National Dance Company Wales, UK, 2012

Tour Dates: 5 Sep - 22 Sep, 2012

National Dance Company Wales, formerly Diversions, performs a repertory created by prestigious international choreographers at venues all over Wales...

Tour Dates
  • 5 Sep - 22 Sep, 2012

Ticket Information:

7 Sep,  Qingdao Grand Theatre,  0532-88035555
11 Sep,  Chongqing Grand Theatre ,  023-61863166/88/99
15-16 Sep,  Henan Art Center,  0371-69092218/69092200
19 Sep,  Suzhou Culture and Arts Centre,  4008-288-299
21 Sep,  Shanghai Oriental Art Center,  021-68541234

National Dance Company Wales, formerly Diversions, performs a repertory created by prestigious international choreographers at venues all over Wales, the UK and internationally, most recently to Switzerland with the renowned Steps International Dance Festival and China on behalf of the British Council. The Company has also presented works in Ireland, Germany, Italy, Greece, Holland and Spain in the last two years.

Recent commissions and works include choreographers as diverse as Stephen Petronio (US), Itzik Galili (Israel), Stijn Celis (Belgium), Andonis Foniadakis (Greece), Nigel Charnock (UK) and Roy Campbell-Moore (Wales).

Under the Artistic Direction of Ann Sholem, the vision is to create and perform inspiring and entertaining choreography, performed by dancers with individuality and charisma, and to nurture and lead the development of the art-form throughout the nation.

Awarded national status in 1999, the Company became a Wales Millennium Centre resident in the Dance House in 2004. This is one of the best production facilities in Europe for creating new works. In 2008 the Company celebrated its highly-successful Silver Anniversary Year and was recognised with a Beacon Company award for excellence by the Arts Council of Wales. Then in June 2009 the Company changed its name to National Dance Company Wales to reflect its status and the excellence, pride and dynamism in its performances and work with communities everywhere.

The Company was picked as one of the Telegraph's "Top ten dance triumphs" of 2008 and continues to enjoy critical acclaim for its continually developing work.

DREAM-NDCW's Olympic project

Photographer: Roy Campbell-Moore

Choreography: Christopher Bruce
Music: "Lent" from "Valses Nobles et Sentimentales" and "Bolero" by Ravel; a work
by Grace Williams
Lighting: Guy Hoare

About the Work

The 2012 London Olympic project Dance GB was created by the National Dance Company Wales, the English National Ballet and the Scottish Ballet. As one of the important event of Olympic Games, it was premiered in Glasgow, Cardiff and London in June, 2012.

Choreographed by Christopher Bruce, Dream is a funny and heartfelt tribute to the passion of sporting glory and the Queen's coronation from 1952 post-war, austerity Britain. Emerging from a riot of street games and partying, a magical sequence takes place when a young girl dreams of the promise of future athletic glory and success. With sly and witty references to Torvill and Dean's 1984 Sarajevo Olympics win when British athletes reigned all-conquering, Dream is a sharp and wild character study of great humour and affection.

Christopher Bruce: Creating the Work

"I have taken as my starting point both the London 2012 Olympics and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and woven them into a piece which, I hope, is not just a celebration of these two events but also a celebration of the sheer enjoyment of physical movement and so, of course, this includes dance. The training and experiences of athletes and dancers are very similar, as is the final 'performance', when a player/performer eventually has to get out there and compete/perform. But, as with all competitors and dancers, it begins with a dream which you then have to work hard to realise.

It just happens that I was 6 going on 7 in 1952 and have memories of the celebrations and street parties for both the jubilee and the Coronation the following year. These memories and the world I saw about me in the late 40s/early 50s have determined the time and place for my dance. The cast will resemble my parents and their friends from that time so, in a sense, it is a period piece. The dancers have been wonderful - full of energy and enthusiasm. They move with a real physicality and it is a treat to work with a cast that is trained in contemporary dance. My movement seems to come quite naturally to them."

Photographer: Roy Campbell-Moore

Christopher Bruce: Biography

Choreographer and performer Christopher Bruce was born in Leicester in 1945. He was Artistic Director of the Rambert Dance Company from 1994 until 2002. In addition to performing and choreographing, he has created many works for Rambert and other companies throughout the world as well as choreographing for musicals and producing opera.

Christopher has had a long-term association with a number of companies including English National Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theater and Houston Ballet where he is currently Associate Choreographer. His most known works include Cruel Garden, Ghost Dances, Sergeant Early's Dream, Swansong and Rooster.

Christopher was awarded a CBE in 1998 for a lifetime's service to dance and has been awarded Honorary Life Membership of Amnesty International. He is an Honorary Doctor of Art from De Montfort University, Honorary Doctor of Letters and an Honorary Visiting Professor from University of Exeter.


By Singing Light

Photographer: Roy Campbell-Moore

Choreography: Stephen Petronio
Original Score: Son Lux
Traditional Music: "Ar lan y môr" & "Pe cawn i hon", Mansel Thomas
Poetry: Poems of Dylan Thomas: In My Craft or Sullen Art, Dylan Thomas & From Lament

About the Work

Created in the Dance House at Wales Millennium Centre By Singing Light marks one of the most significant commissions for National Dance Company Wales, and marks Stephen Petronio's choreographic debut with the Company.

