Stories of rugby, mining communities and passionate love affairs lie at the heart of National Dance Company Wales’ new Roots tour this Autumn
Freshly returned from supporting Wales’ Rugby World Cup squad in Japan performing its new rugby-themed work, National Dance Company Wales prepares to score its next winning goal; to ensure that their work can be enjoyed by all people, in all of Wales, so that everyone across the nation can feel welcome and inspired to try contemporary dance and experience the magic of movement.
Roots showcases four of the company’s favourite pieces made in Wales, including one by Swansea raised choreographer Anthony Matsena. Each is short and dynamic and tells a unique story through dance; exploring relatable themes of Welsh life and culture. Thought provoking and light-hearted, the performances and discussion are designed for audiences of all ages to enjoy. Each dance piece is introduced to help everyone find their own meanings within the stories and followed by a Q&A session to share behind the scenes secrets of the choreographers and dancers. The four short works included in the evening include:
A brand new piece of work entitled Codi, by Anthony Matsena who grew up in Swansea and is about Welsh people who come together to tackle isolation and depression during troubled times, insoured by miners and their families. It’s an energetic and uplifting dance about the strength of communities.
Rygbi: Annwyl i mi / Dear to me by NDCWales Artistic Director Fearghus Ó Conchúir celebrates rugby in Wales and highlights the hopes, glory and passion of rallying together on and off the pitch. Rygbi was created with input from rugby fans and players across Wales so that the dance truly echoes the sport.
Écrit by Nikita Goile was inspired by a letter from iconic artist Frida Kahlo to her partner Diego. The clever duet is performed by a female dancer and a giant silhouette of her lover. A beautiful power struggle that reflects the ups and downs of passionate relationships.
Why Are People Clapping!? by Ed Myhill is set to composer Steve Reich’s Clapping Music and uses rhythm as a driving force. The dancers use lively movement and clapping to create a soundtrack for the fun and dynamic dance.
The Roots tour is part of a 4 year programme to develop dance in new places across Wales supported by a grant from the Esmée Fairburn Foundation.
Building on the success of last year’s tour, NDCWales embarks on an extended run this year visiting venues in Caernarfon, Mold, Pwllheli, Aberdyfi, Narbeth, Ystradgynlais, Blackwood and Cardiff throughout November.
As part of the Roots programme, there will be over 40 workshops delivered to primary and high school children, refugee groups, dance and theatre groups, groups for older people and the general public, so that they can learn more about the dance pieces and some of the movements from the performances. Some of the groups will be able to perform their work on the night before the show in Cardiff and Pwllheli.
Tickets are now on sale for Roots 2019 at Theatr Clwyd (Mold) 7-8 November 7.45pm; Dance House (Cardiff) 12-14 November 7.30pm and 13 November 1pm; Blackwood Miners’ Institute (Blackwood) 19 November 7.30pm; The Welfare (Ystradgynlais) 21 November 7.30pm; The Queen’s Hall (Narbeth) 22 November 7.30pm; Neuadd Dyfi (Aberdyfi) 24 November 7.30pm, Galeri (Caernarfon) 26 November 7.30pm, Neuadd Dywfor (PwhellI) 27 November 7.30pm. Running time 2 hours including intervals. Suitable for ages 7+.
National Dance Company Wales’ Roots Tour is the perfect opportunity for people new to contemporary dance to experience it for the first time as the relaxed introductions and discussions ensure that everyone will feel welcome and confident to enjoy the pieces. The introductions also give regular attenders the chance to find out more, as rehearsal room stories are shared.
Further information can be found at ndcwales.co.uk and across social media @ndcwales #roots2019