Gwanwyn Festival Funding for May 2017

We are thrilled to receive funding for the Gwanwyn 2017 Festival.

The funding will help support the creation of a new work, ‘This Fleeting Instant’ choreographed by Caroline Lamb and assisted by Janet Fieldsend with material contributed from the dancers.

The Gwanwyn Festival is supported by the Arts Council of Wales, Age Cymru, the Welsh Government and the National Lottery.


What is the Gwanwyn Festival?

Gwanwyn is a month-long national festival held across Wales in May each year celebrating creativity in older age. The festival began in 2006 and is supported by Arts Council of Wales and Welsh Government.

See for more information.

Who can be involved in the performance?

The classes are primarily geared to creating work for performance and are designed to appeal to the older dancer (50+). Class members have a broad range of abilities, from those working professionally in the field of community dance, to those who have never danced before.

When are the creative classes and where are they held?

Spring 2017

Wednesday 15th March
Wednesday 22nd March
Wednesday 29th March
Wednesday 5th April
Wednesday 12th April

6.45 – 8.45pm

Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff in the ‘First Space’


Summer 2017 

Thursday 18th May
Thursday 25th May
Thursday 1st June
Thursday 8th June
Thursday 15th June
Friday 16th June
Saturday 17th June (AM – time tbc)
Thursday 22nd June
Friday 23rd June

6.45 – 8.45pm

Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff in the ‘Common Room’


How do I book the classes?

To book the classes please contact our Rehearsal Director Janet Fieldsend: or phone on 07745 466662


Gwanwyn Dance Night May 2016

Creative classes were held in March, April and May 2016 to create ‘Cradle’, choreographed by Caroline Lamb and assisted by Janet Fieldsend. The performance in May was part of the Gwanwyn Dance Night and was hosted by National Dance Company Wales in partnership with Striking Attitudes and Rubicon.

Read more about ‘Cradle’ here.

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New: Striking Attitudes Spring Classes and Opportunity to Perform

Our new classes will be held every Wednesday at Chapter Arts Centre from 18th February – 25th March and again from 15th April – 6th May. 6.45pm – 8.45pm. It will cost £100 for the entire term

The 10 creative community dance and movement classes will take place from February to April, culminating in a performance (optional). The classes will be led by dance professionals Caroline Lamb (Artistic Director/ Choreographer of Striking Attitudes) and Janet Fieldsend (Rehearsal Director Striking Attitudes).

The emphasis of all Striking Attitudes dance classes is always on the creative aspect of movement. “We believe in working with movement that highlights the specific qualities of the older dancer, using movement that comes naturally from the older body,” says Caroline Lamb.

Striking Attitudes community dance classes are very accessible to all dancers including those who have never danced before.

Striking Attitudes is a professional dance company working specifically with older dancers, both professional and community based. We celebrate the particular skills of the older dancer, and work to raise awareness of opportunities for older dancers and to challenge public perception of ageing.

We believe the older performer can bring something very particular to a creative work; an inner strength that comes from a wealth of life experience and equally, a fragility and vulnerability that is both honest and life affirming. The older dancer provides a positive role model and is a fine example of what is possible as we age.

For more information or to book a space on the dance classes contact Anne Keeling at 02920 712265 or email 

Performance Opportunity (May 2014)


Following upon our success of Each For All: All For Each (our promenade piece in collaboration with poet Patrick Jones), we are pleased to be able to offer dancers in the community a chance to perform.

We will be performing as part of Gwanwyn Festival’s day for older dancers, taking place at the Sherman Theatre on 18th May.


We have a number of options linked to this community project for you:

1. A weekend workshop with Catherine Young
2. Six creative sessions with Caroline Lamb and Janet Fieldsend
3. Rehearsals for the May 18th performance


Catherine Young is the dance officer with Ceredigion based at Theatre Felinfach. She is experienced in working with older dancers and runs sessions for a group at Felinfach.

