Light Moves Festival of Screendance this wknd

light_moves_bookinIreland’s only festival dedicated to dance on film and video art with movement as a central theme—The Light Moves Festival of Screendance—takes place in Limerick this weekend (19-22 Nov) and will screen 55 works by 92 national and international artists.

Highlights of this year’s programme include the European premiere of 24 Frames Per Second, a multi-arts commission by Carriageworks, Australia’s leading contemporary arts centre; Performance artist Nigel Rolfe; Renowned UK choreographer Siobhan Davies in a public interview; a special screening of Matthew Barney’s Drawing Restraint 9, a screendance symposium & lab, and children’s workshops.

Now in its second year, Light Moves “is a response to the vibrant and expanding area of dance film/screendance in Ireland”.

light_moves_drawing_restraint_9Curated by Jürgen Simpson and Mary Wycherley, the festival combines feature films, invited works, open submissions and explorations of screendance with some of the most respected figures in this field.

24 Frames Per Second sees 10 discrete artworks presented at Dance Limerick, LSAD (Limerick School of Art and Design) and an outdoor installation on Lower Cecil Street.  This partnership with Light Moves, which is a European premiere, embraces an expanded notion of dance, with the selected artists practising embodied movement in a variety of forms.

Among the feature films presented this year, a festival highlight will be the special screening of Matthew Barney’s Drawing Restraint 9, the most complex instalment in an ongoing series, begun in 1987, which seeks to explore “resistance as a pre-requisite for development and a vehicle for creativity”.

A new addition to this year’s programme is the invitation to leading figures in the dance/screendance and performance world to share their experiences through a guest talk. Seminal performance artist, Nigel Rolfe, will give a talk entitled The Caught In Between and Nigel’s works Track and Into the Mire will be screened as part of the Invited Works programme. Renowned British choreographer Siobhan Davies will be in public conversation with the Light Moves curators.

light_moves_carriageworks_gapsIn addition to works invited to the festival, almost 40 open submissions with movement as a central theme will be presented.  Over 140 submissions were received from 30 countries in response to an international open call, with those to be shown selected by the festival curators.

An important element of the festival programme will once again be the Light Moves Screendance Symposium, which takes place over two half-days during the festival. The theme of the symposium is ‘Peeling Away the Layers’ and there will a keynote address and various speakers.

Speaking at the launch of the programme for Light Moves 2015, festival curator Mary Wycherley said:“We present a festival of opportunities which offers new and thought-provoking ways of engaging with performance and movement on screen. The works presented explore and expand the notion of choreography, enabling the body to take centre stage whilst advocating screendance as a way of both making film and thinking about film and dance.”

The event is produced by Dance Limerick, in partnership with DMARC (Digital Media and Arts Research Centre) at University of Limerick. Light Moves was established in 2014 as a legacy project under Limerick City of Culture.

Full details and booking information from www.lightmoves.ie

Call for papers/presentations for Light Moves Festival of Screendance symposium

dancelimericksmsFollowing the success of the inaugural Light Moves Festival of Screendance in Limerick last year, it is returning from 19-22 November 2015 and it is sending out an open call for papers and presentations for the symposium, which forms part of the festival.

The symposium’s subject is “Peeling Away the Layers” and the closing date for submissions. Friday 7 August. The symposium sits within the Light Moves festival and aims to encourage artistic and scholarly exchange, debate and discussion in screendance and related disciplines including performance, dance, film, visual arts, sound and text.

Light Moves is Ireland’s only festival of Screendance and is dedicated to the art of dance film and video art with movement as a central theme.

The festival is hosted by Dance Limerick and DMARC (Digital Media and Arts Research Centre) at the University of Limerick. It will take place at Dance Limerick and is supported by the Arts Council and Limerick City and County Council as well as the hosts.

“The festival is a response to the vibrant and expanding field of dance film/ screendance in Ireland.  Light Moves is curated by Jurgen Simpson and Mary Wycherley and combines classics, family screenings, invited works, open submissions and explorations of screendance with some of the most respected figures in the field.“

LightMoves cover_ Beach Party AnimalProposals should be submitted in PDF format only (more details below) to lightmovesfestival@gmail.com and the full details are available from www.lightmoves.ie.

Topics
Proposals for presentations, papers and project discussions are invited from national and international practitioners and scholars. Experimental and/or group formats of presentation are welcome. Papers and project presentations may include but are not limited to the following areas:

  • Screendance as a language for social, cultural and political conversations.
  • Let’s talk about digital: Challenging the allure of High Definition; The ubiquitous camera; Primitive technologies, embracing artefact and rediscovering lo-fi.
  • Screendance conventions and the interplay between mainstream and experimental practices.
  • Mediating and experiencing time in screendance (uninterrupted, compressed and expanded time).
  • Harnessing performativity; liveness in screendance.
  • Confronting stereotype (body, dance and location).

