Wednesday, March 18, 2009

"Welsh Treats!"


I've had 2 recent Treats in Wales.

Here's Treat The First:
"In the world of British poetry Carol Ann Duffy is a superstar" ( The Guardian)

And last week, she ran a workshop for 20 students ( courtesy of Flintshire ArtsFest) at a hotel on the Welsh border.
We looked at Time and Place in prose/poetry. Some fabulous work appeared and everyone enjoyed the session. The group was mixed ( ages, sex, backgrounds etc ) which is usually a key to vivid/varied workshop writing...and Carol Ann's wonderful insight and experience, plus her appreciation of the texture of our words, made the time special.
That evening, almost 200 folk thronged Theatr Clwyd( http://www.clwyd-theatr-cymru.co.uk/ ) to hear Carol Ann read from her bk" Rapture" plus poems from " The Worlds Wife" interspersed with chunks from the brilliant " The Laughter of Stafford Girls High" ( from "Feminine Gospels") All books published by Picador.
This was a brilliant double event. Fingers crossed that Carol Ann will come this way again soon....

And Treat The Second:
This was my visit last night ( it's now Thursday!) to Theatr Clwyd to see Ballet Rambert. ( http://www.rambert.org.uk/) There were three pieces, including " Carnival of the Animals" ( Saint-Saens) and " Infinity" with music by Luke Smiles. Complete contrasts but equally enthralling.
BUT once again ( as with Carol Ann's newest book) we touched upon 'rapture'....this through: "Eternal Light: A Requiem".....This gorgeous ballet celebrating the memory of things past...was my favourite, built in part around this theme. Howard Goodall's choral music was perfection; as an audience, we were moved en masse by the sheer beauty of both dance and music...

AND I saw an old lady weep with delight. I saw a stunned wide eyed child climb on her father's lap. I saw a man kiss a woman as violins soared. ...
And quite honestly, I saw the loveliest ballet I have ever seen.

* The painting is 2 dancers relaxing (Degas) .

14 Comments:

Blogger herhimnbryn said...

Ah, such envy here. But your description of the people in the audience made me smile too.

9:14 pm  
Blogger jinksy said...

So glad to see you are an audience watcher, too...

9:52 pm  
Blogger elizabethm said...

Now I am overwhelmed with my own stupidity that I live up here and could have gone to both those fabulous events and had no idea they were on! What is the matter with me? Are there some email distributions of what's on which I don't know about? Must try harder, must try harder.
So glad you had such a great time. Both events sound quite marvellous.

10:07 pm  
Blogger Catherine said...

Lucky you,,,

5:57 am  
Blogger Fennie said...

I love Ballet Rambert too, though it is ages since I last saw them. Must remember to look out for them again. Thanks for dropping in at my blog.

10:28 am  
Blogger Claire Beynon said...

Hi Jan, I come to you via Kay McK-C's 'Made for Weather' blog - what a treat to meet you and your Journal world. I especially enjoyed your observations re; the audience's response to the music and ballet... I'd like to add a link your blog from mine - would that be okay? (www.icelines.blogspot.com) Thanks - Claire

6:13 pm  
Blogger Kay said...

Hey! Great to see Claire here! (She's the nicest, loveliest person Jan!! and so very talented as an artist and writer / poet.)
What a line up of treats - and I loved seeing it through your eyes! Thanks for telling us about the old lady, the child and the kiss! :)

1:37 am  
Blogger LittleBrownDog said...

LOVE Carol Ann Duffy - a particular favourite is her poem, Prayer. How fab to actually go to one of her workshops.

Love that Degas painting, too. I'm sure I'll be back - looking at your profile - favourite films, favourite books - it looks as though we have a lot in common.

Best wishes, LBD x

2:37 pm  
Blogger Lucy said...

I too am most envious, and what lovely descriptions.

5:52 pm  
Blogger cheshire wife said...

Than you for remiding me that there is civilisation out there and we are not living in the back of beyond!

7:55 pm  
Anonymous marly said...

Sounds delicious. I always feel that I do, indeed, live in the Back of Beyond, though we are quite bustling as villages of 2500 go...

Reminder: Thou shalt not envy thy neighbor's treats.

4:39 am  
Blogger Suffolkmum said...

Wow. Jealous on both counts. I really really love the Laughter of Stafford Girls High. The ballet - and the responses - sound fantastic, too.

8:39 pm  
Blogger Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

I am feeling deeply envious - particularly about the ballet - there is something about magnificent ballet that catches the soul and makes it soar.

1:52 pm  
Blogger Jan said...

Herhimnbryn:
Sometimes I spend more time watching the audience than the play!!

Jinsky:
I am!

ElizabethM:
It's a pity you missed both this; Theatr Clwyd has a wide variett iof stuff happening all year.

Catherine:
Hmm!

Fennie:
Yes, I hadn't seen them for a wile but this was well worth any waiting..

Claire:
Great to see you and of course that would be fine.

Kay:
Strong images, those!
And the performance was something very special..

LBD:
That's great and I shall look forward to it!

Lucy:
Thanks Lucy.
I imagine Rambert tour to France sometimes?

CheshireWife:
It's great when you find it!
And fingersX that this place eventually has its own theatre again...

Marly:
And you have some marvellous treats in YOUR part of the world...
Lovely as ever to hear from you.

SuffolkMum:
Fabulous, isn't it?
Having been at an all gorls school, I understand this SO well. And believe me, the teachers were also pretty recognisable!

Vanilli:
And that particular music made the soul soar higher than it had done for ages...

9:27 pm  

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