All things new

Winter dance intensives 2016 Image Paul Trask

Winter dance intensives 2016
Image Paul Trask

At the start of the calendar year, our attention turns to planning ahead and realising plans and projects that were made last year.

2017 is going to be a year of big changes for FFIN DANCE if all of our plans come to fruition, mainly our bid for Beaufort Theatre and Ballroom.  We are hoping to take the venue as a community asset transfer from Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council: if we are successful we will be bringing a whole new range of services to the community and offering training and volunteering opportunities for the public in catering, arts business and admin, customer care, and more.  So we will see a bigger and busier dance faktry, supplying much-needed services to our community and creating new jobs too.  If you would like more information on how to join us, please get in touch.

The company dancers will be back in the studio in February after a break, and we’ll be finishing off our new full length work, Virago
To kick off the Virago season, we will be attending the launch of John F Wakes’s book The Cruel Streets Revisited next Tuesday 17th January at the Norwegian Church in Cardiff.  The main character of our work Virago is centred around Minnie McGuire who was the most-arrested person in Victorian Wales; she has her own chapter in John’s book!  John and I will be working in collaboration for this project and the book launch sees the start of that journey for 2017

The company will be touring this work from May 2017 and we very much hope you can join us.
I’d like to wish you all a most happy and healthy year ahead, please keep following our progress and sending in your comments and views.

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

 

 

Full time for Wales

Fascination Image Paul Trask

Fascination
Image Paul Trask

Well our last 2 weeks of Welsh studio time have ended, and now we see the dancers moving to London to spend time with Gary Lambert for the next three weeks.  Gary and the dancers will be making his new work for our Power Of 3 Tour, whilst I will stay in Wales working with the dance faktry ready for our Easter Faktry Festival 2015

The six weeks that we have spent making d-cay and Fascination have been a real pleasure; I know now why I gave up working full time as a lecturer, with a steady wage and paid holidays to start a professional dance company from scratch.

You may have seen the excellent article that Rachel Mainwaring wrote me about in last weeks Western Mail describing my work in the community and how FFIN DANCE started out. Je ne regrette rien: it’s amazing having the freedom to create work, worth every sleepless night and panic about how to pay the mortgage, I’d recommend it to anyone.  I will be live on air on Radio Wales tomorrow evening at 6.30pm if you’d like to listen in, I’ll be talking about creativity.  It’s such a vital and important part of our being to create, so many people I have worked with over the years have said that creating in some way has been an escape, a day dream, a delicious new recipe and even a glowing work of art – but it’s there in us all, we just sometimes need someone to show us the way.

So as we come closer to our tour, we hope that you’ll join us for one or some of our performances.  Please keep posted for some more blogs from our London based lot during the coming weeks.

sue lewis

 

Stand Up Straight 3

Stand Up Straight Image Paul Trask

Stand Up Straight
Image Paul Trask

Evening all.

Just a quick blog for you after the glorious win today!! Excellent things occuring for the Welsh rugby team and with the winter closing in fast we at FFIN DANCE are hoping to follow with similar footsteps.
After our three weeks of intense rehearsing in the studio, I am pleased to see the re-construction of my work Stand Up Straight take shape accordingly. The company has embraced qualities and a presence in the space, which allows them to shift in and out of solo and duet work with ease and buoyancy. I am confident that the sections will nurture and ripen during time until we’re back in the studio again.
The biggest challenge we now face is adapting the piece to compliment each theatre on tour. Section two covers a lot of space and the detail in solo work must be seen in order for the audience to suffer with the same sense of disorientation as the dancers. This will be my first time as a professional dancer where I will be performing and choreographing/directing work, therefore preparation and awareness of time will be my main concentration leading up to all performances.
Follow us for more information regarding upcoming on Facebook and Twitter

Stay safe and enjoy the celebrations this evening.
Cat x

Full stop

 

Missing Pages Image Paul Trask

Missing Pages
Image Paul Trask


Our Inspired Tour has come to an end, with a marvellous 5 days in the German Rhineland, our home from home.  Originally planned as one performance, this sold out with 2 weeks to go; another performance was consequently added which also sold out!  Standing ovations and 4 encores at each performance, our German audience absolutely loved Inspired.

