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.
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
2 of our youngest dancers at Desire To Dance Brynmawr
The past month has been truly rewarding with our dance faktry projects running concurrently at Brynmawr and Tredegar. Our Desire To Dance Project successfully ran at Tredegar and London last season; together with generous funding from Tai Calon Community Housing, we ran a similar project in Brynmawr for the children of the community in that area. They worked for 4 intensive full days over 2 weekends with Effie, Catrin, Louis and Cariad and produced a lovely piece of work focussing on touch and skin.
At Tredegar Comprehensive School Catrin, Julian and Louis worked with a group of young Performing Arts students to create a piece of work that was choreographed to music written by GCSE Music students from the school. 2 intense evenings from 3.30pm – 8pm were spent making the work. We facilitated this project with funding from a legacy given to Arts Development at Aneurin Leisure, kindly donated to give young people experience with music and theatre.
The 2 pieces were shown to friends and family at the Annual Dance Showcase organised by Aneurin Leisure Arts Development at The Met Theatre in Abertillery, our home theatre.
Desire To Dance Brynmawr
The experiences gained by the children and young people were many, but I think the most valuable things learnt were working together to produce a high quality product and digging dip and finding inner strength especially when exhausted! Of many evaluations from the project participants who were all wowed by their achievements was a comment to Catrin – “you’ve changed my life” – a lump comes into my throat as I write.
Moving on then, we turn our thoughts to our next outreach project, the Summer Dance School. More about that very soon, please feel free to pass on this flyer to all young people who you think may benefit ..
As 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…?
I 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
It is one thing to work the body, but when your mind is working equally hard, it becomes exhausting. All of the company seems to be feeling the strain, however the moments of joy come from dedicated repetition and embodiment. It’s such a pleasure to dance with such a dedicated group of people and that gives me great inspiration.
With new roles within the company, there is a clarity which has given birth to new life and what feels like the start of a new journey.
With just a month to go before our première at The Met, rehearsals of Duetti and True are really challenging our technical ability; unforgiving movement tearing up our feet as we push on to grasp the many tours en l’air (360 jumps) and the constant play of levels, I can’t help but feel both anticipation and excitement.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
And so to a tiny lul in the FFIN DANCE calendar.
The Easter dance faktry festival and intensives (April 24th/25th) were amongst our most successful in terms of participation, audience figures and quality since we started these activities back in 2008. Lots of happy dancers young and older and happy parents and friends, it was a great event.
Then on to London. On Tuesday I travelled up to Trinity Laban to join Megan and Catrin who have been working with Gary Lambert on a new duet for our Still Standing Tour. The work ‘Being’ was being shown as a private sharing in a low-key, informal setting which was truly beautiful. Gary invited the onlookers to enter the space and move around to watch the dancers from all angles and to get up close and personal. Some great feedback and also an invite to show the work at a gallery in the future. We will be showing the duet in our home theatre, The Met on May 15th and other venues on the tour.
This year saw our first group of students entered for A Level Dance through our ffin dance faktry. They had their practical moderation on Thursday and all did really well, we are hoping for some excellent results, just the written exam now in June, so fingers crossed for them.
A few days catching up in the office now awaits after a day off to recharge my batteries, I very much hope to see you at one of the tour venues.
Please follow our blogs as we journey and do keep in touch
This week I’ve been speaking to lots of people and they all seem to think the same, that March has gone absolutely crazy, giving a little credence to the Mad March Hare Theory. January and February always take time to get going after the lull of the Christmas holidays and the New Year sluggish return to work, with March beginning the season all over again. But this year seems even more so.
Those of you who read my last blog will know that this week has been rather special in that we have had a Royal visit by HRH Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex. I was asked to create a site specific piece of work to celebrate the opening of the Diamond Jubilee Square at St Michel’s Church in Abertillery a while back now and decided it would be rather fitting to work with 4 of our ffin dance faktry senior dancers. They are great youth ambassadors for our outreach programme, the Earl really enjoyed their performance (see image above)
The day after that we received a cheque for £2300 from Tai Calon Community Housing towards working with our youth volunteers, New Ground, working to provide dance classes for children in the community who find it difficult to existing dance classes due to financial constraints and travel issues.
On Saturday, I will be travelling down to Monmouth with our Chair of the Board, Sharon Smith, together with 3 of our youth ambassadors (Gemma, Emma and Louis) to a ‘dragons den’ style event organised by the Gwent Police. They will be making a presentation together with 19 other community organisations to pitch for a share of the Gwent High Sheriff’s Community Fund: if successful the ffin dance faktry will be able to provide even more free dance activities for children and young people in Blaenau Gwent.
Then to round off a wonderful week of youth activity, I will be accompanying 2 of our youth dancers from our A Level Dance class to St Woolos Cathedral in Newport, where they will perform some of their own choreography at the 10th anniversary celebration of the Youth Eucharist Service (YES)
If you would like to help us in our attempt to create more opportunities for children and young people in Blaenau Gwent please follow this link for our current on line giving project
A quick blog as I’m drinking some rather nice Italian coffee, to welcome you to the German leg of our Inspired 2013 Tour
Today we start our road journey to Namedy in the lovely Rhine valley in Northern Germany: a rather early start from Abertillery in South Wales UK, travelling down to Dover to catch the afternoon ferry to Calais. Mike, Matt and myself will be travelling from Wales and we pick up Megan, Effie and Catrin in Dover who will be travelling down from London.
We drive through Belgium to Germany and all being well arrive at our stunning home for the week at Schloss Burg Namedy by late evening.
We’ll be blogging our week, so please join us and share our experience
We are pleased to announce that Tudor Brewery will become the official sponsors of FFIN DANCE.
FFIN DANCE Missing Pages Image Paul Trask
The brewery, situated in Llanhilleth in Abertillery, Wales produces artisan ales that are all named after mountains in the area. It’s a family run cottage industry producing award winning beers and FFIN DANCE is proud to be associated with such a high quality company. The 2 companies have a lot in common, mainly the fact that our products are made in the heart of the Welsh valleys and exported all over the world. Jaime Devine, one of the directors of Tudor Brewery says ” while we are based in Abertillery, we are very outward looking wanting to let everyone to know about our ales”. Sue Lewis, the artistic director for FFIN DANCE adds ” we are proud to be making our work in the Welsh valleys, but we are not land-locked, we want everyone to know about how good our products are which is why we undertake a touring programme all around the UK and Europe”
You will be able to see the first collaboration between Tudor Brewery and FFIN DANCE when Sue will be filmed as part of the brewery documentary going live later this month. Another joint project will involve the Blaenau Gwent Food and Drink Festival on July 20th and 21st 2013