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.
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.
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
Since 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
As the winter dance faktry festival rehearsals begins to step up and everybody starts working even harder, there’s always that excitement and eagerness that fills the air.
Being involved with the winter dance faktry festival this year I will be performing with Combination Dance and I’ll be performing a solo piece of my own. For the Combination piece I will be performing with a variety of dancers; we enjoy rehearsals as there is always laughter involved but we are keen to make sure everything is right for the piece.
My very first solo choreography will be showing what I have learnt from studying A Level Dance with FFIN DANCE. I’ve enjoyed learning about the different ways of developing a motif and structuring my own choreography, I never realised how important all the little details were! I’ve really enjoyed learning about all the topics and music making, I come home every day thinking what can there be to learn next? There is always something new it never ends and I love it!
I am nervous but with a mixture of excitement at the same time to be part of the winter dance faktry festival show this Saturday – and now I can not wait for the show to begin!
Rehearsals are starting to get busy as the days get nearer for the Easter Dance Faktry Festival. I am attending four dance classes a week with the dance faktry which add up to 5 hours a week! But in the end it all pays off when you have nice clean piece. One piece in particular has a small humour element (AYDC – Abertillery Youth Dance Company). This dance has a mixture of technical dance and theatre dance. Theatre dance is a style of contemporary we’ve haven’t experienced before so it’s a great opportunity for us. The prop we are using surprised me at first, we’re using shopping bags! We are using them in a mixture of ways. The music we are dancing to is a drum and bass rhythm. Another one of the pieces performed in the show is to the music “Green Onions”, which was in the film “The Blues Brothers”. This piece is performed by the class Leapers and this time we’ve had a whole bunch of under fives join us.
Also, lots of our younger children are developing their skills and knowledge of dance and are coming up with great ideas for their creative work.
As the years go on, I hope to develop further as I experience more opportunities with FFIN DANCE. One day, I will hopefully succeed in my lifetime ambition of actually becoming a professional dancer!