headshots of all the dancers and poets involved in the project
NDCWales Presents

Plethu / Weave

August - November

Poetry and Dance Cross-Artform Collaboration

The new digital film project, Plethu/Weave sees four dancers from NDCWales and the four dancers independent sector, partnered with some of Literature Wales’ commissioned poets to create short solo performances during lockdown.

Each poet will be asked to create a short poem, some in the strict meter ‘cynghanedd’ form, in any language relevant to contemporary Wales.

The eight dancers will be paired with some of the most exciting poets working in Wales. 

NDCWales Associate Director, Lee Johnston
 “We were really excited with the range of independent dancers across Wales who applied to be a part of this special project. The four artists joining Plethu/Weave enrich the breadth of artistic contribution through practices that incorporate styles such as hip hop, Butoh, ballet and ballroom, and an enhanced application of what choreography is, involving objects, textiles and embroidery. I'm looking forward to seeing how the dancers and poets weave the two art forms together and create powerful works full of movement and insight.”

Lleucu Siencyn, CEO of Literature Wales
 “Literature Wales is delighted to be part of this wonderful project with National Dance Company Wales. The first two cross-art videos created by Ifor & Fay and Mererid & Tim are wonderfully captivating, and we look forward to seeing the other works which will emerge from these additional artistic pairings. Celebrating Wales' literary culture is a key focus for Literature Wales, and what better way to do so than by supporting this series of collaborative content celebrating Wales' talented contemporary artists which will entertain, challenge and touch new and existing audiences of literature and dance.”

Tim and Mererid

Hirddydd

 

Dance and Edit: Tim Volleman

Poet: Mererid Hopwood
 

Tim Volleman

Tim was born in the Netherlands, where he started dancing at the age of three. At the age of ten he started my pre-education at Fontys (Tilburg) and continued to my bachelor degree program at Codarts, Rotterdam Dance Academy. As a professional dancer, Tim has worked with companies such as Cathy Sharp Dance Ensamble, Internationaal Dans Theater, Nederlands Dans Theater II and de Stilte before Tim joined NDCWales in December 2017. His freelance career includes working with independent artists Jagoda Bobrowska, Heidi Vierthaler and Juanjo Arques.
 

Mererid Hopwood 

Mererid Hopwood won the Chair, Crown and Medal for Prose in Eisteddfod Genedlaethol. She was the Welsh-Language Children’s Laureate in 2018, and in the same year won Tir na n-Og Prize for her novel for children, Miss Prydderch a’r Carped Hud (Gwasg Gomer). She won the poetry award Book of the Year in 2016 with her collection of poetry, Nes Draw (Gwasg Gomer, 2015). She collaborated with musicians including Karl Jenkins, Eric Jones, Gareth Glyn, Christopher Tin and Robat Arwyn and participated in literary festivals in Europe, Asia and South America. She is a Fellow of Cymdeithas Ddysgedig, and the chairman of the Fellowship of Reconciliation and honorary president of the Waldo Williams society. She is a Professor at University of Wales Trinity Saint David

Faye and Ifor

Ust

 

Choreographer, Dancer and editor: Faye Tan

Poet: Ifor Ap Glyn
 

Faye Tan
Faye was born in Singapore and trained at the Singapore Ballet Academy and School of The Arts before graduating from the Rambert School in London. She then joined Verve, the postgraduate company of the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds, performing in works by Anton Lachky, Athina Vahla and Efrosini Protopapa. Faye joined Frontier Danceland (Singapore) in 2016, working with choreographers such as Shahar Binyamini, Thomas Lebrun, Edouard Hue, I-Fen Tung, Annie Vigier and Franck Apertet, amongst a varied pool of other makers. The work Faye did in Singapore also included outreach programmes, coordinating Frontier Danceland's youth dance training programme, teaching, choreographing, digital marketing, videography and photography. In May 2019 Faye worked with Richard Chappell Dance (UK) on Silence Between Waves, performing and working with local residents of various ages and abilities in Devon, before joining NDCWales for Rygbi: Annwyl I mi / Dear to me and subsequently as a company dancer in December 2019.

