All go

FFIN DANCE Image Paul Trask

Image Paul Trask

So it’s all GO this week in the South Wales valleys. Fellow company dancer, Catrin and I arrived Monday afternoon ready to lead our first workshops passing on the movement material and ideas behind the t e n Tour 2016 to the local community. We had 4 workshops happening across the evening for a variety of ages from infants to seniors from groups including Ffin Infants & Juniors, Ffin Youth Dance Company and Toppers School of Dance & Drama.

The young dancers had an amazing time, showing great energy, enthusiasm and interest in the workshop content. We were also delighted to be joined by Sarah Lee Pryke who will be joining FFIN DANCE later in the summer. Sarah has already begun learning and researching our new repertoire and assisted Catrin and Julian to deliver yesterday’s workshops.
With the première of our new dance works fast approaching, the real work is yet to begin. Tuesday has been a day of admin, planning, costume fitting and photoshopping – not to mention a slice of Grandma’s fruit cake and a cheeky glass of wine!
We’re back in the studio today for some last minute rehearsals and fine tuning. We also have more community workshops and are leading professional company class on Thursday and Friday. This Friday night will be my first full-length performance with FFIN DANCE and I’m especially excited as it marks the beginning of the 10th anniversary celebrations for the company. It’s been such a pleasure to work with Sue and my fellow performers Catrin, Effie and Natasha so far and I can’t wait to share the stage with them.

If you haven’t yet booked your tickets for the show, we’d love to see you there!

t e n poster FinalFriday 20th May, 7:30pm – The Met, Abertillery – tickets are £8/£6, call the box office on 01495 355800 to book

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and our website for updates on our future performances and projects.

Thanks, Julian

Out on the road!

I cant believe its April already! March has certainly flown by and has indeed been a very busy month for us here at FFIN DANCE. March began with our spring season double bill of ‘Five Dances’ and ‘Synapsequence’ having its premiere at the beautiful
(and large 🙂 ) Bonnie Bird Theatre at Laban. It was a fantastic day and we felt so welcomed by all the people involved, from the technicians, the head of the school, the warm reception from the audience. It was quite nerve wracking to open there, as its such a prestigious building and the majority of the audience were the current schools dance students and so would be very and rightly critical about the work they would see. The performance went very well, slightly nervous in places but the buzz afterwards and the comments from the audience was most rewarding.

Since Laban, we have visited the Richard Burton Theatre at the newly refurbished Royal Welsh College, the charming new Theatr Soar in Merthyr and the special Ulcheldre Theatre in Holyhead.. The joys and challenges of touring is having to adapt the pieces to each individual space, by altering the choreography ,facings, and responding to the different audiences as they too offer something different each time by either being closer to us in stage to the energy the bring into the theatre space. This in turn keeps both pieces fresh for the dancers and so we find new things each time we rehearse and perform which is rather exciting.

Its been wonderful having the musicians on tour with us. Each performance has brought new understandings and relationships between them and us as we move through the choreography of five dances together. They have shared the stage space with us which has  allowed for a true human connection to occur between us. Merthyr was quite different as they couldn’t attend, and the absence of the live music was very different. It felt quite lonely at times and you really felt that something was missing. Although, we had a stunning backdrop of an old organ which gave off an ambiance of its own and we the dancers found even deeper connections with each other as a result of the missing musicians.

We were reunited in Ulcheldre, where they were upon a raised stage behind us which again gave the whole piece a new experience for us all.

As well as performing, touring often entails workshops where we work with various students of different levels, working with different elements from our pieces and working together to create and explore things together. This year we returned to work alongside the dance students from the Helen Barton school in Holyhead. Each time we visit, we work with the students to create a curtain raiser performance based on one of our pieces. This year I choreographed a piece on the students based on Synapsequence. It was very rewarding yet most nerve wracking! Its a very vulnerable feeling of putting your work out there for viewing and having no control over it once you pass it over to the dancers. And then you have to light the piece, which always scares me. The students did very well and I couldn’t have done it without the rest of the company as support. 🙂

Touring is also fun as our downtime is all spent together and everythings seems more fun and we have had some brilliant laughs, With lots of eye contact 😉 (just for your Effie x)

Have a little break now this week, though the gym will be welcoming me with open arms and planning to visit London for classes over next few weeks so looking forward to that. Its also our Easter school next week which I am excited to working on alongside Sue, our director and company dancer Megan. Having choreographed on the summer school last year, its a fantastic opportunity for young professionals and dance students in professional training to work intensively for a week to create a piece of work. And then it will be next performance in May at our home venue, the MET, raked stage and all lol!

Mike 🙂
Image Lucille Teppa