Blog posts by year and month January 2012

Posts (97)

  1. A new walking trail has recently opened to commemorate the Hollywood star, Richard Burton. The trail starts at Burton's birthplace in Pontrhydyfen. Visitors can then listen to the Oscar-nominated star quote a passage from Under Milk Wood, the play by his favourite poet Dylan Thomas who also has walks dedicated to him in Laugharne near Camarthen. Signposts with facts about Burton's childhood and career are placed along the trail. The Richard Burton Trail is a three mile (4.8km) walk around the villages of Pontrhydyfen and Oakwood, surrounded by the Afan Forest Park. The trail was created by the council's tourism section with help from the Cwmavon Residents Action Group, Forestry Commission Wales and the Richard Burton Advisory Group at Swansea University. Find out more about a recent Weatherman Walk we did around Laugharne, following in the footprints of Dylan Thomas. BBC News - Richard Burton trail at Afan Forest Park opening

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  2. You'll believe a man can fly! Well, it may not be Superman, but it's Wales' own super bass-baritone Bryn Terfel, singing at the summit of the highest mountain in England and Wales. We've been raiding the BBC Wales archive and from 2009's Bryn Terfel's Snowdonia: Closer To Home comes this short clip of the work to get Bryn's piano to the top of Snowdon. There's also a snippet of the song My Little Welsh Home by WS Gwynn Williams: Feel free to comment! If you want to have your say, on this or any other BBC blog, you will need to sign in to your BBC iD account. If you don't have a BBC iD account, you can register here - it'll allow you to contribute to a range of BBC sites and services using a single login. Need some assistance? Read about BBC iD, or get some help with registering.

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  3. A film viewed as the first ever Welsh language 'talkie' and a milestone in Welsh cinematic history is to be screened in the very bowels of the earth. The innovative event will take place in the Deep Mine of the Llechwedd Slate Caverns at Blaenau Ffestiniog. It's being put on by Cytser - The Constellation Project, a new theatre company based in Gwynedd which at its inception was tasked with generating spectacular events that reached those not normally in touch with arts in the area. Y Chwarelwr (The Quarryman) by Sir Ifan ab Owen Edwards, founder of Urdd Gobaith Cymru (The Welsh League of Youth), and John Ellis Williams, dates from 1935 and was made in Blaenau Ffestiniog. Still taken from Y Chwarelwr. Photo courtesy of National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales - Archif Genedlaethol Sgrin a Sain Cymru It was once thought lost because the original print became damaged and incomplete and reels featuring the grand finale were lost forever. In 2006 Ifor Ap Glyn of Cwmni Da and the National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales recovered and restored the film to its original condition. Caernarfon-based company Cwmni Da then recreated the lost final part of the film, adding voices, sound effects and a new soundtrack by Bangor University music lecturer Pwyll ap Sin to replace the reels that could not be found. Still taken from Y Chwarelwr. Photo courtesy of National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales - Archif Genedlaethol Sgrin a Sain Cymru Cytser, which has arranged the screening with the help of Llechwedd Slate Caverns and Cell B, has invited Ifor Ap Glyn to the event so he can introduce the film to audiences and explain the painstaking process of restoring it so that it could be enjoyed by future generations for years to come. The film shows different aspects of a typical slate quarryman's life in Blaenau Ffestiniog, portraying him in a variety of settings, from home to work and chapel to courtship. Still taken from Y Chwarelwr. Photo courtesy of National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales - Archif Genedlaethol Sgrin a Sain Cymru The special screening takes place at the Llechwedd Slate Caverns, Blaenau Ffestiniog at 7.30pm on Saturday 21 January. Tickets will be available on the door. Tickets: £8, Concessions and Blaenau locals (with ID): £6. Patrons are advised to wear warm clothing and sturdy shoes. Safety helmets will be provided.

