The Dancing Floor


 

11 August 2017

We would like to invite you to the first full enactment of our Dancing the World into Being, which will be at 6pm on Saturday September 9 on the outdoor dancing floor at Brechfa Chapel LD3 0NG (directions available on demand, it's near Brecon),followed by some more dancing, and a celebration. There will be special music composed by David Newell from the wonderful Village Quire, performed by the Quire and other great sounds from Val and her gongs. We have been devising and rehearsing this creation myth dance for a few months now with our choreographer, Gillian Hipp, and a collection of amazing and usually untrained (till now!) dancers! We have some uncanny masks being made by Sylwia Mucha!

 

If you can't make this date, then we will be doing our first indoor performance at the Globe in Hay on Wye on Saturday 21 October at 7.30pm. You will be able to book directly with the Globe for that - it won't be expensive. Let me know if you are planning to come. There is plenty of room for everyone but it would be good to have a ballpark figure beforehand. If the weather is bad, alternative arrangements will be made! One more bit of good news: we have been awarded a grant by Arts Council Wales to run a pilot series of myth workshops at Hay school. Wayland Boulanger is the project leader. If it goes well we can apply for a much bigger grant to spread our work around into other schools.

24 January 2017

Dear Supporters of the Dancing Floor

Here is your January Update

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Over the last year we have had several very generous donations which added considerably to the crowdfunding money – thank you so much for those!

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The big dance which is in the final part of the film is coming alive with the brilliant input of choreographer Gillian Hipp; the brave dancers are loving becoming animals and gods. We will be thinking about masks and costumes soon.

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The ‘myth and dance’ sessions for primary school children that have grown from the Dancing Floor project have been a great hit, with ‘cursing, being the Woman of Flowers and learning to cast spells’ mentioned as favourite elements.

Sadly, we haven’t been so successful getting larger sums of money from the three different lottery-funded film agencies to whom we have applied. We have also investigated other fund-raising possibilities which could help build up to the 250k we need, but so far, no luck.

So….I have spent the midwinter period thinking up a way forward which can nurture and develop all the creativity which has arisen around the film project.

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We will ease off trying to raise money for the feature film for now.

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We will continue with the dance workshops.

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We will continue the Mabinogion work with children in schools

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We will begin making a short documentary showing the development of the dance and telling stories of the community of people and children involved. This will demonstrate the wonder of the Mabinogion tale and the creation myth which is at the heart of it. I already have some great ideas!

We will be able to make this film cheaply, and show it widely online and elsewhere. It may well be the key to getting the finance needed to make the feature film.

I feel that this change of direction allows creativity and community to triumph over frustration and stagnation. We will keep you informed of our progress – and, if you have any thoughts or inspirations please get in touch.

Once again, thank you so much for your support so far. Here are some screen-grab photos from dance rehearsals, to give you a flavour of what's going on.

 

3 August 2016

Calling the Dancers…

I have teamed up with local choreographer, Gillian Hipp, to start developing and rehearsing the amazing dance which ends the Dancing Floor Film. Gillian is a bold explorer of dance who has been involved as choreographer, performer and teacher in all sorts of great projects such as The Big Dance and the opening of the Paralympic Games.

We just had our launch meeting for the project at Arts Alive Wales and were thrilled by the enthusiasm and openness of the people who came. We made a brilliant start (Dancing the Animals) and will be running monthly workshops in Hay-on-Wye from Saturday September 17, and thereafter on the third Saturday of the month. You don’t have to be an experienced dancer to join in – contact us if you want to know more or have a look at my blog. All welcome.

Investment

We are getting real about investment and have applied for Film London’s Finance Micromarket. We are looking for venture capital by other means too. But we are particularly keen to find more modest investors so that we can build up our foundation to look seriously impressive at Film London and with other ‘Big Boys’. To that end we are hoping to find upwards of ten people willing to invest around £5k. We already have two firm pledges and will soon be arranging an agreeable event where potential investors can find out how to support the film while getting great tax breaks (50% tax rebate when you invest under the SEIS scheme, and then further rebates too - with interest rates so low, why not take a risk and invest in the film?) Roger (our money man and also a very nice person) will also be happy to talk to you by phone or Skype to fill you in on how it works.

Casting

We have just got together with experienced casting director, Shakyra Dowling, to mount a serious search for the film's lead character, Sita. To get decent investment we need to find the right person for this rewarding and demanding role, whether she is famous or not.

Please stay in touch, stay involved, we really value your support, your thoughts and ideas and of course, if you can manage it, your investment!

Oh and BTW Wayland Boulanger and I have also launched our project to bring Mabinogion workshops to primary schools. Our first one was a terrific success with the children at the Priory school in Brecon. If you know a school who would like to invite us, get in touch.

That's all for now. Thanks again for your support and interest!

 

21 May 2016

We had a great evening on Saturday with storyteller Sally Pomme Clayton at Brechfa Chapel to promote The Dancing Floor! Here are a couple of videos from the evening.

This is me launching a search for local people (around Hay Brecon area in South Wales) to be dancers in The Dancing Floor film.

 

And talking about the brilliant tax breaks available to investors in the film.

 

7 April 2016

We should have some good news about casting soon, but meanwhile an invitation: the wonderful Sally Pomme Clayton is coming to the Brechfa Chapel on Saturday 21st May to tell 'The Magician's Apprentice'. It will be a brilliant evening, especially if the weather is ok up in the foothills here with the Black Mountains and the Brecon Beacons guarding us. If you would like to come, email me soon since numbers are limited.

