An Interactive Family Matinee with the National Dance Company Wales

This half term we’ve been cramming a lot in as Daddy has the week off so I can take the girls to things that would normally be tricky with the baby in tow too. One of these things being the Interactive Family Matinee at the National Dance Company Wales based in Cardiff Bay.

Aimed at children aged 6+ this session was billed as a fun and creative way to introduce your children to dance. My girls both take ballet lessons and are really into performance and dance so I thought this would be right up their street. I hadn’t been to anything like it before so wasn’t completely sure what to expect but a little video on their website gave me an idea before we went.

The whole event was very relaxed – we were greeted at the front door and shown to a little lounge area where we could wait for the session to start – there were toys and a little area for younger children to play and soft drinks we could help ourselves to. We then were shown through to a small theatre area where we sat and watched the dancers warm up for 5 minutes. They then had us all (parents included!) up and warming up which was great as it really loosened up any nerves and we felt invigorated for the rest of the performance. I loved this warm up session so much I might incorporate it into my morning routine actually!

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Then it was time to learn some moves! The dancers were so friendly and encouraging that Bean felt really happy to go up with them and practice some routines. Before we went Bean wasn’t too sure whether she’d want to get up and dance but when we were there I literally couldn’t stop her leaping up to dance! It was the same with many of the other children – their inhibitions quickly wore away and they were up there getting involved. Adults were even encouraged to get stuck in which was great.

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Under the guidance of the dancers Bean picked up some moves very quickly and she enjoyed taking part in the short routines with everybody. The first half of the session was devoted to this interactive type of participation and there was then a short break where we could go back to the lounge to grab a drink before we headed back in for the performance.

The second half we were able to see some of the moves and concepts we learned and witnessed from the first session put into practice in the actual performance of Tuplet by Alexander Ekman. The theme of rhythm we learnt about at the start was brought to life in the performance and the girls were absolutely transfixed. The performance was striking, complex, and yet simple in concept. Having spent some real time with the dancers we felt we knew them more as they were performing, we could recognise elements of rhythm in the dance and it really brought the performance more alive for me. The powerful monochrome scenery and setting and creative, modern dancing entertained the girls completely – in fact much more than I would have thought it would. I was really pleased that they had the opportunity to see such a great, contemporary piece and to be so welcomed into the dance community for the short time we were there.

The whole thing was excellent – they even ended the session with a very relaxed Q&A session where we could ask anything we wanted to the dancers and their responses were enlightening, especially for the little budding dancers in the room. We loved it so much that Bean was asking when she could go again before it had even finished!

At £8 a ticket / £6 concession I really think this was great value and we’ll definitely be heading to their next one. I’m keeping my eye on their website as I was told they are hoping run these again in February half term.

If in the meantime you want to see their Autumn Tour, there are still a few dates left.

 

Disclosure – we were given complimentary tickets for the purpose of this review. All opinions are honest and my own.




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20 Comments

  1. October 29, 2015 / 12:10 am

    NDCW are such a fab company and it’s brilliant that we have such an acclaimed dance company here in Wales. It’s also amazing that our national dance company are a contemporary company, which I think says a lot about the progressive arts scene in Wales. I hope to be able to make one of these matinees one day, but like you say, it’s not easy with a baby! Glad to hear you enjoyed it so much. I know I’m probably a bit biased as I did freelance PR for them for a while, but they are such a lovely company x

  2. October 29, 2015 / 9:43 am

    It sounds like you all had a really good time. I absolutely love live performances but have not been to anything quite like this. Bear is still just a baby so I will have to wait until he’s a bit older, although he would probably love to join in!

    Sally

  3. October 29, 2015 / 11:07 am

    This sounds great. We love their events when they tour our local theatre. Lovely that Dad has the week off too, I hope we can manage this for a school break in the future. 🙂 x

  4. October 29, 2015 / 11:50 am

    Sounds like you had a fab time. What a great activity for kids of the right age. It’s a shame Eva is too young as she loves dancing. Glad bean picked up some moves x

  5. October 29, 2015 / 11:15 pm

    This looks such a great experience – my children are too old or too young really to appreciate this, but it looks amazing. Glad you had such a good time. Kaz x

  6. October 30, 2015 / 12:00 am

    Oh this sounds like such fun – love that it was interactive that can make all the difference with some things. x

  7. October 30, 2015 / 12:48 am

    What a fantastically unique way to spend the day with family. My older children were never really interested in this sort of thing, but I am holding out hope with Penny x

  8. October 30, 2015 / 5:12 am

    This looks like a brilliant activity and one the whole family can get involved in. I hope to encourage a love of dance in my girls as I am completely rhythm retarded myself.

  9. October 30, 2015 / 8:59 am

    It does sound as though you had an absolute blast! I used to be part of a dance school growing up and I loved it x

  10. October 30, 2015 / 10:46 am

    Ooh I would’ve loved to have participated in something like this when I was younger! Wish more things like this existed, looks like you h

  11. October 30, 2015 / 3:37 pm

    Oh this looks like so much fun! Great value for money too 🙂

  12. October 30, 2015 / 4:15 pm

    This sounds like brilliant fun, my daughter would have loved something like this when she was younger.

  13. October 30, 2015 / 5:36 pm

    This looks amazing and something my daughter would totally love! What a fun thing to take part in. I will pop over to their site to see if they are touring close to me!

  14. October 30, 2015 / 9:58 pm

    This sounds like a great event for little dancers.

  15. October 30, 2015 / 10:11 pm

    Wow, that looks and sounds like a lot of fun. I love the idea of getting the parents and kids involved before showing a performance! Very well priced for a family afternoon out too!

  16. October 30, 2015 / 11:18 pm

    This looks fantastic and something my 6 year old would really enjoy. I love how interactive the show was and I’m glad your girls enjoyed it so much x

  17. October 31, 2015 / 11:31 am

    This sounds brilliant and it also sounds like you all had a really lovely time. It looks right up my street. Our little boy is 16 months old so is a little young for something like this but once he’s older it’s definitely something we’ll look into doing.

    Great value for money too.

    Laura x

  18. October 31, 2015 / 9:14 pm

    What a lovely experience. We love going to shows like this and I think it’s a great way to get kids involved in the arts

  19. November 2, 2015 / 5:31 am

    Sounds like you all had a lovely day out. Things like this are great for children, when I have mine I’d love to take them along xxx

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