New adventures

Desire To Dance ticketsOur new project Desire To Dance has kicked off with 2 marvellous performances at Bedwellty House, Tredegar in South Wales and St Paul’s Church, London.  The aim of this project is to work in partnership with a community dance group who is situated near a chosen venue: the venues all being in the heart of the community and offering cultural interest to the people of that community.  We are specifically interested in performing this work outside of traditional theatre venues to demonstrate that any space can be a space to perform, and to develop new audiences for dance in terms of both participating and watching.  In addition, the venue gets an intimate and up-close performance of our current triple bill – Power Of 3

I was delighted with new friendships made at both of the venues, the extent of which can’t be documented really.
The staff at Bedwellty House had never hosted a dance performance in their beautiful Grade 2 listed Regency Villa, but really went the extra mile (and more) to help us achieve success.  Similarly, at St Paul’s Church in Marylebone, the priest and her staff were outstanding in their hospitality and kindness (even offering me a parking space for the day as someone had already parked in my JustParking pre-paid space grr…)
The children and young people of Tredegar Comprehensive School, Wales and Highgate School, London were wonderful in their energy and commitment, again going well past what we had expected.

My thanks to the staff of the groups again for supporting our projects and to our company dancers who worked ridiculously long days to achieve perfection.

If you have any ideas for future partnerships in 2016 with youth groups/schools, please don’t hesitate to contact me info@ffindance.co.uk or text 07854 910926

sue lewis

 

 

New company dancer – part 2

523238_10151376905219344_497662062_nYou join me after the end of a jam-packed first week with the company. We have started working on Sue’s new work for next year’s tour, True as well as rehearsing the current triple bill, The Power of 3, for the performance at Bedwellty House & Park in Tredegar and this coming Friday in London.

As a new dancer, I have been included in Catrin’s work, d-cay and have learnt a couple of sections for these performances. From my perspective, it has been the perfect balance to learning some repertoire and jumping straight into the performance mode but to also take a back seat during the other 2 pieces and appreciate the performances of my fellow dancers. It is inspirational to see how refined and ‘in-the-body’ the existing work is on the other 3 dancers and it fills me with energy as we move on to the new work. This week also saw the first Desire to Dance project in which we created a new piece on students from Tredegar Comprehensive School in only 2 sessions to then be performed on the Friday evening. The project was a great success and it filled all members of the FFIN DANCE team with immense satisfaction to see how much was achieved by every individual in such an intense process. Well done all!

Until next time… and if you’re in the London area this Friday, don’t forget to book your tickets to see the current triple bill (The Power of 3) as well as a guest performance from Vision Youth Dance Company (Highgate School).
Venue: St Paul’s Community Centre, Marylebone. Tickets are £10, call or text 07854 910926.

See you there.
Julian

Summer into autumn

Desire To Dance ticketsHello to all.  Hopefully, you managed to have an excellent summer filled with glitter and sparkle, my absolute favourite time of year BY FAR!! As we draw to the end of sunny festival season, I thought it would be an appropriate time to check in with a blog.

The autumn period is looking rather busy for the company with rehearsals for new works, curtain raisers and performances in Wales/London. Those of you that follow us on social media will know that our project Desire To Dance will be an evening showcase where FFIN DANCE shares a new dance work created for students at Tredegar Comprehensive School together with a performance of The Power Of 3. A wonderful opportunity for those that could not make last season’s performances.  A great setting at Bedwellty House in Tredegar, with an opportunity to book a pre-show or post-show dinner in the new bistro – of course, wherever Sue is involved there is Tapas and wine ;-)….

As a company dancer, I am excited for the new dynamic Julian Lewis will bring into the company. The girls and I have had a wonderful year at FFIN DANCE, both on and off stage and we can’t wait to see what this season has to offer. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Julian into our Ffin family of 2015.

Do keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter pages as London tickets are selling fast. Be sure not to miss out!!

Chat soon. Cat x

Desire to dance

Desire To Dance posterSince coming home from my holiday in Andalucia, my feet haven’t really touched the ground – I knew that would happen!
A week of really positive partnership meetings, followed by the first week of classes for our children and young people in the dance faktry now giving way to firming up of plans that have been on the back burner over the summer months.

