Autumn Programme 2016



This summer we've been dancing in lots of different settings. We've created our first outdoor work,
Animatorium, which premiered at the Green Man Festival; performed at Sziget, a music festival in Budapest, and led the Welsh presence at the world's largest market for dance – internationale tanzmesse nrw in Düsseldorf.

On the back of a successful summer, it's with great excitement that we are touring theatres in Wales and
England this autumn. At all the venues we will perform Caroline's first creation for the Company, Folk which premiered in February 2016 and has gone down especially well with audiences and critics, locally, nationally and internationally. We also perform They Seek To Find The Happiness They Seem choreographed by our Rehearsal Director Lee Johnston; a beautiful duet set to the haunting sounds of Max Richter's musing on Vivaldi.

Some of you will see Alexander Ekman’s Tuplet, which, after two years, is still delighting audiences with its
wit and musicality. The new work this autumn, from November onwards, is Israeli choreographer Roy Assaf’s Profundis. We are particularly excited that Roy is creating a brand new work for our dancers and feel sure that the sensitivity and poetry of his choreography will resonate with all our audiences.
At each venue we are thrilled to run workshops and perform Interactive Matinees for young people and
communities to get them dancing and give them insight into the works they will witness on stage.
Stay in touch and follow our updates by joining our mailing list, or signing up to our social media.

Enjoy the show!
Paul, Chief Executive
Caroline, Artistic Director


Tell us what you think @ndcwales


28 minutes

9 dancers


Caroline Finn

"I wanted to create a surreal-yet-familiar community for the characters in the piece to exist in. A world which is not immediately identifiable or recognisable, yet which we can all relate to on some level."

  • Choreography: Caroline Finn
  • Music: Works by: 

    Barcarola (Offenbach and Giraud) by Mantavoni and his Orchestra,
    Midnight Waltz by Adam Hurst, O Zorbas by Mikis Theodorakis,
    Homo Fugit velut umbra by Christina Pluhar & L’Arpeggiata,
    Black Gold by Armand Amar + Sarah Nemtanu,
    Pepa by Carles Santos, Threnody by Goldmund

  • Set and Lighting Design: Joe Fletcher
  • Costume Design: Gabriella Slade
  • Costume Supervisor & Maker: Amy Barrett
  • Costume makers: Rhiann Houlihan

Watch - vlog 1

Watch - vlog 2

Watch - vlog 3

Choreographer Caroline Finn

Caroline Finn joined National Dance Company Wales in September 2015 as its new Artistic Director. A winner of the Matthew Bourne New Adventures Choreographer Award 2014, she created a new work entitled Bloom for Phoenix Dance Theatre in 2015. 

As a dancer, Finn performed with Ballet Theater Munich under the direction of Philip Taylor; Ballet Preljocaj (France); Compagnie Carolyn Carlson (France); Jochen Heckmann and Johanna Richter. 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.

More from the Choreographer

“ I love watching people; their quirks and idiosyncrasies, and the way they function in different social scenarios. So I wanted to make a piece which is largely about social dynamics – exploring the relationships between people and how they behave when they are in a group compared to how they behave when they are on their own. What makes people form a group or a particular connection with someone? What ostracises people from a group and how does this affect their behaviour?

“ I was also inspired by the variety and expressions of the characters and communities you see in old 17th and 18th century oil paintings and encouraged the dancers to create their own characters for the piece based on some of these oil paintings.

“ I wanted to create a surreal-yet-familiar community for the characters in the piece to exist in – pushing the fine line between fantasy and reality; a world which is not immediately identifiable or recognisable, yet which we can all relate to on some level.”



30 minutes

9 dancers

Performing at The Hafren and The Dance House

ChoreographyRoy Assaf

Music and Sound:
Uoon I, Alva Noto (Vrioon Electronic)
Enta Omri, Umm Kulthum (Original 1964 Live Recording)

Lighting Design Omer Sheizaf

Costume DesignAngharad Matthews

Costume Supervisor:
Deryn Tudor

Costume Assistant Maker: Angharad Griffiths

Watch - vlog 1

Watch - vlog 2

Watch - vlog 3

Choreographer Roy Assaf

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. The work has been performed in such renowned venues and festivals as the Théâtre National de Chaillot, Jacob’s Pillow, Bolzano Danza, Pavillon Noir, and Biennale di Venezia and will be seen in the 17th Biennale de la Danse in Lyon. We are particularly excited that Profundis is being created here for our dancers and feel sure that the sensitivity and poetry of Roy’s choreography will resonate with audiences. 


