Fearghus Ó Conchúir Choreographer and Dance Artist

The Rygbi Project

71567986_1200794500105278_1331353369708593152_oRugby is a game that shapes and connects individuals and communities across Wales.  In an international arena, it’s a way of moving that enables Welsh bodies to perform with power, passion and skill.

Reflecting on the how movement and training makes individual and collective bodies, Fearghus developed The Rygbi Project, to connect NDCWales’ expertise in dance to  Wales’s expertise in rugby and to celebrate teams that work together to carry the hopes and dreams of communities through committed performances on stage and on the pitch.It’s a project that uses dance to ask what it takes to build and support community, to survive adversity and celebrate connection.

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The Rygbi Project practised connection by drawing on the expertise of amateur and professional players from across Wales.  From rehearsals at Theatr Clwyd in Mold that involved local amateurs, to performances with young elite players on the stage of the Taliesin in Swansea streamed for BBC’s Dance Passion, to talks with former international Nigel Walker, and Company visits to amateur clubs such as Llandaff RFC and  to professional training with the Ospreys, the project has tried to link its own expertise in fostering relationships and understanding through movement to that of the rugby community in Wales and beyond.  The project has deliberately connected to those aspects of rugby that support inclusion and diversity, creating panel discussion opportunities with the WRU’s General Manager Women and Girls Rugby Charlotte Wathan, WRU’s Mixed Ability Rugby Lead Coach Darren Carew and with Rugby fanatic, author and Western Mail Newspaper Columnist Carolyn Hitt.

The project was visible through these research encounters, and through three distinct versions of a choreography.  The first Annwyl i mi/ Dear to Me is an outdoor performance for seven dancers that premiered at the Eisteddfod in July 2019 and was performed in Japan later that year as part of Welsh government’s cultural programme for the Rugby World Cup.  The second was Annwyl/ Dear a version for smaller stages performed by six dancers as part of the Company’s Roots tour in 2019.  And Yma/ Here was the stage version of the work, performed by seven dancers, that was part of the Company’s 2020 Kin Tour.

In addition to these performances, The Rygbi Project continues in a variety of engagement workshops and creative projects with people of all ages, from young people reached through the Company’s Dance Days, Discover Dance performances and in-school activities, to work with primary school teachers, as well as the dancers of its Dance for Parkinson’s classes.  The Rygbi Project was made by and continues thanks to the input of all of the people who shared time with the project, provided insights, creativity, skill and enthusiasm.

Conceived by Fearghus Ó Conchúir for National Dance Company Wales and choreographed by Fearghus with the dancers of the Company (2018-2020)

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Annwyl i mi/ Dear to Me

Conceived and choreographed by Fearghus Ó Conchúir with the Company (2018-2019)

Sound Design and Composition by Tic Ashfield

Costumes by Carl Davies

Performers  Nikita Goile, Ed Myhill, Aisha Namaani, Folu Odimayo, Mathew Prichard, Elena Sgarbi, Faye Tan, Tim Volleman.

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Annwyl i mi/ Dear to Me premiered at the National Eisteddfod in Llanrwst in July 2019 before traveling to Japan as part of Wales’s cultural programme for the Rugby World Cup later that year.

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A poster of NDCWales Roots tour with the title ROOTs in yellow at the top and an image of a group of dancers squashed together in a scrum of bodies

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Annwyl/ Dear 

Conceived and choreographed by Fearghus Ó Conchúir with the Company (2018-2019)

Sound Design and Composition by Tic Ashfield

Costumes by Carl Davies

Lighting Design by Sinéad Wallace

Performers  Nikita Goile, Marla King, Ed Myhill, Aisha Namaani, Folu Odimayo,  Elena Sgarbi, Faye Tan, Ellie Thomas, Tim Volleman.

Annwyl/ Dear was performed as part of NDCWales Roots tour of smaller venues across Wales in Autumn 2019.

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Yma/ Here

Conceived and choreographed by Fearghus Ó Conchúir with the Company (2018-2020)

Sound Design and Composition by Tic Ashfield

Costumes by Carl Davies

Lighting Design by Sinéad Wallace

Performers  Camille Giraudeau, Nikita Goile, Marla King, Ed Myhill, Aisha Namaani, Folu Odimayo,  Elena Sgarbi, Faye Tan, Ellie Thomas, Tim Volleman, 

Yma/ Here was performed as part of NDCWales Kin tour in Spring 2020.  The tour was curtailed due to the global pandemic.

 

Learning and Participation Projects and Resources

Family-friendly learning online resources available here

Kin Kids Creative classes for children aged 7+ inspired by dance pieces performed by NDCWales.

NDCWales Kin Connected class for dancers with more experience

 

“Rygbi is elegant and strong. It is a painting and it is theatre.” Eva Marloes, Get the Chance