufort Theatre.
I’m thrilled with Virago, it’s a tale of social injustice: although inspired by Minnie McGuire the most arrested woman in Victorian Wales, its social issues are as relevant today as back then.
Threaded through the work are references to the Irish Holocaust, extreme poverty in Ireland and Wales, alcohol abuse, immigration and prostitution.
We are most fortunate to be working alongside author John F Wake whose book The Cruel Streets Revisited has inspired Virago, and who has written the lyrics for the cover song for our work.
The song is composed and performed by Lorraine King especially for us, we hope you love it as much as we do.
So, on to another week, hoping to hear that we have become the new lease holders of The Beaufort Theatre and Ballroom. More news soon.
As the glorious autumn days roll by, it’s time to turn our thoughts to winter time, and of course for us here at FFIN DANCE, the winter dance faktry festival.
This is when we bring all of our community and outreach groups together and share the new term’s work with family and friends.
We also have guests groups that we have worked with over the year and the professional dancers/dance graduates who have attended our winter intensives course during the week of the festival. It really is a joy to share the work of these emerging artists ranging from 4 years olds to professionally trained dancers all in the same show. Held at The Met, our resident theatre in Abertillery, we combine all the groups in a friendly and supportive festival atmosphere with no competitive edge: all of the dancers at the festival get to watch the other dancers which we feel is a vital part of our outreach, we believe that the routes for progression from beginners to full graduate training need to be shown to young people to raise an awareness that dance can be a career, a way of life and not just a hobby. We strive for excellence even at a young age.
We hope that you can join us in what will be a lovely occasion on November 12th 2016 at 7.30pm, here’s the ticket line. If you’re a new-comer to our festivals please stick around to say hello, we’d love to meet you.
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
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
As we gear up for our première at our home theatre The Metropole in Abertillery, the company pops in some last minute rehearsals for t e n Tour 2016
Sue, Natasha, Effie, Julian and I are excited to be sharing the new repertoire with you all this year, as it marks the company’s 10th year anniversary, hence the name of the show t e n
A special occiasion wouldn’t you agree…?
I would like to take this opportunity to say how lucky I have been to share the stage with the beautiful Effie since joining the company in 2014. This is her last season with us and we wish her all the happiness and success she truly deserves in her next chapter!
We head down to Wales next week to hold workshops in the community with our partner organisations Toppers Dance and Aneurin Leisure Trust, and with our our gorgeous young dancers of the ffin dance faktry and ffin youth, and we do hope you can join us for our opening night on Friday 20th May. Tickets are £8, £6 concessions and can be booked on 01495 355800 or by texting 07854 910926
In the meantime, enjoy the sunshine.
Much love Cat x
It is one thing to work the body, but when your mind is working equally hard, it becomes exhausting. All of the company seems to be feeling the strain, however the moments of joy come from dedicated repetition and embodiment. It’s such a pleasure to dance with such a dedicated group of people and that gives me great inspiration.
With new roles within the company, there is a clarity which has given birth to new life and what feels like the start of a new journey.
With just a month to go before our première at The Met, rehearsals of Duetti and True are really challenging our technical ability; unforgiving movement tearing up our feet as we push on to grasp the many tours en l’air (360 jumps) and the constant play of levels, I can’t help but feel both anticipation and excitement.
The company started back in the studio in February 2016 and started our new year with 2 weeks rehearsing my new work True and also re-working my 2008 piece Duetti. It was a very odd journey going back in time to the early days of our company life as so much water has gone under the bridge since then, and the company has come so far. We celebrate our ten years as a company this year and it seemed right somehow to bring one of my older pieces back for the season.
In addition to these two pieces, we are also presenting work that is a joint collaboration between our company dancers Catrin and Julian. A duet called Memoir which takes the form of an autobiographical journey which promises to be funny, sad, happy, poignant, and everything else in between. The dancers have been in the studio this week making the first steps to choreographing the work.
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.