Category Archives: Dance

Deor

Sefydliad elusennol yw Impelo â’r nod o rannu grym gweddnewidiol dawns mor bell a mor eang â phosibl, gan greu cysylltiadau rhwng pobl o bob oedran, o bob lliw a llun, mewn hunanfynegiant llawen. Pawb yn dawnsio – er eu lles eu hunain, er lles ei gilydd, a thros fywyd gwell.

Yn Impelo rydym yn creu prosiectau, rhaglenni a chynyrchiadau sy’n archwilio sut gall dawnsio ymateb i anghydraddoldebau cymdeithasol a mewn iechyd, dysgu creadigol a chynaladwyedd. Ledled Powys yng nghefn gwlad canolbarth Cymru, lle rydym yn gweithredu, mae gennym enw da fel arloeswyr ym maes ymarfer dawnsio cyfranogol https://www.impelo.org.uk

Diolch i gymorth ariannol y Foyle Foundation rydym yn falch iawn o allu cynnig pedair preswylfa fagu gydweithredol, lle byddwn yn paru dawnswyr cyswllt o Impelo am ddwy wythnos â graddedigion diweddar neu bobl sy’n ystyried dychwelyd i fyd dawnsio. Credwn y bydd hyn yn ffordd wych o gefnogi ein dawnswyr cyswllt presennol a dod â dawnswyr newydd i Bowys fel y gallant ddatblygu eu hymarfer trwy broses gydweithredol.

Rydym yn awyddus i ddod ag egni creadigol i Bowys trwy ddod i adnabod dawnswyr newydd ar ddechrau eu gyrfa ac archwilio sut gallen ni weithio gyda’n gilydd yn y dyfodol.

Nod y rhaglen yw:

  • Meithrin graddedigion diweddar (2019, 2020 a 2021) a rhai sy’n dychwelyd at ddawnsio neu’n symud o berfformio’n broffesiynol at ymarfer dawnsio cymunedol trwy gyfrwng rhaglen bwrpasol yn cynnwys gweithdai, dosbarthiadau a chyngorfeydd;
  • Codi ymwybyddiaeth o dirwedd ddawnsio cymunedol ym Mhowys a datblygu ei hecoleg drwy fagu cysylltiadau newydd â dawnswyr newydd ym Mhowys a’r cyffiniau.

Fe ddetholwn ni ddawnswyr sy’n awyddus i ddatblygu eu hymarfer dawnsio cymunedol a chysylltu â’r rhanbarth yma. Ein gobaith yw y bydd HATCH yn cyfrannu at greu ymdeimlad o gymuned gyda’r dawnswyr talentog sydd yma. 

Yr hyn rydym yn ei gynnig:

  • Preswylfa fagu dros 10 niwrnod (ar-lein neu yn ein Canolfan Ddawnsio yn Llandrindod, yn amodol ar argyfyngiadau Cofid) a phartner cydweithredol sy’n aelod o dîm Impelo;    ;
  • Cyfleoedd cysgodi;
  • Sesiynau gweithdy ymarferol ar gyflwyno sesiynau dawnsio cymunedol cynhwysol a chreu perfformiadau dawnsio ar gyfer cynulleidfaoedd a chymunedau penodol;
  • Cymorth datblygu gyrfa a chyngorfeydd un ag un;
  • Dosbarth gyda’r cwmni;
  • Cyfle i rannu gwaith cyfredol sy’n cael ei ddatblygu neu a ddatblygwyd yn ystod y breswylfa;
  • Ffi o £700

Pwy rydym yn chwilio amdanynt:

  • Dawnswyr a raddiodd yn ddiweddar neu sydd ar fin graddio, sydd â diddordeb mewn datblygu eu gyrfa ym Mhowys fel ymarferwyr dawnsio a chrewyr dawns cymunedol – a sydd yn byw ar hyn o bryd, neu’n bwriadu dod i fyw ym Mhowys, Cymru neu’r Gororau, neu wedi tyfu lan ym Mhowys;
  • Dawnswyr sy’n awyddus i ddychwelyd at ddawnsio, neu’n chwilfrydig ynghylch ymarfer dawnsio cymunedol;
  • Rydym yn croesawu’n arbennig geisiadau oddi wrth ymarferwyr dawnsio sydd ar hyn o bryd heb gynrychiolaeth ddigonol – rhai B/byddar, anabl, niwroamrywiol, siaradwyr Cymraeg a Phobl Groenlliw (ac rydym yn sylweddoli ac yn deall nad yw’r dawnswyr hyn efallai wedi dod trwy lwybrau dawnsio traddodiadol);
  • Dawnswyr sy’n gallu arddangos sut bydd y breswylfa fagu’n fuddiol iddynt wrth iddynt ddatblygu eu gyrfa;
  • Dawnswyr sy’n awyddus i’w herio eu hunain, eu cydweithredwyr, a ni;
  • Rydym yn croesawu’n arbennig geisiadau gan bobl sy’n hanu o gefndiroedd sydd heb gynrychiolaeth ddigonol ym myd dawnsio.

Pryd:

Cynhelir y breswylfa fagu o ddydd Llun 26ain Gorffennaf tan ddydd Gwener 6ed Awst 2021.

Sut i ymgeisio:

Anfonwch inni ddatganiad wedi’i recordio (sain neu fideo) neu ysgrifenedig i ddweud wrthym amdanoch chi, a sut yn eich tyb chi y bydd y breswylfa fagu hon yn helpu i ddatblygu eich ymarfer erbyn 9 yb Llun 28ain Mehefin 2021.

Trwy ebost: amanda@impelo.org.uk

Dyddiad cyfweliadau

30ain Mehefin – Cyfweliadau ar Zoom

2il Gorffennaf – Cewch eich hysbysu am y canlyniad

“Through these tough times we’ve been able to connect through the movement of Dance.” The NDCWales Associates.

National Dance Company Wales’ young Associates premiered their new Dance film titled ‘Now Begin’ at the U Dance Cymru 2021 Digital Dance Day on Saturday 15 May, it was made in collaboration with Artes Mundi, and creatives from across the theatre and dance sector in Wales. The Associates film has now gone on to be selected (along with other dance films) to represent Wales at the National U Dance Showcase 2021.

NDCWales’ Associates meet weekly at the Dance House, Cardiff between September and April through workshops led by a team of NDCWales dancers and leading instructors in dance. Each year the Associates work towards creating a final performance.

Guy O’Donnell, NDCWales’ Learning and Participation Producer said of this years final performance “We were really looking forward to creating a new piece in collaboration with Artes Mundi 9, which would have been a performance at the Artes Mundi exhibtion at National Museum, Cardiff and at the Youth Dance Night event held each year at the Dance House. Fortunately we were able to evolve and adapt this performance for online audiences, which has resulted with us working with some exciting creatives and now results in a special premiere for us at U Dance Cymru 2021.”

‘Now Begin’ is a reflective piece inspired by the current work exhibited at Artes Mundi 9 by Indian artist, Prabhakar Pachpute.  The film portrays young dance artists sharing their desires for change in the world. Inspired by Prabhakar Pachpute’s Artes Mundi exhibition’s themes of protest, these dance artists share their vision for a new beginning through movement and voice. Choreography is by Kokoro Arts and The Associates. Music by Tic Ashfield and Film by Gavin Porter.

march against the lie (IA), Prabhakar Pachpute

You can watch Now Begin below

Below you can watch a Behind-the-Scenes look at the making of ‘Now Begin’ featuring interviews with Prabhakar Pachpute, Kokoro Arts, The Director of Artes Mundi 9, Nigel Prince, Curator of Public Programmes, Artes Mundi 9, Letty Clarke and Associate Dancers Ellie Gale, Heidi Thomas and Harly Videan.

The National Dance Company Wales Associates programmes is currently open for applicants to audition for the term starting in September 2021.

For over a decade, National Dance Company Wales has been nurturing some of the most talented dancers from across Wales and developing their skills

Based at the Dance House, the home of NDCWales, the Associates (ages 14-19 years old) follow a programme created by Faye Tan, our Learning Lead Dancer, with the guidance of our Artistic Team. The Learning Lead Dancer is a member of our Dance company and is a point of contact for the Associates. The LLD gives feedback and support during the programme.

Faye Tan, Learning Lead Dancer, NDCWales Associates.

Over the course of the year, our Associates programme focuses on improving creative and technical skills, along with developing work for performance opportunities that the Company creates for them through the year.

We have a limited number of places available and successful applicants are chosen through a free audition workshop. The audition workshop consists of a contemporary technique class where dancers can show their skills and potential to our Company dance experts.

NDCWales Associates provides high level contemporary training for young dancers. Sessions run on Sundays during term time (Welsh schools’ term timetable) from 10:30am – 12:30pm and are taught by Company Dancers and guest artists.

As part of the Associates programme, members can access;

  • Assessments and guidance from our Learning Lead Dancer.
  • Additional creation and performance opportunities available to those interested.
  • Mentoring opportunities from NDCWales Associate Artists.
  • Access to reduced price tickets at The Dance House and Wales Millennium Centre.
  • Opportunities to access dance activity in collaboration with National Youth Dance Wales.
  • Career Development Talks
  • Work Experience Opportunities

The Associates programme also offers two bursaries, applicants are invitedto apply for the bursary upon acceptance on the programme.

  • With bursary one, you’ll need to pay £202 for all of the weekly contemporary training classes and Dancer Wellbeing Days. The optional Creation Week package will cost an extra £77. (Total amount payable, £279).
  • With bursary two, you’ll need to pay £50 for all of the weekly contemporary training classes and the Dancer Wellbeing Days. The optional Creation Week package will cost an extra £20. (Total amount payable, £60).

