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Painting dance

Posted on September 2, 2019

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A new exhibition, Painting Dance, opens this month at Ffin y Parc Gallery in Llanrwst, Conwy, running from September 15 to October 9, before moving to Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay, from November 30 to January 5, 2020. Painter Carl Chapple has been working with Ballet Cymru since 2016 and his exhibition presents pictures made since December 2018. Observing rehearsals, often from the early stages of new productions, the artist has been able to develop insights into some of the disciplines and creative processes of Ballet Cymru dancers and choreographers, and to consider new approaches to figure painting.

His work included collaborations with dancers, drawing on their ideas, experience and training to develop compositions through discussion and improvisation, whether spontaneous or using moments or sequences from company productions as starting points. For example, the Montagues series was created with dancers Miguel Fernandes, Maria Brunello and Andrea Battaggia, exploring ideas developed from their roles as Mercutio, Benvolio and Romeo in the company’s 2019 production Romeo and Juliet.

Other company productions inspiring pictures presented in the exhibition include Divided We Stand, choreographed by Patricia Vallis, and Celtic Concerto by Darius James and Amy Doughty.

All images: Courtesy of Carl Chapple

Jonathan Gray is editor of Dancing Times. He studied at The Royal Ballet School, Leicester Polytechnic, and Wimbledon School of Art where he graduated with a BA Hons in Theatre Design. For 16 years he was a member of the curatorial department of the Theatre Museum, London, assisting on a number of dance-related exhibitions, and helping with the recreation of original designs for a number of The Royal Ballet’s productions including Danses concertantes, Daphnis and Chloë, and The Sleeping Beauty. He has also contributed to the Financial Times, written programme articles for The Royal Ballet and Birmingham Royal Ballet, and is co-author of the book Unleashing Britain: Theatre gets real 1955-64, published in 2005.

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