They Seek To Find The Happiness They Seem

13 minutes

2 dancers

Only performing at The Place, London

"…I was fascinated by
the impenetrable inner
world of couples; the
particular routines,
unspoken understanding
and tensions that play
out between two people." Lee Johnston


  • Choreography: Lee Johnston
  • Music: Several works by: Max Richter
  • Lighting Design: Joe Fletcher
  • Costume Design: Zepur Agopyan

Choreographer Lee Johnston

They Seek To Find The Happiness They Seem is Lee’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 ten year performance career include working with Christopher Bruce, Stephen Petronio, Ohad Naharin and Nigel Charnock, and touring extensively
throughout Wales, Europe, and Australia.

More from the Choreographer

“They Seek To Find The Happiness They Seem is a special work for Joe Fletcher and I that took form effortlessly. At the time, I was fascinated by the impenetrable inner world of couples; the particular routines, unspoken understanding and tensions that play out between two people.

“ I was drawn to subdued moments and moments where something irrevocably shifts. Iconic film dance duos from the 1930’s, as popular culture archetypes of romance, were a constant reference point to reframe, reconfigure or work in opposition to.”

Creative Folk

We go behind the scenes and meet the creative team on Folk

Choreographer, Caroline Finn:
How did you start creating Folk with the dancers?

In the run up to Christmas, I set the dancers some tasks based on 17th and 18th century oil paintings in order to allow them to begin creating a character and exploring what the physicality of that character might be. The dancers did amazingly with this task, creating such a palette of colourful characters and generating a wealth of physicalities for me to develop further. I then started with a movement phrase of my own which I taught to the dancers. This is always helpful, to both myself and the dancers, when we haven’t worked with each other before since it helps them get used to my way of moving and it also enables me to see how each dancer interprets my movement differently. Essentially this phrase became our ‘language’ for the piece and from that, we created many different sentences and phrases, identifying different ways in which we could adapt and evolve that initial phrase of movement depending on the tone and necessity of the scene.

The process has really been a combination of me guiding the dancers with information, images and sometimes very specific physical details, but also incorporating their own creative ideas and impulses, and allowing for improvisation. For example, sometimes I will give the dancers very specific movements set to very specific counts and I will be very clear on how I want these phrases to look or feel. But other times I will set them a task, for example ‘manipulation’ and ask them to take some time themselves to research and explore how they can manipulate their partner without actually touching them – using their energy or dynamic to have a physical effect on the other. We had some very powerful, expressive and also sensitive results!

Set and Lighting Designer, Joe Fletcher:
How did you go about creating the set for Folk?

Caroline and I met to discuss the type of world she wanted to explore. She had a very clear image of a tree structure, a centerpiece and symbol of the community she wanted to create.I researched imagery and art installations which had a similar sense of structure that Caroline and I were interested in, such as photographer Tim Walker and visual artist Katie Holten. I discovered that the birch tree had strong thematic links to Caroline’s work, symbolising initiation, renewal and majesty. This lead me to create a scale model which demonstrated naturalistic textures with a stark colour contrast to complement the surreal timeless environment. When the structure and props were decided I then transferred the model and drawings to Wild Creations, creators of the Rugby World Cup ‘Ball In The Wall’, in Cardiff, who completed the construction and sculpting of the props. They were an absolute joy to work with and interpreted all the early imagery and models beautifully.

Costume Designer, Gabriella Slade:
How did you create the costumes for Folk?

Caroline has imagined that this community was like an abandoned landscape, a bit like an island, and how nine people were thrown on this island and they have to wear what was available to them, but there was a slightly surreal high fashion quality to it. The photographer Tim Walker was a big inspiration in terms of visuals for us in this piece.

I knew from seeing the set design that there needed to be a lot of texture in the costumes and the trees quite monochrome so we chose lots of fabrics but feeding in elements of pale pinks, tans and khaki, to marry in with the slightly more naturalistic leaves that Joe has designed; so hopefully the costumes would look fairly disjointed but also quite in keeping with the setting.

Caroline and I were really interested in having an element of styling for the dancers. We had a session with the dancers and spread out all the costumes for them to dress in whatever they felt reflected their characters. At that point I could then see each dancer’s style and judge whether the costumes were looking ok and how the company looked together. I then went away and worked on the individual look from that point on. This isn’t a way which a lot of designers work but I have done this a few times and it works.

More about
Joe Fletcher


Joe is a freelance theatre designer specialising in lighting design and scenography for theatre, dance, concerts, events and architecture. He recently spent nine months with Sydney Dance Company and was resident designer for National Dance Company Wales between 2006 and 2013. Joe’s lighting and video design for Purlieus (National Dance Company Wales) was selected as a finalist at the World Stage Design Exhibition 2013, and was one of the Telegraph’s top 15 highlights. Joe is also a guest tutor for the BA & MA stage management and design courses at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama.