And...

Wayland Boulanger

Wayland Boulanger and I will soon be launching our Mabinogion workshops for primary schools. These will be extremely participative and will introduce the children to one of these great stories and its big themes. We are certainly enjoying planning them.

 

23 January 2016

Read this great interview about 'The Dancing Floor' in the beautiful Cinewomen webzine - and, if you are interested in investing in the film have look at the amazing tax breaks on our investment page.

 

28 December 2015

Driving rain, a battering ram of a wind, red mud, sodden sheep and the common waiting balefully for someone to park on it to swallow them up – I feared the weather would keep people away from the Dancing Floor Supporters’ Solstice Gathering. But no, they came from Manchester, London, Llangollen, KIngton, Brecon and Hay (Jo biked from Hay)...

…they took their boots and wellies off, hung their dripping coats up and got stuck in. There was poetry, declamation, stories (mainly in English but little bit of Welsh) plus the chance to try out a bit of the secret dance from The Dancing Floor film.

BTW the cup which you see Clarissa holding in the second shot of the clip was given us by the late Cindy Davies in Orkney in 1998, when all this started. To find out more you need to read my book Becoming the Enchanter which tells about what happened on that fateful trip.


Ruth and Wayland


Theo loads video while I wait

For me the solstice is a time to rest, play and immerse yourself in stories and music, to drop all your usual preoccupations and sink into the soft dark. So that’s what I have been doing, helped by a spasming back (triggered by a virus) which meant I had to lie immobile on the sofa all of one day watching the wonderful Transparent on VoD.

Wishing you all should find the riches of the dark time and looking forward to the new phase of the Dancing Floor film campaign in 2016.

 

20 December 2015

This morning I came across a taster which I made three years ago for The Dancing Floor, then called The House of the Waters. I edited it with Windows Moviemaker software on my PC, so it's a bit rough but it does give a strong sense of the film, and the mystery underlying it. It also has a strong 'solstice' feel to it and the Mabinogion connection is clearer than in the pilot. Gill and Dylan's music is on there and sounds as good as ever. You can see it here:

 

It shows how the ideas behind the film have developed over time - and no doubt will continue to develop. Meanwhile we have been busy making contacts and thinking about the next phase - getting some serious finance for this microbudget film. But we needed a break to allow the darkness of the solstice to seep into body, mind and spirit and invigorate us anew for the next push, so more news in the New Year!

Meanwhile, enjoy the soft solstice dark, soft and damp solstice dark this year. And do take a look at the old taster - it's only two minutes long, and share if you can. We need to create an audience for the feature film, and your help and support is needed and appreciated.

15 November 2015

We are having a special solstice gathering at Brechfa for friends of the Dancing Floor. If you live near enough and would like to come, email me at dancingfloorfilm@gmail and I will send you details. Some of you may already have an invitation. Hwyl fawr, Lyn

26 October 2015

This is the lake of Pant y Llyn, high up on the moor above Llanfair y Muallt. You take a narrow lane which climbs and switchbacks up and up and then park the car (with handbrake on!) and walk along a rutted track for half a mile. I went there on Sunday to recce it as a location in The Dancing Floor film . We need a place where a group of women meet to do some scrying. They are slightly sinister and our heroine, Sita, is spooked. She is also spooked to find her perceptions warping and shifting as she stares into the water.

Anyway, as I walked there I could hear the rumble of artillery from the army training ground on the Eppynt. On this mellow autumnal day in deepest Wales, it reminded me that on other hills people were fleeing and frightened. But once I reached the pool, all was silent. No wind, no ducks, no birds. Deep, deep booming silence. I felt uneasy and drank my coffee half standing up. The silence seemed ominous and unnatural. Then two ravens spiralled over and started calling to each other. I tried to relax and enjoy my coffee, but I wanted to be off, I wanted to get away. Quickly I took a few photos and scrambled back to the path. As I crested the ridge, the military sounds came back, and a buzzard cried above my head. I was back in ordinary reality. http://igg.me/at/Dancingfloor for more about the film.

17 September 2015

Here is a quick update on our progess with the film: we are starting to look for locations, key cast; Alice is working on our budget; I have been talking to a DP about the visual style of the film; Rod is writing articles; Wyelocal is featuring an interview with me in November issue; Liz is helping make a list of possible serious investors, while Tim is designing a beautiful information folder. I am getting better with social media (thanks Mhairi) but I still don't really understand Twitter, Jim is helping with outdoor locations and Wayland is getting it together to start our workshops on the Mabinogion in schools. The money we are gathering at the moment is making a real difference, but we are only spending it where essential. And...I saw these grumpy elderly sheepdogs again,in the back of an old landrover while shopping in Talgarth.

They and their owner were the inspiration for one of my favourite scenes in the film where Sita, the heroine is running away but is stopped by Mari, an eighty-something farmer who is herding her sheep down the road. Let's just say that Mari and her sheep make Sita think again - and my Welsh-learning friend, Sandy, who is the only vegetarian sheep farmer I know has said she will lend herself and sheep for this scene. This is great because Sandy's sheep love her and come when called, every film-maker's dream. This is because most of them are kept for breeding and not sent for the chop. Thanks, Sandy and thanks everyone else for all the help and ideas - and money!

 

 


 

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