You can apply to audition at the link below, applications close on Friday the 4th June. Auditions take place on Saturday the 10 July and Sunday the 11th July. Applicants will audition in small groups for approximately 150 minutes.

https://ndcwales.co.uk/associates-programme

“There’s a commitment to community dance in Wales which provides a framework of dance for everyone.” An Interview with Kokoro Arts Ltd

Hi Gundija and Krystal, great to meet you both, can you give our readers some background information on yourself please?

Gundija: I am an independent contemporary dance artist based in Cardiff. Originally from Latvia, I have trained and worked in dance in Denmark and England, but now I have found my home in Wales – I have been living and working here for over 5 years now. I am also the Executive Director of Kokoro Arts.

Gundija Zandersona

Krystal: I grew up in Bermuda, in a green bungalow with my seven siblings and our parents. I continued dancing at my local dance schools until I moved to Wales in 2012, to dance with Ballet Cymru. Currently, I’m a freelance dance artist, choreographer, writer and emerging director, based in Newport. I am the Artistic Director of Kokoro Arts.

Krystal S. Lowe

What got you interested in the arts?

Krystal: The arts have always been a part of me, my maternal grandmother is a mixed media artist. She creates sculptures and paintings, and uses found objects and transforms them into intricate works of art. Her house is the most beautiful and colourful place I’ve ever experienced – hand painted floor rugs and walls covered floor to ceiling with her artwork. My grandmother’s sisters were all writers, musicians, poets and fashion designers. My mother is a writer and would paint the ceiling in our kitchen into the image of the day sky. Growing up I was always taught to think differently, creatively; the house was filled with books and blocks and painted walls. The arts are an integral aspect of my identity and culture. 

Gundija: I have always been exposed to art when growing up – theatre performances, outdoor exhibitions, social cultural events, strong Folk dance and national singing traditions. Once dancing became my choice (rather than my parents) – I was exposed to different new dance styles, which led me to viewing dance as an art form not just a fun (and tough) movement activity. Through new international friendships – eventually collaborations – I started immersing myself into other art forms on a more professional level.

Together you run Kokoro Arts, the organisations mission is  “Kokoro Arts supports and promotes the development and work of young artists, facilitates sector-wide discussion and champions inclusion, accessibility and diversity throughout the Wales dance sector.”

How did the organisation develop and what are you working on at the moment?

The organisation developed out of passion and love; passion for the arts and a love for Wales – its culture and the wide diversity of the people here. It developed through conversation; through seeing the gaps in the sector and finding a way that we could fill them. We saw that there was a lack of support for young/early career artists, and we each understood what that lack of support feels like. We decided that we wanted to connect those artists with opportunities, with the sector, and to offer support for their development.

We offer support to young artists through 1-2-1 sessions, bespoke advice and feedback, application and CV writing support, sharing monthly opportunities, and ensuring we offer an open door for any questions/concerns they have. Also, we build and support networks, individually and as a company. Through the company last year we facilitated dance sector conversations and through that, the Wales Dance Network was formed. The Wales Dance Network | Rhwydwaith Dawns Cymru continues to bring the Wales dance sector together and we’re part of that steering group. We began an EU Artist Network, to be a support to artists living away from their home countries, and to share contacts and networks within that group. These connections are very important to us and our work.

Currently, we’re working on an incredible Arts Council Wales funded ‘Connect and Flourish’ project – Emerging Artists: Access, Inclusion, Connection – which will offer five early career artists the opportunity to collaboratively explore how access and inclusion can be integral to their movement practice.

The programme is in partnership with Stephanie Back, Krystal Dawn Campbell, Eädyth Crawford, Matthew Gough, Chris Ricketts, and Ballet Cymru, The programme places anti-ableist actions and perspectives at the centre of developing the next generation of movement artists in Wales. Along with that, we’re working on an Erasmus+ project; a partnership between Finland, Latvia and Wales. It is a transnational, interdisciplinary project that aims to explore and exchange practices on using creative body-based approaches for social inclusion and community building. And finally, we’re collaborating with a Bermudian organisation on a research and development project. The History of Us | Ein Hannes Ni explores how artists from different backgrounds, cultures, and languages share their artistic process and practice through discussions and dance sessions.

Kokoro Arts has choreographed a new dance film for the National Dance Company Wales, Youth Dance company, The Associates. The project has been created entirely online and is inspired by the work of Artes Mundi 9 exhibiting artist, Prabhakar Pachpute. His practice “reflects on the working conditions, relentless excavation, unequal social development and land politics in his home state Chandrapur, known as ‘the city of black gold’.” Could you see any links between Prabhakars approach to Chandrapur and Wales in your work with the Associates?

Similarly to Prabhakar’s artistic approach to his work, we wanted the film we choreographed for ‘Now Begin’ to address issues that are pressing and important to young dance artists in Wales. In the film, they dance and speak about the change they want to see in the world – it felt really important to give them a platform to be seen and heard.

Prabhakar Pachpute, A march against the lie (IA)

As the project has been delivered entirely online due to Covid-19 how did you approach the choreographic process and working with the young dancers?

It was important to us to make sure that the creation process was as engaging and interactive as possible. Collaboration with the Associates was essential to us – we really wanted to give them ownership over their creative process as well as the finished work.

While we had previously engaged with some of the Associates, it was our first interaction for most of the Associates. We spent time in the first session finding out about who they were as people and as artists; what was important to them about not only this process, but also their artistic development and ambitions.

We facilitated time and space for them to comment critically on each other’s choreographic work within the session using Zoom’s chat function. In giving feedback, artists engage quite differently with the work. The critique isn’t about higher legs or more stretched ankles, it’s about expression and movement; how the work is created, how it comes across and translates to audiences. Even the filming of their choreography allowed for them to engage further in the creation process. Each Associate chose their own filming location, choreography, and camera shots.

The NDCWales Associates are one of a number of youth dance organisations in Wales. Do you feel the opportunities offered by these groups are of value?

Yes, I believe that these programmes are of great value. They can connect young people to dancers from other dance schools, other parts of Wales, and the UK, in a way that helps them to engage differently with their practice and development.

Youth dance organisations have the ability to offer young artists a space to learn from different dance artists who come to teach and to create work on them and to learn different ways of moving from what they’re used to.

However, each of these programme’s could do with a lot more boldness in the range of dance styles they are offering and the range of artists that interact with the youth artists. I would love to see a wider diversity of young artists audition and accepted onto these programmes. This would offer young artists a diversity of lived experiences to interact, engage with, and learn from.

Whimsy,Kokoro Arts Ltd. Credit Sleepy Robot Photography.

If a dancer wanted to stay and train in Wales and then pursue a career, what support system would you suggest they require in order to be able to do this?

  • Access to dance classes that would develop their skill-set continuously.
  • Sustainable ongoing support for their professional development rather than one-off engagements that have no continuity.
  • Mentorship and coaches to support their artistic practice and help them reflect on their career development.
  • Platforms and events that allow them to test their thoughts and creative practice at a variety of levels.
  • For organisations and project funded companies to regularly advertise for new dancers rather than turning to those they already know.
  • For organisations and project funded companies to have more paid apprentice positions or opportunities to observe and engage with them.
  • More public discussions about dance in Wales
  • A strategy for dance in Wales that helps the sector develop and therefore offer opportunities for those who want to remain here.
  • Undergraduate training would be a good option but isn’t necessary to become a professional dancer.

Are there any examples of training systems or support networks that exist in other nations that Wales could look to utilise?

This is difficult to answer, because each nation’s system reflects a particular context. What works in one place might not work in another.

In Latvia The Latvian Academy of Culture offers an undergraduate degree programme in contemporary dance with an intake every 4 years, which offers an increased intensity and focus to their education; however it does leave gaps in graduate years.

Irelands Step Up dance project for graduates aims to bridge the gap between dance education and professional contemporary dance practice in Ireland.

CAT schemes in England show how additional opportunities can be facilitated, but we would need to be careful that they don’t only offer routes to conservatories or serve those more privileged.

What does Wales do well in dance or cultural training and delivery?

There’s a great commitment to bilingual and multilingual work, including an emerging commitment to British Sign Language.

Wales has created an environment that allows visiting (short project) artists to feel like they want to stay here – live, work, and feel at home.

There’s a rich diversity of dance styles in Wales from Welsh folk dance, concert dance, and contemporary dance, to a wide range of cultural, social and competitive dance practices.

There’s a commitment to community dance in Wales which provides a framework of dance for everyone.

The Wales dance sector attracts international interest; for example, events organised by National Dance Company Wales, Groundwork Pro and Cardiff Dance Festival as well as Wales based dancers who have an international presence on their own.

You are both parents of young children working in the arts. Given that you are both freelance artists and parents the Lockdown period must have been very challenging for you in combining the demands on your time? How did you approach this?

Krystal: For me, it was the same when I decided I would be a parent in the first place. I decided not just that I was going to do it, but that I could do it. That decision doesn’t change what happens, but it changes how I experience what happens. Those days that my son needs me even more than usual, I leave work alone and make myself available to him. I decide that that’s not a work failure but a moment to enjoy rest and connection. Motherhood has made me far more efficient in my work. I’m not lethargic, because I don’t have the time to be. I am definitely more tired than I was before I had a child, but I’m also more passionate, I’m more eager, and I have far more resilience. I decide that I can do it, and that doesn’t mean I always do it perfectly but it means I don’t give up.