Recent credits include: In Water I’m Weightless (National Theatre Wales), Parallel Lines (Dirty Protest); Nansi, Mrs. Reynolds A’r Cena Bach (Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru); Pause And Effect (Maiden Voyage); aM (Dawns Cenedlaethol Ieuenctid Cymru); Quixoteland, Purlieus, They Seek To Find The Happiness They Seem, Virtual Descent, Phantoms Of Us (Cwmni Dawns Cenedlaethol Cymru).


Gabriella Slade

Gabriella was nominated for an Off-West End Award 2015 for Best Costume Design for In The Heights, and was shortlisted as one of the final 20 candidates for the prestigious The Linbury Prize 2013 for Stage Design.

Recent credits include: Henry VI and Richard III (Omidaze & Wales Millennium Centre); A Christmas Carol, The Adventures of Pinocchio, The One Hundred And One Dalmatians (Castle Theatre); In The Heights (Kings Cross Theatre); Showstopper! (Apollo Theatre); Caucasian Chalk Circle, How Do You Eat An Elephant? (National Youth Theatre Wales); Love Birds, Happy Never After (Pleasance Courtyard); We Can Make You Happy (Vault Festival); House Of Blakewell’s House Party (Latitude & Bestival); Just So, Wind In The Willows (Wilde Theatre); and Dead Born Grow (Frantic Assembly & National Youth Theatre Wales).

Lee Johnston

Lee Johnston

Josef Perou

Josef Perou

Matteo Marfoglia

Matteo Marfoglia

Àngela Boix Duran

Àngela Boix Duran

Elena Thomas

Elena Thomas

Ed Myhill

Ed Myhill

Franklyn Lee

Franklyn Lee

Sabine Groenendijk

Sabine Groenendijk

Alexandra Pholien

Alexandra Pholien

Oliver Chapman

Oliver Chapman
  • Lee Johnston

    Lee Johnston

    Lee oversees the quality of performances and the development, wellbeing and management of the dancers as well as working closely with the participation team to ensure the company has a strong and enriching engagement programme.

    As a performer, choreographer and rehearsal director Lee has worked with companies including Sydney Dance Company, National Dance Company Wales and LINK Dance Company. Highlights as a performer include working with Ohad Naharin, Christopher Bruce, Stephen Petronio and Nigel Charnock, and touring extensively throughout Wales, Europe, and Australia.

    Lee was most recently Rehearsal Director for Sydney Dance Company, under the artistic direction of Rafael Bonachela. Prior to this, Lee worked with NDCWales as House Choreographer and Rehearsal Director, creating repertoire They Seek to Find the Happiness They Seem and Purlieus which was a World Stage Design 2013
    finalist and voted a Telegraph Top 15 highlight.

  • Josef Perou

    Josef Perou

    Born in Sussex, Josef trained at Laban and Central School of Ballet graduating in 2008. During his final year he performed in Pinocchio and Faeries by Will Tuckett for ROH2 as well as touring with Ballet Central. He toured with Bare Bones
    in 2009 and later that year joined Phoenix Dance Theatre.

    He was a member of Henri Oguike Dance Company from spring 2010 to spring 2011, as well as reviving Faeries. Josef returned to Phoenix as a Guest Artist in the summer and joined NDCWales in August 2011. Josef is on the KND Performance Mentoring Programme.

  • Matteo Marfoglia

    Matteo Marfoglia

    Originally from Pesaro, Italy, Matteo trained at the Accademia Nazionale Di Danza in Rome and graduated from Rotterdam Dance Academy. From 2007 to 2011 Matteo worked in Introdans having performed pieces by Jiri Kylian, Lightfoot
    & Leon amongst others. In 2010 Matteo won second prize at the Certamen Internacional De Coreografia Burgos, New York, for his choreography Just A Breath. In 2012 he danced in the multi-disciplinary project Nierka in London, directed by Tupac Martir and choreographed by Fernando Hernando Magadan. Matteo joined NDCWales in May 2012.

  • Àngela Boix Duran

    Àngela Boix Duran

    Originally from Barcelona, Spain, Àngela trained at Ballet Conservatoire for 5 years and later joined IT Dansa Companyia in July 2010 where she was directed by Catherine Allard. In July 2012 she worked at Noord Nederlandse Dans, performing many pieces by Stephen Shropshire. In 2010 Àngela won first prize for her contemporary dance piece in the Castellón National Dance contest. Àngela joined NDCWales in summer 2013.

  • Elena Thomas

    Elena Thomas

    Originally from Nancy, North East France, Elena trained at Ecole Nationale Superieure de Danse de Marseille and the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique et de Danse de Lyon. Straight from training she started performing with Jeune Ballet Conservatoire National Superieur de Lyon. In 2007 Elena spent 5 months with Europa Danse before joining Ballet National du Rhin where she performed works by Mathieu Guillaumon, Jo Strømgren, Alexander Ekman amongst others. In 2009 she moved to Spain to work with La Mov’ in Zaragoza where she was introduced to Company Chameleon when they choreographed on the company. Elena joined Company Chameleon in 2012 before moving
    to National Dance Company Wales in December 2013.

