Partners: Dawns i Bawb, Llanllyfni Primary School and Pontio Arts and Innovation Centre.
“Dawns i Bawb believe that the Duets programme has opened the door to a number of new potential opportunities for us and what we can offer as part of our dance provision. We are very excited to have been a part of the experience and to carry on collaborating with Ballet Cymru. The potential support that they can offer us to create a legacy from these experiences will be invaluable, particularly as we are such a small team with limited access to resources such as residency projects and professional experiences and training.”
Catherine Young, Director, Dawns i Bawb
Llanllyfni primary school and coleg menai curtain rasier at Pontio Arts and innovation centre
Ballet Cymru led a 3-day residency at Llanllyfni Primary School working with 40 children from years 3, 4, 5 and 6 and spent a day at Coleg Menai to work with 15 Performing Art Students and created a piece based on people’s dependency on the ever developing technology of our world and the balance between machine and nature. The inspiration for this piece came from the themes included in ‘Wired to the Moon’ by Charlotte Edmonds. The children developed the movements through creative tasks alongside the professional dancers of Ballet Cymru.
“What an amazing and special moment – seeing how these children who, 5 days ago, have mostly never met a ballet dancer, working with professionals in the most creative way. I’m so proud we’re part of this project. Its everything a dance project should be. Diolch yn fair iawn” Catherine Young, Director
Following our final rehearsal at the school we invited the Infant Class into the hall to watch the piece and then Ballet Cymru were treated to a beautiful choir performance by the children.
The curtain raiser was performed as a procession piece, using all three levels of the foyer in Pontio. 25 out of the 40 children had never visited Pontio before and 36 family members attended the performance with many visiting Pontio and watching a ballet for the very first time.
“This week has by far been the best week I’ve had in the seven years I have been teaching. The contact and attention the children received throughout the week was amazing. They’ve all learned so much. It has had a massive influence on their self confidence and I’m sure we will see them develop further during the year because of this experience. The mood changed within minutes of Louise, Alex, Robbie, Beth and Izzy arriving and any worries about the week disappeared as soon as the first activity started. The company won over every single pupil and wowed them with their talents. Performing with the whole company was a huge honour and the children enjoyed watching ‘their friends’ perform on the stage at Pontio.
Monday we will be busy rehearsing our Christmas assembly and I’m sure the school will feel very different to how it did on Friday. Ballet Cymru will be the topic of conversation at Ysgol Llanllyfni for a very long time to come.” Peter Bridges, Teacher at Llanllyfni Primary School
Second Residency at Llanllyfni Primary School
In February 2020, Ballet Cymru returned to Llanllyfni Primary School to work with all the children from year 1 to 6. This residency was a little different and we were very excited to be joined by Ballet Cymru’s Artist in Residence, Carl Chapple.
Pontio commissions an artist to create work to be displayed in the foyer of the venue. We were so lucky that this year, Pontio asked Ballet Cymru to work with Carl and the children, to create large-scale pieces of art, based on Ballet Cymru’s next production, Giselle.
Children rotated around dance and arts workshops and all were involved in contributing art work, inspired by Ballet Cymru dancers moving and holding positions, which was then transformed into the large-scale pieces of art.
The week culminated in a performance of the dance pieces created by the children, an exhibition of the art work and a presentation by Mared Elliw Huws, who is the Arts Development Co-ordinator, and she talked about ‘BLAS’, a participatory programme in the arts for young people, led by Pontio. 61 family members and guests attended the sharing and exhibition at the end of the week and the feedback was extremely positive.
We were joined by Keren, Dance Co-ordinator and Maddie and Lauren dance practitioners, with Dawns i Bawb and we are all looking forward to returning to the school for the Duets training and selection process for the Scholarship Programme to begin.