Alternative Routes 2015

On Friday, CM and I popped into the studio at National Dance Company Wales to see the open rehearsals for Alternative Routes 2015. 

If there’s anything to remind you how great the arts can be in attracting and retaining new talent, it’s understanding the programmes which literally offer a stage to unlock the great potential being nurtured within the Arts.

And this was my first introduction to the National Dance Company Wales’ annual professional development scheme, and it was great to hear that opportunities are made available to ensure that talent isn’t lost once dancers reach ‘retirement’ that these ‘alternative routes’ are not only encouraged but supported.

This opportunity is to get involved in a six-week development process, with partnerships created through the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama which partners with choreographers to realise a vision.

To offer a stage.postcard 5

Alternative Routes culminates in four days of performances at the Dance House, Wales Millennium Centre and I was fortunate to be able to make opening night to be inspired by five choreographers.

The programme offered describes the motivation, inspiration and journey travelled by Elena Thomas (France), Mathieu Geffré (France), Declan Whitaker (UK) and Joseba Izaguirre (Spain).

What I loved about watching each piece was how incomparable they were. The joy of seeing what can be created by a blank piece of paper. Distinctly recalling giving children the same instruction and ending up with very different results, what was wonderful about Alternative Routes is being able to gain an insight into how ideas are visualised. Intensified by Declan Whitaker’s microcosm of this, of seven dances with no relationship but an entirely inspiring piece to witness.

Alternative Routes 2015

I think my favourite piece was Elena Thomas’s Late Night Routine, a wonderful concept which whilst truly reflecting an everyday situation demonstrated so much strength and beauty on stage, it had humour and a situation regardless of familiarity with dance you could associate, but you could not help but recognise the intelligence of the choreography, taking such a clumsy movement of  intoxication and making it graceful. 

But each piece was inspired, incorporating Matteo Marfoglia’s talent beyond dance and choreography, of filmmaking, brought an additional dimension to the scope that dance can infiltrate, taking the concept of desensitising one step further by removing the immediacy for the audience.

As a first timer, I feel inspired by this opportunity. The open rehearsals adding a further dimension to the creativity process, the partnerships that are necessary to bring dance to the stage, to reality. It resonates, in everything we do. Seeing such determination in choreography, seeing teamwork across disciplines and the cross-over of talent amongst dancers into direction.

Alternative Routes resonates, the process sought by many, to realise a kernel of idea, in which ever way, into reality. And in this case, with the benefit of the beauty, grace and strength of dance.

Alternative Routes is at the Dance House, Wales Millennium Centre from 24-27 June 2015. Tickets are available at

Disclosure: I was invited to Alternative Routes 2015 for the purposes of this review.

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  • Reply
    Cardiff Mummy Says - Cathryn
    June 27, 2015 at 21:45

    NDCWales are such a great company – I might be biased because I did some freelance PR work for them a few years ago, but it’s amazing to have such an internationally-renowned contemporary dance company here in Cardiff. Glad to hear it inspired you x
    Cardiff Mummy Says – Cathryn recently posted…Children’s Book of the Week – Owl Babies by Martin Waddell and Patrick BensonMy Profile

    • Reply
      August 13, 2015 at 00:27

      Wow! It really is a small world. It was great to step into this world- and yes, it’s an amazing feeling to know we have all this on our doorstep. x

  • Reply
    June 28, 2015 at 19:19

    I love dance! Sounds like you had a great time

    India x

    • Reply
      August 13, 2015 at 00:30

      You really should get along! It was great, and definitely a different, good way to spend an evening. x

  • Reply
    esther james
    June 28, 2015 at 20:27

    This sounds like an amazing idea and beautiful to watch

    • Reply
      August 13, 2015 at 00:30

      It is such a wonderful way to get inspired and to be carried along in life.

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