Submissions:

Proposals should be no more than 300 words and should include:

  • Title of paper or presentation.
  • A maximum 300 word abstract (including brief description of the questions, concepts and topics to be explored).
  • Preferred presentation format/approach.
  • A short biography.
  • A/V requirements.
  • Website links supporting the proposal, if available.

www.lightmoves.ie

Review: Chalk at Dance Limerick & Upcoming events

dance_limk_theo_clinkard_picI haven’t been going to see too many theatrical or dance performances so far this year, which is unusual for me so I was delighted to be invited to go to Chalk at Dance Limerick last Tuesday.

A piece devised and performed by dancer/choreographer, Theo Clinkard, accompanied by a live score by James Keane, it was inspired by the iconic chalk cliffs of the south coast of England and in tune with the blurb, it was indeed an “inventive and intensely physical work”.

A quote in the description by Clinkard read: “I recently found out that the reason that chalk is white is because it is formed out of the minute skeletons of marine life, compressed over billions of years…You could essentially say it’s made of bone”.

This fascinating idea and its seaside, windswept setting was explored in various ways through dance, with atmospheric music (a lot of loop tracks) and sound effects recorded live with everything from trombones to stones. With every recording unique to the venue and performance, there is a certain unpredictability and that adds to the energy.

A particularly interesting sequence was when Keane recorded celery being broken up only for Clinkard to don a black Lycra suit with a skeleton on it and then move to the soundtrack of those sounds. It played on the idea of the microscopic skeletons being bashed around and also the tragic reality that death is ever present here. People regularly commit suicide by jumping off the cliffs and there are accounts dating back through the ages. He brought it right into the present by reading the most recent report by a local group, which patrols the cliffs aiming to help people in distress.

The ‘set’ was just a white diamond shaped area on the floor, which allowed for the space to be used to its full potential. The windows were not blacked out and the failing light of sunset added a nice ambiance to it. Any props were used creatively i.e. the tiny plasticine figure put onto an upright white trestle table to give an idea of scale. He also interacted with the audience by relaying information to people to relay along Chinese whisper-style. The show had a careful balance of seriousness and playfulness.

Everything flowed nicely and even the abstract elements weren’t indecipherable because there was a context and setting—evoked very well by the choreography and the production design. It was a thought provoking and enjoyable show.

For anyone interested you can watch a video promo of Chalk below…

CHALK from Roswitha Chesher on Vimeo.

The next show in Dance Limerick is Moving On by Spoken Dance, which is on this Thursday (23 April) at 8pm and on Friday (24 April) at 11am (tickets €12/10; group discounts available).

This is an evening of contemporary dance, film and performance, Moving On offers the audience an insight into the exciting, new and ambitious work of Limerick’s

integrated dance company.

“Following a period of examination and reflection into the medium of dance film, Spoken Dance will present live dance performance along with five short dance films which have been produced, directed and edited in collaboration with Limerick based disabled and non-disabled artists…Moving on uses film, movement and text to investigate choices around whether we allow our responses to define us or not.”

Two of the films represent the poetry of the Thursday Club of Enable Ireland, Mungret. One of the films was created by disabled dancer Danny Aherne as part of a research project where he was mentored by Mary Wycherley from the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance. The two other films feature very different duets between a disabled and non-disabled dancer.

The short film, A Sense of Pleasure, which features disabled dancers Mary Keogh and Deirdre Corry of Spoken Dance has been nominated for two awards at Limerick Film Festival. Another dancer, Antoin Cross, has been nominated for Best Factual Feature at Limerick Film Festival for This Integration– a documentary featuring Spoken Dance.

Spoken Dance recently launched integrated dance classes at Dance Limerick which are open to disabled and non-disabled participants. It is a professional company of disabled and non-disabled dancers led by Lisa Cahill and Mary Hartney. Spoken Dance has been creating and performing new, original contemporary dance works since 2011.

On the 30th April—the collaborative dance project, Sum of Parts, is on in the venue. This will see the culmination of a collaboration of Megan Kennedy, Limerick’s Dance Artist-in-Residence co-ordinating with 10 professional dance artists based in Limerick.

For more information on Dance Limerick and events there, see www.dancelimerick.ie.

Luke Murphy to premier new work in Dance Limerick this Thursday

luke_murphy_4_webWith the New Year comes a new programme for Dance Limerick. US based dancer and choreographer, Luke Murphy, will premiere his exciting new work Your Own Man/Mad Notions at the Dance Limerick base this Thursday, February 26 at 8pm.