Catherine is currently working on a project with students at Laban in London. Striking Attitudes has an excellent ongoing connection with Catherine including commissioning her to create some of the choreographic material for Once Upon A Time In The Dark, Dark Woodwhich we performed in Cardiff, Swansea and Ceredigion in April and May 2013.

The weekend workshop with Catherine Young will take place at Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff on 1st and 2nd March from 10:30am-4:30pm both days. Some material may be created during this weekend that will be included in the performance at the Sherman Theatre on 18th May.


These six sessions with Caroline and Janet will investigate and develop new ideas and material. It will be a chance to explore and really get creative again.

These sessions will take place at Chapter Arts Centre every Wednesday from 12th March to 16th April from 6:45pm-8:45pm.


Four creative sessions will finalise material and focus on rehearsing for the Gwanwyn event at the Sherman Theatre.

These four sessions will take place at Chapter Arts Centre on Wednesday 30th April, Wednesday 7th May, Wednesday 14th May and Thursday 15th May from 6:45pm-8:45pm.

These rehearsals will culminate in the performance on Sunday 18th May at the Sherman Theatre. Some availability may be needed on Saturday 17th Mary for a technical rehearsal at the Sherman.

The first two strands (the weekend with Catherine, and the six creative sessions with Caroline and Janet) are OPEN TO ALL.

The final set of four classes will only be open to those able to perform on 18th May.

The costs for each strand are as follows:

£75 The weekend workshop with Catherine Young
£60 Six creative sessions with Caroline Lamb and Janet Fieldsend
£80 The six creative sessions with Caroline and Janet plus rehearsals for the May 18th performance
£150 Participation in all three strands (fees can be paid in two instalments).

To book your place please contact our Project Manager Anne Keeling at or call her on 02920 712265.

Each For All: All For Each – October 14th 2013

Each For All: All For Each – October 14th 2013





Striking Attitudes is looking for people of all ages to take part in a Promenade Theatre Performance to mark the Centenary of the Senghenydd Mining Disaster of 1913. The performance will take place outside, in different sites around Senghenydd on October 14th 2013 from 5.45 to 7.30.

This is your chance to work alongside the professional actors and dancers of Striking Attitudes and help us create a memorable and moving tribute to those men who lost their lives in the disaster and those who were left behind.

We need people of all ages (no primary school children as they will be involved in the Lantern Procession) and we welcome those with or without experience. You will be involved in group work and there are opportunities to take part in speaking group if you want. Come along to the first session and see if you would like to take part.

Rehearsals will take place in the Salvation Army Hall, Senghenydd from 2.00 to 4.00 on Saturday 21st, 28th of September and Saturday 5th and 12th October. You need to be available for the dress rehearsal on Sunday 13th October at 11.00am, and of course, the actual performance on Monday October 14th.

‘Each For All: All For Each’ will be directed and choreographed by Caroline Lamb of Striking Attitudes with text by the Blackwood poet and playwright Patrick Jones and music written by James Dean Bradfield of the Manic Street Preachers. The BTM Brass Band and the Children’s Lantern Parade will be joining us as part of the performance.

Celebrating the Older Dancer

Once Upon A Time In The Dark, Dark Wood

CHAPTER ARTS CENTRE, Cardiff 25th – 27th April 2013


A new and unique work by Cardiff-based dance company, Striking Attitudes is combining the creative talents of young Welsh choreographers with the unique experience and physicality of older professional dancers, at a stage in their career when dancers traditionally hung up their dance shoes in retirement.


Set within the dark forests of fairy tales and legends, Once Upon a Time in the Dark, Dark Wood is a daring venture by Striking Attitudes. Artistic Director and seasoned Choreographer Caroline Lamb is collaborating with three young choreographers; Jessie Brett, Catherine Young and Jo Young to create a work which challenges conventional ideas about dance and raises the question; what does it mean to be a dancer?


