Apprenticeship

Kayleigh's visit to the NDTA Conference 2013: 'Moving On: A New Era for Dance in the School Curriculum'

On the 23rd of November, Kayleigh our Welsh Language Apprentice Dance Practitioner travelled up to London to attend the annual National Dance Teachers Association Conference. Here’s what she had to say about the day…  Up bright and early on a fresh and frosty London morning, I couldn’t wait to spend the day in the ever fascinating Laban building, attending workshops and talks, gaining more knowledge in a field I’m keen to progress and pursue post Powys Dance apprenticeship.  Morning class was up first, fast paced contemporary! It was a highly refreshing class with clarity and precision both in structure and delivery. Also used were some great examples of music choices that can help accentuate the purpose of particular exercises. Fast paced it most definitely was, before I knew it the hour and half had flown by.  Now that I was all limbered up and feeling energized I was ready for the day ahead.   

With the NDTA Celebrating its 25th Birthday it would have been easy for the conference to look back on its success, however, the focus was aimed at looking toward the future and how dance can continue to thrive in education.   Due to the changes to the national curriculum, through keynote presentations, we were able to gain a deeper understanding of what implementations can be made to adhere to these curriculum changes for best practice in dance education. A particular highlight was guest speaker Geoff Barton, head teacher at King Edward VI School, Suffolk.  His passionate speech about the central importance he places on dance in schools left all attendees inspired about the possibilities of what we can deliver as teachers, artists and thinkers. Where so much of education is seen to be measured almost robotically by following criteria, assessment and examination, the importance of encouraging an enriching, creative and imaginative experience within schools is being underrated and more importantly, undervalued.  Despite his enthusiasm and positivity, Barton did not ignore the issues surrounding dance on the curriculum either. Needless to say, Michael Gove’s name cropped up once or twice. With the constant challenges and questions that dance continues to face to prove its purpose and worth, there was one quote mentioned within the speech that stood out and resonated through and above all else, reminding us that even in times of difficulty, where there is hope there is faith. “When it is dark enough, you can see the stars”  

After lunch it was time to get back into the studio for a class with Hofesh Shechter company dancer Chris Evans. It was a personal pleasure to have the opportunity to learn professional repertoire from Uprising (2006) and Political Mother (2010). I took away some complex exercises and phrases that will most definitely challenge the pre-vocational youth age range. In addition, hopefully it will give them a taste of a very particular style of movement that is so established within contemporary dance today.  It was time for seminar number 2 and on the agenda was ‘Teaching an 'outstanding' dance lesson using Ofsted inspection criteria.’ Presented by Judy Evans (Chair NDTA) and Sue Trottman (Dance Education Consultant) it was a highly interesting insight into the main features of what is considered as outstanding dance practice and also provided the tools to improve the quality of teaching and overall effectiveness of dance in schools.  

Finally, to end such a non-stop day was an inspiring performance of young people’s dance from around the London area. Four very different groups sharing one main commonality: their passion and enjoyment for dance. The level of commitment and dedication that the groups put into the performance was clear, not to mention the outstanding work on behalf of the teachers also.

Overall the day was both wonderful and insightful. I most definitely learnt a lot of new information which can be put into practise within my current position at Powys Dance. I look forward to starting 2014 with a fresh outlook on my teaching skills and the continued development of myself as a dance practitioner.   For more information or to become a member of the NDTA visit http://www.ndta.org.uk/  

National Dance Company Wales - Autumn Tour Review

-By Kayleigh Prescott

When embarking on my move to London 3 years ago to undertake a degree in Dance studies, I knew that I would be relocating to what is known as the dance capital of the UK. It is only since my recent return back to my Welsh homeland that I fully realise how much dance was pretty much available on my front door step. With the luxury of being able to watch live dance performance pretty much any day of the week, whether it was at Sadlers Wells, The Place, Roehampton’s Dance diary performances or even the streets of London (the list is endless) I was pretty much surrounded by dance whenever I chose to do so. Now however, in depths of Powys, Llandrindod Wells to be exact (or ‘Llandod’ as I have come to know the local lingo!) I no longer have such privileges. It is now a little bit more of a mission to find live work that doesn’t involve travelling for hours on end. So of course when I seen that one of my favourite repertoire companies, National Dance Company Wales (no biased opinion there, honest), was to perform their autumn tour in the nearest theatre, I wasted no time in booking my ticket and going to indulge in some top class dancing.

My first time to visit theatre Hafren in Newtown and I was curious as to see what kind of audience this highly acclaimed dance company would attract here in Powys. To my surprise, almost a full house. A widely varied audience of both young and old filled the auditorium. That will teach me for being so dubious about the dance enthusiasts that reside in Powys!

The evening was split into three sections, the first piece, ‘Virtual Descent’ choreographed by in-house choreographer and company dancer, Eleesha Drennan. Drennan transported us into her rather futuristic vision of the hope and faith that she holds within humanity. The added element of an on-stage staircase gave for fascinating visuals as the dancers ascend and descend into darkness. With a dramatic score written by resident composer Mark Bowden and recorded by BBC national orchestra of Wales, the dancers, robotic yet fluid, quirky but technical shift the viewers through the light and shade of the complications between the modern day and the future.

