I volunteered back in July for the color of time, that was held at the Wales Millennium Centre. I really enjoyed the performance and the atmosphere of getting the community involved was great!
I had an email to ask for volunteers for Ar Waith Ar Daith, a celebration of the Wales Millennium Centre 10th birthday. I would have really liked to have been involved but after no reply from me asking was there any positions for me to do other than dancing, and the workshop times unsuitable I left it, and thought I will go and watch, and be in the audience.
I mentioned this event to my mum, and we planned to all go together. It was an evening performance starting at 7.30pm. Usually I like my children to be in bed then, but when events and special occasions happen, I don’t mind at all. I feel they would get something out of it, enjoyable and interesting.
I booked one wheelchair space and a carer seat came with it. The show was free and going to be outside the front of the Millennium Centre on the Roald Dahl Plass. When I rang to book the space, the person on end asked his supervisor / manager if my dad and my children could sit with us too, which they replied yes they could.
All week I had been watching the weather forecast, it kept saying rain and showers. Then the day before it changed slightly and said there would be a chance of showers during the day and by the evening it would be dry.
Oh yes! We were so lucky! Saturday evening came and it was dry! It probably would have made it a little less enjoyable if it had rained. We were prepared though for our typical British weather. We had our umbrellas, warm clothes, raincoats and hats. I have my own chair of course to sit on to watch the show, we took a fold up stool, Cerys was in the pram (some of the time, she wanted to copy her brother who was standing on the railings). We went to the section railed off saying wheelchair area. Despite us gaining permission for all of us to stay together in this area, the steward looking after this section said no to us! I wasn’t too happy about it. We were early getting there though, so thankfully we could choose a space somewhere else so we could all stay together as a family to enjoy it. The space we found had a much better view than the wheelchair viewing area, so that made up for the mess around!
The sun was setting, bits of pink, red and orange streaks and white clouds filled the blue sky. The sun reflected off the beautiful copper building of the Millennium Centre. All warm in our clothes with a light breeze blowing across my face, the children and I looking with excitement at the TV cameras moving, presenter started talking and the crane machinery dangling a big letter A high up on the side of the centre, eagerly waiting for it to start.
The music started, it had an air of mystery, a procession of people, appearing from the left and right side, some dressed in blue colours holding a fish and the others dressed in green like the grass, with a hare and greyhound.
Ceridwen, the mythical mistress of magic, told the tale of The Birth of Taliesin, which involved the lantern processions, aerial performances, massive screen projections on to the side of the centre’s iconic building, choral singing, dance and an explosive pyrotechnic finish. Gifts from all over Wales were gathered, and the magical powers of Ceridwen, lured rowers, children and young people from all over Wales.
Click here to see the video of the hare and greyhound lanterns
Click here for The Birth of Taliesin video of the projection on the side of the Wales Millennium Centre
As it got darker, the array of colours of the lanterns, the clever animation on the side of the building and the flames, with the music, gave it a certain mysterious folk feel, with the aerial performers climbing in the side of the centre, the big firey cauldron that went through the thousands of peopl. Ceridwen went from her tall rock style float, to flying up into the air into the clouds. (I believe she was hanging from the end of a crane wire, and she had sparks coming out of her feet and the fireworks started around her, and with a bang, lots of pieces of gold paper came down onto the audience.
It was absolutely fantastic! What a spectacular tenth birthday celebration! It made me very proud to be Welsh and live in Cardiff. I’m glad we experienced this together with my family, the local community and with people coming from all over.