Practically, I take on the work that I can do and I’m honest about the work that I can’t do. I find opportunities to get work done at odd hours. It’s about being really flexible. Learning that I could schedule my emails has revolutionised my working! If anyone ever gets an email from me at 8am, it’s because I stayed up the night before really late, responding to all of my emails. Making lists helps so much. I have pages and pages of to-do lists – this means that the tasks are out of my head so I don’t have to feel overwhelmed by them. I can look and decide what’s important to do each day. Another thing that helps a lot is having deadlines for when my work is due. This helps me to know when I need to focus on a specific task and when I have time to focus on other tasks; it’s essential to my wellbeing.

Gundija: The lockdown period, especially the very beginning of it was challenging, yes. There were suddenly new roles I felt I needed to fulfil as a mother whilst trying to work at the same time. What helped me was the repeated reminder (that came from myself, family and even social media sometimes) that I don’t have to be able to manage everything at once. So I learnt how to manage my time better (or tried to) – for example, when there were work meetings, I would tell myself it’s OK if my daughter has longer screen-time so that I can focus. Being present as a mother, for me is a priority, so whenever my attention is split and I’m neither with my daughter nor fully at work, I get stressed. The only way to avoid that is to clearly set times/moments when I know I will focus mainly on work and be less present as a mom and then have clear times where I’m fully engaged in activities with my child. And similar to Krystal – making to do lists helps me as well. It lets me get out of the chaos in my head when everything feels ‘too much’ and see all I need to do nicely organised on a paper.

Given the challenges you described above what support would help Creatives in Wales with young familes?

Flexible working hours and the ability to have children in the room whenever safe. Working with people who try to understand the unpredictability of life with a child would help reduce the guilt often felt by working parents. Having the ability to job-share more often would also be really great – that way a parent can engage with less worry about child-care costs. Where possible, including child-care as access costs would make a massive difference. Often, in order to work and have your child cared for, you end up losing money. Even a contribution towards child-care costs would make a big difference.

It would also be great, if there were a few parents, that the project or organisation could facilitate a shared child-care arrangement on the premises. Even something more informal would be a huge support. Potentially a child-minder who could take on a few children with the organisation/project covering a portion of the costs.

Get the Chance works to support a diverse range of members of the public to access cultural provision. Are you aware of any barriers that creatives in Wales face? If you are, what might be done to remove these barriers?

Despite some changes, there is still systemic excluding around multiple characteristics. The system needs to act on equality not just talk about it.

Cultural Contracts and Arts Council Wales requirements for Portfolio organisations are a step forwards, but there needs to be deep thinking and radical doing to shift our perception of who is and who can be an artist.

A big issue is that not enough new job posts are being advertised, so those who are most marginalised are at a constant risk of precarious work, (hourly paid staff, fixed contracts, not secure in their position) so they don’t have time and space to develop their artistic practice.

With the roll out of the Covid-19 vacancies, the arts sector is hopeful audiences will return to venues and theatres. If theatres want to attract audiences what do you think they should do?

Gundija: I don’t think Vaccine Passports are a good idea. I have found live streaming performances alongside live events works well, so those who cannot attend physically, can still access it. It would be good to organise events for different specific audiences – perhaps have a coach that would pick up a group of members from a specific area. I think Venues should lobby the government so that our return to theatre spaces can be equitable. Perhaps there are ways of reducing costs for people who might struggle to attend or engage? And I think co-creating with people and communities might help us return together in a sustainable way.

Krystal: I think venues and theatres should continue to get even more creative about how they offer arts performances and engagement opportunities to audiences. Clearly outlining safety measures in place, more performances in public spaces, and shorter performances to offer more audiences an opportunity to engage safely.

It’s great to see many venues and theatres taking advantage of their outdoor spaces to engage audiences safely.

 If you were able to fund an area of the arts in Wales what would this be and why?

Gundija: My priority would be to fund continuous support for early career artists. A scheme that would provide mentoring and opportunities for them to develop their artistic practice,  give space to share their work and learn how to reflect on their practice and critically discuss it.

Krystal: I would fund disability arts. It’s important to me that all people are able to access and engage in the arts. I believe that the most effective way to develop and innovate as artists and as a sector is to engage closely with those who are different from us. Disability arts, and ensuring a diversity of disabled people are a part of this, would ensure a wider diversity of voices sharing and imparting into the sector, strengthening us all as well as developing audiences in Wales and beyond. I would love to see Wales become leaders in innovative disability arts. So often, within disability arts, people are still marginalised and forgotten. I am passionate about seeing Wales changing this – not becoming complacent but continuing to push towards more inclusion and an active respect and appreciation for difference.

What excites you about the arts in Wales?

Gundija: What excites me the most is definitely the potential I can see and feel in the Arts sector in Wales. Potential for the sector to grow, develop and co-create a Welsh identity that’s built on a strong support network for one another, diverse voices and inclusivity.

Krystal: I’m really excited about Theatr Iolo’s solar powered travelling theatre and the potential long-term possibilities for this kind of touring and showcasing work.

Aubergine Cafe’s unyielding commitment to offering opportunities and development to neurodivergent people.

Literature Wales and National Dance Company Wales’ cross artform collaboration for Plethu/Weave; their commitment to offering a wide range of artists the opportunity to be commissioned and to collaborate.

Articulture Wales’ consistent commitment to offering opportunities to under-represented artists.

Ffilm Cymru offering opportunities to develop a new generation of diverse film-makers.

Arts Council Wales’ Connect and Flourish funding strand – we need more real collaboration in the sector and even more so need a stronger commitment to Black, disabled, and Welsh speaking people.

Music Theatre Wales’ New Directions Programme which will address the urgent need in opera to diversify the experiences and voices and the types of people who engage and make opera.

Yvonne Murphy’s co-creation and curation of new forms of engagement with democracy with 16-24 year olds on her Democracy Box project.

The Wales Dance Network|Rhwydwaith Dawns Cymru bringing the dance sector together.

What was the last really great thing that you experienced that you would like to share with our readers?

Our Voice Network | Rhwydwaith Ein Llais  sharings have been an incredibly valuable and enjoyable space to be a part of. I feel that’s exactly what the sector needs – informal sharings of artist practices, a safe, supportive space to listen to artistic process and to ask questions. Each month this space is a place to enjoy the beauty of being artists; and each month the value of being a part of this space is clear.

Thanks for your time.

Get the Chance supports volunteer critics to access a world of cultural provision. We receive no ongoing, external funding. If you can support our work please donate here thanks.

“Rwy’n cael fy nhynnu at nodweddion emosiynol a chorfforol y profiad dynol.” Cyfweliad â Hanna Lyn Hughes.

Clod i Noel Shelley

Helo Hanna, mae’n braf i gwrdd â chi. Allwch chi roi rhywfaint o wybodaeth i’n darllenwyr am eich cefndir os gwelwch yn dda?

Rwy’n ddawnsiwr llawrydd o Gaerdydd. Fe wnes i hyfforddi fel Aelod Cyswllt o’r Ysgol Ballet Frenhinol a Chwmni Dawns Cenedlaethol Cymru cyn mynychu Ysgol Ddawns Gyfoes Llundain yn 18 oed. Rwyf wedi gweithio gyda choreograffwyr gan gynnwys Crystal Pite, Caroline Finn a Dane Hurst ac wedi dawnsio gyda chwmnïau fel y Danish Dance Theatre a Just Us Dance Theatre, ac yn ddiweddar rwyf wedi ymuno â Ballet Cymru fel dawnsiwr cwmni.

Beth sbardunodd eich diddordeb yn y celfyddydau?

Rwyf wedi bod yn greadigol erioed. Gan amlaf yn yr ysgol, roeddwn yn dwdlan dros fy ngwaith cartref mathemateg ac yn creu dawnsiau disgo ar iard yr ysgol. Roeddwn hefyd wrth fy modd yn astudio Tecstilau a Drama Safon Uwch.

Clod i Sian Treberth

Rydych chi’n ddawnsiwr cwmni gyda Ballet Cymru ac ar hyn o bryd rydych chi’n gweithio gyda nhw i edrych ar ffyrdd o gefnogi cyflwyno dawns yn yr Iaith Gymraeg. Beth yw eich gobeithion a’ch uchelgeisiau ar gyfer y fenter newydd hon?


Yn dilyn cyfnod prawf llwyddiannus, rydym yn gyffrous i ail-ddechrau’r dosbarthiadau ballet dwyieithog i oedolion ar ôl y Pasg. Rwyf hefyd wedi bod yn dysgu Cymraeg i rai o aelodau’r cwmni; mae eu hyder wrth siarad yr iaith wedi cynyddu ac mae eu brwdfrydedd wedi bod yn galonogol iawn. Rydym bellach yn edrych ar fwy o ffyrdd o ymgorffori ymarfer dwyieithog ac mae hynny wedi cadarnhau i mi mai addysgu dawns yn ddwyieithog ddylai fod y ‘norm’ yng Nghymru. Os ydych yn ymarferydd dawns yng Nghymru, rwy’n erfyn arnoch i ystyried sut y gallwch ddefnyddio’r Gymraeg yn eich sesiynau. Gyda bron i 30% o’r boblogaeth yn gallu siarad a deall Cymraeg, mae’n werth yr ymdrech.

Pe bai dawnsiwr am aros ac ymarfer yng Nghymru cyn dilyn gyrfa, pa system gymorth fyddech chi’n awgrymu y byddai ei hangen arnynt er mwyn gallu gwneud hyn?


Mae mynychu eich ysgol ddawns leol yn le gwych i ddechrau ac os ydych yn ddigon ffodus i fod wedi’ch lleoli yn Ne Cymru, efallai y gallwch fynychu’r cynlluniau cyswllt sy’n cael eu rhedeg gan CDCCymru a Ballet Cymru. Ond nid yw’n bosibl hyfforddi’n alwedigaethol hyd at lefel broffesiynol yng Nghymru ar hyn o bryd, sy’n drueni mawr!

