Evocative Dance Performance highlights the Cost of Living Crisis

Evocative Dance Performance highlights the Cost of Living Crisis

BTEC students from Rubicon Dance showcased a small dance performance titled ‘ONCE UPON A 2024’ at the Volcano Theatre on 18th April 2024 as a part of the upcoming The Shape of Things to Come 2024.

‘Once Upon a 2024’, a beautiful dance reflection throwing light on the growing cost of living crisis, was choreographed by Marianne Tuckman and directed by Deborah Ford, BTEC course leader. The musical dance performance had the sound mastering done by Ariel Schlichter.

 

Marianne Tuckman and Deborah Ford

 

The short dance performance depicted the lives of six girls— played by Laura Gilchrist (19), Mia Da Silva (20), Seren Vodden (18), Madeleine Orwin (19), Taleigh Vodden(17), and Mia John (20)— who are on the verge of leaving their houses this September to different cities and have to deal with managing the rising cost of living.

 

From the right: Laura, Mia da Silva, Seren, Maddie, Taleigh, Mia John

From the left: Laura, Mia da Silva, Seren, Maddie, Taleigh, Mia John

 

A still from the dance performance.

 

The preparation for the performance was very ‘intense’ says Marrianne, as the girls had just 2 weeks to prepare for the dance from scratch.  Meanwhile, Deborah remarked that it was a ‘new’ and ‘rewarding experience’ for the girls to present a multidisciplinary art form, involving text and acting in addition to their dancing.

The dance was a reimagination of the popular fairytale ‘The Little Mermaid’ by Hans Christian Anderson. The dance was set on a stormy night during the raging housing crisis and depicted the resilience of the girls in challenging circumstances.

“And if it gets too damp to dance, no worries. We’ll swim from here (Ancient Proverb, dated 2024)!”

The short yet impactful performance ended with a monologue penned down by Mia John. The text of the monologue read:

 

Dear Me (in 10 years),

I don’t expect you to have it all figured out.

I don’t expect you to understand why some people have no money
while others have too much,

Or why this family of 3 live in a 5 bedroom house with a bathroom
each, and this family of 5 live in a 2 bedroom house and all share the
same shower.

But maybe, you have moved on from what’s hurt you. And your
dreams are less far away than you once thought.

I don’t expect you to have solved world hunger, but hopefully you’re
earning some money, and putting food on the table for someone you
love.

I hope that table is in a house of your own, covered in colours and
warmth, without a hint of cold or damp.

1 hope you can afford to keep dreaming. Dream of the muddy paw
prints left on your extra large Queen size bed – the one you’ve always
wanted. Hope that you toilet trained your dogs before letting them
come upstairs.

Your life has only just begun- Look after yourself as you would the
little girl bubbling deep inside of you. Do everything she needs from
you.

Lots of love,

Mia

 

We talked to the girls after the performance. They all currently live with their families in Cardiff but will soon be moving out. Mia John said that she is ‘nervous and excited’ about her upcoming university experience. “You can use dance to express most of the things,” said Seren. Mia da Silva added that topics like the housing crisis are “something very relevant and a lot of people can relate to it.”

This summer, the Volcano Theatre is open for informal afternoon gatherings, offering tea and cakes before a stellar lineup of performances. The event was free to attend but accepted donations which went to the Rubicon Dance group.

You can follow them on Instagram: Rubicon Dance and Marianne Tuckman.

Applications for admission to the Rubicon Dance is open until 26th April 2024.

The Volcano Theatre in Swansea gives space for small-scale commissions to freelancers since 2022. The theatre provides room for short performances that ‘look toward the future in some way’ and makes imaginative use of spaces in its ‘cavernous building’. The aim is to make up for the lack of opportunities for freelancers and also give the audience a space for planning a big night out in the wake of the cost of living crisis.

Important Venues in Swansea bounce back after the Pandemic

Important Venues in Swansea bounce back after the Pandemic

Swansea Council continues to fund major leisure and tourism sites to help them recover from the pandemic hit. Many visitors have flocked to these sites, thus helping the businesses grow.

Freedom Leisure, Wales National Pool Swansea (WNPS), Plantasia and the National Waterfront Museum are some of the sites that have benefited from the Council’s help.

https://www.plantasiaswansea.co.uk/exhibitions/

Exhibition at Plantasia. Photo:https://www.plantasiaswansea.co.uk/exhibitions/

Let the numbers do the talking.

