• Naseem Syed

‘Awakening’ by Andrea Battaggia

@andreamab1 @bethmeadway

I am a professional ballet dancer with Ballet Cymru.

Has lockdown changed you? How? Why?

I suppose we will find out in a few years, as that changes lockdown has made to people will be noticeable when the world hopefully returns to normal again! However I have definitely become more of a homebody then I was before. When I do venture out I am always happy to return home!

What made you smile or brought you joy in lockdown? Can you explain it?

I can't lie when I say my TV was a godsend during lockdown and the movie marathons that I haven't done in years definitely brought me joy! Also exploring my local area more with my girlfriend. We never really went for walks in our neighbourhood before lockdown but when we were allowed our one walk a day and the weather was great we would explore our surroundings, which in Wales is obviously beautiful!

Have you changed since lockdown? Tell me why.

I have changed in the fact that I am so much more appreciative of things I would have taken for granted before lockdown, such as, being able to fly home to Italy to see my family without travel restrictions, having face to face meetings rather then on Zoom and also doing my job as normal. Theatres are shut and my job as a dancer is completely different to what it was a year ago!

What is the story behind your hand art?

'Awakening' is a piece that I choreographed with the help of my partner Beth Meadway, on the Wales International Ballet Summer School students via Zoom, is the story of the virus and the feeling of rebirth and hope for the future. It goes from showing the physical form of the virus and it spreading, then the panic of lockdown and how new and manic it was, and finally the rebirth of appreciating what we had to do as a nation to help stop the spread of the virus and how we look forward as artists and dancers to a brighter future. The virus has left the arts to suffer and hopefully my piece shows how as dancers and artists we are not going anywhere and no matter what gets thrown at us we will fight back, as art is something that humans simply cannot live without.

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