Llun o gynlluniau cyswllt Ballet Cymru
Clod i Sian Trenberth

O ran dilyn gyrfa mewn dawns, yng Nghymru, rwyf wedi canfod bod deall fy sgiliau a’r hyn y gallaf ei gynnig i sector Dawns Cymru yn bwysig iawn. Er enghraifft, mae cydnabod yr angen am ymarferwyr dawns sy’n siarad Cymraeg a darparu’r gwasanaeth hwnnw wedi fy ngalluogi i ennill profiad o greu coreograffi ac addysgu, ac mae wedi bod yn achubiaeth ariannol hefyd ar adegau. Wedi dweud hyn, rwy’n teimlo fy mod i’n cael fy ngwerthfawrogi a’m hystyried ar safon wahanol fel dawnsiwr oherwydd fy nghenedligrwydd a’r ffaith fy mod i’n siarad Cymraeg. Rwy’n teimlo’r un mor lwcus i gael cyfleoedd gan fy mod yn Gymraes, ond rwy’n poeni weithiau bod fy ngwaith yn cael ei werthfawrogi ar y sail honno’n unig. Rwyf wedi dod i delerau â’r teimladau hyn trwy groesawu’r llwyfannau sy’n cael eu cynnig i mi a’u hystyried fel cyfleoedd i herio rhagdybiaethau, ac i ragori ar ddisgwyliadau mewn rhai achosion. Rwy’n angerddol am fy etifeddiaeth a’m diwylliant ond nid yw’n diffinio fy ngwaith na’m hunaniaeth.Rwy’n angerddol am fy etifeddiaeth a’m diwylliant ond nid yw’n diffinio fy ngwaith na’m hunaniaeth.

Rydych chi’n artist sydd wedi gweithio gyda phobl greadigol o amrywiaeth o ffurfiau celf i greu perfformiadau artistig cyffrous yn y gorffennol. Sut fyddech chi’n disgrifio’ch ymarfer creadigol orau?

Rwy’n defnyddio ioga, hedfan yn isel a gwaith byrfyfyr yn fy ymarfer fy hun ac mae ansawdd fy symud fel arfer yn cael ei alw yn llyfn a chywrain. O ran coreograffi, rwy’n cael fy nhynnu at nodweddion emosiynol a chorfforol y profiad dynol, yn enwedig themâu marwoldeb a chreu. Rwy’n edrych ymlaen at ddatblygu’r syniadau hyn yn y dyfodol.

Clod i Erik Emanuel

A oes unrhyw enghreifftiau o systemau hyfforddi neu rwydweithiau cymorth sy’n bodoli mewn gwledydd eraill y gallai Cymru geisio eu defnyddio?

O ran systemau hyfforddi, dim ond dros y ffin i Loegr y mae’n rhaid i chi edrych i weld rhai enghreifftiau rhyfeddol. Byddai mentrau’r llywodraeth fel y cynllun CAT yn fuddiol iawn i Gymru, i fynd i’r afael â materion fel hygyrchedd a chysondeb mewn hyfforddiant. Mae angen sicrhau bod mwy o lwybrau ar gael i bobl ifanc sydd ag angerdd am symud i ymgymryd â gwaith creadigol ac ehangu eu haddysg dawns. Mae hyn hefyd yn cynnwys cael rhaglen hyfforddiant galwedigaethol i astudio dawns ar lefel broffesiynol.


Mae Get the Chance yn gweithio i gefnogi ystod amrywiol o aelodau’r cyhoedd i gael mynediad at ddarpariaeth ddiwylliannol. Ydych chi’n ymwybodol o unrhyw rwystrau y mae pobl greadigol yng Nghymru yn eu hwynebu? Os ydych chi, beth ellid ei wneud i gael gwared ar y rhwystrau hyn?

Un o’r rhwystrau rydw i wedi bod yn ymwybodol ohono’n y gorffennol fu’r diffyg ystyriaeth i ymarferwyr dawns mewn ardaloedd mwy gwledig yng Nghymru. Gan fod sefydliadau wedi gorfod addasu i ddulliau digidol o gynnal neu ffrydio eu digwyddiadau, mae’r ymarferwyr dawns hyn o’r diwedd wedi gallu mynychu digwyddiadau na fyddent wedi gallu mynd iddynt yn y gorffennol. Rwyf hefyd yn bersonol wedi gwerthfawrogi fy mod yn gallu cyrchu a gwylio perfformiadau wedi’u ffrydio’n fyw ar-lein ac er gwaethaf pwl achlysurol o ‘flinder Zoom’, rwy’n dal i obeithio y bydd sefydliadau’n parhau i gynnig o leiaf rai agweddau ar weithio/perfformio ar-lein.

 Pe byddech chi’n gallu ariannu maes o’r celfyddydau yng Nghymru pa faes fyddai hwnnw a pham?

Mae angen dirfawr am arian mewn llawer o feysydd ond hoffwn weld rhaglen hyfforddi broffesiynol gynhwysol ar gael yng Nghymru yn ogystal â gofod i uno lle gall dawnswyr greu, addysgu a pherfformio gyda’i gilydd (rhywbeth fel Dance City yn Newcastle)

Dance City, Newcastle.

Beth sy’n eich cyffroi am y celfyddydau yng Nghymru?

Mae wedi bod yn gyffrous gweld cymuned ddawns Cymru yn gweithio gyda’i gilydd i sefydlu cymuned fwy cysylltiedig o ddawnswyr trwy ddigwyddiadau rhwydweithio a thrafodaethau ar-lein. Edrychaf ymlaen at weld sut mae’r cysylltedd hwn yn digwydd yn Sector Ddawns flaengar ac amrywiol Cymru.

Beth oedd y peth gwirioneddol wych olaf i chi ei brofi yr hoffech ei rannu gyda’n darllenwyr?

Gwylio Revisor Crystal Pite a “BLKDOG” Far From the Norm fel rhan o Dance Nation. Mae’r ddau yn ddarnau rhyfeddol, ac maent ar gael i’w gwylio am ddim ar Iplayer.

Revisor Crystal Pite


“I find myself drawn to both the emotional and physical characteristics of the human experience” An Interview with Hanna Lyn Hughes.

Credit Noel Shelley

Hi Hanna, great to meet you, can you give our readers some background information on yourself please?

I’m a freelance dancer from Cardiff. I trained as an Associate of The Royal Ballet School and National Dance Company Wales before attending London Contemporary Dance School at 18. I’ve worked with choreographers including Crystal Pite, Caroline Finn and Dane Hurst and have danced with companies such as Danish Dance Theatre, Just Us Dance Theatre and have recently joined Ballet Cymru as a company dancer. You can find out more about me at my website

What got you interested in the arts?

I’ve been creative as long as I can remember. At school, I was more often than not doodling over my Maths homework and choreographing disco dancing routines in the school yard. I also loved studying Textiles and Drama at A Level.

Credit Sian Treberth

You are a company Dancer with Ballet Cymru and are currently working with them to look at ways to support dance delivery in the Welsh Language. What are your hopes and ambitions for this new initiative?

Following a successful trial period, we’re excited to bring the bilingual adult ballet classes back after Easter. I’ve also been teaching Welsh amongst the company members; their confidence in speaking the language has grown and their enthusiasm has been really heartwarming. We’re now looking at more ways to incorporate bilingual practice and it’s solidified my belief that teaching dance bilingually should be the norm in Wales. If you are a dance practitioner in Wales, I implore you to consider how you can include the use of the Welsh language in your practice. With almost 30% of the population able to speak and understand Welsh, it seems worth the effort.

If a dancer wanted to stay and train in Wales and then pursue a career, what support system would you suggest they require in order to be able to do this?

Attending your local dance school is a great place to start and if you’re fortunate enough to be based in South Wales, you may be able to attend the Associate schemes run by NDCWales and Ballet Cymru. But it’s not currently possible to train vocationally in Wales to a professional level which is a huge shame!

NDCWales Associates.
Ballet Cymru Associates, copyright Sian Trenberth Photography

In terms of pursuing a career in dance, in Wales, I’ve found understanding my skills and what I can offer the Welsh Dance sector to be really important. For example, recognising the need for Welsh speaking dance practitioners and providing that service has allowed me to gain choreographic and teaching experience and has at times been a financial lifeline. Having said this, I feel that as a dancer, I’m sometimes valued and held up to a different standard because of my nationality and the fact I speak Welsh. I feel equally lucky to be given opportunities because I’m Welsh but sometimes anxious that my work is valued exclusively on that basis. I’ve come to terms with these feelings by embracing the platforms I’m offered as opportunities to challenge assumptions and in some cases, surpass expectations. I’m passionate about my heritage and culture but it doesn’t define my work or my identity.

You’re an artist who has in the past worked with creatives from a range of art forms to create exciting artistic performances. How would you best describe your creative practice?

I draw upon yoga, flying low and improvisation in my own practice and my movement quality is usually described as fluid and intricate. In terms of choreography, I find myself drawn to both the emotional and physical characteristics of the human experience, in particular themes of mortality and creation. I’m looking forward to developing these ideas in future.

Credit Viktor Erik Emanuel


 Are there any examples of training systems or support networks that exist in other nations that Wales could look to utilise?

In terms of training systems, you only have to look across the border to England for some amazing examples. Government initiatives like the CAT scheme would be very beneficial for Wales, to tackle issues like accessibility and consistency in training. There needs to be more pathways made available for young people with passion for movement to engage in creative work and broaden their dance education. This also includes having a vocational training program to study dance at a professional level.

