Anna Lewis

Theatr Ardudwy

Theatr Ardudwy OuDance Festival visit to Oulu in Finland 25/08/2015

Theatr Ardudwy received support for Creative Director, Siri Wigdel, to attend OuDance Festival in Finland. They were looking to strengthen existing relationships, develop new relationships, explore new ways of working and develop knowledge of international collaboration and the Finnish dance scene.

Following the trip Siri said:

"This visit to the OuDance Festival was incredibly valuable and inspiring in so many different ways. It has helped and inspired me to think about how to programme and curate a festival very differently. It made me realise the importance of performing outdoors, to the general public, to offer a range of different works, free of charge etc., and also the value of visiting care-homes and other groups to include them in the festival, alongside the main programme. (It made me think of the model of Cardiff Singer of the World, and how the singers visit schools etc.)…..

This visit would not have been possible without the generous support of Wales Arts International and Creu Cymru. This investment has enabled both myself and Theatr Ardudwy to gain valuable knowledge and to make comparisons with another small country and a rural region, working on an international level, but far from the centre/or the capital of that country, and to see how it deals with making art work which speaks to people, includes people, as well as pushing art form boundaries at the same time. This is something we very much aspire to here at Theatr Ardudwy, where we feel that challenge on a daily basis, as we struggle to draw in and include an audience, for whom the work will be relevant. It is so very valuable to make these kinds of comparisons and draw parallels across country borders and learn from others and to be inspired.

Since my visit last Autumn, we have been through a major capital refurbishment process here at Theatr Ardudwy to install a new state of the art cinema which is due to open on the 1st May (the process has been delayed by 5 months, we had hoped to open by Christmas) with the re-launch of our new brand as Theatr Ardudwy Ltd, so the visit to both JoJo Dance Centre and Valve Cultural Centre (a bit like Chapter) has been invaluable and come at a good time, to learn and look at different models of operation, to help vision a future for us here at Theatr Ardudwy, that might be sustainable, although we are very much on the outskirts and the periphery of the main arts scene in Wales currently, we may find that this is in fact a bonus and a conducive environment in which to host, programme and create work.

This visit has enabled Theatr Ardudwy to extend its remit to another international partner, and to become a more knowledgeable and active player on the international stage."

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