Over the past few months we have been working on a large-scale Community Dance Initiative, Agree to Disagree. This project is an exciting cross-valleys youth dance project involving a professional choreographer, Diccon Hogger from Base Dance in Cambridgeshire, 7 professional dance practitioners and 45 young people from across the six Valley Boroughs. Valleys Dance is a pioneering partnership that enables participants and dance professionals based in the six southeast Local Authorities of Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Merthyr Tydfil, and Rhondda Cynon Taf, Torfaen, to collaborate on innovative dance projects. Valleys Dance works in partnership with Community Dance Wales and three Community Dance and Arts organisations; Dance Blast based in Torfaen, Rhondda Cynon Taff Community Arts based in Treorchy, and Valley and Vale Community Arts who are based in the Borough of Bridgend.
This project, co-ordinated by Valleys Dance, began in September 2007 and culminated with five performances in different venues across the Valleys in February and March 2008. The project explored how individuals communicate with others and how it is possible to keep one’s identity within a group using a mix of contemporary, urban, physical theatre and advanced contact dance styles. Our Youth dance group Xplosion worked really hard to develop their dance skills and work on this project with their challenging and contemporary piece which they performed excellently throughout the tour.
Our group was the youngest and in many ways the least experienced in the project and they took to it very professionally and with great energy and enthusiasm. Our Dance Development Worker Saydi Williams also performed on stage with the other Valleys’ Dance Facilitators as part of the dance piece which brought together a mix of dancers, styles and experience. Performances took place at Grand Pavilion in Porthcawl near Bridgend, Blackwood Miners’ Institute in Caerphilly, Muni Arts Centre in Pontypridd, RCT, Blaenavon Workmen’s Hall in Torfaen and at the Beaufort Theatre in Ebbw Vale, Blaenau Gwent.