Guest artist blog – Syrcas Cimera fire performance training with Szymon Mamys

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This summer Wales based circus collective Syrcas Cimera worked with Syzmon Mamys, fire performer and producer behind the Bring the Fire Project. Here Syrcas Cimera Director Thomasine Tomkins reports back on developing the collectives work with Syzmon through a two day workshop, which was supported by an Articulture professional development bursary.

Last year myself and 3 of our directors/performers from Syrcas Cimera CBC attended the Awen School Dark Arts Training for Ar Waith Ar Daith with Walk the Plank. We learnt valuable skills in event production, willow lantern making and parades, fire drawings, pyro technics and fire dancing choreography and performance. It was amazing being part of such an ambitious production, pushing boundaries (whether personal or for the Arts in North Wales), and having the opportunity to work with such experienced practitioners. The skills we learnt were extremely helpful in the development of projects we had started in our local area and gave us a hunger to develop more. 

Iago Morgan Jones and Jay Ellis(Cimera) and Szymon Mamys and Hugo Maciel fire dancing, choreography by Thomasine Ar Waith Ar Daith 2015

On the course we were delighted to meet Szymon Mamys who is based in Liverpool. Szymon is a fire performer, he also runs fire dancing classes and organises a Fire Arts Festival in Liverpool and is the main driving force behind Bring the Fire Project.

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Summer tour ends with great weekend at LLAWN#4 with the Independent Street Arts Network

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The Wales Outdoor Arts Consortium tour of three new outdoor works came to an end in September at the sunny and successful LLAWN#4 – Llandudno Arts Weekend.

Timed to coincide, the Independent Street Arts Network (ISAN) Outdoor Arts networking UK tour also arrived in the Welsh seaside town to host an informal networking event, in collaboration with Articulture and LLAWN. This was attended by over 20 people working in, or interested in working in the outdoor arts in Wales.

As with other ISAN tour events, the event included a discussion about issues affecting the outdoor arts sector, the opportunity to share information, events and ideas, the chance to discover more about the host festival, and networking time with fellow producers and programmers and artists. The hot topic at this event – practical rural touring.

ISAN also promoted their upcoming Ideas Summit 2016 in Bradford a few weeks later, ISAN’s annual pitching session in which around 30 artists and companies will present ideas for new Outdoor Arts projects and seek commissioners, partners, collaborators, potential bookings and feedback.

ISAN membership is open to individuals, companies and organisations who actively support the development of outdoor arts in their professional work. Find out more here –


dripping-tap-webster-jones-credit-clare-turner   chloe-bench-credit-mark-mcnulty   run-ragged-baaa-credit-llawn

(Pictured – Run Ragged ‘Baah’, Dripping Tap ‘Webster & Jones: A Pocket Guide to Wales’ and Chloe Loftus Dance ‘An Act of Strangers’) Credits /Sarah Morton/Clare Turner/Mark McNulty)

The challenges of rural programming – bringing BLOCK to Mid Wales

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The weekend of 20 and 21 August, Articulture, the Magic Lantern cinema, Tywyn, and Natural Resources Wales brought the performance ‘BLOCK’ by NoFit State and Motionhouse to four locations in Mid Wales. Here Annie Grundy (Articulture Co-Director and Magic Lantern) shares the process of programming the show, and reflects on what was a challenging but ultimately successful venture, with over a 1000 people enjoying this innovative new production….

At the time of agreeing to book BLOCK all Articulture and the Magic Lantern knew was that it was a collaboration between two fabulous companies – NoFit State circus and Motionhouse dance – both leaders in their fields – and was to be a piece about urban living that involved a set composed of 20 movable blocks.

With the short film footage of the R&D period released, we gained more of an idea of the piece’s visual and physical impact, and began looking for 4 outdoor locations that would contrast with, and provide stunning backdrops for BLOCK.

We scouted venues with NoFit State and came up with the Ysgol Bro Hyddgen playing fields looking down the Dyfi Valley, the estuary and beach at Ynyslas nature reserve, the immense forest at Coed y Brenin visitor centre, and Tywyn Seafront looking out to Cardigan Bay.

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Guest artist blog – Report back from the Imaginarius Festival 2016, Portugal

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Wales based dancer Chloe Loftus visited the Imaginarius Festival in Portugal this year, with a view to catching the festival’s renowned international outdoor arts programme, as well as undertaking some useful networking for future work. Below is an account of her experience, which was supported by an Articulture professional development bursary.

Over the past decade, Chloe Loftus Dance have been creating vibrant choreographic work that has toured extensively to critical acclaim, specialising in outdoor and pop-up performances and engaging new audiences to dance theatre.  You can find out more here –

The Articulture bursary enabled me to attend the Imaginarius Festival in Portugal. Approximately 30 km from Porto, the festival takes place in a small historic city, Santa Maria de Feira.

