What a day!

wdff flyer
Monday 10th December 2018.
Its PRODUCTION WEEK!
After a long term of creativity and technical training, production week has finally arrived. This is always one of my favourites times of year, bringing the faktry and the company together for a real celebration of the work that has been undertaken in this last season.
Winter Dance Faktry Festival 2018 has been curated by the ffin team as a display of the highlights of this term’s exciting work and a presentation of the whole community. ffin dance presents also showcases the work of local dance and performance schools in a joyous celebration in our home theatre, The Beaufort.
Monday didn’t know what hit it!  It was great to be back in the studio this morning with the company for professional class. The company’s newest professional dancer, Georgina always brings new energy and her class is no different. What a wicked way to start our day.
Leaving the company to it, it was time to get back to work. The Faktry never stops. The Beaufort Theatre is a great space to work and the café is one of my favourite parts of the building. I spent a good portion of the day finalising my lighting plans for the work that I am sharing in this years festival. Leading the teaching and choreography at the Abertillery Faktry classes this term has been a real treat for me, getting to work with some fantastic young people always gives me a Monday evening buzz!! Takes me back to the old Move days!
Nothing finishes a good afternoon’s work than a flat white! The coffee here is incredible! After creating some really interesting lighting designs it was time to teach. Tonight was the last rehearsal session for my groups and they really rose to the occasion and if these classes are anything to go by this week will be another great festival week.
Louis Norman
ffin dance faktry teacher

 

Crib, here we go

ffindancepresentsapr18FINALSo here we are at last!  I started making my new work in the studio back in the autumn of 2017 and Crib will see its première this coming Friday at The Beaufort Theatre.
The title needs a little explanation I think.
I started choreographing professionally when I was teaching Dance at Ebbw Vale Senior Comprehensive School and spent many, many happy years working with students, creating work for our annual dance shows.  Together with my own passion for Prince music and that of the students, each show became peppered with tracks like Purple Rain, Sometimes It Snows In April, Nothing Compares To You, Little Red Corvette, Raspberry Beret, 1999 and many more.

Over 21 years we got through a fair amount as you can guess.
It’s most fitting that I return to The Beaufort Theatre as this place holds a very special place in my heart.  It was the first place I performed, the first place I presented amateur choreography, the first place I presented professional choreography and now the company I founded FFIN DANCE has its home there since we took on the asset from Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council back in April 2017.  So coming home to Ebbw Vale is a full circle, with which I’m very happy; it makes me feel like I’m returning to the beginning once more – hence the title

Crib is a tribute to Prince music and also to my past.

I hope that you can come and join me this Friday together with all of our community groups from the ffin dance faktry, together with guest dancers from Tredegar – Kidz R Us.  Tickets are available from the café at The Beaufort or via text 07854 910926

 

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

 

All go

FFIN DANCE Image Paul Trask

FFIN DANCE
Image Paul Trask

So it’s all GO this week in the South Wales valleys. Fellow company dancer, Catrin and I arrived Monday afternoon ready to lead our first workshops passing on the movement material and ideas behind the t e n Tour 2016 to the local community. We had 4 workshops happening across the evening for a variety of ages from infants to seniors from groups including Ffin Infants & Juniors, Ffin Youth Dance Company and Toppers School of Dance & Drama.

The young dancers had an amazing time, showing great energy, enthusiasm and interest in the workshop content. We were also delighted to be joined by Sarah Lee Pryke who will be joining FFIN DANCE later in the summer. Sarah has already begun learning and researching our new repertoire and assisted Catrin and Julian to deliver yesterday’s workshops.
With the première of our new dance works fast approaching, the real work is yet to begin. Tuesday has been a day of admin, planning, costume fitting and photoshopping – not to mention a slice of Grandma’s fruit cake and a cheeky glass of wine!
We’re back in the studio today for some last minute rehearsals and fine tuning. We also have more community workshops and are leading professional company class on Thursday and Friday. This Friday night will be my first full-length performance with FFIN DANCE and I’m especially excited as it marks the beginning of the 10th anniversary celebrations for the company. It’s been such a pleasure to work with Sue and my fellow performers Catrin, Effie and Natasha so far and I can’t wait to share the stage with them.

If you haven’t yet booked your tickets for the show, we’d love to see you there!

t e n poster FinalFriday 20th May, 7:30pm – The Met, Abertillery – tickets are £8/£6, call the box office on 01495 355800 to book

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and our website for updates on our future performances and projects.

Thanks, Julian

Welcome to Sarah Lee

Sarah PWe’d like to let you know some exciting news!

From July of this year, Sarah Lee will be joining the company, until then she will be on our team helping to deliver workshops and summer dance clubs.  We are delighted that she is joining us, and we’ll be giving you more information within the next few days, so you can get to know her better.

Sarah Lee (seen in the image above, dancer on the left) is a beautiful dancer, who also happens to run her own Beauty Salon in Cardiff, having returned to Wales upon graduating from the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music And Dance.

Watch this space for more details soon…

 

Gearing up for opening night

IMG_3713As 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…?

 

Effie biog pic 2I 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

Happy new year

Memoir

Memoir

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.

Here’s a little preview

Catrin and Julian are also performing with Traceworks very soon at the Swallowsfeet Dance Festival in Brighton, catch them if you can.

More details to follow with our t e n Tour 2016 we hope you’ll tune in.

sue lewis

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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