Theatre in Wales

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Sianed Jones at Dance House at Wales Millennium Centre     

Sianed Jones at Dance House at Wales Millennium Centre Innovative Welsh composer Sianed Jones is creating a mesmerising new work at the Dance House at Wales Millennium Centre that delves into shape shifting, magic and shamanic dreaming.

Sianed is working with Henrietta Hale, a former dancer with Diversions, Dance Company of Wales, on this special evening based around the ancient 6th century poems of Taliesin.

Sianed said, “Inspired by the epic singers of Kazakhstan I returned to Wales determined to work with the ancient 6th century poems of Taliesin.

“With a pre-recorded backing track of voices, strings, driving grooves and wild recordings, I sing the poetry, plays the violin, the harp, the harmonium, the bass, in a darkened space surrounded by three screens projecting drawings, photographs, prints, Welsh and English poetic texts and video footage gathered in West Wales.

“I have created a contemporary version of an experience that has the feel of being in the presence of a bardic storyteller, singing the poetry in the darkness by the light of a flickering fire.”

She explained, “Many of the images in the Taliesin poems are elemental fire, light, darkness, water, wind, and the forces of nature. A shaman seeks illumination by going to a dark place, a faery mound, a cave, a well, a lake, a place within or beneath the earth.

“The initial impetus to collaborate with a video maker came from a desire to create a way into the poetry for non-Welsh speakers. Epic singers of all cultures worldwide tell stories that are familiar with their audience, stories that have been heard over and over again. Modern technology is the vehicle to bring 6th century poetry into the present.

“The video footage, the drawings, the prints are not narrative representations of the poems but rather an exploration of the natural world - the refraction of light as the body moves through water, embers of a fire, reflections of reeds dancing in the wind, the curling smoke of a cauldron.

Sianed said that she has recently returned to live in Wales driven by a hiraeth (a longing) to be amongst the landscape of her childhood and a need to hear, speak and work in the Welsh language.

She said through working on Taliesin she has re-connected to her roots and re discovered the beauty and depth of the Welsh Language.

“Hopefully when Taliesin is performed outside Wales and beyond it will give audiences an experience of Welsh culture that is ancient and resonantly now.”

Audiences are invited to come along before the performance as there will be a selection of instillations and exhibitions that you will be able to enjoy from 7pm.

This includes an installation from Reassemble; a live book projection entitled “Off the Wall Part 4” with cut and spliced footage, image manipulation and a live improvised soundtrack.

Also accompanying the performance will be videos choreographed by Henrietta Hale and Sean Feldman and a photographic exhibition of dancer Enid Gill by Devdutt Shastri.

The performances of Taliesin take place on 26 & 27 February and begin at 8pm with other instillations, videos and exhibitions from 7pm.

Tickets for the performance are now on sale at the Wales Millennium Centre box Office. Box Office: 08700 40 2000 or visit www.wmc.org.uk

 
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