In the fiscal year 2022–2023 of Freedom, the number of visitors to the city centre LC and its other community leisure facilities increased by about 30% to over 1.8 million over the prior year. Revenue reached almost £8 million, up about 36%.

WNPS saw a rise in revenue of over £300,000, reaching over £1.3m.

Photo: https://www.swanseabaysportspark.wales/facilities-and-events/wales-national-pool-swansea/

Parkwood Leisure’s Plantasia experienced an increase in attendance from over 98,000 in 2022 to over 117,000, and income increased from over £200,000 to nearly £950,000.

The number of in-person and online visitors to the free-to-enter waterfront museum increased by around 10% to nearly 277,000.

Many venues and sites continue to face challenges in meeting energy bills and drawing visitors; however, the council is ready to extend its support to them.

Councillor Francis-Davies remarked: “We continue to be there for our leisure services partners during the ongoing cost-of-living crisis because they play a critical part in the life of our city and our local communities.”

The cabinet reviewed the Leisure Partnerships Annual Report, which examined the financial performance and visitor numbers for the city’s institutions that the council supports financially in a variety of ways for the year 2022–2023.

Cover Photo: https://museum.wales/swansea/

Council to set aside £1m for thriving sports clubs

Council to set aside £1m for thriving sports clubs

Several sports clubs at council-owned community playing fields across Swansea are set to receive a boost as the council plans to set £1m aside for changing room renovations. 

The funding will see facilities repaired, modernised and tidied up as community sports hubs are available to the whole community.

“Since the end of the pandemic and during the cost of living crisis, many sports clubs have been at the heart of their communities supporting the health and wellbeing of thousands of people in city neighbourhoods,” said Leader of the Council Rob Stewart.

“We’ve been talking to clubs about what the next steps should be and many called for changing rooms to be upgraded so they could be more easily used by women and girls and be more in line with the expectations of sports’ governing bodies,” he explained.

The council has previously allocated over £7m for over 50 new community play areas for children and planned to allocate £1m for a new generation of skate and BMX park facilities.

“Taken together they are the biggest investment in outdoor community play and sports facilities by the council in more than a generation,” said Councillor Stewart. “We’ve made this commitment because we saw just how important outdoor facilities have been to groups, families and individuals during the cost of living crisis.”

The changing rooms project was introduced last month at Swansea Council’s budget meeting and was approved by the full council; a report seeking funding for the scheme is set to be seen by the cabinet soon.

If the report is approved, an additional £1 million fund will be made available which councillors will be able to apply for to support more community projects and schemes in their areas.

Currently, the community budget scheme allows each member to use up to £15000 each year on qualifying projects.

Councillors have previously used these funds to support initiatives such as the provision of defibrillators, expansion of local wildflower planting programmes, sponsoring community events, and making small streetscape improvements such as sprucing up community gardens or giving public seats.

 

New Recruits appointed for the Maintenance of Beaches and Parks

New Recruits appointed for the Maintenance of Beaches and Parks

This month, approximately 30 recently hired operatives will head out to our parks and beaches to assist in maintaining the cleanliness and well-being of some of Swansea’s most beloved landscapes for both residents and visitors.

In February, over 180 individuals applied for seasonal positions with the Parks and Cleaning teams, with the goal of assisting in maintaining our most well-liked locations throughout Easter and the summer.

The six-month stay will run from now until September, to match the busiest season of the year.

According to Cyril Anderson, Cabinet Member for Community Services, everyone must do their part to leave our parks and beaches in the condition that they would like others to find them when they leave.

He remarked: “Littering is not only unsightly but it can also be dangerous. Bottles, disposable barbecues and dog messes are what people are concerned about the most because they put others at risk.

“In particular disposable BBQs buried out of sight at the beach retain their heat for many hours and can cause life-changing burns to children and other people who have no idea they’re there until they step on them.”

Anderson urges everyone to treat the parks and beaches with respect. For instance, take the dog poo home if you see that the bin is full. everyone can contribute a little.

In addition to picking up garbage, the summer beach cleaning crews will also help maintain the cleanliness of the council’s expanding network of Changing Places at locations like Knab Rock and Rhossili and remove weeds and sand from walkways and roadside areas.

