With advent moving closer towards us, I thought to write a wee blog for the Ffin followers amongst you. Yes, November has been a long one, nevertheless, the company has seen some great progress and involvement with bookings, collaborations and feedback etc. Our Artistic Director Sue and photographer Paul Trask have been putting in the hours to deliver some marvelous marketing material for the season as the dancers and I sit back to wait and see who’s made the perfect “poster pose”! You can see some of the images for D-cay in the gallery sometime later this week.
Working on the practical section of D-cay with Natasha and Effie was an absolute joy! It’s always a cracking feeling when folk recognize your trail of thought during studio time. The dancers work both together and independently for each section, welcoming any disruptions from a spoken text sound score. We introduced sensations getting lost to extremes that measure up to no other feeling. Now having an outline to D-cay it is essentially a case of popping in some paint to really stress the initial idea.
With footage soon to be at hand, my collaborator, film editor and research junky Jose Macabra prepares to figure out order, placement and lighting specs. Remarkably exciting times ahead!
Thanks for reading all and have a lovely week.
In synchronicity, October saw us return to Abertillery for our second creation period ready for The Power of 3 tour with Catrin Lewis taking on the role of choreographer for the second time for Ffin.
Those of you who were lucky enough to catch us on tour last year will remember Stand Up Straight, Cat’s first piece performed by the company. This piece had been created and performed in its first incarnation prior to being added to the company repertory and extended. As such, there was a sense of knowing the intended outcome of the process before we began – which was compounded by learning duets and movement phrases from pre-recorded footage of the original piece.
For D-cay, we did not have the luxury of getting a pre-emptive view of what the finished piece may look like but were instead afforded the pleasure of accompanying Catrin as her new piece evolved in the studio. Ever one to challenge our habitual and learned movement choices (remember last year’s task of generating material after spinning for a minute to imbue disorientation), our introductory task for D-cay involved a blackout in the studio and moving through space with our eyes closed: testing our reactions when confronted with a loss of sight.
During the creation of D-cay, Catrin has asked us to share and embody a fair amount of each other’s material with several tight sections of trio unison thrown in for good measure. As a specific cohort of dancers, this is a new challenge for us (having not been required to work all together in unison for Fascination) and is something that we allocated a fair amount of time to early on in the process in order to get a clear sense of working as a unit.
Overall, it has been really refreshing to work with Catrin on a new piece and I look forward to sharing it with you next year – catch you there!
What an amazing and inspiring two weeks I’ve had in the studio with FFIN DANCE! I would like to thank Sue, Catrin, Effie and Natasha for making my experience such an enjoyable one, by making me feel welcome and part of the team. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to spend time in the studio with you all.
Through joining company class with Ffin every morning and observing rehearsals in the afternoon, as well as learning sections of repertoire I was able to gain an insight into what it is like to be a part of a professional dance company. The dancers were always happy to help, advise and encourage me during class and as a result I have learnt so much more about myself as a dancer and areas in which I need to improve.
I couldn’t have asked for a more fulfilling experience of life in a professional dance company. It is a totally different environment to the training provided at university, and therefore I feel any opportunities given by dance companies to post graduates is invaluable to help bridge the gap between training and obtaining a professional job.
I have definitely taken a lot from my time with the company and appreciate all their guidance. I can’t thank them all enough!! I would recommend Ffin and the opportunities they offer to all post graduates looking to develop a professional dance career.
I am really looking forward to seeing the dancers perform their finished pieces on stage next year as part of their 2015 The Power Of 3 Tour!
And so ends our second creative period for this season. For the past 2 weeks we have spent time in the studio with company dancer, Catrin Lewis, who has been making a new piece for the company which is inspired by scenarios surrounding the Omaha Beach Landing in World War 2.
D-cay is a moving exploration of events which takes the dancers into a physicality which is grounded in extensive research from witness accounts and historical documentation.
The third piece of work which makes up our new triple bill for The Power Of 3 Tour 2015 involves a new piece by our Associate Choreographer Gary Lambert. Gary and I are excitedly planning this venture and we’ll fill you in very soon.
Next, we turn our energies to our Winter Intensive for professional dancers which is December 11th-13th, where we invite trained dancers to come and spend 3 days in our studio in Wales, UK where they will undertake intensive technical instruction and learn current repertory. If you’d like more information on this, please follow this link.
Please keep posted as to our news and developments, and don’t forget you can write in the comments bubble on this page – we’d love to hear from you
Tuesday was photo shoot day with Paul Trask in the Ffin Dance studios so there was an unusual amount of preening going on! Having helpfully been sent YouTube tutorials by Sue, we donned the smoky eye look and then set about creating some sleek up-dos with our hair. Let it be noted here that despite having had Meg as a personal hairdresser on tour for the last couple of tours, I was in demand when it came to styling Tash and Cat’s hair!
With hair and make-up up to standard, we danced various sections from both Fascination and D-Cay to capture some images for our marketing material for The Power of 3 Tour coming up in 2015. Due to the nature of the photos being taken and the flash that was being used, we were quite restricted in the amount of space we had to dance in – being limited to only a quarter of the stage space.
Throughout the day, we had a chance to look at the photos on the camera after we’d run a short section which helped to inform our placement and direction before repeating the process. It’s also interesting for us to see those ‘in between’ and transitional moments caught on camera – sometimes it’s rather difficult to figure out from what physical material the moment has been captured!
So there you have it – a quick little insight into our flashy photo day…keep a look out for the new shots hitting your screens on the Ffin website, twitter and facebook pages!