Saturday, 9 June 2012

Fusing with Contemporary Dance

What an AMAZING time I had filming the Contemporary Dance Troop today for Fusion Inspire. 

It was a real learning experience for me because it's the first time I have filmed a large group for my OWN piece! I am always supporting others to film their creative vision, but today I filmed MY creative vision and it felt absolutely WONDERFUL to the point that I had tears in my eyes about 4 times!

However, in my usual exuberance and enthusiam I forgot that I am a nearly 50 year old woman who doesn't usually dive bomb across a wooden dance floor for 'the shot' and am now literally covered in bruises! Pain for my art darling ;)

Sadly, we weren't able to do the film shoot as planned in the Bishop's Palace at St.David's because it was absolutely pouring with rain and so the troop ended up in their rehearsal space in the Town Hall in Whitland.   

It was a once only opportunity to film them rehearsing with their wings and masks ready for the Cultural Olympiad so it was frustrating for everyone that the rain scuppered us. But let me tell you, I have got some AMAZING footage! The dancers look fabulous on slow motion and it would look so art-y and out there if only ... there wasn't a fire extinguisher or radiator guard or .... etc in the background. Even with clever (or not so clever) editing, it just doesn't work! What an amazing learning opportunity though! I have learnt ...

So  have emailed Laura to see if there ia any chance at all that I can sort out filming them somewhere else, preferably the orignal plan at ST.David's but if not, anywhere beautiful! (Oh and hide all the shoes and jumpers and bibs and bobs!)

How great now that i know exactly what i'm looking for next time i get to shoot them cos I'm trusting the uiniverse that I will!) And this time I know the bits I need to focus on which I don't usually get the chance to do when collating material on the hoof.

This is the most important learning experience. I don't know why I hadn't put one in place for Fusion Inspire but I will need to. Have emailed already with an idea so will keep you posted on that one! But ALL of my shoots are outside and weather dependent so can you imagine! Usually I say, Oh well whatever the weather is how it's meant to be for filming but you can not film with my limited set up in howling wind and rain ... and you can not expect people to dance, sing, act or play in in it!


And I kind of knew this already, but the dedication, the sweat, the heart and the love that the Dancers had, the obvious committment on such a long and complex routine, well, I was absolutely blown away.

I knew some of the dancers from community projects they have taken part in with me in the past, but they are like different people! They have developed so much it's unbelievable ... 

And this is undoubtedly due in part to the Dance Team at Arts Care Gofal Celf led by the visionary and inspirational Coordinator, Laura Hackett.

But off course, it is the growth, development, hard work and passion of the dancers as individuals and as a troop that make what they do somehow bigger than dance.

I had a go at trying to 'hide the room' by filming and photographing through the materials that the girls were dancing with but the answer is defo to do the shoot again ...

I like some of the pictures through material and they do hide the room but you can not beat outdoors ...

... especially when you live in West Wales 

anything will work, urban, rural, the mesmerising kiss of the sea ... woops am having a mermaid moment there! But I learnt more from this experience than I would have if it hadn't rained so I will count my blessings (and knee bruises: photo to follow cos you seriously will not believe how battered I am! lol)

Many thanks to Arts Care Gofal Celf Dance Dept.

And thank you to The Arts Council of Wales and Welsh Gov.t for my Individual Mainline Grant

More general information about Cheryl Beer available at

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