Get the Chance works to support a diverse range of members of the public to access cultural provision. Are you aware of any barriers that creatives in Wales face? If you are, what might be done to remove these barriers?

One of the barriers I’ve been aware of in the past has been the lack of consideration for dance practitioners based in more rural areas of Wales. With organisations having had to adapt to digital means of hosting or streaming their events, these dance practitioners have finally been able to attend events that they wouldn’t otherwise have been able to in the past. I’ve also personally really valued being able to access and watch live streamed performances online and despite the occasional bout of ‘Zoom fatigue’, I still hope organisations continue to offer at least some aspects of working/performing online.

 If you were able to fund an area of the arts in Wales what would this be and why?

There are lots of areas in desperate need of funding but I would particularly like to see an inclusive professional training program available in Wales as well as a unifying space in which dancers can create, educate and perform together (something like Dance City in Newcastle)

Dance City, Newcastle.

What excites you about the arts in Wales?

It’s been exciting to see the Welsh dance community working together to establish a more connected community of dancers via online networking events and discussions. I look forward to seeing how this connectivity materialises in a progressive, diverse Welsh Dance Sector.

What was the last really great thing that you experienced that you would like to share with our readers?

Watching Crystal Pite’s Revisor and Far From the Norm’s “BLKDOG” as part of Dance Nation. Both extraordinary pieces, available to watch for free on BBC Iplayer.

Crystal Pite’s Revisor

“Working outdoors is a great option for providing safer access to arts and this can then be a draw for people to return to the theatre.” An Interview with Kate Lawrence and Joanna Wright

Hi Kate and Jo, great to meet you, can you give our readers some background information on yourself please?

Kate: I was born in London and spent my early years in Tanzania and Mexico before returning to the UK aged 11 to go to a quaker boarding school in North Yorkshire.  After school I trained as a dancer at Thamesdown Contemporary Dance Studios in Swindon and then did a BA in Dance Theatre at Laban, in London.  Then I started a feminist dance company called Nomads which ran from 1989 – 1995, doing performance and education work.  When the company ended I spent a few years doing all sorts of things, car maintenance courses, creative writing courses, stunt training, delivery driving, caretaking.  Then I got a job as a dance lecturer at University of Surrey where I spent 10 years. In 2010 I moved to North Wales to be in the mountains and feed my passion for rock climbing.  I got a part-time job at Bangor University as a lecturer in performance.  During the 10 years I have spent here, I began my own vertical dance company, Vertical Dance Kate Lawrence (VDKL). 

Joanna: I’m an artist from North Wales, I grew up on the coast near Conwy. I left Wales when I was a teenager to study art. I ended up living in the USA, working in a really eclectic range of jobs that included furniture maker, running a market stall, selling pizzas, working in a shoe repair shop, photographer for the US government and then working in the art department of film and theatre productions. In 2001, shortly after September 11th, I got a job as a videographer on a sailing boat doing a global circumnavigation, as part of an pioneering interactive, online education project. That was a turning point that eventually bought me back to Wales and took me into working in documentary, in many different forms.

What got you interested in the arts?

Kate: I come from a family of professional musicians on my father’s side (although my father was an amateur) and my mother is a visual artist and potter so I grew up in an arty environment.  I did a lot of dancing alone in my bedroom as a child – the pandemic has reminded me of this as I have returned to my bedroom as a dance studio.  I think what I love about the arts is that it is really a way of thinking, a way of being in the world that is centred on experience, expression and communication.

Joanna: I grew up with a parent who had a severe mental illness. In the 80’s in North Wales mental health services were poor to non-existent, both for those with mental illness, and their families. In the arts I found a way to express ideas and connect with others that I hadn’t been able to previously. I specifically credit the generosity of the wonderful artist and teacher Dave Pearson who I met as a young art student, he saw some of the weight I was carrying at that time and encouraged me to tell stories with my work and experiences, and also to find playful ways to get it out into the world.

Kate I believe you are working on a new project called ‘Portrait and Landscape’ its described as  “a series of online bi-monthly events for the international vertical dance community and beyond. It was conceived by Wanda Moretti in collaboration with Kate Lawrence and Lindsey Butcher. The series runs bi-monthly until the end of October 2021 “.

For those who may be new to the term what is ‘Vertical Dance’ and how did you come to be involved ?

Kate: Vertical dance is a newish term that refers to dancing in suspension – the dancer is suspended using climbing or access equipment, such as harnesses, ropes and abseil devices.  Often this is against a vertical wall (hence the term vertical) which becomes the ‘dance floor’.  So it often takes place in public space, on the sides of buildings. 

I got involved with vertical dance when I started climbing in the late 1990s – as part of training to be a stunt woman (that never happened!).   I found the movement of climbing very similar to dance and when I began teaching at the University of Surrey I asked if I could run a module called vertical dance.  That began in 2001 and was the beginning of my development of the practice.  I began teaching dancers to climb in the climbing wall and getting them to develop choreography from that and then gradually I introduced suspended dancing.  In 2005 I embarked on PhD study into vertical dance and that led me to meet other vertical dance artists from around the world.  The first two I met were Wanda Moretti from Venice and UK- based Lindsey Butcher, and we are still working together.  I finally finished my PhD in 2017 – it took me a long time because I was working and creating at the same time!

Kate, what is your ambition for Portrait and Landscape?

 During the pandemic it has been impossible to do vertical dance practice for me and I spent 2020 doing other things – gardening mostly and some writing – this has been quite a healthy break from a very busy time.  This series of events was the brainchild of my colleague Wanda Moretti and she invited Lindsey and I to collaborate with her on running it. 

Wanda Moretti

The ambition is to bring international vertical dance artists – and anyone else who might be interested – together at a time when we are all isolated and distanced.  The current time is an opportunity to connect across borders and learn about how different artists practice the form and also to keep our artistic minds working!  My company, VDKL, has received some funding from Wales Arts International to support this project which means we have offered 3 bursaries to Welsh artists.  It also enables us to explore making the series more accessible.

You are both working on a project researching into Dance for people who are blind, this sounds fascinating please tell me more!

Kate:  Yes, Jo and I are working on a project called Yn y Golau/In-visible Light, which began in 2016 as a collaboration between myself and photonics scientist Ray Davies – a Synthesis project funded by Pontio

Pontio (Bangor) - 2021 All You Need to Know Before You Go (with Photos) -  Bangor, Wales | Tripadvisor
Pontio

Photonics is the science of light – I didn’t know that until I met Ray.  The project developed and in 2019 we did a research and development project funded by ACW with a couple of test performances.  Our purpose was to make a show that tried to build accessibility for blind and partially sighted people into the creation process, rather than audio describing a finished product.  It was a huge challenge and we were assisted by a visually impaired actor and aerialist, Amelia Cavallo. 

Amelia Cavallo

We constantly asked ourselves: what would this experience be like if we couldn’t see?  And this led to some new ways of working for me as a choreographer.  Sometimes I would close my eyes and listen to the dance…  It also reminded me that dance is a kinetic art form not a visual one.  Sometimes I think we focus more on shapes we see than movements we feel.  We invited blind audiences to the test performances and then interviewed them afterwards to get feedback on how successful our approach was.  We then received further funding from ACW to develop a touring show, but the pandemic has made us change our plans. We are now working on a film and we also have some seed funding from Clwstwr to do further research into access for blind and visually impaired people to performance.

Joanna: Kate first asked me to work on Yn Y Golau as a documentary filmmaker. In my work in documentary I’m especially interested in how new technologies can be used in storytelling. In Yn Y Golau I felt there was potential to explore how to share the work in an interactive, non linear way, which might better enable us to think about how to move beyond the screen, and think more deeply about how the embodied experience, that was central to Kate’s live work, can be expressed or shared digitally. There are also a lot of documentary elements in the project, and we are exploring how the project audience can choose which aspects they want to engage with.

Prior to this project did you have any knowledge of areas such as audio description for theatre/dance?

Kate: Yes, I first started thinking about audio description back around 2008 when I was asked to do a workshop at an audio description seminar at University of Surrey.  The topic then lay dormant for me for several years, and then in 2016 I was asked by Mari Emlyn to make a piece of work for the foyer of Galeri.  It was the year of the centenary of Roald Dahl’s birth and so we made a new story built from the drawings of primary school children of their favourite Roald Dahl characters.  The piece was called Omnibus and was performed in the foyer of Galeri with the dancers flying in the space overhead. 

We created a bilingual (Welsh and English) recorded audio description alongside the soundscore so that everyone in the audience could hear it.  From our current research I know that this is sometimes referred to as ‘open audio description’.  The traditional method is that an audio describer is in a booth describing events as they unfold, straight into the ears of the visually impaired person, who wears headphones.  Headphones can however be distancing, muffling and isolating so I felt it was important to search for ways in which to make the work with accessibility built in.

Joanna: Absolutely none, and that is really motivating me. When I started looking and learning about it, I am not proud to say, I realised how I had never really considered this aspect in any meaningful way. I know I was also, unfortunately, in a majority.

If a dancer wanted to stay and train in Wales and then pursue a career, what support system would you suggest they require in order to be able to do this?

Kate: I can only speak for North Wales, where it is virtually impossible at present for a dancer to train in the conventional, vocational sense – I think there is more capacity in South Wales, but even there options are limited.  To make a career entirely in Wales I think it is necessary to take every opportunity available and to be very self-motivated and resourceful.  VDKL employs mainly North Wales based dancers, who I have trained in vertical dance techniques.  This is because I want to build a community here, however small it is!  The dancers I work with have trained in dance outside Wales and returned.  I also want to provide employment opportunities for local artists and persuade them to stick around!  My company used to run affordable twice weekly training sessions of 3 hours each but we lost our space in 2017, and now with the pandemic training has become impossible.  But we are hopeful for the future – the beauty of vertical dance is that we can go outside!  In an ideal world a dancer building a career in Wales needs regular affordable access to dance training sessions and also affordable access to space to dance.  A vocational/degree programme would also be very helpful.

