Posts Tagged ‘video art’

19th of February, a day full of exciting events in Droichead

January 27, 2011

It is still January, but in Droichead we are already very excited about the 19th of February. Not only because from then the evenings will finally start to stretch again, but mostly because we are delighted to present 2 high quality film events on that day: Wishful Thinking and 140. Wishful Thinking will particularly be interesting for artists and art lovers in the town. 140 is a true gem by local director Frank Kelly, so just come and see what talent we have right here in Drogheda. Did I mention that both events are FREE?

Wishful Thinking is a curated programme of artists’ film, bringing together a selection of 16mm films by contemporary international artists: Luke Fowler, Jaki Irvine, Ursula Mayer, Rosalind Nashashibi, Roman Ondak, João Maria Gusmão & Pedro Paiva, Deborah Stratman, and Moira Tierney.

Borrowing its title from the common phrase to describe an optimistic and ever hopeful outlook, Wishful Thinking presents artists’ films that look beyond the surfaces and circumstances of the world as we find it. Whether by casting into the future, back to the past, or by re-approaching things that are all too familiar, the selected artists employ the particular characteristics of 16mm film to reshape our experiences of time through moving images.

One of the selected artists, Jaki Irvine, is based in Ireland, living and working in Dublin. Her works in film and video, whether in single-screen format or in more complex multi-screen installations, weave together enticing, though ultimately elusive narratives in which image, voice-over and musical score variously overlap, coalesce and diverge. These languid explorations of human interaction with the natural world, the built environment, and with other humans are suffused with a melancholic lyricism and leavened by a dark, dreamlike humour.

140 is the new film by director Frank Kelly, who lives and works in Drogheda. Frank was born in 1977 in Drogheda and studied Animation Production in Ballyfermot College of Further Education. His first film, Emily’s Song, which he co-wrote/directed/produced, was screened at over 30 International Film Festivals and received various awards.

His latest film 140 went into première on 10/10/10 in the Irish Film Institute in Dublin. 140 filmmakers in 140 locations around the world shot 140 seconds each on June 21st 2009, in 23 countries on 5 continents, simultaneously, capturing the same moment around the planet. This film is a true gem and Droichead is delighted to be showing it.


What exactly is aerial dance?

May 12, 2010

We are delighted at the prospect of having “Madam Silk” lined up in the programme of Droichead Arts Centre this month. Madam Silk is the new aerial dance performance by Fidget Feet. For a preview of the show and the making off, have a look below.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Aerial dance, it sounds impossible, it looks amazing. What exactly is it? I was talking to Sheenagh Gillen, the general manager and Chantal McCormick, the artistic director of Fidget Feet, to get an insight in who they are and what they do.

What does Fidget Feet do?

Fidget Feet is Ireland’s foremost Aerial Dance Theatre Company, originally from Donegal.  The company creates spectacular indoor and outdoor work and has become renowned internationally as a company that stretches the boundaries between several arts forms, combining aerial skills with contemporary circus and creating theatre fused with aerial dance, music and video art. In short, making contemporary circus and aerial dance accessible is what we’re aiming for.

Fidget Feet create spectacular contemporary circus suspended from cranes, trees, buildings and boats. Fidget Feet also specialise in aerial dance, making site-specific work for theatres and festivals. Our mission is to invoke the imagination, provoke the senses and evoke the emotions of our audience.

What exactly can we expect from contemporary circus?

There is new contemporay circus movement happening in Europe, which is mainly taking place in  France, Belgium, UK and other countries. Using twenty years of circus traditions this new movement is bringing circus techniques out of the big top and into the theatres – no animals included, only the human body and a new circus artistic way of creating dance movement in the air. Fidget Feet and Drapés Aérien have co-produced a new aerial spectacle from this new contemporary movement. “Madam Silk” is a haunting and visual stunning piece of aerial dance, which combines a unique mixture of many art forms including dance, circus, video art alongside original music. This makes it something for everyone, from young to the not so young! Fidget Feet is influenced by Canada’s amazing aerial company Cirque du Soleil.

Could you explain what aerial dance is?

Contemporary circus is also known as aerial dance, so mixing circus traditions with dance, dancing in the air! Aerial dance is unique and fills the whole stage with aerial acrobatics.

What is Madam Silk about; is there a story or concept behind the performance?

Madam Silk is inspired by French writers such as Anaïs Nin and Gustave Flaubert from the romanticism period. The show evoles within a journey of time with each of the three performers representing some extraordinary woman from history. The piece rises and spirals through the past, the present and the future, not unlike one of Charles Dickens famous stories “Scrooge”.

The show opens in an empty house where the memories of Madam Silk lay forgotton under sheets of fabric. The winds of time blow through the window and awaken her and each scene represents a different century and has been influenced by different writers.

How do you create a performance like Madam Silk, from start to finish?

Chantal McCormick, the artistic director of Fidget Feet, met Fred Deb’ in America years ago when she was teaching at an aerial dance festival. After this she invited Fred to teach a 4 day aerial course in Newcastle in the UK and attend Fidget Feet’s “Remember her”. There and then Fred and Chantal decided to work together.

In November 2008 we started researching at Firkin Crane in Cork working on dances with fabric. Then in February and April 2008 we spent 3 weeks working on a 40 minute version, adding aerial hoop trousers and cocoons rigged from a spreader bar. That’s when we also started to include music in the performance. We improvised on the equipment and workshop ideas, then set choreography and worked with music. The fabric routine was added on and we then introduced a choreographic style to the moves.

In October and November 2008 we received a Blank Canvas residency in Frikin Crane and a Bursary Award to research adding film to aerial dance. A couple of new scenes were then created. We also worked on the creation of a new aerial piece of equipment called the hoop dress and the designing of all the costumes.

“Madam Silk” was finalized in 2010. We have spent plenty of time on each section adding new choreography and just keep improving the piece, even when we are on tour. The process never really ends.

How long did it take to make Madam Silk?

We started in November 2008 and finished the piece April 2010. We did approximately 3 months of rehearsals in Ireland over 2 years.

What should participants expect from a workshop in aerial dance?

We will be teaching aerial for beginners using fabric rigged like hammocks or cocoons. They will also be rigged vertically so you can climb up and suspend from the fabric. This is a very physical but fun class for anyone who has ever wanted to just give it a go. Some upper body strength can help. This is a safe and fun way to fly!!

We still have tickets available for this amazing show as well as for the workshops. For info and bookings ring 041 9833946.