“Originally from Cork, now based in New York, Luke Murphy fuses storytelling, rich imagery and dynamic movement in Your Own Man/Mad Notions to create a personal essay on the nature of leaving, returning and searching for home.  In this intimate and personal work, Murphy scales down and examines his opinions, his insecurities and his ambitions.”

“This new piece of dance theatre reveals the quiet story of a man from Cork outside of Cork, a dancer from Ireland away from Ireland and the difficulties of maintaining a long distance relationship with one’s cultural identity.  Both fragile and blunt, this multi-disciplinary work examines the satisfaction of following your own path and the fear of losing that small thread in the labyrinth that will lead you home.”

Announcing details of the show, Jenny Traynor, Director of Dance Limerick, said: “We’re very excited that Luke has chosen to premiere his thoughtful, beautiful new work at Dance Limerick.  Luke completed a residency with us last October, which enabled him to immerse himself in developing this new piece.  In a sense, now, the work is coming full circle, being performed to an audience for the first time back here.  I can’t wait to see it and I would heartily encourage anyone with an interest in dance, dance theatre or even just in trying something different to come along.  You won’t be disappointed!”

Luke Murphy’s is a performer and choreographer based between New York City and Ireland.  His own work has been presented in New York, throughout Ireland and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. His first full length work, Drenched, premiered at the Absolut Fringe Festival in 2012 and toured the US, while in June 2013 he premiered his second work, Icarus, as part of the Cork Midsummer Festival.

His work has been supported through commissions and residencies from a wide range of arts organisations including the Arts Council, Culture Ireland, Dance Ireland and Dance Limerick.  He trained at the Legat School in East Sussex and Point Park University in Pittsburgh. Luke’s work has been variously described as “passionate”, “fearless” and “mesmerising”, appealing “to anyone who appreciates beautiful movement and dance theatre”.

Tickets are €12/€10 (conc.).  Further information and booking details are available from www.dancelimerick.ie.

Chaplet of Roses at Dance Limerick tomorrow (Thurs Dec 18)

Photo credit: Alina O’Shaughnessy

Photo credit: Alina O’Shaughnessy

Chaplet of Roses, a new work by locally-based choreographer/ dancer, Angie Smalis, and performance artist, Colin Gee, will premiere tomorrow (Thursday December 18) at Dance Limerick (St John’s Church, John’s Square) at 8pm.

“Inspired by the 15th century tapestry Honor Making a Chaplet of Roses, this beautiful new dance work is a contemporary interpretation of an allegory of courtly love depicted in the artwork…The tapestry was created circa 1410 in The Netherlands and was itself inspired by romances of the 12th and 14th centuries. It is now held in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Four characters are depicted in the work: one is making a crown of roses with the caption ‘I am Honor who makes chaplets for my children’; a second says ‘To please my friend better, I shall put on this pretty hat’; an inscription above the third identifies him as ‘Pleasure’ while the fourth has the caption ‘Homage to my good lady, my protectress’.”

Colin Gee and Angie Smalis are developing this work while in residence at Dance Limerick this month. The duo first met during a Mediated Bodies workshop in Ireland in 2006, which explored the interaction of dance, choreography and media technologies, and made a video together in 2009.  Chaplet of Roses is a natural progression of this interest, offering a perspective of the work through an online video, in addition to the live performance.

Photo credit: Alina O’Shaughnessy

Photo credit: Alina O’Shaughnessy

Reflecting on the work, Colin Gee said: “This project seeks to explore a contemporary interpretation of a courtly love allegory as a notion of individual and community morality…Our interest centres on how honour is linked to community and moral accountability through the consideration of multiple perspectives: the viewer’s and those of the figures depicted in the tapestry”.

Angie Smalis added: “This is a really interesting process, exploring the characters in this beautiful artwork, what they represent and how they relate to each other. I’m really excited to have the opportunity to work with Colin on this and I love the idea of creating the different perspectives of the work through the film and the live performance. It will be quite different, so I really hope lots of people will come to see what it’s all about!”
Tickets are €12/€10.  For further information and booking, see www.dancelimerick.ie. Chaplet of Roses is funded by the Arts Council through the Dance Project Award and supported by Dance Limerick.

I want to give a special mention to Dance Limerick for the team’s great work since its formation. It has brought much needed life to its base as a venue over the past year—hosting a broad range of events—as well as acting as a resource organisation for professional dance in Limerick and beyond. Dance Limerick hosts performances, talks, classes, workshops, projects and residencies and provides opportunities for dance to be created, experienced and discussed in many ways, by all ages.  For further details, see www.dancelimerick.ie.