 Are there any examples of training systems or support networks that exist in other nations that Wales could look to utilise?

Kate: France has a great system of support for artists that pays them whilst they are ‘resting’ between jobs.  This gives them time and financial support to continue their training and professional development.  Many European countries have arts centres that offer space and residencies for artists.  Access to affordable space to practice is essential and it would be great if each region of Wales had dedicated spaces or ‘homes’ for dance.   I have been doing daily practice sessions during lockdown with Wainsgate Dances in Hebden Bridge, England and this is an excellent example of an artist-led initiative that has built a community of dancers who are now contributing to the provision of residencies for other artists at the centre.

Joanna: I’ve been very inspired by people who have built their own networks where none exist. I’m part of the Arts Territory Exchange project, it facilitates collaborations in remote locations that are cut off from the networks which usually sustain a creative practice. I think as an artist  it’s very important  to be part of a community of support, to develop and challenge your work and ideas, and to share skills with others. There are some great DIY examples out there, the  Artist Residency in Motherhood set up by Lenka Clayton is another inspirational network

What does Wales do well in dance or cultural training and delivery?

Kate: In my experience support for the arts in Wales is a friendlier affair than my previous experience in London and the South of England.  I have found local venue managers and programmers to be great collaborators and the Arts Council of Wales officers are approachable.  I think cultural training and delivery in Wales is ‘on a shoestring’; the positive side of this is that it is extremely adaptable and mobile – it has to be due to the geographically dispersed activities.  But it needs centres too, and not just in Cardiff. The bizarre thing is that it is quicker to get to London than Cardiff for North Wales dance artists looking for training. 

Joanna: In my experience Wales supports it’s creatives well and gets a lot out of small budgets. However there are real impacts currently in relation to access to arts education, and the financial barriers for those who want to study. I feel strongly that this will further negatively impact diversity in the cultural sector. About the centres that Kate mentions, I’d say something about the impact of Covid this last year, there has been more cross Wales collaborative working, in my experience, which is great, but the Cardiff region still has a hegemony in terms of cultural projects, and I’d like to see that be distributed more widely across Wales.

Get the Chance works to support a diverse range of members of the public to access cultural provision. Are you aware of any barriers that creatives in Wales face? If you are what might be done to remove these barriers?

Kate: Well we are working on access for blind and partially sighted audiences.  Our research so far is showing that provision for these audiences, particularly for dance, is very limited.  A perceived barrier is that it costs of a lot of money to provide access and independent artists/small companies with very limited resources can’t afford to spend extra money; this is also true for the larger companies.  I would like to  challenge artists to see how they might begin to build accessibility into their work so that it can be appreciated by all.  A big barrier for many in rural areas is getting to and from performances, so any schemes that provide transport can be really helpful. 

Joanna: To build on my comments above, barriers to access can be many, including financial, but there’s also a lot of potential positive learning from the online way of working that’s been adopted because of Covid. Personally, as a carer and parent of a school age child I’ve been able to take part a lot more, due to events being online. It would be a shame for this to be abandoned when things open up physically, because in my opinion it’s cracked open cultural provision MUCH more widely.  I’d like to see ways of live-online access being continued for people who can more easily engage in this way, and supporting people where access to stable internet is an issue.

With the roll out of the Covid-19 vacancies, the arts sector is hopeful audiences will return to venues and theatres. If theatres want to attract audiences what do you think they should do?

Kate: I think first and foremost, theatres need to ensure that they are safe spaces and then market that fact very clearly.  Perhaps look at small, socially distanced audiences, and commissioning work for this kind of audience.  Working outdoors is a great option for providing safer access to arts and this can then be a draw for people to return to the theatre. 

 If you were able to fund an area of the arts in Wales what would this be and why?

Kate:  Dance of course!  I think dance is always the Cinderella of the arts and tends to receive less subsidy.  We all have bodies – we all move – and our physical and mental well being can be enhanced through dancing.   I would love to see the creation of small dance centres around the country so that local artists and the community in general have somewhere to meet and dance.  They don’t have to be for dance exclusively, but should provide the space necessary for dance – and rigging points for vertical dance of course.  

Joanna: Really good interdisciplinary arts education. The studio based art college system that supported so much groundbreaking creative work across the UK has been decimated. Artists are great problem solvers, and skills in the arts are widely transferable.

What excites you about the arts in Wales?

Kate: I love the maverick nature of the arts in Wales.  People are making work in the most surprising places and this gives rise to exciting new techniques and approaches.

Joanna: It’s collaborative & supportive, there’s some great, innovative work happening in cross disciplinary settings. The arts in Wales is embedded into our culture in quite a unique way, the Urdd does amazing work with children and young people. There were 12000 creative works across music, dance, spoken word and visual arts made by children who entered the online Eisteddfod T this year for example- That’s amazing!

What was the last really great thing that you experienced that you would like to share with our readers?

Kate: In our last Portrait and Landscape event San Francisco based choreographer Jo Kreiter shared with us her project called ‘The Decarceration Trilogy’ a long term project looking at the US prison system and its effects on citizens.  It was a really moving and inspiring offering to our community and a great example of the power of dance and the arts in general as a tool for examining issues of social justice.  Here is a clip of Jo talking about her work in general

and here is a link to a film of The Wait Room that she showed during our event: 

Joanna: I am currently a research fellow at the Open Documentary Lab, MIT where I recently saw a presentation of Hatsumi VR It is an amazing  project in development that uses virtual reality to allow participants to visually express experiences of pain, emotion and sensory experience in audio visual body maps.

“If You Can Move, You Can Dance” An Interview with Yvette Halfhide and Helen Woods.

Images Helen Wood, Yvette Halfhide, credit Dave Wilson and Dance for Parkinsons Class.

In this interview the Director of Get the Chance, Guy O’Donnell chats to Wales based Dancer Yvette Halfhide and Musician Helen Woods. They jointly deliver the English National Ballet/National Dance Company Wales, Dance for Parkinson’s programme. ENB’s Dance for Parkinson’s programme has been running since 2008. NDCWales is an affiliated hub of ENB’s programme.

Hi Yvette and Helen, great to meet you both can you give our readers some background information on yourself please?

Yvette: Hi everyone, My name is Yvette Halfhide and I live with my family near Bridgend in South Wales. I graduated (many years ago now!) from Central School of Ballet and have been a dancer, choreographer, teacher, rehearsal director, creative movement session leader, as well as other jobs connected to dance and the arts. I am currently associate dance artist for the Dance for Parkinson’s Programme initially set up by English National Ballet and run, in partnership with National Dance Company Wales in Cardiff.

Black Maria, 2007, Green Box Productions, Sadlers Wells.Above: Aunt Maria (Ruth Posner) takes tea with the Mrs Urs (Yvette Halfhide, Justine Berry, Debbie Camp) served by Betty (Katherine Kingston).

Helen: Hey all, My name is Helen Woods and I moved to Cardiff in 1997 – so I’ve been in Wales for nearly half my life…..nearly. I studied at Dartington College of Arts graduating with a degree in Music and Visual Performance. I work as a freelance composer and musician and have been lucky enough to have worked on a huge variety of projects including Street theatre with a Brazilian dancer, the Tiddly Proms (a show for under 5s that I write the music for and perform as Cherry Pie)

Community musicals, 2 operas for children and in 2013 I received a Creative Wales award to work on my own music writing a flute and piano sonata and a suite of pieces about some of my ancestors. I am currently associate musician for the Dance for Parkinson’s Programme and have the constant pleasure of working with Yvette.

Helen Woods, Richard Berry, Berts Magical Musical Allotment, Tiddly Proms

What got you interested in the arts?

Yvette: Both my parents were keen on the arts in their own way. My mother loves all types of dance, musical theatre and theatre, and my father really enjoyed his opera and classical music, so I was lucky to be introduced at a young age to those forms.

Helen: Like Yvette, my parents gave me every encouragement to explore music and dance as a child. When I was four, my older sister was learning the recorder at school and I wanted to learn so my dad bought us a book and a recorder so that we would learn together. He used to leave for work quite early in the morning so we’d always start before the others were up, I loved that time with my Dad. My mum had always wanted to learn the piano but money had not allowed so she was incredibly supportive.

You have been delivering English National Ballets/National Dance Company Wales, Dance For Parkinson’s class since 2015. Dancing has been shown to support people with Parkinson’s to develop confidence and strength, whilst temporarily relieving some participants of these symptoms in everyday life. You have a dance and musical background; how do you use your artistic skills and background when delivering class?

Yvette: I think that as someone who delivers such an expressive art form, it is important for the participants to see that expression when you deliver, so you could say that you are performing as you teach. If you can convey how much you enjoy dancing (and a particularly wonderful experience when with live music, which is at the heart of the programme) then hopefully that enthusiasm is transferred onto those people in your class.

If someone living with Parkinson’s was interested in attending but didn’t think of him or herself as a dancer or singer would they be able to join?

Yvette: Absolutely. Speaking from a dancer’s perspective I truly believe that if you can move, you can dance. A simple gesture can become an exquisite piece of dance if done with intention.

Helen: From a music perspective – we sing because we love to sing, not to be a choir – we sing for ourselves.

Due to Covid-19 you had to cancel physical class delivery and move onto dancing on the Zoom platform. How did you approach this and how have your members found this change?

