After a few aches and pains it was time to crack on with day two of production week! The collaborative work between FFIN DANCE and The Beaufort Theatre is the foundation for the work we do day to day at the Beaufort and today was no different.
As a community-led building we are forever hosting young people and with Santa heading our way later this December it was time for Sam, The Beaufort Theatre’s Catering Operative and myself to get crafty! A morning making Reindeer Dust is hard to beat!
Then it was all systems go! The company dancers arrive and after the coffees and mini morning meetings, I was once again thrown into Georgina’s Class. The second day of a class always seems to feel just right!, the exercises have settled and it’s time to sweat! A class full of tilts, swings and floor work is a winner in my book! At the end of last class Georgina had presented us with a mighty phrase that would take a week to tackle! Second time round was just as fun and to keep us pushing it was time for the second side. Whilst the dancers spent some time rehearsing their newest work ‘An Inspector Calls’ choreographed by Sue Lewis, I got back to work.
FFIN DANCE has pioneered the way for high quality dance education in the south Wales area for many years and it’s important for us to ensure that the festival presents not only opportunity to perform but to learn. The invited guests bring a brand new type of training and performance so I think its really important that the young dancers get to watch each others’ work. Finalising the running order and programme was my main focus for the day and before I knew if it was time to get moving again. Tonight marks the start our of Headliner project. Headliner is a collaborative project, very much in the spirit of the faktry festival bringing professional and youth dancers together to create a brand new work for this years performance. Led by the FFIN DANCE professional dancers, we started out with a technique class lead by Julian. It was great to start the project pushing ourselves technically. The project pulls dancers from nearly all of the faktry classes all bringing a different approach to their work. After learning a phrase for the work, it was clear that this project provides challenges for all types of dancers. We finished the evening with a great creative task pulling reference from Julian’s phrase, we were asked to create a solo influenced by the movement but also by the overarching theme of the work; exploring speed. Day two was fab!
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.
So, how do you measure success? A variety of ways I rather imagine, but in the case of our Easter Intensives and Easter Dance Faktry Festival, we like to think that it’s quality performances and happy people.
We recently spent time in the studio with 3 amazing people: Sarah Lee Pryke (professional dancer), Louis Norman (dance graduate) and Jasmine Morgan (youth dancer and trainee) as part of the Easter Intensives where our company dancers taught some of my new work True to our guests. The end result was performed in the festival in front of a packed and appreciative house at our home theatre, The Met in Abertillery. In addition to our professional guests, we had over 60 children and young people performing and sharing their new work which they have been rehearsing since Christmas. I’ve said it before, and will doubtless say it many more times, it’s such a huge privilege to share in work created by these young people and to treat them to a platform where the work is staged and managed by our professional technical team.
So next up is another week in the studio with myself and the FFIN company dancers finalising our work for our new t e n Tour 2016. If you would like to do professional company class with us, drop us a text 07854 910926 or e mail email@example.com
Our 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or text 07854 910926
We are pleased to announce that four of our youth ambassadors have formed their own company to provide much needed free summer dance classes for children and young people. With the help of a grant from Tai Calon Community Housing, Louis Norman has got together with 3 of our youth dancers, Emma, Gemma and Cariad and formed Evoke Dance.
The aim of the project is to evoke emotion in children and young people though creativity. Evoke Dance will be carrying out a series of free dance sessions throughout the summer holidays in St Mary’s Church Hall in Brynmawr, South Wales UK
It’s an ambitious project that has involved a lot of planning for them and of course FFIN DANCE will be supporting them in their endeavour.
Well done to them all for showing initiative and motivation – good luck!
Morning readers. I hope this blog finds you all well and enjoying your August. Just a quick blog to say a huge thank you to Sue, Krystal and all the beautifully talented and patient volunteer staff at New Ground. Another successful project providing opportunitiy and creativity for young people around the county.
There has been some exceptional work undertaken in all workshops/sharings, and the feedback from parents and loved ones has been nothing but positive. Both Krystal and I have seen endless amount of cartwheels and packed lunches but it has indeed been a humble and rewarding experience that we hope to do again.
Leading these holiday dance clubs in an area where I grew up in, seems somewhat easier for me to teach. I enjoy the challenge of valleys children and how honest they are when it comes to creative tasks and simply communicating. It’s nice to give a little something back where you first started!
The support from parents has been fantastic and we hope to see some if not all of our New Ground children in classes starting in September.
Some of you may remember our online Sponsume appeal for our summer holiday dance clubs for children in Blaenau Gwent; well happy to say that we reached our target of £400, due to your really generous donations. Together with financial assistance from Tai Calon Community Housing and the Archbishop of Wales Children’s Fund we will be running our free holiday clubs for children.
Our New Ground team will be running a series of holiday dance clubs around the county starting in July and continuing through the school summer holidays. The volunteers will be led by company dancer Catrin and our professional practitioner Krystal. They have already received some training leading groups and in customer care and are very keen to get going. Please see our what’s on page for details (you will need to turn the page for August)
Motus Dance Festival
Before we start, we have just one more performance of our Still Standing Tour 2014 at Motus Dance Festival at Milton Keynes this weekend. We will be performing our triple bill at the Festival at The Venue MK. Theo Clinkard also performing, so we’re in good company!
It would be great to see you there, here’s the booking details
In all, a great way to end our 2014 season, a quick break for me late August and then back to it all in September – hope you’ll join me (not for the break in Spain that is!)
Once again the Ffin Dance Faktry Festival is fast approaching and we have all been working tirelessly preparing for not only the 2014 Easter Dance Faktry Festival but also the A-Level Dance qualification with the FFIN DANCE Outreach and Education programme.
This year the festival has seemed to sneak up on us and there is only a matter of days until the madness of festival week kicks in. Members of all the County Dance groups have been rehearsing for the show, especially both the Blaenau Gwent County Youth Dance Companies who will be performing their new work at the festival this year. At Move (senior county company) we have had a chance to prepare our new work “Perseid” at a number of events that FFIN DANCE has been invited to show their work at this season This has been a great opportunity for the other youth dancers and myself to really show what youth dancers are capable of achieving.
This year’s show is destined to be the most successful yet and I am very excited to be able to perform once again in one of the local theatres in the county. This year’s faktry festival is especially exciting for me as the senior dancer of The Move as we will be working alongside FFIN DANCE company dancers Catrin and Megan at the Easter Dance Faktry Intensives which is a high-energy series of technical master classes. This once again, has been one of the busiest times of the calendar for The Move and for the Faktry. Let’s hope we survive the week !!
Isabella has been going to the ffin dance faktry since September. It’s already provided me with a proud parent moment at the Winter Dance Faktry Festival and I’m preparing for another when I watch her at the Easter one!
At the moment, she goes once a week on a Monday – but for Isabella, it seems to start on a Tuesday morning asking me “Dancing tonight?” and then extending her arms and lifting one leg for a warm up. This goes on every day until Monday when she finally gets to see Sue, the volunteers and other children (and have her infamous “cuppa” before she starts) She absolutely loves going and she likes to show me everything that Sue teaches her!
I have to be honest, I absolutely love watching her twirl and leap and encourage all her fluttery (and not so fluttery!) movements. I am so glad that I have found this gem of a class in Abertillery for my daughter. It has been a joy to watch her confidence grow and make more friends. Long may her desire to dance continue and her tea consumption to increase!