Three-day festival celebrates the role of dance in Irish lifeApril 13, 2012 - 7:00am
Leading Irish dance-makers will be Galway next week for Dancing Days, a three-day festival of contemporary dance performances, talks and events.
Dancing Days, which runs at the Black Box Theatre and on location from April 19 to 21, is being curated by Galway’s Dancer-in-Residence Ríonach Ní Néill.
It is part of an international conference, entitled Mapping Spectral Traces. Through performances, exhibitions and discussions the Festival will examine the role of contemporary and traditional dance forms in Irish culture and society today.
As part of the event the world premiere of Frame will take place at the Black Box Theatre on Thursday next, April 19 at 8pm.
Ríonach joins forces with multi award-winning architect Michelle Fagan and film-maker Marek Bogaski to present a three-dimensional show on how people are shaped by the surroundings they create. Tickets are €15 and €10 concession rate.
The Black Box Theatre will also host a special performance, Corp_Real on April 20 at 2pm. This show encompasses live and film performances by internationally acclaimed and award-winning choreographers and dancers. It features Jenny Roche in Altered Copy, an adaptation of Business of the Bloom by award-winning US choreographer Jodi Melnick; Fearghus Ó Conchúir with Mo Mhórchoir Féin - A Prayer, a reflection on the impact of the Catholic Church on the formation of the Irish body; and 3+1 for now, an exploration of Dublin city, where the skyline changed every day during Ireland’s economic boom. It will also include video works from Andrew Duggan and Cindy Cummings. Tickets are €5 including free entry to the Corp_Real Symposium, which follows the performance, at 3.30pm.
This unique meeting of international dancers and choreographers with scientists and architects will include Cambridge neuroscientist, Philip Barnard speaking about his work with choreographer Wayne McGregor from Random Dance Royal Ballet.
The final festival show, Cuairteoireacht – the Rambling House takes place on Saturday, April 21. The audience for this event will be ferried by bus from Galway’s Town Hall Theatre at 6.30pm to a mystery location in Connemara for a ‘cuairteoireacht’ of the past, which is set in the present. This event seeks to open up discussions about how Ireland’s landscape changed from being the ‘céilí at the crossroads’ to what environmental writers Frank McDonald and James Nix recently called ‘chaos at the crossroads’.
The event will feature straw boys, sean-nós dance and song. These fuse with contemporary dance, film and installations to make an exciting night in which the audience will be a vital player.
The centrepiece is a reworking of Cindy Cummings and Andrew Duggan’s 9.8 meters per second, a series of dance performances, video works, installations, projections sited in a ‘pre-lived’ unsold vacant house. This work preceded Ireland’s housing crash and the resulting focus on Ireland's ghost estates. Now set in the aftermath of the economic 'fall', the work shifts to examine the current situation and its social, economic and cultural context. Concertina player Tim Collins (Kilfenora Céilí Band) leads the music and set dance programme, which also features sean-nós singer Lilis Ó Laoire, strawboys from Clare and Conamara sean-nós dancer Pádraig Ó hOibicín. Tickets are €20, including coach transfer.
As part of the weekend, the Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway will present Choreographies of the Irish Body on Friday next, April 20.
This conference will feature talks on The Choreography of Exile in Colum McCann’s Shorter Fiction by lecturer Marie Mianowski, and Mapping the Catholic Body by Professor Gerry Kearns.
The conference is organised by Dr Nessa Cronin and Tim Collins, who are based at NUIG’s Centre for Irish Studies, Dr Karen Till of NUI Maynooth, and Galway Dancer-in-Residence, Ríonach Ní Néill.
The NUIG conference is free and open to the public. Tickets for shows are available from the Town Hall Theatre at www.tht.ie and 091 569 777. For full listings see: www.ciotog.ie, www.mappingspectraltraces.org and www.nuigalway.ie/centre_irish_studies