February 16th, 2019

Greatly inspired by the personalities, talent and energy of the international dancers currently taking part in Ballet Cymru’s Pre-Professionals Programme. Over the last couple of months I’ve been observing and responding to rehearsals as the group works with choreographers to develop five very different productions for Ballet Cymru 2 – Made in Wales, to be performed in March this year.

The pictures I’ve made so far have been fairly modest in size, mainly consisting of sketches in charcoal and oil as I learn about the pieces and develop ideas for more substantial paintings. I’ve also been preparing some large canvases (including the largest I’ve ever stretched, which, to my relief, went very smoothly), as well as carrying out experiments with new and unfamiliar primers, made necessary by the discontinuation of the primer I’d used for the previous twenty years or so (an unexpected complication with this project, though one which has raised some interesting technical and creative questions). My plan is to begin working on a larger scale in the coming weeks.

Many thanks to all the Pre-Professional dancers, and to Ballet Cymru 2 – Made in Wales choreographers Alex Hallas, Jack Philp, Emma Lewis, Patricia Vallis, and (Ballet Cymru Artistic Directors) Darius James and Amy Doughty. My project couldn’t have got off to a more inspiring start.

Ballet Cymru 2 – Made in Wales will be performed at the Riverfront, Newport, on March 19th, and at Dance House Cardiff on March 22nd. It’s shaping up to be an extraordinary event. Further information and tickets available here.

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