2016 was the 16th edition of Imaginarius, the biggest street theatre festival in Portugal. It was split into three sections; Imaginarius – the main programme of international street artists; Imaginarius Infantil – workshops, performances and events aimed at engaging children; and Mais Imaginarius – presenting new and emerging artists.

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Guest artist blog – European solidarity on day of the Referendum @ GDIF & Xtrax professional outdoor arts showcase 2016

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James Doyle-Roberts, Co-Artistic Director of Wales based company Citrus Arts, visited the Greenwich & Docklands International Festival and Xtrax Showcase, along with several Wales based artists and arts organisations alongside Articulture. Below is an account of his experience.

Citrus Arts specialises in circus, street theatre, drama, dance, and education projects, working alongside some of Europe’s leading practitioners, in a wide range of contexts and locations. You can find out more about Citrus Arts here –

On 24th June I attended the opening events of Greenwich & Docklands International Festival, and the Xtrax networking events for Outdoor Arts colleagues from the UK, Europe and across the world.

It’s impossible not to mention that this was the day that the referendum result was declared! I’d woken early in an inexpensive hotel room to hear the result and with a sinking heart wondering wondering what on earth we are going to do in a society that had narrowly voted to cut-off one of the major sources of funding to tourism and culture in Wales…

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Articulture ‘encounters’ at key outdoor arts events coming up this summer

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Articulture’s encounters are a continuing series of opportunities to connect with others across Wales and beyond and see the best of the new outdoor art work. Hosted by Articulture, they are informal, friendly and open to all. All involve cake and ice-cream or both.

For further details and to confirm you are attending email

Fri 24 – Sat 25 June – Greenwich & Docklands International Festival & Xtrax Professional Showcase, London

Join Annie from the Articulture team and outdoor artists and promotors from all over the UK and Europe at the renowned GDIF festival and Xtrax Professional marketplace and showcase. A limited number of bursaries for Wales based artists are available to attend this event.

Sat 17 Sept – City of the Unexpected, Cardiff

An exciting highlight of the Wales outdoor arts calendar to celebrate Roald Dahl . Join the Articulture team as they take up residence in Bute Park Cafe in the sunshine close by to the much anticipated City of the Unexpected. Did someone say GIANT PEACH?!


Articulture host land managers meeting to explore support for outdoor arts in Wales

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In early May Articulture brought together a range of leading land managers and owners to collectively look at the value of engaging with the outdoor arts sector in Wales, and potential future work.

This meeting joined up individual conversations over the last three years into one discussion forum. It was facilitated by Orit Azaz in collaboration with Articulture, and held at the Wye Valley River Festival in Monmouth.

Those attending 

Land managers attending included Coed Cadw/Woodland Trust, Visit Wales, Cadw, Wales Local Government Association, Natural Resources Wales, RSPB, Wye Valley AONB, Canals & Rivers Trust Wales, and Brecon Beacons National Park.

Several representatives from the arts also took part including David Alston, Arts Director, Arts Council of Wales, Migrations, National Theatre Wales, and Wye Valley River Festival.

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Articulture / BLOCK tour dates summer 2016 

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Motionhouse and NoFit State Circus’s brand new, mind-blowing show ‘BLOCK’ is coming to four locations in the west of Mid Wales this August!

Organised by Articulture, and supported by The Magic Lantern Cinema and Natural Resources Wales – this amazing performance involves twenty oversized blocks which are deconstructed and reformed into an infinite variety of shapes for the performers to play on, move with and explore. What happens when dance and circus collide? When they converge, rub against each other, blend into one another?

View BLOCK trailer here –

Dates and venues are –

Saturday 20 August 2016, 11am
Ysgol Bro Hyddgen, Machynlleth

Saturday 20 August 2016, 4.30pm
Ynyslas Beach, near Borth

Sunday 21st August 2016, 11am
Coed y Brenin Visitor Centre

Sunday 21st August 2016, 4.30pm
Tywyn Seafront Promenade

These events do not require advance booking. Donations will be collected at each show. 

For full information including venue details such as parking, accessibility, and wet weather plans visit

NOTE – Where possible there are wet weather plans for each show if raining/high winds. See the homepage of for regular updates. 

(Pictured NoFit State/Motionhouse ‘BLOCK’. Credit /Dan Tucker)

XTRAX spotlight on Wales + new Welsh section to Xtrax outdoor arts directory

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Until July, outdoor arts producers XTRAX are collaborating with Articulture to spotlight the finest contemporary outdoor arts unique to Wales on the XTRAX Directory – a free International Directory of Outdoor Arts and Circus, with over 1000 artists listed.

The Directory is the most visited part of XTRAX’s website and is used by bookers across the world to find shows for their programme.

Head on over to the XTRAX Directory and find which Welsh artists they are featuring and read their profile to find out technical information and to see videos and pictures; you’ll also find the contact details of each and every artist, so if you are a booker, feel free to contact them directly to find out about availability and cost.

Join the XTRAX Directory

Recently Xtrax have been making some improvements to this essential resource, making it even easier for promoters to search for artists and shows for their programme.

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