Thursday, 24 February 2022

Ballet Cymru's DUETS Programme and why it is important.

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The dancers in this film are students at Moorland Primary School in Cardiff and Ysgol Ty Ffynnon on Deeside. They participated in Ballet Cymru's DUETS programme. DUETS stands for "Delivering Unique and Exciting Training Strands".  It is a collaboration between Ballet Cymru, theatres, schools and community dance groups across Wales to bring ballet to children who would not otherwise have an opportunity to learn it.

I mentioned the programme in my review of Ballet Cymru's Giselle on 10 Nov 2021:
"Wales has a strong dance tradition as you can see from this grasshopper dance but it does not yet have a national ballet school or comprehensive nationwide facilities for developing balletic talen. There are good ballet teachers in the main towns and cities but most of Wales is rural. Ballet Cymru's Duets Programme goes some way to filling that lacuna."   
Before Giselle, children on the DUETS programme demonstrated what they had learnt in a very short time which earned them considerable applause from the Riverview Theatre audience.

I wrote about Ballet Cymru's work with local schools in Gwynedd in Ballet Cymru - Even Better than Last Year on 6 Dec 2019 and in How the Pontio Centre and M-SParc complement each other in the Social and Economic Development of Northwest Wales on 5 June 2020 in NIPC Wales.  My Welsh teacher from Nant Gwrtheyrn emailed me to say that her husband who is the headmaster of Llanllyfni School had appeared in that video, adding "Byd bach!!!" which means "small world."  

The dance authority that covers Llanllyfni and the Pontio Centre is Dawns i Bawb which means "Dance for Everyone".  It is one of Ballet Cymru's partners in DUETS.  Look up its YouTube channel for films like 'The Jungle' on refugees or "Dawnsio'r Degawdau("Dance the Decades") which addresses dementia as the companion film explains.  There are also some fun films like "Dosbarth Dawns i Bawb("Dance Class for All"), "Migldi Magldi Dolig" ("Christmas Migldi Magldi") and Dydd Mwsig Cymraeg 2021 (Welsh Music Day).

Some of the children from Llanllyfni, Cardiff or Deeside may be inspired to become performers or teachers but most will not.  However, their lives will be enriched by dance which is why DUETS is important.

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