We are pleased to share with you our upcoming performance of The Three Sections, choreographed by Liam Riddick. You may know that in #lockdown2 our three company dancers Catrin, Julian and Georgina worked with Liam creating a new piece: amazingly we achieved this online. The online performance of The Three Sections will be on March 27th at 6pm, tickets available to purchase here. We would be so grateful for your support in this difficult time for artists and for theatre. In the meantime to whet your appetite, we will be showing little teasers, so keep your eyes peeled to our social pages. Here’s Liam chatting about The Three Sections with Sue, Artistic Director of FFIN DANCE
What a marvellous 2 weeks we have just spent in the studio with choreographer Liam Riddick creating our new work for FFIN DANCE titled The Three Sections
The piece is a 15 minute dance work which is inspired by Steve Reich’s orchestral work (1987) titled The Four Sections. The musical score is an exceptional example of “interlocking of similar instruments to produce a contrapuntal web filled with resulting melodic patterns” Steve Reich
Liam has taken three sections of the music and woven together solos, duets and trios for the three company dancers, that interlock and produce a counterpoint in movement bearing a parity to that of the score. Here’s a short film of Liam speaking with me about the work.
You may ask how we did all this through lock down! Zoom of course. Each day the dancers took class as we would in the studio, but in their own homes. We then began the enormous task of creating an online creative symbience across the miles. It was odd at first. The dancers needing to use screen vision instead of peripheral vision, allowing for a slight time delay in sound, dealing with poor wi fi connections on times but by the end of our studio time together, we actually felt as if we were in the same room as each other. It’s pretty amazing what you can achieve with the passion and hard work that dancers possess. I am incredibly proud of them.
The Three Sections is not a dance piece for film. It’s made online, but not a dance film. We have a very clear idea where we want to take this work and over the next few months we are going to be sharing more and more of this work with you. In the meantime, here’s a little glimpse of a live stream that we made of Liam working with Catrin, Julian and Georgina
We are delighted to share our news with you that we have commissioned Liam Riddick to choreograph our new work for 2020/2021 The Three Sections
Liam, a former dancer with BalletBoyz and principal with Richard Alston Dance Company, is no stranger to The Beaufort Theatre and FFIN DANCE.
When he was a dance student with Sue Lewis at Coleg Gwent he was a staunch member of the dance faktry youth dance class, Combination Dance which is still running on a Wednesday evening (via Zoom at the moment)
Liam is thrilled to be working with us, we begin the process remotely on November 2nd.
It’s been almost 3 years since we took over the management of The Beaufort Theatre, and I’m delighted to to tell you that we’re going from strength to strength.
I’d like to introduce you to our latest partner Lybec Arts Performing Academy who has become artist in residence with us. We are delighted to welcome the Academy to The Beaufort. Lybec Arts is a qualifications academy offering weekly skills development in a range of performance pathways, all groups are fully subscribed at the moment with new students able to apply in the summer term.
Image Paul Trask
Our dance faktry classes are an absolute joy! The recent winter dance faktry festival provided an opportunity for our children and young people to showcase the work that they had created throughout the term. The young dancers also got the opportunity to watch each other which is always a most valued and valuable experience. The High Sheriff of Gwent came along to the event and was thrilled to see such energy and commitment.
It’s been a few years since we toured our professional work as our priority has been establishing a stronghold in our own community, however now we are firmly bedded in, we will be touring to Holyhead in North Wales next month. Canolfan Ucheldre has always been one of our favourite places to show our work and we get a great welcome on the island. We will also be working with community groups including the Barton Dance & Drama Academy with whom we have had a strong working relationship for many years now. We will be making a curtain raiser performance for the students to perform with us. We are hoping to make new friends too with other community groups of all ages.
On a personal level, I’m happy to say that I can now see properly after having cataract surgery. One of my greatest joys is that I can now see the faces of the children whom I teach and see the expressions on their faces in dance class. I am most grateful to the fantastic team at Emersons Green Treatment Centre in Bristol for this miracle.
Now that I am able to see to complete more extended writing, you’ll be hearing a lot more from me. Thank you for sharing my FFIN experiences with me, see you in Holyhead …
Day 5 has been an absolute delight. We have spent time today in the studio piecing together the duets in Act 2 working on the all-important transitions that add coherence and meaning (sometimes esoteric) to the overall structure of the work. We have spent time filming Acts 1 and 2 in readiness for when we come back to the continuation of it and the completion of Act 3 and ultimately finish the piece ready for production.
