NDCWales will be presenting 2 wonderfully contrasting works at the Edinburgh festival, highlighting the versatility of the company. I created Folk for the company in 2016 and essentially the piece looks at social dynamics and human behaviour. Set in a surreal and enchanting landscape with a large upside down tree dominating the stage, Folk explores how we interact with one another and how our behaviour can change when part of a group vs being alone. It’s a quirky, poetic and highly physical work full of pathos and humour.
Profundis, by Roy Assaf is an evocative and playful piece set to a mesmerising soundtrack of Umm Kulthum and Alva Noto. A sharp, witty and highly sculptural piece of dance, Profundis explores the meaning of art and communication, simultaneously questioning everything and questioning nothing.
Tell us about National Dance Company Wales
National Dance Company Wales creates exceptional and inclusive dance which resonates with audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Working with international dancers and choreographers of the highest calibre, NDCWales is passionate about entertaining audiences and taking them on a journey of discovery; inviting them to reflect on their own lives and experiences. It’s our ambition to bring dance of the highest quality to as many people as possible in Wales, the UK and abroad. We perform in theatres and arts centres, but also at festivals and outside in free public shows. We also run a variety of workshops and participation events for schools, community groups and families alongside our touring performances.
Tell us about your team
We currently have 7 professional dancers in the company and 2 apprentices. The dancers come from all over the world and each brings their own unique personality, talent and character to the work that we do. Our rehearsal director, Lee Johnston and technical team led by Nia Thomson accompany the dancers on tour ensuring that the quality of the work is consistent and that the dancers stay fit and healthy. Chief Executive Paul Kaynes and myself will also travel to the venues with the team and as many of our staff from the marketing, engagement and production team will also ensure that they meet with the venues either before or during our time there.
Tell us about yourself
I’m Caroline Finn, Artistic Director of NDCWales. I joined the company in 2015 with the aim to create a unique artistic signature for the company based on my own work as a choreographer and that of the choreographers I commission to create works for the company. Since being with NDCWales I have created two further pieces- Animatorium, a versatile piece which can be performed outdoors and in unusual spaces and also The Green House, a longer work of 45 minutes based on the idea of how we may come to ‘prune’ ourselves at certain points in our lives. It’s a nostalgic and highly visual work taking inspiration from the surrealist films of David Lynch as well as the 1960’s sitcom era. Coming up, we’ve got some collaborative productions including a large scale, immersive performance around the centenary of the Russian Revolution and a collaboration with Music Theatre Wales on Dusapin’s The Passion.
I was a professional dancer myself for several years, training at the Juilliard School, NY and going on to dance for companies in Germany (Ballet Theater Munich) and France (Ballet Preljocaj and Compagnie Carolyn Carlson). In 2009 I decided to become a freelance artist and to pursue my choreographic career. This led to performances in festivals around the world and commissions for companies in Poland, Chile, Switzerland and Germany. I was fortunate to be awarded the New Adventures Choreographer Award in 2013 which allowed me to present my work in the UK for the first time through a commission for Phoenix Dance Theatre. I am constantly working to deepen and enrich my creative process, drawing inspiration from other art forms as well as from day to day life and experiences. My great passion really lies in working in the studio with the dancers; taking risks, building trust and finding ways for them to unleash their own creativity within the work.
What does the Edinburgh Fringe mean to you?
Well, the festival is the biggest of it’s kind in the world so it’s a huge honour to have been selected to perform as part of the British Council Showcase! To be performing alongside so many other art forms and companies is incredibly exciting and the Edinburgh Fringe is a wonderful way to showcase the work of NDCWales. We are so proud of what we’ve achieved and we are simply excited to share it with as many people as possible. Naturally, we hope that being part of the Fringe will lead to interest in the company from new venues in the UK as well as from overseas as it’s an ideal opportunity to network and forge new relationships, but equally we realise that it means a whole new audience from the UK and abroad will be getting to see our work. We’re also hugely looking forward to finding the time to see as many other companies and performances as possible and to really soak up the buzz of the festival!
FOLK & PROFUNDIS
National Dance Company Wales
20, 22, 23 & 25 August, 15.30 (30mins)
21, 24 & 26 August, 15.30 (30mins)
Venue: Zoo Southside