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  4. Three choreographers of world renown are topping the bill for the National Dance Company Wales this season. Josef Perou performing Black Milk by Ohad Naharin. Photo: Roy Campbell-Moore The varied programme will see 12 dancers from across the globe bringing their work to life. Kicking off with a performance at the Wales Millennium Centre's Donald Gordon Theatre on 26 January, the line-up includes two pieces created by the acclaimed Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin. His first, B/olero, set to the music of the same name by Ravel, features two female dancers and is sharply cut so their motions appear to be in competition with one another at times. His second, Black Milk, involves five male dancers, displaying typical traits of tribal behaviour and almost ritualistic warrior actions. Naharin, artistic director of dance company Batsheva, is famous for pioneering his own language of movement called Gaga, which predates the international pop phenomenon of the same name. Gaga emphasises exploring sensation and availability for movement to create "organic flows of energy" and has attracted a wide following in the international dance community. Also on the bill is a piece entitled The Grammar Of Silence by the award winning Netherlands-based Itzik Galili. Galili has directed two pieces previously for the National Dance Company Wales. This powerful new work builds on the themes of his last contribution, Exile Within, and aims to push dancers to their limits while "exploring the intimate poetry of words left unsaid". The Olivier Award nominee has produced a catalogue of work for Rambert Dance Company, the English National Ballet and Netherlands Dance Theatre. Dancers Neus Gil Cortés and Eleesha Drennan run through The Grammar of Silence, watched by Itzik Galili's assistant Helena Volkov. Photo: Roy Campbell-Moore National Dance Company Wales' own choreographer Eleesha Drennan has created a new piece called Phantoms Of Us. The work is for eight dancers and is the first Drennan has made for the full company repertoire. She has collaborated with Wales-based visual artist Sue Williams to create the costumes and visual elements for the piece. The idea behind it draws on Drennan's own dreams and the idea of a human struggle while trying to move forward in life and achieve individuality. Some of the themes that emerged were the power of the group and consensus versus the individual. Williams created costumes that resemble a second layer of skin and the tight, body-coloured costumes aim to "give bodily form to androgynous beings who reach out beyond superficial identity to strip away layers of human vulnerability and search for individuality". The tour opens on 26 January, before taking to the road with dates across Wales, England, Jersey and Ireland. In Wales it moves to the Aberystwyth Arts Centre on 9 and 10 February, Swansea's Taliesin Arts Centre on 23 and 24 February, Milford Haven's Torch Theatre on 14 March and Mold's Clwyd Theatr Cymru on 28 and 29 March. A special event during the tour will be at British Dance Edition 2012 when the company performs By Singing Light by Stephen Petronio accompanied by BBC National Chorus of Wales at Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre. Artistic Director Ann Sholem said: "Whether you're a seasoned National Dance Company Wales fan or have never seen a contemporary dance show before, we look forward to welcoming you and demonstrating just why we have become a leading name on the international dance stage." After the spring tour the company will take part in a new commission from world-renowned choreographer Christopher Bruce for Dance GB. National Dance Company Wales will join Scottish Ballet and English National Ballet in a celebration of dance inspired by the 2012 London Olympics, performing in Glasgow, Cardiff and London in the summer. For tickets and dates visit www.ndcwales.co.uk.

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  5. In a New Year's Day special, Adam Walton talked to Super Furry Animal and current solo star Gruff Rhys in an extended interview. Covering his career from his earliest forays into music, Gruff and Adam meandered fascinatingly through the last 25 years. You can listen again to the interview her...

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  6. The first BBC Radio Wales Saturday night session for 2012 went to Cardiff three piece band Kutosis, whose album A Fanatical Love has been a regular on my radio show since it was released by Barely Regal a few months ago. You can listen again to the show on the BBC iPlayer until 10pm on Saturd...

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  7. As you can probably see now from the myriad of 'new sound' lists in all the mags, radio shows, and on this here blog, January is a great time for new bands to make a bit of a splash. Masters In France Most of the work, however, has already been done during the previous year, and in ord...

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  8. Happy new year! I hope everyone had a lovely break. The holidays passed all too quickly, but alas, there comes a time when one must stop eating turkey sandwiches for breakfast and rejoin the real world. I'm excited about our first afternoon concert of 2012. It includes three works I've never...

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  9. After last week's heavy rain, gales and flooding, the weather is in a quieter mood this week with the jet stream further north and high pressure over France. Yesterday the warmest places in the UK was in Usk in Monmouthshire where the temperature reached 13 Celsius, 55 Fahrenheit - about 6...

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  10. The Dylan Thomas Centre in Swansea has announced its latest programme of events, boasting an array of new poetry, thought-provoking lectures, drama and live music to cheer audiences into spring. Sarah Coles. Photo: Bernard Mitchell Among the highlights on the schedule will be the launch ...

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