Additionally, park recruits will assist our regular staff in maintaining our award-winning parks so that both humans and wildlife can take in the beauty and blooms.

Visit this link to learn more about the four award-winning Blue Flag beaches in your area: https://www.swansea.gov.uk/beaches

Visit this link to learn more about Swansea’s wonderful open spaces, including its Green Flag parks: https://www.swansea.gov.uk/parks

Cover Photo: Rhossili Bay https://www.swansea.gov.uk/article/24408/Rhossili-named-among-worlds-best-beaches

Swansea plans for new heating network in bid to become net zero by 2050

Swansea plans for new heating network in bid to become net zero by 2050

Swansea is planning a new low-carbon heating network to reduce its carbon footprint as part of its goal to be a net-zero city by 2050. The network will use excess heat generated from a large data centre that will be set up in Swansea Port as a part of a £4bn renewable energy project.

Swansea Council Leader Rob Stewart said, “Working closely alongside DST Innovations and their partners, we’ve identified the opportunity for a low carbon heating network linked to the overall development that would heat many of Swansea’s major buildings in SA1 and the city centre.”

The council’s cabinet has now been asked to approve a study to explore the feasibility of the district heating network further.

Councillor Stewart said, “Along with the other aspects of this ground-breaking project it will significantly reduce Swansea’s carbon footprint while creating thousands of jobs and placing our city at the heart of global green economy innovation.”

The proposed heating network will be responsible for heating several buildings in the SA1 and city centre areas of Swansea by connected pipes.

These include the developments in the docks and SA1 area, the Swansea University campus on Fabian Way, the Civic Centre on Oystermouth Road, and buildings like Swansea Museum HMP Swansea.

The proposed heating network is part of a wider project that includes a tidal lagoon, a high-tech battery manufacturing centre, eco-homes anchored in the water and an oceanic and climate change research centre.  

“We’re all aware of the impact of climate change and the importance of taking steps to reduce its effects on us and future generations,” said Councillor Stewart. “This is why we’ve set a target of becoming a net zero city by 2050 and will continue do all we can alongside Swansea’s businesses and residents to reach that goal.”

Prepare for a Fun Summer in Swansea

Prepare for a Fun Summer in Swansea

Swansea is a happening place buzzing with a lot of activities for its locals and tourists. It has a lot of fun events upcoming this summer for individuals and families.

They include major performances in Singleton Park, art gallery displays, breathtaking parks and beaches, and places like the LC and Plantasia.

The Wales Airshow and IRONMAN 70.3 Swansea are major highlights that people are looking forward to.

Picture from the iron man 2024 swansea

Picture: https://www.ironman.com/im-world-championship

See the video for The Wales Airshow: https://youtu.be/bqqhpH5CK6g

The Swansea Council’s Enjoy Swansea Bay team, along with several other businesses and organisations including restaurants, hotels, and bars, are organising various events.

Council cabinet member Robert Francis-Davies remarked: “The council and many others are preparing to offer people a lot more fun indoors and outdoors.

“I applaud the work of all those in the cultural and tourism sector who do so much to make Swansea a great place to visit and in which to live.”

Dylan Thomas Centre, Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea Grand Theatre, Brangwyn Hall, Swansea Museum and libraries are some of the council-run venues offering such fun events.

Council-run attractions include:

  • Blackpill Lido – open from May 4
  • Crazy golf at Southend Gardens and Singleton Park – open now
  • Oystermouth Castle – open now and with live theatre planned
  • Singleton Boating Lake pedalos – operating now
  • Swansea Bay Rider Land Train – operating now

Forthcoming events with council support include:

Picture from the iron man 2024 swansea

  • Enigma Variations, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Brangwyn Hall – April 12
  • Swansea International Jazz Festival – June 13-17
  • World Triathlon Para Series Swansea – June 22
  • Wales Airshow – July 6-7
  • IRONMAN 70.3 Swansea – July 14
  • James Arthur, Singleton Park – July 18
  • Classic Ibiza, Singleton Park – July 19
  • Let’s Rock Wales, Singleton Park – July 20
  • Peter Pan, outdoor theatre, Oystermouth Castle – August 7
  • Romeo and Juliet, outdoor theatre, Oystermouth Castle – August 8
  • Admiral Swansea Bay 10k – September 15

It is time to make the most of the warmer days. both inside and outside!

Cover Photo: From Wales National Airshow.