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National Dance Company Wales – Discover



Three very different pieces will form National Dance Company Wales’ September tour, alongside a host of events, all presented at Blackpool Grand Theatre 19-20 September. National Dance Company Wales is an award-winning company presenting work by some of the most celebrated international choreographers alongside creations by the hottest new talent from Wales. Now National Dance Company Wales presents a triple bill of astonishing dance to Blackpool’s Grand Theatre.


  1. Profundis, by Israeli-born Assaf, is a provocative and sensual ensemble piece, featuring whimsical wordplay, vintage bathing costumes and an exotic soundtrack by Umm Kultum, Leonard Bernstein and Alva Noto.
  2. Lee Johnston’s They Seek to Find the Happiness They Seem is a heart-wrenching duet, set to music by Max Richter. A jigsaw puzzle of reconfigured snippets from classic love stories and famous dance partnerships like Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers, this piece focuses on the theme of dislocation and separation within a relationship. Its title is inspired by a lyric in Irving Berlin’s Cheek to Cheek.
  3. Folk features Artistic Director Caroline Finn’s darkly comic expressions of life and people using her quirky and highly engaging choreographic style. Exploring themes of social dynamics, surreal scenes and characters come alive to an eclectic and enchanting musical landscape.

All three pieces will be performed by NDCWales’ core dancers, who are among the very best contemporary dancers from all four corners of the globe; Àngela Boix Duran, Ed Myhill, Elena Thomas, Robert Bridger, Camille Giraudeau, Cyril Durand-Gasselin, Evan Schwarz, and two apprentice dancers, Marine Tournet and Mathew Prichard.

Trailers here
They Seek to Find Happiness They Seem

Alongside the three performances, the company will host a series of events and activities, to give curious audiences of all ages an opportunity to give it a try, and offer newcomers an introduction by some of the best artists in their field:

  1. Discover Dance performances are a perfect 90-minute introduction to dance for families and schools, in which audiences get a chance to learn some moves, get on stage with the company dancers, watch a short performance and ask the dancers anything they’d like. For more information on Discover Dance, including ticket prices, contact the venue.
  2. Watch Dance Class is an open house session in which anyone and everyone is invited to watch, sketch, film and photograph a ballet or contemporary class on stage, giving a unique glimpse into how NDCWales dancers prepare hours before a show. Perfect for dance students, artists, bloggers, photographers and anyone interested in peeking behind the scenes. Watch Dance Class is FREE to attend, but booking is required (via the venue).
  3. The Post-Show Talk is for those of us who sometimes leave the theatre with burning questions, brimming ideas or inspiring thoughts on what we’ve just seen; a FREE opportunity for an informal chat and Q&A with artistic staff and dancers.

More information about these events can be found on NDCWales’ website.


Roy Assaf was born in 1982 in the farming community of Sde Moshe in the south of Israel, and has been dancing and creating since he can remember. He began formal training at 16 but two years later, was drafted into a paratrooper unit of the Israel Defence Forces and served there until completing his national service. In 2003 he met the internationally recognised choreographer Emanuel Gat and made his mark touring worldwide with Gat as both performer and Choreographic Assistant from 2004-2009. Since 2010, Assaf has been developing his own works independently.

They Seek To Find The Happiness They Seem is Lee Johnston’s second work for the repertoire of National Dance Company Wales. Other credits include Purlieus, which was a World Stage Design 2013 finalist and voted a Telegraph Top 15 highlight. Both works were brought into NDCWales’s repertoire whilst Lee was House Choreographer in 2014. Before her current role as Rehearsal Director for National Dance Company Wales, Lee was Rehearsal Director for Sydney Dance Company, under the artistic direction of Rafael Bonachela. Highlights of her 10-year performance career include working with Christopher Bruce, Stephen Petronio, Ohad Naharin and Nigel Charnock, and touring extensively throughout Wales, Europe, and Australia.

NDCWales’ Artistic Director Caroline Finn has been a freelance dancer and choreographer since 2009 and her acclaimed solo work Bernadette has toured internationally to festivals in Aix en Provence, Munich, Luzern, Berlin, Krakow, Paris and South Korea. Three years in a row she was commissioned to create new works for Theater in Kempten and she has created work for companies such as Tanz Luzerner Theater (Switzerland); Cross Connection Ballet (Denmark); Compagnie DIEM (France) and Teatr Groteska (Poland). Between 2013 and 2014, Finn presented three of her works at the Interdans Festival in Belgium. In 2015 she choreographed a new piece for the National Ballet of Chile based on Kurt Joos’ The Green Table. Finn has been a member of Tanztendenz München e.V. since 2013.

Finn said: “We’re thrilled to be presenting three such contrasting works as Folk, They Seeks to Find the Happiness They Seem and Profundis. All three have themes which are rooted in humanity, relationships, and the things that we put into question on a daily basis. Each one creates its own unique universe for audiences to dive into, and I believe the combination of all three works in an evening not only shows the versatility of the company but also how diverse and engaging contemporary dance can be.”


Listings Information

Blackpool Grand Theatre, Blackpool, Lancashire

19 September
Watch Dance Class: 12.45pm – 2pm
Profundis, They Seek to Find the Happiness They Seem & Folk: 30pm (plus Post-Show Talk)

20 September
Discover Dance: 1pm
Profundis, They Seek to Find the Happiness They Seem & Folk: 30pm

01253 290 190