Onto the second piece and ‘Noces’ choreographed by Angelin Preljocaj saw a complete contrast in energy to that of ‘Virtual Descent’. A series of multiple shifting male/female duets saw the dancers throwing, chucking and plummeting themselves and each other across the space. The females, sharing the same malleable qualities as the bridal rag dolls used for props, are forcefully manipulated and moulded by their male counterparts. ‘Les Noces’ Stravinsky’s powerful and demanding score truly complimented the dancer’s immaculate precision and attention to detail providing for action packed and intense viewing.

The third and final performance of the evening was ‘Water Stories’ by Stephen Petronio. Being no stranger to choreographing for the company, this time around Petronio’s inspiration for the piece stemmed from the magical waterscapes and countryside that is so vivid to the Welsh heritage. The piece opened with a seamless duet by two physically contrasting female dancers. The difference in stature however, was juxtaposed with the identical intention and essence that the two shared within the space, which could have lasted for days! After two previous pieces that, in comparison to ‘Water Stories’, were somewhat bound and regimented, it was a relief to see both the audience and the dancers take more of a sedative approach to the performance. As the piece unfolded the lack of exactness and clarity that the dancers maintained as a collective only added to the effect of the intention of the piece, giving it an overall mesmerizing and absorbing feel.

The evening as a whole proved to be what I had expected from such a company who are now celebrating 30 years in the industry as an internationally acclaimed dance company. A definite 'worth a watch' triple bill. Exciting and raw are two of the many words that spring to my mind, I wonder what the people of Powys thought?

Prentisiaeth Ymarferydd Dawns Cymunedol Iaith Gymraeg / Community Dance Practitioner Apprenticeship, Welsh Language

Prentisiaeth Ymarferydd Dawns Cymunedol Iaith Gymraeg   Swydd llawn amser, cyflog £12,145 y flwyddyn

Cytundeb blwyddyn, yn dechrau Medi 2013 wedi’i ariannu gan Gyngor Celfyddydau Cymru  

Cwmni dawns proffesiynol addysgol a chymunedol yw Dawns Powys sydd wedi’i leoli yng nghalon Canolbarth Cymru wledig.  Mae ein tîm craidd o bedwar Ymarferydd Datblygu Dawns yn cyflwyno rhaglen o ddosbarthiadau cymunedol, perfformiadau addysgol a gweithdai, hyfforddiant i athrawon a phrosiectau creadigol ar draws sir eang Powys sy’n brin ei phoblogaeth.  Rydym yn gweithio trwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg, Saesneg ac yn ddwyieithog. 

Ar hyn o bryd, rydym yn chwilio am brentis ymarferydd dawns llawn amser.  Bydd y brentisiaeth yn rhoi’r cyfle i chi ddatblygu eich sgiliau yn y gweithle wrth i chi gysgodi ein hymarferwyr dawns, yn ogystal â datblygu eich arferion eich hunan a’ch paratoi ar gyfer eich gyrfa ar ôl i chi gwblhau eich prentisiaeth. 

I fod yn gymwys i wneud cais bydd angen eich bod :

  • Newydd raddio mewn dawns (neu faes tebyg)
  • Yn siaradwr Cymraeg rhugl
  • Yn yrrwr
  • Yn angerddol am ddawns gymunedol

Os hoffech chi gael rhagor o fanylion neu i gael sgwrs anffurfiol cysylltwch ag Amanda Griffkin (Rheolwr) ar 01597 824370, neu anfonwch e-bost at amanda.griffkin@powys.gov.uk.

I wneud cais ewch i www.powys.gov.uk/swyddi (bydd y swydd yn cael ei hysbysebu ar y safle o 2 Mai 2013; y dyddiad cau ar gyfer y swydd yw 31 Mai 2013).

 


 

 Community Dance Practitioner Apprenticeship, Welsh Language  

Full time post, salary £12,145pa

One year contract, commencing September 2013 funded by Arts Council of Wales.  

Powys Dance is a professional community and educational dance company based in the heart of rural mid Wales. Our core team of four Dance Development Practitioners deliver a programme of community classes, educational performances and workshops, teacher training and creative projects across the large yet sparsely populated county of Powys. We work through the medium of Welsh, English and bilingually. 

We are currently seeking a full time apprentice dance practitioner. The apprenticeship will allow you to develop your skills in the workplace as you shadow our dance practitioners, as well as developing your own practice and preparing you for your career post-apprenticeship. 

To be eligible to apply you need to be:

  • A recent graduate (or equivalent) in dance
  • A fluent Welsh speaker
  • A driver
  • Passionate about community dance practice

For further information or an informal chat please contact Amanda Griffkin (Manager) on 01597 824370, or e-mail amanda.griffkin@powys.gov.uk 

To apply please visit https://recruitment.powys.gov.uk/

(the position will be advertised on the site from 2nd May 2013; closing date 31st May 2013).