Awards of £6,000 each to support the development of works in progress that have a strong dance/movement element and take inspiration from Wales, its people, history and/or landscapes have been announced.
The successful choreographers are Sally Marie, Sean Tuan John and Caroline Lamb. They were among 32 applications from Wales-based dance practitioners and their collaborators under the Coreo Cymru and National Theatre Wales partnership programme, Development Commissions.
This new scheme encourages artists to develop work with collaborators and think outside the box with regards to where the work is presented has stirred the performing arts community.
The three recipients of the awards were selected by a panel made up of National Theatre Wales’s director John McGrath, Coreo’s creative producer Carole Blade and independent producer and dance-maker Marc Rees.
Carole Blade said the panel had a difficult but exciting challenge of selecting only three projects from a very strong lineup of applications.
"We received an extraordinarily diverse range of applications and we are delighted with our final selection," she said.
Sally Marie, who has recently finished a world tour of LOL with Protein Dance and is a multi award winning performer, is turning her attention to creating work. Her idea for the commission takes inspiration from Morfydd Owen and tells the story of this incredible young woman and Welsh composer, who came to know all sorts of artists in her time, including DH Lawrence, yet who never lost her Welsh roots.
'The melancholy shipwreck' a research performance project by Sean Tuan John (choreographer/director/film-maker) will explore two important and resonant historical facts surrounding Flat Holm island that lies off the South Wales coast in the middle of the Bristol Channel.
Firstly, the devastating shipwreck that occurred on the rocks off the island in 1817 with all of the dead buried on the island and secondly, on 13 May 1897 radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi made telecommunications history, transmitting a radio signal across open sea for the first time.
The third commission will mark the 100th anniversary of the Senghenydd Mine Disaster by creating a site-specific intergenerational piece of theatre with local community members and professional performers.
‘Each for all, all for Each’ will be a collaboration between Caroline Lamb (Striking Attitudes) and poet and playwright Patrick Jones which aims to bear witness to the victims and those who survived and were forced to carry on without sons, fathers, husbands, grandfathers, brothers.
The aim of the programme is to work with the artists to help them create truly inspiring dance theatre that has the potential to be later developed into a co-production with Coreo for NTW’s main programme.
John McGrath said: "I'm delighted that NTW and Coreo Cymru are working together to explore the possibilities of dance theatre in Wales. We've found three great projects for this first round of research and development, and we are all very excited to find out what these wonderful artists will discover on the journey ahead."
Along with the finance support, Marc Rees will mentor the artists giving them guidance on creating site-specific work and cross art form collaborations.