Croesi Traeth / Crossing a Beach
In summer 2016, Deborah Light (one of the founders of dance artist collective Light, Ladd & Emberton) attended MMM summer school for a couple of days and talked to many MMM members as part of research for a new production. Light, Ladd & Emberton. The company were fortunate to receive funding to take this research forward & to enable them in July 2017 to present a new performance on Harlech Beach, in north Wales, where MM and her dancers were during the summers of 1919 and 1921.
This new dance work formed part of Gregynog Festival, which is Wales's oldest classical music festival. This focus of the festival was the group of artists who began gathering for the summers in Harlech 100 yrs ago, invited by philanthropist George Davison. This group includes Margaret Morris, J D Fergusson, Fred Daniels, Alvin Langdon Coburn, Grenville Bantock, and more. On the invitation of Gregynog Festival, Light, Ladd & Emberton presented the new work on the site of Daniel’s iconic photos of MM's dancers – Harlech Beach.
The work used MM, her history, and philosophy, as well as her connection to the suffragette movement (Women's March drawing by MM 1911), as a point of reference in a work that spans out to look at multiple histories of the area of Harlech, including the geology of the morfa heli (salt marsh), the building of the castle, the tune Men of Harlech, to name but a few.
Using the beach as the setting for this performance was a wonderful experience, with deck chairs for seating and binoculars to view the dancers as they moved through the sand dunes and across the beach while the sound and dialogue was presented to each person through headphones - breathtaking.
Women's March poster credit: Tim Pearce of the Radical Tea Towel Company.