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Exploring Cardiff Dance Festival 2017

First held in 2015, this year’s festival wants to bring dance to a wider audience, says its founder Chris Ricketts.

|Chris Ricketts is the founder of the festival

The Cardiff Dance Festival 2017 try to show that dance is not far away from people and it could always be the inspiration for everyone’s life.

What do CDF 17 try to achieve?

|Wrongheaded is the first show for the opening ceremony of the festival ©EwaFigaszewska

“What we trying to achieve with the festival is reaching lots of different audiences with different ages and background.”

“Sometime I think there are a big audience for dance…but sometime I think we look at that concern from a wrong side.”

Chris consider that maybe there is a large audience in fact but they do not join quite often, and thus the festival is trying to build a platform for the artists to program dance and improve their work in an international circumstance.

On the other hand, Chris also want the audiences to think about the connections between life and art.

“If people in 5 to 10 years times can remember “Wow, I love that piece, sort of Cardiff Dance Festival!” that may able to bridge the experience between the artists and audiences in a way to carry the meaning for them…like inspiration.”

What’s new?

|Interruption is a special element under the UK/India Year of Culture ©PausePlay i

This is the second Cardiff Dance Festival (CDF) and compare to the last one the organizers bring something new to the audiences.

“The big difference here is a project that we have been running called Interruption which is supported by Wales Arts International and the British Council as part of the UK/India Year of Culture,” Says Chris. “So it is a bit like inviting some artists to the city to run up the festival.”

“We bring more partnership I think this time and it feels like a growing festival.” Chris added.

Besides, the CDF 2017 also have a new show called Poggle which is especially for the younger children who under 5 years old with their families.

Any challenges?

|Blackout is preformed in a box-like stage which shows strong visual effect ©PhilippeWeissbrodt

However, there are some challenges for putting on dance shows in UK now.

Regarding the financial support, Chris said that for this stage it is hard to invite lots of artists from different regions, but the support under the UK/India Year of Culture is a good start.

However, money is not the major concern.

“Money helps you to overcome the challenges, but the main challenge is being relevance to the audiences.”

“It is about sustaining audiences’ interest and developing audiences’ interest.”

“There are lots of competitions, people have different choices,” Says Chris. “Lots of people coming to see dance for a wide range of art, so only a really small audience want to see just dance.

“So how we play all of those gathering and build the audience, keep the people attending and make them think about dance is the continued challenge that we have to fight.”

In the future

|The brochures of the festival are well-designed

“I don’t want to change what the artists want to do, I think I am interest in changing the context in which they present their work.”

“Dance don’t have to be difficult,” Says Chris. “The biggest thing is changing the relationship with audiences and how we talk to them and what the languages and images that we use to tease them to buy ticket.”

Last but not least, Chris said that he is looking forward to involve more forms of dance from other regions like East Asia in the nest festival.

To find out more about Cardiff Dance Festival 2017 (8th – 19th November), please explore their official website http://dance.wales/.