It is a very different way of delivering a dance class. The challenges of using new technology can be a barrier to some people wanting to move online, but we have found that those that have, have embraced it enthusiastically. NDCWales also work with Digital Communities Wales to support our members to get online and active.

We have found that when working through exercises, adding verbal instructions or imagery in the form of lyrics onto the music helps participants remember the movements. I would say that most participants would prefer to be in the studio dancing together but a major advantage of moving online is that we are able to reach individuals literally anyywhere in the world. Since starting Zoom sessions, as well as our regular participants from Wales, we have had people from England also join us.

This coming March you are piloting two new Zoom classes in North Wales with Coleg Cambria in Wrexham and Pontio in Bangor. What might these new classes consist of?

The sessions in North Wales will still follow the regular Dance for Parkinson’s format that works through specific exercises focusing on the different symptoms of Parkinson’s. Each term, we focus on a piece of work that is in either English National Ballet or National Dance Company Wales’ current repertoire and for this part of the term we will be exploring – a fun, Cuban-inspired homage to the black and white silent movie era.

English National Ballet in Jolly Folly, a film by Amy Becker-Burnett, choreographed by Arielle Smith © English National Ballet

What do you personally see as being the key to the delivery of a project such as this?

I think offering a fun, high-quality dance session that motivates those attending to continue to be as mobile as possible whilst developing an appreciation for the arts is key to the delivery of the project.

How would you like the project to develop?

According to the Parkinson’s UK website there are around 145,000 people living with Parkinson’s in the UK and that correlates to about 7,600 of those individuals living in Wales. We are only reaching a very small number. It would be fantastic if we were able to set up more hubs across all of Wales so that people living Parkinson’s have access to a Dance for Parkinson’s Class near to where they live. Admittedly, not every person living with Parkinson’s may want to attend a dance class, but it would be lovely to be able to offer every person living with the condition that option.

If you were able to fund an area of the arts what would this be and why?

There are so many abandoned buildings around the UK that have the potential to be turned into these wonderful creative and artistic centres. Whether that be a site-specific installation, a live performance or a place for artists from all genres to come together to exchange ideas. There is such a wealth of history and beauty in many of these places – it would be wonderful to bring to them a new lease of life.

What excites you about the arts at the moment?

It has been a really challenging period for the arts at the moment, but I would say what inspires me perhaps more than excites me is the resilience of artists. Somehow, in spite of the theatres closing, performances postponed indefinitely, projects on hold, artists from all genres are still finding ways to be creative, to use this time to reflect on their work and find ways to express themselves.

What was the last really great thing that you experienced that you would like to share with our readers?

As part of our training delivering the Dance for Parkinson’s sessions, English National Ballet invited all of the associate dance artists and musicians to come together (online) to explore the repertoire, chat with some of the creative team, exchange ideas and have time to reflect on our practice. It was just before Christmas and after nine months of lockdown I felt tired and drained but after the training, I was re-invigorated and had a renewed sense of purpose. Just coming together with other artists, I was reminded of that support; and it reiterated to me how important it is to be able to have the opportunity to connect and engage with like-minded people.

Thanks for your time

Artistiaid Dawns, Beirdd ac arloeswyr Hip Hop yn rhannu eu teimladau ynghylch cynaliadwyedd a mamolaeth

Bydd tair ffilm yn cael eu rhyddhau ym mis Mawrth fel rhan o Plethu/Weave #2, cydweithrediad traws gelfyddyd ddigidol Cwmni Dawns Cenedlaethol Cymru (CDCCyrmru) a Llenyddiaeth Cymru, a fydd yn cynnwys yr ail o dri chomisiwn arbennig fel rhan o flwyddyn Cymru yn yr Almaen.

Gan asio rhai o leisiau mwyaf cyffrous Cymru, mae’r artistiaid dawns Krystal Lowe, Camille Giraudeau ac Elan Elidyr wedi cael eu paru gydag awduron, beirdd ac arloeswyr Hip-Hop – Alex Wharton, Rufus Mufasa ac Ed Holden i greu tair ffilm fer ddigidol ar gyfer cynulleidfaoedd ar-lein.

Yn 2021 bydd Plethu/Weave #2, cydweithrediad traws gelfyddyd CDCCymru a Llenyddiaeth Cymru, yn dwyn ynghyd wyth o ddawnswyr annibynnol eraill o Gymru a’u paru gyda rhai o feirdd mwyaf talentog Cymru. Mae rhai o’r creadigaethau dros y flwyddyn ddiwethaf wedi’u hysbrydoli gan straeon, lleoliad, treftadaeth a chysylltiad yr artistiaid eu hunain â Chymru.

Rhyddhawyd y ffilm gyntaf o gyfres Plethu/Weave #2, Aber Bach, a grëwyd gan Y Prifardd Mererid Hopwood a dawnsiwr CDCCymru, Elena Sgarbi, ym mis Ionawr fel rhan o lansiad blwyddyn Cymru yn yr Almaen Llywodraeth Cymru.

Bydd ail gomisiwn Cymru yn yr Almaen Plethu/Weave #2 yn gywaith rhwng yr awdur, bardd a’r bardd plant o Dorfaen, Alex Wharton, a’r dawnsiwr, coreograffydd a’r awdur Krystal Lowe. Mae Pethau Gwell i Ddod yn canolbwyntio ar gynaladwyedd, yr amgylchedd a byd natur, sydd yn rhai o brif themâu blwyddyn Cymru yn yr Almaen.

Meddai’r dawnsiwr Krystal Lowe, “Mae’r geiriau hyn wedi’u creu’n hyfryd gan fardd sydd â chariad at y gofod y mae’n byw ynddo, gyda natur yn rhan ganolog o hynny. Mae Alex yn plethu geiriau fel ‘troelli’ a ‘dawns’ yn hyfryd er mwyn adleisio’r symudiad sydd i’w weld trwy gydol y ffilm ac mae ei lais diniwed yn gosod sgôr eiddgar a chyffrous imi ddawnsio ynghyd â hi.

“Rwy’n caru llenyddiaeth ac rwyf wrth fy modd â dawns – mae plethu’r ddau hyn gyda’i gilydd yn llawenydd ac yn fraint na fydd gen i byth y geiriau i’w cyfleu.”

Mae Krystal hefyd yn gweithio gyda’r dylunydd gwisgoedd cynaliadwy, Emma-Jane Weeks a fydd yn defnyddio llifyn ffabrig naturiol a dillad wedi eu huwchgylchu i greu gwisg gyda dyluniadau a deunyddiau gweadog iawn i ddynwared natur o amgylch y ffilm.

“Mae cynaliadwyedd mewn gwisgoedd yn eithaf prin felly braf fydd creu darn sydd yn dangos ei fod yn bosib gwneud dewisiadau synhwyrol wrth wneud gwisgoedd, yn ogystal â gweddu themâu’r darn dan sylw,”

Bydd Pethau Gwell i Ddod yn cael ei lansio fel rhan o flwyddyn thema Cymru yn yr Almaen Llywodraeth Cymru ar Ddydd Gŵyl Dewi, ddydd Llun 1 Mawrth 2021. Bydd modd gwylio’r ffilm ar eu sianeli cyfryngau cymdeithasol, cyn y bydd y ffilm ar gael ar sianeli a gwefannau cyfryngau cymdeithasol CDCCymru a Llenyddiaeth Cymru o 2 Mawrth 2021 ymlaen. Bydd y gerdd ar gael mewn tair iaith. Cyfieithwyd cerdd Alex i’r Gymraeg a’r Almaeneg gan Ifor ap Glyn ac Eluned Gramich.

Y ffilm nesaf fydd cywaith rhwng dawnsiwr CDCCymru Camille Giraudeau, a’r actifydd llenyddol, yr addysgwr Hip-Hop a’r rapiwr Rufus Mufasa. Themâu’r cywaith hwn yw mamolaeth a rôl a chryfder menywod yn y gymdeithas. Caiff y ffilm ei rhyddhau ar ddydd Iau 15 Mawrth.

Meddai Lleucu Siencyn, Prif Weithredwr Llenyddiaeth Cymru, “Mae’r pedair ffilm gyntaf o gyfres Plethu/Weave #2 yn cynnwys rhai o leisiau mwyaf cyffrous Cymru. Mae’r ffilmiau byrion hyn yn parhau i gynnig cip olwg unigryw ar Gymru i gynulleidfaoedd digidol, ac mae Llenyddiaeth Cymru yn falch o barhau gyda’r bartneriaeth gyffrous hon gyda’r Cwmni Dawns. Mae Plethu/Weave yn brosiect arloesol sydd yn darparu cyfleoedd datblygu awduron yn ogystal â dathlu diwylliant llenyddol Cymru.”

Bydd y drydedd yn cael ei rhyddhau ar ddydd Iau 29 Mawrth ac fe’i crëwyd gan yr artist dawns o Aberystwyth, Elan Elidyr, a’r arloeswr Hip-Hop, Ed Holden.

Meddai Lee Johnston, Cyfarwyddwr Cysylltiol CDCCymru, “Mae’r ffilmiau Plethu/Weave hyn yn archwilio pynciau hanfodol megis ein perthynas â’n hamgylchedd naturiol, a phrofiad mamolaeth. Maent yn agor straeon cymhellol a chraff ac yn deyrnged i bŵer barddoniaeth a dawns.”

Bydd cyfres Plethu/Weave #2 yn parhau yn ystod mis Ebrill a mis Mai, gyda rhagor o fanylion am y ffilmiau hynny i’w ganfod ar wefannau CDCCymru a Llenyddiaeth Cymru.