 

Ifor ap Glyn
National Poet of Wales Ifor ap Glyn was born and bred in London to Welsh parents. He is a multi-award-winning poet, presenter, director and producer. A prolific writer, Ifor has twice won the Crown at the National Eisteddfod – one of the festival’s most prestigious prizes. As a television director and presenter, he has won several BAFTA Cymru awards for his work including the Lleisiau’r Rhyfel Mawr and Popeth yn Gymraeg series. Ifor has represented Welsh poetry around the world in both the Welsh and English language, most recently in Cameroon, Lithuania, China, Belgium, Germany, and Ireland. The National Poet of Wales scheme was established in 2005 and is managed by Literature Wales. It is a cultural ambassador role which honours some of the most innovative and highly regarded writers.

Aisha and Hanan
Choreographer, Dancer: Aisha Naamani

Poet: Hanan Issa

Aisha Naamani
Before training at London Contemporary Dance School, Aisha grew up in South Wales and was an associate of National Dance Company Wales from 2012-2015. Since moving to London, she has performed works by Richard Alston, Wayne Parsons (Rafael Bonachela), James Cousins and Hofesh Shechter amongst others. Aisha has had some of her own choreographic works shown at The Place and was a scholar of the Peggy Hawkins Scholarship Fund. Aisha joined NDCWales as an apprentice dancer in summer 2018, performing works by Matteo Marfoglia, Mario Bermudez-Gil and Caroline Finn before becoming a company dancer the following year.

Hanan Issa
Hanan Issa is a Welsh-Iraqi poet and writer. She has been featured on both ITV Wales and BBC Radio Wales and worked in partnership with National Museum Wales, Artes Mundi, Warwick University, Swansea Fringe, StAnza festival, Wales Arts International and Seren Books. Her work has been published in Banat Collective, Hedgehog Press, Wales Arts Review, Sukoon mag, 4 Journal, Poetry Wales, Parthian, Y Stamp, sister-hood magazine and MuslimGirl.com. Her winning monologue was featured at Bush Theatre’s Hijabi Monologues. She is the co-founder of Wales’ first BAME open mic series ‘Where I’m Coming From’. She was a 2018-2019 Hay Festival Writer at Work. Her debut poetry pamphlet My Body Can House Two Hearts was published by BurningEye Books in October 2019.

Ed and Marvin
Choreographer, Dancer and editor: Ed Myhill

Poet: Marvin Thompson

Ed Myhill
Originally from London, Ed grew up in Leeds and trained at Hammond Secondary School in Chester, followed by three years at Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance. He joined NDCWales as an apprentice in Autumn 2015 and am now a full time dancer with the Company. Ed has toured extensively across the UK and abroad including works from Alexander Ekman, Roy Assaf and Marcos Morau.

 

Marvin Thompson
Marvin Thompson was born in London to Jamaican parents. He has an MA in Creative Writing from Middlesex University and currently teaches English to secondary school children in mountainous south Wales.

He was one of three poets selected by The Poetry School and Nine Arches Press for the ‘Primers Volume 2: Mentoring Scheme’. Reviewers have described Marvin’s work as ‘dramatic,’ ‘energetic,’ and a ‘virtuoso performance.’  Other publication credits include: The Poetry ReviewPoetry Wales and Red (Peepal Tree Press).

In 2017, Marvin Thompson won third place in Ambit Magazine’s international poetry competition.  In 2019, his magical-realist war poem, ‘The Many Reincarnations of Gerald, Oswald Archibald Thompson’ was submitted by Long Poem Magazine for the Forward Prize for Best Poem.

Marvin’s debut poetry collection, Road Trip, is published by Peepal Tree Press.