October sees us rolling out two projects that involve the company working with young dancers in schools. The Desire To Dance projects will take place in Marylebone, London and Tredegar, Wales.  Our company dancers will be choreographing work for the young people which will be shown alongside our own triple bill – The Power Of 3

We have struck up partnerships with Highgate School in London and Tredegar Comprehensive School in South Wales  and we’re very much looking forward to working with the young people and sharing both their performances with a public audience. Both performances will be in unconventional spaces and presented ‘in the round’ which will encourage the audience to see the work up close.  A difficult task for our production manager Mark, to transform the Carriage House at Bedwellty House (a beautiful Regency villa) in Tredegar and also St Paul’s Community Church in Marylebone into the magical space for the presentation of our work, but I know he will do a great job.  He always says “I’m a technician not a magician” but I disagree, I think he’s the latter!

We hope you can join us at the performances which take place as follows:

October 23rd at 7pm – Bedwellty House & Park Tredegar, Gwent UK
October 30th at 7pm – St Paul’s Community Church, Marylebone, London

sue lewis

Island Fling

three bathers picasso

Three Bathers, Picasso

Last week was spent mostly on Holyhead in Anglesey, North Wales UK.  The company has been visiting the Island for 8 years now and each year it’s better and better.

We organised a number of *workshops and residencies working with Barton School Of Dance & Drama, Holyhead High School, Anglesey Writers Club and a Movement Group aimed at ages 50+ moving for well-being.  Liaising with Helen Barton, Mike Gould, Robert Greig and Rhiannon Môn Jones we made 2 curtain raiser performances which were both linked to our show The Power Of 3

I feel that this is a very important part of our audience development where people can experience the show through their own bodies and minds and have an ownership to the work when they come to watch the show.  Here’s one of the pieces of written work using the power of 3 as a starting point:

Island memorials
…so many loved you,

They made you three memorials
Simple words on stone, wood, slate
Low by the seawrack shores of Enlli, Sant Tysilio, Porth y Wrach

And later, too, a gate
Opening to wind-combed meadows
At Cors Goch

We’d thought, once, you would rest
High on three-peaked Tryfan,
Long loved above all your beloved mountains,
with other friends now scattered to Eryri’s winds
But we remembered an old conversation, took you back
To the bay where all began,
And your ashes flew free
From Porth Trecastell’s cliffs,
Starling clouds, whirling west
On the salt-bright air

Rhiannon Môn Jones, May 2015 for William Eifion Jones, 17.02.1925 – 29.03.2004

We met some delightful new friends with whom we would love to work again on future projects.
The workshops that we did, involved some exceptional younger and more mature dancers, I’m very grateful for the wonderful support and co-operation that we met on the island.

I’ll be blogging some more of the poems and also our work with the Barton dancers and the Glee Club at the High School – do hope you’ll join me

sue lewis

 

Our performance and residency programme was only possible with the fantastic support of Holyhead Boatyard Ltd and an Arts & Business Cymru CultureStep grant

A&BCymru50mm

 

HB LOGO

 

Quite a week

Première of Power Of 3 Tour 2015

Première of Power Of 3 Tour 2015

After having spent a lot of my recent time and energy on our Easter dance faktry festival, it was time this week to pick up the pieces for our Power Of 3 Tour 2015

We open in a few weeks at our home theatre The Met in Abertillery, South Wales UK – an event which pleases me very much.  I’m intensely proud of everything that the company has achieved in the past 10 years in this part of the world.  “Abertillery!” people say, ‘the valleys?” more people say with disdain, but I feel passionately that there is a place for high quality professional dance outside of the major cities (albeit these places are needful too).  We have developed an audience in the valleys as well as other places, for our work which surpasses audience and participation numbers for many other larger companies and will continue to invite guests and collaborative partners to our studio for as long as we can.

The week has seen the release of our teaser video for Catrin’s new piece d-cay, which has been commissioned for us by RE:Act!  It forms part of a 10 minute animated film that accompanies the choreography that will be seen for the first time on May 8th at The Met.  During our production week we will undertaking a series of workshops with local dance schools, working in the evenings and days to further develop new audiences for our work, aiming to help with understanding the work that the young dancers will be seeing at the theatre later that week.  If you’d like a workshop, do get in touch.

Box office for May 8th 01495 355800, tickets are priced £8 and £6 – the theatre has excellent wheelchair and buggy access and provides free booster seats for children at no extra charge.

It would be great if you could come along to opening night, if not, we perform later in May in Holyhead, North Wales then on to London, Oxford and Germany.  See you there!

sue lewis

Power Of 3 Tour 2015 starts soon

Première of Power Of 3 Tour 2015

Première of Power Of 3 Tour 2015

Today marks the start of the marketing of our new show The Power Of 3.  To celebrate with us, we thought that we would let you in on a preview of the animated film that will be part of Catrin’s new piece d-cay.  You can read a little more about d-cay by following this link.

