Virago’s ready to go

Berry's BarWe have just spent the past week finishing off our new work Virago.  A productive and action-packed week including our new season photo shoot with Paul Trask, a work-placement by a lovely dance student from Trinity Laban Conservatoire, an exciting glimpse at our new logo and marketing strap lines designed by company dancer Julian and of course the underlying tension of just under a week to go before we hear about our bid for Beaufort Theatre.
I’m thrilled with Virago, it’s a tale of social injustice: although inspired by Minnie McGuire the most arrested woman in Victorian Wales, its social issues are as relevant today as back then.


Threaded through the work are references to the Irish Holocaust, extreme poverty in Ireland and Wales, alcohol abuse, immigration and prostitution.

We are most fortunate to be working alongside author John F Wake whose book The Cruel Streets Revisited has inspired Virago, and who has written the lyrics for the cover song for our work.

The song is composed and performed by Lorraine King especially for us, we hope you love it as much as we do.

So, on to another week, hoping to hear that we have become the new lease holders of The Beaufort Theatre and Ballroom.  More news soon.

sue lewis



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

Last UK date of Inspired Tour 2013

Our last UK tour date for our current triple bill of dance ~ Inspired will be Thursday 6th June at Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff.

The show starts at 7.30pm, tickets priced £10, £8.  Please follow this link for booking

poster Inspired

Last UK date for Inspired 2013

FFIN DANCE Degrees of Freedom Image Paul Trask

Degrees of Freedom
Image Paul Trask

Wagons rolling on to our last UK date for our current tour Inspired.

On Thursday June 6th we will be performing at Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff, our only performance in the Welsh capital, so we hope you can join us.
The tour has exceeded our expectations in every way, with increased audience numbers in each venue and also great audience feedback – very often leading to impromptu post performance chats in the bar afterwards!  At The Met in Abertillery, Effie and I had the pleasure of such chat with our sponsors from Tudor Brewery, and also past school students of mine from Ebbw Vale, a great ending to an excellent show.

We have heard of the sad passing of Adam’s grandmother recently and out thoughts and prayers go to him and his family at this time.

After our Chapter gig, we will be planning our visit to Germany; for the second year in succession Princess Heide von Hohenzollern has invited us to perform at Burg Namedy in the beautiful Rhineland.  More about that next month.

We hope you can get along to our last UK performance of Inspired, and join us for a chat on June 6th, please let us know what you think of the show.

.. and 5 days

photo shoot  Missing Pages

photo shoot
Missing Pages

I’m sure that many of you reading this blog will have experienced the turmoil of your life before opening night on your tour.  Emotions can go from extreme exhilaration to the depths of despair in a matter of minutes, seconds even.

I have had a lot of requests from our supporters for an insight into the time before a big event in our calendar, hence the blogs which will be bombarding your screens over the next few weeks.  This week sees the posters and marketing literature being printed, I can’t wait for you all to see them, Paul Trask’s images look very beautiful and we feel that they really capture the show.


Press release for opening night at Laban Theatre on March 5th written and waiting to go out, and several applications for funding future projects waiting to be finished off.

My piece Missing Pages, will need re-visiting.  A complex piece in terms of structure (as always!) will need to be fresh in my mind before rehearsals next week.  We heard this week that the author of Missing Pages, John F Wake, will be coming to the show on opening night!
Follow our tweets #inspiredtour2013

Looking forward very much to sharing our journey with you all, thanks for your support as always

sue lewis

Box Office Links INSPIRED Spring Tour 2103

Missing Pages
Photo Paul Trask

Please find below our spring/summer touring dates for INSPIRED

Tuesday March 5th 2013  7.30pm – Laban Theatre Creekside, London

Tuesday March 12th  7.30pm – Coleg Morgannwg Nantgarw, Cardiff Wales Box Office: 01443 663013

Saturday March 16th 2013  7.30pm – Canolfan Uchledre, Holyhead, Wales

Thursday May 16th 2013  7.30pm – The Met Abertillery, Wales

Thursday June 6th 2013  7.30pm – Chapter Arts, Cardiff

August 12th – 16th 2013 – Burg Namedy Germany




Camelot Inquisition

Cardiff Castle remembers the fallen

On a wet and windy morning last week, Megan and I went to the book launch of The Camelot Inquisition written by Welsh author John F. Wake.  We arrived at Cardiff Castle and were shown to a marvellous old room where John would be talking about his new book.  The book, published by Little Acorns Publishers, will be in the shops from the first week in December and looks at King Arthur, Merlin and The Grail.

John spoke passionately about how Wales has much written evidence regarding the Arthurian story documented by Geoffrey of Monmouth, and yet the popular more modern stories of Tintagel and Camelot have overtaken the more ancient Welsh writing.

John has written the story of Walter Walters for FFIN DANCE, which I have choreographed into a dance work entitled Missing Pages.  It is the memoir of a soldier from WW1 with a shocking guilty secret to tell, Missing Pages is set to the marvellous Ravel Sonata for Violin and Cello.  We will be touring this work in 2013 – opening in London in March.


Anyone enjoying the Arthurian Legend will love this book, get along to Waterstones and have a look.  John has also published various other books, check out his stuff on kindle too.

sue lewis

Missing Missing Pages…

Missing Pages
Photo Paul Trask

Our 3 week creation period for Missing Pages ended on Friday and it feels very odd to part ways with the work for a time having delved so far into Ravel’s Sonata, John F Wake’s short story ‘Walter Walters’ and our own material informed by Sue’s creative tasks. Having inhabited this world and settled into such a sense of structure each day, company class followed by creation and rehearsal sessions, now comes an inevitable period of readjustment for each of us…which right now is feeling strange indeed.

In my experience, no matter what the length of the creation period there is always a sense of wanting those few extra days at the end just to round everything off and while I would happily have continued with Missing Pages this week I think we have left it in a strong place with space to breathe. On Friday, we filmed a rough version of our final run of the piece so we will be able to use this as reference point for where we left off and hopefully a little time away will give us a greater perspective on the piece as a whole – allowing ideas to assimilate from their distinct jigsaw shapes being pieced together.

We will be back revisiting and sharing the material for the Winter Dance Faktry’s Professional Development Course – so if you’d like to get a first-hand sense of the movement material perhaps we’ll see you there?

In the meantime, it’s time for us to get back into Connections Tour mode ready for our performance at DanceLive in Aberdeen next week….

Effie 🙂


John F. Wake Approves

Missing Pages
Photo Paul Trask

Welsh author John F. Wake who has written the short story entitled Walter Walters says of a short film extract “the music, the dance, the choreography made this short sequence [of Missing Pages] extremely seductive and powerful. I can imagine when it is finished and in a packed theatre the audience will be transfixed from start to finish”
John’s story of a WW1 soldier and his guilty secret is the inspiration for Sue Lewis’ newest work for FFIN DANCE – Missing Pages.  The company is really happy that John approves of the way in which his story has been used.

Please take a look at our blogs and images of the rehearsal period