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FFFDC REALLY FLYING! (article first published : 1999-09-23)

The Fantastic Flying Fish Dance Company is really living up to its name and flying (in the metaphorical sense) fantastically.

The British Council have invited FFFDC artistic director Mark Hawkins and resident choreographer David Gouldie to London in October to see the Dance Umbrella with a view to choosing a choreographer to work with FFFDC in South Africa next year. Mark and David have also been invited to set up meetings with various theatre managements and choreographers and to see the work of various British and foreign companies and choreographers in order to cement a foundation for future collaborations.

Among the companies Mark and David will see are The Cholmondeleys and The Featherstonehaughs, the Mark Baldwin Dance Company, Martha@Dance Umbrella, Doug Varone & Dancers and the Aletta Collins Dance Company. They will also see Meg Stuart, Ann Hamilton & Damaged Goods as well as Rusell Maliphant.

On 26 October after the performance by South African dancer and choreographer, Vincent Mantsoe, a reception will be held to launch the Britain & South Africa Dancing Project. The reception will be hosted by Cheryl Carolus and British Council Chair, Baroness Kennedy. This national dance development project runs from 1999-2002 and is co-ordinated by the British Council in partnership with dance artists and organisations in the UK and South Africa. The aim is to support the development of dance education, training and professional practise in South Africa by nurturing co-operation between South African and UK artists and organisations.

“The British Council will also be arranging meetings for us with Val Bourne at Dance Umbrella, John Ashford at The Place and Alistair Spalding at the South Bank Centre so we can talk to them about FFFDC,” says Mark. “Gregory Nash (Dance & Drama Projects Manager in the Performing Arts Department of The British Council in the UK) will also be setting up a meeting for me with Veronica Lewis, Principal of the London Contemporary Dance School, at which a dancer from KZN will have a chance to study next year following the Rio Tinto Scholarship workshops which FFFDC will be hosting.”

For more information on the British Dance Umbrella, visit the web site at http://www.danceumbrella.co.uk/

FFFDC resident choreographer David Gouldie is one of the choreographers selected for the National Choreographic Competition to be held at The State Theatre in Pretoria on November 6


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