By Singing Light allies Dylan Thomas' poetry with Petronio's choreography and Son Lux' music. Petronio fuses his classic dance language of graceful, balletic movements with dramatic sculptural tableaux giving rich insights into a complex and dark artist's mind.

By Singing Light was first performed on September 23, 2010 at Dance House, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff. It has been performed throughout Wales and England, in Ireland and Jersey, and most recently on a three-city tour of India: Chennai, Bangalore and Delhi. In February 2012 the work was performed at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London's Southbank Centre for British Dance Edition.

Photographer: Roy Campbell-Moore

Stephen Petronio: Biography

Born in New Jersey, Stephen received a BA from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, where he began dancing in 1974. He was the first male dancer of the Trisha Brown Company. Over a career spanning 27 years he has received numerous accolades including a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, awards from the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts and a New York Dance and Performance "Bessie" Award.

Son Lux: On His Original Score

"In my score for By Singing Light, I set two Dylan Thomas poems, Lament and In My Craft or Sullen Art. These beautiful pieces were obviously a primary influence to me. However, Petronio's movement style and creative energy were an equally significant inspiration. I love to get into the mind of the choreographer and bring to life what they imagine. I often ask myself, 'if he or she could write music, what would it sound like?' The answer to that question is my starting point.

Throughout the work, in various forms of abstraction and manipulation, I used audio recordings of Mansel Thomas' beautiful mixed choir arrangements of two Welsh folksongs, Ar lan y môr and Pe cawn i hon. As Head of Music for BBC Wales, he composed these pieces originally for performance on BBC Radio and TV. Fragments of these pieces provided a harmonic backbone for my own arrangement of Dylan Thomas' In My Craft or Sullen Art, and haunt the rest of the work in an abstracted form.

As a friend of Stephen and a fan of his work, it was an honour to make the sounds that fuelled his movement. I thank him and National Dance Company Wales for the opportunity."

In My Craft or Sullen Art, Dylan Thomas
In my craft or sullen art
Exercised in the still night
When only the moon rages
And the lovers lie abed
With all their griefs in their arms,
I labour by singing light
Not for ambition or bread
Or the strut and trade of charms
On the ivory stages
But for the common wages
Of their most secret heart.
Not for the proud man apart
From the raging moon I write
On these spindrift pages
Nor for the towering dead
With their nightingales and psalms
But for their lovers, their arms
Round the griefs of the ages,
Who pay no praise or wages
Nor heed my craft or art.

From Lament, Dylan Thomas
Wherever I dove in a breast high shoal
Wherever I ramped in the clover quilts
Whatsoever I did in the coal-
Black night, I left my quivering prints.

By Singing Light: Press Quotes

"The company has inspired the choreographer to one of his finest works"—— The Guardian

"A lovely piece, fanned to a blaze by Petronio's restless intelligence"—— The Observer

"One was struck by the power and assured technique of the dancers"—— Dance Europe

"Enrapturing and simply beautiful" ——The Guardian

"A restive tour de force that is full of both cerebral and visceral thrill"——The Irish Times

"This is the most significant cultural event that has come out of Wales in the last 10 years."—— Western Mail



Photographer: Roy Campbell-Moore

Choreography: Eleesha Drennan
Music: "Ostrich Feathers Played on Drums" and "Prelude and Fugue in A minor" by
Moondog; and "Muepe" by Zap Mama
Lighting: Joe Fletcher
Costume Design: Eleesha Drennan
Performer: Eleesha Drennan

About the Work

Whiskers is inspired by the ancient folk tale "La Loba" written by Clarissa Pinkola Estes in "Women Who Run With The Wolves". The story is about a wild woman who lives in the forest, collecting bones of animals and magically breathing them back into life. It is a story of transformation and preserving what is in danger of being lost to the world. By searching for the indestructible life force contained within the bones we seek to dig deeper into the fabric of our existence.

Whiskers is one woman's journey into a landscape created between awake and asleep. It explores a healthy kind of fear that keeps us alert to all that is around us which we can sense but we cannot see. In the forest of the psyche she seeks to reclaim the wild animal within, using the sensitivity of her metaphorical whiskers to explore the edges of possibility and danger. Through a series of rituals and tuning into the great unknown she contemplates the question: Do we have the capacity to transform ourselves beyond what we imagine possible?

Photographer: Roy Campbell-Moore

Choreographer: Biography

Originally from Canada, Eleesha completed her training at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance and was awarded 'most outstanding achievement'. Eleesha joined NDCWales in 2004 Eleesha was awarded Best Dancer at the 16th International Solo Dance Theatre Festival in Stuttgart in March 2012 for her performance of Whiskers.


The Grammar Of Silence

Photographer: Roy Campbell-Moore

22 minutes

Choreographer: Itzik Galili
Choreographer's Assistants: Helena Volkov
Lighting Design: Yaron Abulafia
Costume Design: Natasja Lansen

About the Work

Fear of darkness is akin to the fear of silence which fills our imagination. Stark, dramatic light cuts into dark space like silent gaps defining narratives, mood and time.

Five dance scenes suggest drama and tension of unspoken things, with the music adding its own poetry to the strident images. The Grammar Of Silence follows Romance Inverse and Peeled as Galili's third production for NDCWales.

Special thanks to:

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