Onwards and upwards

It’s been almost 3 years since we took over the management of The Beaufort Theatre, and I’m delighted to to tell you that we’re going from strength to strength.

I’d like to introduce you to our latest partner Lybec Arts Performing Academy who has become artist in residence with us. We are delighted to welcome the Academy to The Beaufort. Lybec Arts is a qualifications academy offering weekly skills development in a range of performance pathways, all groups are fully subscribed at the moment with new students able to apply in the summer term.

Image Paul Trask

Image Paul Trask

Our dance faktry classes are an absolute joy!  The recent winter dance faktry festival provided an opportunity for our children and young people to showcase the work that they had created throughout the term. The young dancers also got the opportunity to watch each other which is always a most valued and valuable experience. The High Sheriff of Gwent came along to the event and was thrilled to see such energy and commitment.

It’s been a few years since we toured our professional work as our priority has been establishing a stronghold in our own community, however now we are firmly bedded in,  we will be touring to Holyhead in North Wales next month. Canolfan Ucheldre has always been one of our favourite places to show our work and we get a great welcome on the island.  We will also be working with community groups including the Barton Dance & Drama Academy with whom we have had a strong working relationship for many years now. We will be making a curtain raiser performance for the students to perform with us.  We are hoping to make new friends too with other community groups of all ages.

On a personal level, I’m happy to say that I can now see properly after having cataract surgery.  One of my greatest joys is that I can now see the faces of the children whom I teach and see the expressions on their faces in dance class. I am most grateful to the fantastic team at Emersons Green Treatment Centre in Bristol for this miracle.

Now that I am able to see to complete more extended writing, you’ll be hearing a lot more from me. Thank you for sharing my FFIN experiences with me, see you in Holyhead …

sue lewis

Image Paul Trask Design Julian Lewis

Image Paul Trask
Design Julian Lewis

The FFIN machine at its best

FFIN DANCE Axiom Tangent Image Paul Trask

FFIN DANCE
Axiom Tangent
Image Paul Trask

Monday morning and a bit of a come-down after a marvellous few days in Anglesey, North Wales.  On Thursday morning we travelled from one end of Wales to the extreme end of the other, a beautiful journey through unspoilt countryside with not a motorway in sight.

For those new to the structure of FFIN DANCE we have an underpinning education and outreach unit to the company called the ffin dance faktry.  

 

Although FFIN DANCE is not a dance in education company, we believe that an infra-structure of dance activity starting from an early age is an essential tool to develop a future audience for dance: young people watching and participating in high quality, professionally led activity.

Whilst we were in Holyhead, we worked with children at the local youth club, the local high school and also the young dancers at the Barton Academy of Dance and Drama.  We have worked alongside Helen Barton and her students for 6 years now and we have built up a great relationship of support and respect for each others’ work.  The students as always were hard-working and talented and a joy to teach.  Big thanks to Helen for yet another great project.

Canolfan Ucheldre, the venue where we perform in Holyhead, is developing a good audience for dance and has recently undertaken a re-furb of their auditorium, with new seating which adds a great new facility to their programme.  Thanks to manager Mike Gould, technical assistant Ben Morgan and the team at the venue for making our stay so memorable.

The audience at Ucheldre always has been one that asks questions of me: during the pre-performance talk and also during the intervals, I get talking about the choreography of the show – it’s a lovely privilege to share my artistic intentions in this way.

Lots of new friends and contacts made too and hoping to extend our folio of work in Holyhead in the future.

So back to this week and organising our Easter Intensive for professional dancers and the Easter Dance Faktry Festival, our twice yearly platform for emerging choreographers.  We hope you can join us.

Please follow us on Twitter #ffindance #inspiredtour2013 and also Facebook  – Ffin Dance

sue lewis

And Moving On

FFIN DANCE Laban

FFIN DANCE
Laban

And so after an incredible opening to our tour at Laban Theatre, London this week, we turn our thoughts to performances next week at Coleg Morgannwg in Nantgarw and Canolfan Ucheldre in Holyhead.  The 2 extreme ends of Wales – one in Cardiff and the other on the lovely island of Anglesey.

Coleg Morgannwg is a new venture for us.  The college has recently opened a brand new building on its campus which houses among other things, a new theatre.

We are proud to say that we are the first professional dance company to be programmed there!  We are hoping to build up an audience for watching dance at this venue.

Canolfan Ucheldre is a venue that we have visited for the past 6 years.  We have performed at this beautiful former convent on the island each year in March around Easter time.  Mike Gould, the manager at the centre, looks after us very well and the audience keeps coming back for more of our work year after year.  While we are on the island, we work with the students of the Barton Academy of Dance and Drama, for whom we make a piece of choreography that is performed as a curtain raiser for our performance.  We also work with the performing arts students at Holyhead High School.  This year we will be expanding the educational work that we do by working with children at the Jesse Hughes Youth Club.

I’ve been trying to catch up in the office since returning from London and wading my way through the ever increasing list of things to do.  Finally getting there I think.

Yesterday evening I met with Jaime Devine one of the Directors of Tudor Brewery in Abertillery, Wales.  Tudor Brewery is a family-run artisan business that follows the pattern of a cottage industry.  Watch this space for future links between FFIN DANCE and this amazing company.

And so, for the next few days, I am busy organising the coming week, hope you can join us in South or North Wales for the next part of the Inspired Tour 2013

sue lewis