We open the show at our home theatre, The Met in Abertillery, South Wales UK on Friday May 8th at 7.30pm, you can get tickets from the box office by calling 01495 355800 or follow this online link 

We would love to hear what you think, please use the speech bubble above with your comments.

Wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey…

Fascination Image Paul Trask Chor Sue Lewis

Fascination
Image Paul Trask
Chor Sue Lewis

It’s always the way with studio time – it seems that you can blink and suddenly you’re nearly at the end of 2 weeks together. Having said that, I feel like these 2 weeks have really allowed us some time and space to progress both Fascination and d-cay, and given us a good dollop of preparation time for beginning work with Gary next week. (Plus a handy helping of pancakes thrown in for good measure!)

With Fascination, we spent last week working through section by section – refining detail and quality and looking at all of those pesky entrances, exits and transitions between sections. This has helped in establishing a sense of cohesion throughout the piece which we pulled together for a run through this afternoon.

This week also saw us getting a first viewing of the film that has been made in conjunction with Catrin’s piece, d-cay. It’s a very striking watch which will lead into the live movement section of the piece. Having seen the film has also influenced the proximity with which we perform a particular unison section – there’s no room for error or else there’ll be a whole lot of stepping on toes going on!

For Gary, we have begun using the duet Sentient Trace which was created for Meg and Catrin last season as starting point. We are now looking at each person’s role in the duet as solo material – it has certainly been a lot of material to take on board and commit to memory. We have tried several different methods of learning the material – initially from video, then from each other with talking and then just with physical demonstrations without vocal explanations. It has been lovely to devote time to this (although frustrating at times when watching the same moment on video over and over until you can approximate a physical realisation) and I’m excited to see how things start to proceed when we come together with Gary next week.

Here’s to making the most of our last couple of studio days in Wales this week and appreciating our time together while we have it.

Effie :-)

Authentic and original

Fascination FFIN DANCE Chor: Sue Lewis

Fascination
FFIN DANCE
Chor: Sue Lewis

A productive and exciting week as the company and I distribute morning classes and solid movement practice throughout.

As previously said by Sue, we once more familiarise ourselves with Fascination to proceed forward under Sue’s direction. “Retaining information”- an important skill involving focus, discipline and familiarity that project based dancers constantly battle with. My experience with this tool grows stronger as I myself take notes on how the other dancers reconnect with the piece accordingly. Having always been fortunate with a good memory, I often leave myself unchallenged in the studio. Thus this seasons artwork and war history keeps a watchful eye on us all!  Images and landscape prints being available to us as we drift through D-cay and Fascination.

Effie, Natasha and I would especially like to thank Sue for her sincere patience and understanding towards Gary’s devised work Sentient Trace. A piece that needs exploration, honesty and an opinion! Having performed in the duet last season, I am keen for the girls to capture the essence and quality of the structured tasks. We continue to select the authenticity and originality of the human body next week…

Once again the weekend flies by and we are all one day closer to pancake day. Professional class will be running next week at The Met so please don’t hesitate to contact me if you would like to participate. My email is lewispochin@hotmail.co.uk

Stay safe, Cat. x

Week 5 done

three bathers picassoThanks to all of you who have given us feedback on rehearsals this last week via tweets, likes and comments, it’s been good to know that you’re all with us once again for the new season.

This week we have been re-visitng and rehearsing my new work for 2015, Fascination: we have also been looking at tasks for Gary in anticipation of his new work for us which begins studio time later this month.  It’s wonderful that the body remembers what sometimes the head forgets.  During the time that we have been out of the studio, Fascination has germinated and grown resulting in a more settled and mature piece of work with which I’m thrilled.  There’s still a lot to do in terms of production details, but I’m sure that those of you who enjoy watching my work will very much enjoy this work too.  It has all the usual intricacies of form and texture together with an affinity to the score.  For those who are new to my work I am a stickler for detail and structure and a grounded relationship with the musical accompaniment.

The dancers are really getting into the Picasso fascination for threes which forms the basis of the dance idea and we have become more closely connected with Three Bathers and Three Dancers this week; it’s become quite eery as we now connect with the actual 3 figures in the paintings as well as the painting itself.

Next week we continue with Fascination and Gary’s tasks, but we’ll be spending more time on D-cay, Catrin’s new work based on the Omaha Beach tragedies in WW2.

We have been visited by 3 guests this week in our company class – Krystal Campbell one of our teaching staff for the dance faktry, Julian Lewis a company friend and Matt our technical assistant who also “dances a bit” It was lovely to see you all, please call in again!

More blogs coming up over the next week, please drop by.

sue lewis