Dance artists, poets and Hip Hop pioneers share their voices on sustainability and motherhood


Three films will be released in March as part of National Dance Company Wales (NDCWales) and Literature Wales’ digital cross-artform collaboration, Plethu/Weave #2, which will include the second of three Wales in Germany commissions.


Fusing together some of Wales’ most exciting voices, dance artists Krystal Lowe, Camille Giraudeau and Elan Elidyr have been paired with authors, poets and Hip-Hop pioneers – Alex Wharton, Rufus Mufasa and Ed Holden to create three digital short films for online audiences.

In 2021 NDCWales and Literature Wales’ cross-artform collaboration, Plethu/Weave #2 will bring together a further eight independent Wales based dancers matched with some of Wales’ most talented poets. Some of the creations over the last year have been inspired by the artists own stories, location, heritage and connection with Wales. 

The first Plethu/Weave #2 film, Aber Bach, created by Mererid Hopwood and NDCWales dancer, Elena Sgarbi, was released in January as part of the launch of Welsh Government’s Wales in Germany themed year.

The second Plethu/Weave #2 Wales In Germany Commission will be by Torfaen-based writer, poet and children’s author Alex Wharton, and Bermuda-born, Wales-based dancer, choreographer, and writer Krystal Lowe. Good Things to Come focuses on sustainability, environment and nature, which are amongst the core themes of the Wales in Germany year.  

Dance artist Krystal Lowe said, “These words are beautifully created in the midst of nature by a poet and lover of the spaces he inhabits. Alex beautifully weaves words like ‘spin’ and ‘dance’ to echo the movement that will be seen throughout the film and his innocent cinnamon voice makes for an eager and exciting score for me to dance along with.

I love literature and I love dance – to weave these two together is a joy and privilege I will never have the words to convey.”

Krystal is also working with sustainable costume designer, Emma-Jane Weeks who will use natural fabric dye and upcycling clothing to create a costume with very textured designs and materials to mimic the nature around the film.

Sustainability in costume is quite far and few so it would be so great to make a piece that demonstrates how possible it is to make good choices when costuming as well as fitting with the theme of the piece,”  said Emma Jane Weeks.

Good Things To Come will be launched as part of the Welsh Government’s Wales In Germany themed year on Monday 1 March 2021, St David’s Day on their social media channels, and will be available on NDCWales and Literature Wales’ social media channels and websites from 2 March 2021. The poem is available in English, Welsh and German, by Ifor ap Glyn and Eluned Gramich.

The next film in March will be by NDCWales dancer Camille Giraudeau and literary activist, Hip-Hop educator, lyricist and rapper Rufus Mufasa and is themed around motherhood, the role and strength of women in society, and will be released on Thursday 15March.

The third film released for Plethu/Weave #2 film will be out on Thursday 29 March and has been created by Aberystwyth born freelance dance artist Elan Elidyr and Welsh Hip-Hop pioneer and poet, Ed Holden.

NDCWales’ Associate Director, Lee Johnston said, “These Plethu/ Weave films examine vital subjects such as our relationship with our natural environment, and the experience of motherhood. They open up compelling and insightful stories and are a tribute to the power of poetry and dance.”

Lleucu Siencyn, Chief Executive of Literature Wales, said, “The first four Plethu/Weave #2 collaborations features some of Wales most exciting voices. These short films continue to provide a unique snapshot of Wales for digital audiences, and Literature Wales is pleased to be continuing this partnership with our colleagues at NDCWales. Plethu/Weave is an excellent project providing writer development opportunities and celebrates Wales’ literary culture.”

Plethu/Weave #2 series will continue into April and May, with further details on those films released later in April on the NDCWales and Literature Wales websites.






The Power of Dance is Magical! Simone Sistarelli and Popping For Parkinson’s

Hi Simone great to meet you, can you give our readers some background information on yourself please?

Thanks for having me! I am Simone Sistarelli, and I am the founder of Popping For Parkinson’s ®, a project that transforms Parkinson’s patients into Popping dance students. I am passionate about inspiring people. I am a dance artist, a social entrepreneur, a musician and public speaker. I am in the Universal Hip Hop Museum Hall of Fame for my contribution to Hip Hop Culture.

I have a BA in Contemporary Dance from Trinity Laban and an MSc in Dance Psychology from the University of Hertfordshire.

What got you interested in the arts?

I fell in love at first sight with dancing at age 10, and I have not stopped being in the arts world since! The arts are an incredible vessel of expression, and they feel liberating to me. 

You have been running Popping For Parkinson’s since 2015. On your website you describe your approach as

“Using Popping dance techniques as an innovative therapeutic tool for improving the physical condition of people affected by Parkinson’s disease. Participants see improvement in their natural movement capacities, but also gain confidence, feel less socially isolated and have fun.”

It sounds like a fascinating approach. Where did the project originate?

 I had the original idea in 2012 while training at Trinity Laban Conservatoire. It originated as a result of various inputs, from my granddad having Parkinson’s to the similarities between the Parkinson’s tremors and Popping dance. I thought: people with Parkinson’s shake without the beat;I train my whole life as a Popping dancer to shake to the beat. In my head, people with Parkinson’s could turn their symptom into a superpower! After years of research on Parkinson’s, dance, music therapy, dance therapy and more, I developed a methodology, started a collaboration with SLYPN (South London Younger Parkinson’s Network), I offered the first dance class as a trial run, people loved it, and we haven’t stopped since!

How does someone get involved, do they need to have any prior dance experience?

Absolutely no prior experience is needed! People can simply sign up for the online classes through our website and join us!

How would you like the project to develop?

There are around 10 million people with Parkinson’s worldwide. The ultimate aim of the project is to reach all of them and empower them all to become dancers! In practical terms, I am working on future developments by exploring different ways to reach people, from writing a book to creating dance tutorials (both on streaming platforms and DVDs), creating bespoke music for dance classes and more.

You might not normally think of Hip-Hop culture and Parkinson’s as strong partners. What has the reaction been to the project in the Hip Hop community?

My work has been recognised by the Universal Hip Hop Museum, the ultimate dream for anyone in the Hip Hop community. I hope I can inspire people in the Hip Hop world as much as Hip Hop inspired me in the first place.

There is a lack of Diversity in mainstream cultural provision. Do you think your project has connected with people who might not normally think of themselves as Dancers?

Yes! Dance is so much more than solely performing, and appreciating that is key to inviting more people to improve their life through social artistic movement.

Music is a key element of Hip Hop. How do you select the tracks to use in your class and if you had to choose one, what’s your favourite?

As a musician myself, I carefully choose the songs for my classes. I know the impact that a good tune can have! I am a record collector and I have a vast collection of songs to start from, then depending on the theme/mood of the class I will pick the most appropriate songs. Songs can go from classic Popping tunes (Cameo, Zapp) to Popping beats (Slick Dogg, Beatslaya), from recent Electro-Funk releases (Mofak, Makvel) to my own music productions. 

Asking for a favourite song/album to a collector is like asking for the favourite child to a parent, it’s impossible to answer! One of the songs that I keep going back to though is Brass Construction’s “Get up to Get Down”.

Get the Chance works to support a diverse range of members of the public to access cultural provision. Are you aware of any barriers that people living with Parkinson’s face to access dance and your organisations work? If you have identified any, have you been able to reduce these barriers in any way?

People with Parkinson’s face several challenges on a daily basis. Some of these limitations are specific to accessing dance classes. We did encounter some of them and we tried to reduce the impact that they had. One example was offering both seated and standing classes, so that people with limited mobility can access Popping dance (which tends to be a standing dance style).

Another limitation was costs, so from the very start of the project we offered the classes free of charge for participants (thanks to the support of funders such as the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and the National Lottery Community Fund). 

Now that classes are online only for obvious reasons, barriers are different. For example, commuting to class can be challenging for people with Parkinson’s, yet this particular limitation is not present online. At the same time, online classes present other barriers, such as technological knowledge, Zoom fatigue, access to broadband (especially for older people). We want to expand and offer several ways of participation, from interactive classes via Zoom to pre-recorded classes on YouTube, from dance tutorials to DVDs (coming soon) in order to minimise the impact that barriers create to people with Parkinson’s. It is a constant work-in-progress. 

The video below is a taster video of a Popping For Parkinson’s Class

With the roll out of the Covid-19 vacancies, the arts sector is hopeful audiences will return to venues and theatres. If theatres want to attract people living with Parkinson’s what do you think they should do?

Venues should understand the needs of people with Parkinson’s in order to accommodate them, making sure that venues are accessible and that staff are trained accordingly. 

 If you were able to fund an area of the arts what would this be and why?

All of them! But if I had to choose, I would dedicate way more funding to the phenomenal individuals that dedicate their lives to supporting people through artistic expression. The value that individuals bring to the arts is immense, and without them organisations could not thrive. 

What excites you about the arts at the moment?

Two main aspects really inspire and excite me at this stage. One is dance science, getting a deeper understanding of the relationship between arts and health, as I believe there is unlimited potential there.

The other one is the creation of new cross-disciplinary experiences that engage a diverse audience through the combination of several media (for example, from the genre-defying dance film TOM by Wilkie Branson to choreographing for drones).

What was the last really great thing that you experienced that you would like to share with our readers?

Seeing my students come to class with severe difficulties and then leaving energised, smiling and confident is an experience I still cannot get used to after many years! The power of dance truly is remarkable, so much so that sometimes it feels magical!

Thanks for your time Simone

Thank you

You can checkout the PoppingFor Parkinsons Spotify playlis here

If you are interested in finsing our more abour Simone and his work you can do so at the links below.

Website: www.poppingforparkinsons.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/poppingforparkinsons

Facebook: www.facebook.com/poppingforparkinsons

Simone’s personal website: www.simonesistarelli.com