The season has been exceptional with the dancers and technical crew really fitting into the 3 pieces of work, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our staff, guest artists, our FFIN Friends and sponsors, our Board and of course you our audience and friends for making it such a success.
As many of you know, we are not funded by the Arts Council (neither England or Wales) and we manage our company as a social enterprise and business. This has in turn I believe, made us stronger and ultimately more skilled – learning new business skills, marketing, promotion and budget management, skills not always natural to an artist.  We have made some marvellous friendships and lasting links with like-minded people which may not have occurred had we been part of the mainstream.  So a little word of encouragement to those struggling with funding – keep at it and have faith.

This is my last day in the office before taking a short break to the lovely hills above Malaga in Spain.  As well as hopes of sitting reading numerous books, cooking delicious fresh food, sampling local sherries and wines, I will be working on my new piece for next season.  It’s an episodic series of solos set to some of the divine Bach Partitas, using the concept of repeated patterns in nature and science: it’s called FRACTAL.  It will make up the 3rd piece of our new triple bill with a piece by new company dancer Catrin Lewis, entitled Stand Up Straight which examines the medical condition Vertigo together with a brand new piece made for us by our Associate Choreographer Gary Lambert.

The new show carries the strap line – Still Standing – look out for our tweets and further blogs.

Until then adiós amigos, hasta pronto

sue lewis

Homeward Bound

IMG_2869So the FFIN team have reached the end of the Inspired Tour 2013 and what a journey it has been. I think it’s safe to say that all the members have had an enriching time.
We performed twice in Germany, selling out on both evenings. The evening consisted of our triple bill plus a piece choreographed by Ben Craft and performed by two of his students. Ben took inspiration from his time in Namedy last year to create a piece based around the many artifacts of the castle. As well as choreographing, Ben played a live score along with fellow musician Bart Tarenskeen. What resulted was an interesting collaboration between dancers and musicians.
Both of the evenings went well for the FFIN -ners. The pieces all sit quite comfortably on us now, even with all the new and sometimes confusing facings, that we can really indulge in the material and revisit some of the finer details that may have been lost along the way.
For Missing Pages it was revisiting the original stories that we had way back in September last year that we used to generate material. This was something I had to work quite hard on as I am now without my partner for the majority of the piece. In order for the piece to make sense as a whole I had to create another missing page, so to speak, to allow my story to develop through the piece.
With my solo Degrees of Freedom I was looking to refine the different dynamic contrasts and how I could use the new facings to maximum effect. The whole solo is very sculptural and multi faceted so I wanted to make sure that really worked and pushed the material to its full potential. I feel very privelledged to be dancing this solo as I know that it was very close to Gary’s heart and I hope that I did it justice.
Axiom Tangent has always proved to be a bit of a tricky one to master. With a new cast member it was important that we worked as a team. The majority of the piece is a series of contact duets in unison. Unison being quite hard at the best of times let alone when you’re trying to lift another person! I think this is the piece that grew the most over the time in Germany and it is a credit to Cat that she was able to step in and learn a difficult piece and to then perform with relatively little rehearsal time.
The German audience were very appreciative. They were open and receptive to the work and it was a pleasure to perform to them.
It’s been an amazing experience to share with such talented artists. I’ve learnt a lot over the past four days which I look forward to taking into my working life.
As I write we’re currently driving home. No idea of the location but I can’t wait to get to the ferry for a g&t.
Meg

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

Easter Intensives Deadline Approaching

FFIN DANCE Winter Dance Faktry Festival 2012 Photo Paul Trask

FFIN DANCE Winter Dance Faktry Festival 2012
Photo Paul Trask

The date for all applications of our professional development course for dancers is Saturday 9th March 2013.  We require you to send a show reel or hyperlinks of you performing and your CV.

FFIN DANCE
info@ffindance.co.uk