National Dance Company Wales’ new Artistic Director, Fearghus Ó Conchúir today announced the company’s programme for the next 12 months, which includes his new Rygbi Project, a revival of Nigel Charnock’s Lunatic, as well as commissions for Wales-based and international artists. 

National Dance Company Wales makes innovative work with and for all kinds of people in all kinds of places. The company presents its work in different formats and contexts across Wales and around the world, commissioning primarily choreographers who haven’t yet been commissioned in the UK and finding continued contemporary relevance in existing repertoire. Following the 2019 Spring tour, Awakening, the new programme of work will continue NDCWales’ ambition to share with diverse audiences and participants the value of dance.



The next 12 months will see new Artistic Director Fearghus Fearghus Ó Conchúir start his first creative project with the company: Rygbi - Annwyl i mi/Dear to me which will have its premiere as an outdoor performance, at the National Eisteddfod of Wales in August.  Fearghus will develop a small-scale version as part of the Roots tour across Wales in November, and a larger-scale rugby piece for the Spring 2020 tour across Wales and the UK, with opportunities for people to join in through conversations and shared dancing over the longer life of the project.

Rygbi- Annwyl i mi/Dear to me connects the company’s expertise in dance to a nation’s passion for rugby. It explores how Welsh bodies are made, how in sport, as in dance, different people with different strengths work together to create effective teams. Those teams carry the hopes and dreams of wider communities through their committed performances. Those teams are also carried by the communities that support them. The Rugby Project uses dance to celebrate the glorious effort of rallying together.  The work will be researched with rugby communities across Wales and features a new composition and sound design by BAFTA Cymru award-winner, Tic Ashfield.




After its huge success in 2018, NDCWales’ Roots tour will be back in November 2019 with four short, sharp dance pieces, rewarding for existing dance lovers and, with its relaxed and accessible format, ideal for those who are new to contemporary dance.  As well as presenting work from The Rugby Project, the Roots programme will be showcasing two new pieces of work that were created by the company’s dancers. Nikita Goile’s Écrit, draws inspiration from a letter written by iconic artist, Frida Kahlo to her partner, Diego Riviera. The piece is about relationships and explores the delicate balance between control and surrender.

Ed Myhill’s Why Are People Clapping has been inspired by composer Steve Reich’s ‘Clapping Music’, and playfully uses rhythm and percussion as a driving force. The music is performed live by the dancers and uses the simple sound of a clap to create a colourful and energetic soundscape for the dance. The fourth piece in the programme will be a new piece by Anthony Matsena, who was born in Zimbabwe and grew up in Swansea, he started out going to local hip-hop classes before joining National Youth Dance Wales and going to train professionally at London Contemporary Dance School.  He is currently a Young Associate Artist with Sadler’s Wells. Also in 2020, NDCWales will be presenting a new work by choreographer Alexandra Waierstall. Born in England, raised in Cyprus and now living in Germany, Waierstall creates elegant and shimmering work that moves groups of bodies with a strong sense of musicality and a poetic physicality.



In addition to the structured Laboratori programme, the company will also offer residencies for Wales-based artists at the Dance House in June.

The Company continues to bring dance from Wales to new audiences abroad, building important cultural connections at a time of political uncertainty. Over the last 18 months the Company has toured to Hong Kong, Germany, Switzerland and Austria with over 6000 people seeing them live on stage. In 2019, NDCWales will return to Germany, Poland and Hong Kong, as well as touring to new venues in Spain.

Fearghus said, “These plans build on what the Company has done in the past few years to bring its work to new audiences at home and abroad.  I hope to further the company’s ambitions to be confident champions of the value of dance, curious about what it doesn’t yet know, and connected to the expertise of all kinds of artists, of audiences, of participants, of people from other disciplines and sectors to help us innovate.”

Tour details for Roots and Spring 2020 will be announced in the forthcoming months, keep an eye on NDCWales website and twitter to stay in the loop.