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
FFIN DANCE presents their brand new work An Inspector Calls, choreographed by Sue Lewis based on the Priestly novel of the same name.
As part of this most special evening, the community groups run by the FFIN DANCE FAKTRY will also be showing their work which they have been making since September.
Tickets | £10/£8 concessions, to book call 07854 910926 or 01495 305988, visit Café @ The Beaufort (opening hours below) or arrange tickets with staff during dance classes.
It’s with huge apologies that I write this blog, after what seems like an eternity. Since the company has taken on the running and management of The Beaufort Theatre in April 2017, my life has been rather taken over with operational things other than writing blogs.
Things are at last settling down and we have had an amazing 9 months learning new skills, meeting new people and of course expanding our business.
Next week sees the start of me making my new work with the company dancers: it’s a tribute to the music of one of my favourite artists, the late, great Prince. Please keep posted for a further insight
We will be looking for another dancer to join us later this spring, keep your eyes open for the advert – it could be you joining our team!
We will also be updating this website and introducing you to a new page dedicated to The Beaufort Theatre.
Hope you join us on our 2018 journeys, happy New Year to you all
With just over a week to go before the company heads north, there’s a lot of lists to write, packing to be done, rehearsals and all sorts of things to think about.
We have been busy writing press releases and organising our marketing for one of the most competitive and exciting fringe festivals in the world. My piece Virago will be programmed by Zoo Venues (The Sanctuary Venue 124 ) from August 13th – 19th at 7.45pm. Tickets here
We have previewed the piece in London and at our base back here in Wales in various forms and guises, the latter being an interactive performance where the audience was invited to be the jury and decide upon Minnie McGuire’s fate: the jury declared her “not guilty”. The audience joined in with a final reel celebrating Minnie’s innocence.
Some of the audience feedback:
” there but for the grace of God go I!”
“I have no doubt that Virago will go down a storm at The Fringe. The story is compelling and the interpretation is excellent”
“Brilliant interpretation in dance, well-executed, enjoyed every minute of it. Good luck in Edinburgh!”
Keep posted for more of our travel news, get the iFringe app on your phone and book into our show, and share our posts. Many thanks for your support!