  • Ed Myhill

    Ed Myhill

    Ed joined NDCWales as an apprentice in Autumn 2015 and is now a full time company dancer. From London, Ed grew up in Leeds and went to Hammond Secondary School in Chester, followed by three years at Rambert School of
    Ballet and Contemporary Dance.

  • Franklyn Lee

    Franklyn Lee

    British born Franklyn trained at Rambert School and Footlights Dance Centre as well as being a part of the Eastern Region Gymnastics squad for 8 years.
    Following a UK tour dancing with Westlife, Franklyn went on to dance with the Vienna Festival Ballet, Phoenix Dance theatre and Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake before spending five years with Bern Ballet under the direction of Cathy Marston and performing works from Mark Bruce, Alexander Ekman and Andonis Foniadakis amongst others.
    Franklyn did a term with Scottish Dance Theatre before joining National Dance Company Wales in Summer 2016.

  • Sabine Groenendijk

    Sabine Groenendijk

    Originally from the Netherlands, Sabine studied at Codarts in Rotterdam. In 2011 Sabine joined Introdans, and the following year performed for Scapino Ballet Rotterdam. Sabine moved to Germany in 2012 to perform with Stephan
    Thoss Tanz Kompanie for two years, then from 2014-2016 danced for Hessisches Staatsballett. She has danced works from Damien Jalet, Stephan Thoss, Johan Inger, Alexander Ekman, Vaclav Kunes, Itzik Galili, Stijn Celis and Ed Wubbe. Sabine joined NDCWales in summer 2016.

  • Alexandra Pholien

    Alexandra Pholien

    Originally from Brussels, Alexandra moved to London to study at LCDS. Alex has had performance opportunities at Greenwich Dance and The Place as part of a mentorship program and has had the chance to work with Lea Anderson, Leila McMillan and Hagit Yakira.

  • Oliver Chapman

    Oliver Chapman

    Oliver started his training with the Centre for Advanced Training Scheme at Laban Conservatoire before studying with Bodywork Company in Cambridge. Oliver has since danced with Chrysalis London and ICON Dance.


The Company

Board of Directors
Andrew Davies
Assis Carreiro MBE
Emma Evans
Julie Hobday
Gareth Powell
Helen Protheroe
Tessa Shellens
Garry Thomas

NDCWales is a member of the National Dance Network, a membership network of 27 significant organisations whose primary role is the development of dance in the UK. We are a pivotal member of Creu Cymru, the development agency for theatres and arts centres in Wales.



The Company
Community and Engagement Officer: Kelly Barr

Marketing and Engagement Manager: Suzanne Carter

Technical Stage Manager: Adam Cobley

Artistic Director: Caroline Finn

Development Administrator: Rebecca Hobbs

Programme Co-ordinator: Julia Gay

Rehearsal Director: Lee Johnston

Chief Executive: Paul Kaynes

Marketing and Engagement Assistant: Megan Pritchard

Finance & Operations Co-ordinator: Jane Thomas

Chief Technician: Leighton Thomas-Burnett

Technical Director: Nia Thomson

Programme Manager: Kelly Twydale

Marketing and Engagement Manager (maternity cover): Gemma White



With Thanks To:Charlie Knight, Emma Goad and Kate Perridge



NDCWales believes in the power of dance.
We aim to reach communities in Wales and beyond, and inspire people through watching and taking part in dance.
None of which can happen without the generous support of Public funding, trusts and foundations, businesses and individuals, for which we are incredibly grateful.
Towards the end of 2016 NDCWales will be launching a new individual giving scheme, enabling our audiences, participants and friends to support all elements of the company’s work – from our highly acclaimed UK and international touring repertoire through to the life enhancing participation projects in communities and schools across Wales.

For more information please contact Rebecca: or 029 2063 5614


Dancing can improve physical well-being and emotional and mental health for everyone. We will be developing and expanding these opportunities for the community, and providing opportunities for those wishing to pursue a career in dance. We cannot achieve this without the valuable support from funding organisations, local businesses and individual donors.
NDCWales would like to thank the Arts Council of Wales for their continued support and welcome the
Jane Hodge Foundation as a new supporter for the company’s Dance for Parkinson’s project.





Get Involved

At NDCWales we are passionate about dance and dancing. We offer a wide range of activities for those who want to Learn, Explore and Dance.


...more about dance through our bespoke workshops and interactive matinees.

EXPLORE through our additional events such as open rehearsals and post show talks.

DANCE all different levels of age and ability.

Find out more about our Get Involved programme at or email