This weekend I ended up at Chapter with my boys (Chalk age 8 and Cheese age 4) and my nephew who we shall call (for reasons unbeknownst to you) Ross age 2.
We stumbled across a FREE (yes I do mean to shout that word) new dance event for families that’s touring Wales during the Easter holidays. Chapter’s Coreo Cymru programme and National Dance Company Wales have picked four delicious short dance pieces by four very talented dance companies.
Animatorium by National Dance Company Wales premiered at Green Man festival in 2016. This incredibly skilled group of dancers kept all three boys rapt and asking questions “why are they on the floor?” “is he eating his jumper?” “what do the tags on their jackets mean?”
Bounce by Harnisch-Lacey Dance is a high energy mix of breakdance, acrobatics and contemporary dance that had my 8 year old gymnast saying “wooooah” and prompted a chat about climate change and global warming on our walk back to the car.
Into the Water by Up & Over It mesmerised my 4 year old, so much so that he wriggled his way to the front and sat watching it on his own cross legged. “that was amazing, how did they do that with their hands?!” It was a really sweet piece with amazing hand dancing. You might have seen them on Britain’s Got Talent or YouTube (if you engage with either – I don’t really so hadn’t seen them before).
Homo Irrationalis by Karol Cysewski was very funny and a big hit with the boys. The 4 year old has been muttering “stupid behaviour” daily since we saw it. Three hilarious male dancers took us on a journey through evolution. The boys enjoyed trying to guess which creatures they were at different points.
As a bonus we got to join in with a ceilidh at the end of the show led by Up & Over It. I know it’s some people’s idea of hell but for me it’s the ultimate in family-friendly-join-in-if-you-fancy activities. The 4 year old and I threw ourselves about with gusto (that Gusto, he’s always one for a knees up) while the less keen 8 year old guarded the 2 year old.
It was a gloriously sunshiney day for the first ever Family Dance Festival and as it’s part of a tour you can still catch it across Wales. For my fellow Vale of Glamorganers it’ll be back in our neck of the woods at the end of the Easter hols in the Bay. A good excuse for a stroll across the barrage and some free (yes, FREE!) dance.
Chapter, Cardiff – Friday 7th April 4pm and 6pm / Saturday 8th April 12pm, 3pm and 5pm
Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon – Sunday 9th April 3pm and 5pm / Monday 10th April 12pm and 3pm
The Hafren, Newtown – Tuesday 11th April 3pm and 5pm / Wednesday 12th April 12pm and 3pm
Riverfront, Newport – Tuesday 18th April 3pm and 5pm / Wednesday 19th 12pm and 3pm
Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff – Friday 21st April 3pm and 5pm / Saturday 22nd April 12pm and 3pm