What a luxury it is to have R&D time to explore ideas and let the muse guide you in your thoughts and processes – oh to have this more regularly!
Wishing you all a happy weekend, and see you on Monday for more ramblings on Crib.
Good evening everyone.
Day 4 in the studio making my new work for the company, based on the themes in Priestley’s play An Inspector Calls.
The emphasis today was finding the musicality in the sublime The Lark Ascendingcomposed by British composer Ralph Vaughan Williams. Each duet in Act 2 has varying textures and intentions that we explored through music today. We have taken on the sequencing of the chronological order of events as described by Inspector Goole in the play – the resulting duets are stunning. The dancers have made them their own and are really something most special.
Tomorrow sees the last day for R&D An Inspector Calls, more about that next week.
I hope to shoot some film tomorrow to share with you some little snippets. See you then!
Hello again. Today was all about focussing on the remaining duets that I have set which explore the various relationships that the main characters of the play undertake with the victim – Eva/Daisy.
Goole of course points out that each one of the characters has in turn (collectively) contributed to Eva’s suicide. I also needed to set Act 1 soliloquies to the divine Elgar Enigma Variation 10, Nimrod. Take a look at the full score here – Nimrod-from-Enigma-Variations-Full-Score.
The dancers and I looked at simplicity in content for each of the duets, which we felt would be a good ground from which to start weaving together the phrasing of Act 2. I think that Priestley’s point is that we don’t address our guilt until it’s pointed out to us that even our very small negative actions when multiplied by everyone else’s small actions can congregate into a catastrophic effect that only has that effect because it’s multiplied. A bit like the old advert on TV “my one little wrapper won’t do any harm!”
Tomorrow sees the introduction of the sublime The Lark Ascending by Vaughann-Williams
Please join us tomorrow for more Inspector shenanigans…
Day 2 in the studio didn’t disappoint, more super work explored. The images above are from Julian’s notebook, jottings of the things that have come to mind with the task in hand.
Today the dancers recapped on the tasks from yesterday, working on soliloquies.
We later started on the new tasks for Act 2 which involved looking at the relationships that Eva/Daisy had with each of the guilty parties. As we are three dancers (1 male, 2 female) we thought to move away from gender-stereotypicality in some of the duets – we got through 3 out of the 7 possibilities.
Take a little peep here of our dancers working through the task. Don’t forget that you can interact with us by using the speech bubbles on this page.
My new work is based on the underlying themes of JB Priestley’s amazingly progressive but classic play An Inspector Calls.
Catrin, Julian and Georgina began their R&D time in the studio with me today discussing the characters, the historical context, the social background and of course the parity with contemporary society that emanates from the play. As a result, soliloquies were made with each dancer transposing these ideas into moment terms – what a talented bunch!
I’m hoping that each day I can share with you our studio time and would welcome your interaction with us – please use the speech bubbles on this page to tell us your thoughts.
Still very early days, but Day 1 was exceptional, please stay with us.
So here we are at last! I started making my new work in the studio back in the autumn of 2017 and Crib will see its première this coming Friday at The Beaufort Theatre.
The title needs a little explanation I think.
I started choreographing professionally when I was teaching Dance at Ebbw Vale Senior Comprehensive School and spent many, many happy years working with students, creating work for our annual dance shows. Together with my own passion for Prince music and that of the students, each show became peppered with tracks like Purple Rain, Sometimes It Snows In April, Nothing Compares To You, Little Red Corvette, Raspberry Beret, 1999 and many more.
Over 21 years we got through a fair amount as you can guess.
It’s most fitting that I return to The Beaufort Theatre as this place holds a very special place in my heart. It was the first place I performed, the first place I presented amateur choreography, the first place I presented professional choreography and now the company I founded FFIN DANCE has its home there since we took on the asset from Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council back in April 2017. So coming home to Ebbw Vale is a full circle, with which I’m very happy; it makes me feel like I’m returning to the beginning once more – hence the title
Crib is a tribute to Prince music and also to my past.
I hope that you can come and join me this Friday together with all of our community groups from the ffin dance faktry, together with guest dancers from Tredegar – Kidz R Us. Tickets are available from the café at The Beaufort or via text 07854 910926