Once Upon a Time in the Dark, Dark Wood will be a brave encounter between seasoned older dancers – skilled and experienced in their craft, but with their physicality threatened by time, and the vigorous enthusiasm of the younger choreographers. Professional dancers who act, actors who dance, and a group of older dancers from the community will face risky and creative challenges. How will the older dancers deal with the physical demands of the young choreographers? How will the young choreographers unearth the hidden abilities of the older dancers? This new work by Striking Attitudes will test, but ultimately celebrate the skills of the mature dancer.


“People, artists in particular, get better at their craft as they grow older. It has been a privilege to work with artists who are great examples of this” – Young choreographer, Catherine Young


“It’s re-awakening. We’re going back and discovering things in new ways. It’s actually quite exposing. We’re all pushing ourselves, physically and emotionally, and it is exciting” – Artistic Director, choreographer and dancer, Caroline Lamb.


A unique fusion of cross-generational Welsh talent, this production includes a combination of dance and text supported by an original score from young composer Ben Lunn of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Once Upon a Time in the Dark, Dark Wood will begin its tour on April 25th to 27th at Chapter, Cardiff and will continue to Swansea on May 1st and Felinfach on May 17th. It is supported by the Arts Council of Wales, Coreo Cymru and Gwanwyn. To book tickets for the Cardiff performances, click here:


Once Upon A Time poster Chapter 06 April 2013-2

Once Upon A Time In The Dark, Dark Wood – Interview with Artistic Director Caroline Lamb

The first week of rehearsals for Once Upon A Time In The Dark, Dark Wood is over. In this candid interview, Artistic Director, choreographer, and dancer Caroline Lamb reflects upon this unusual combination of older dancers working with younger choreographers, and the challenges this has posed.

It’s the end of the first week of rehearsals for Once Upon A Time In The Dark, Dark Wood. How have you and the older professionals found working with the younger choreographers and their approach to choreographing?

It is very interesting, seeing the younger choreographer’s different approach to working. They work a lot with improvisation, and with ways in which we naturally move. Jessie [Brett] did an exercise about ‘muscles, skin, and bones’, encouraging us to look at how each of these individual components contribute to the way in which we move. They are working in a very ‘organic’ way, where we as the dancers come up with our own responses.

It is different to the way I work. When I choreograph, it’s much more about bringing things to the dancer. I say ‘here are some moves, this is the situation’…


As an older dancer, how have you responded to this different approach?

It’s re-awakening. These young choreographers are re-awakening awareness in us. We’re going back and discovering things in new ways. In some ways it’s actually quite exposing…


In what respect?

You’ve learnt over the years to cover up the things you think you don’t do very well as a dancer. Now you’re having to find ways of doing them again. You’re exposing yourself, not just your strengths, but your flaws too. Jo [Young] has given us some very interesting tasks to do creating detailed movement from pictures. I’ve loved doing it but I am aware that my muscle memory is a bit rusty!


Are there any particular elements that you’ve struggled with?

The younger choreographers use laptops and cameras, which of course is different to how I work. They record us dancing and then watch the material of the dancers improvising. When they see something they like, they show us, and we attempt to re-create it. For me, that is a tough thing to do – trying to work it out bit by bit is very hard. I feel more comfortable improvising and then setting the piece.

The younger choreographers approach involves the dancers opening up and giving a lot. It’s been quite emotional. I’ve found I’ve been holding a lot of tension in my chest. Initially, I was resisting ideas, I was struggling. As we went on, I let go more. It was very re-assuring. You are releasing and letting go. A lot of the time my work is about ‘holding on’, about how tough life is and the choice of either collapsing and giving up, or holding in there. You learn that as you get older, you need to somehow deal with things, despite painful or tough situations.


Have you found the work physically challenging?

Yes, we are all complaining of lower back pain! We’re all older and our bodies are not as strong. It can leave you feeling a bit vulnerable.

It is challenging, physically and emotionally, but this is what the production is about. We’re all pushing ourselves, and it is exciting. It’s been joyous seeing how much everyone can still do despite their age, and how vibrant the mature dancers still look.