21st-25th September - Research & Development Week for Dance Artist in Residence Jess Rowell at Draíocht
R&D week for ‘Between Us There Is…’ which will premiere at ‘Threads’ an evening of dance, music and film focusing on disability and inclusiveness in arts practice on November 20th & 21st at Draíocht. ‘Threads’ will mark the completion of Jess’s residency and will also feature the premier of Create Dance’s film ‘Chance to Dance’ and a live performance by guest dance artist and Artistic Director of Croí Glan, Tara Brandel.
‘Between Us There Is….’
A week full of generosity, openness, flexibility and ingenuity. The main focus of our time together was for myself, dancer Brian Mc Sweeney, composer Stefan French and mentor Libby Seward to settle into our collaboration. We instantly established a harmonious working interaction and rhythm. We listened, explored, witnessed and responded in the most sensitive of ways.
Although this week was the first time I met Stefan in person it truly felt as if we’d worked together before. There was sensitivity, understanding and openness in our dialogue. Our creative preparation and musical theme discussions over the past few months really paid off, enabling a very productive week on all levels. The various musical themes discussed prior to the week were inspired by aspects of my movement relationship with Brian.
Growing, creating and moving with Brian over the past twelve years has been an incredible experience, we have a deep movement bond and share a passion for dance. It is such a pleasure to be creating a piece of work acknowledging our movement relationship.
In conversation with Brian I asked him how he felt when he’s dancing. He replied with “Electricity”, “Let it go – like the rain falling down from the sky”, “Back to being myself / ourselves again”.
On this occasion our interaction has been informed and influenced by the times we are moving through. This enforced distance has influenced my creative vision and I have explored ways for us to embody that space in a tangible way.
Stefan and I worked together with mentor Libby in Draíocht studio for the first half of the week. Brian was unable to join us in person for the first 3 days, however with the help of the wonderful technical team at Draíocht, a zoom link, a projector and the cyc, he was very much present in the space. Libby stood in for Brian in the studio at times which helped me to get a physical sense of the duet as it evolved. Brian’s virtual presence and his ‘can do’ attitude were tangible at all times – even at a distance. I feel the themes took on an even more powerful significance with this enforced separation.
As the week progressed, the space between us as two bodies moving in space, the distance, connection, ripples was present in my mind. Ideas began to emerge of how the lighting design could enhance the sense of distance and boundaries in a shared space by the interplay of light dividing the performance space.
For the second half of the week Libby and I joined Brian in a separate studio where we began expanding our online choreographic ideas. Stefan stayed connected with us and continued to work from his home studio sending us on music files to inspire our movement creation.
Throughout the week interesting lighting design, staging plans and costume ideas began to emerge. Our creative process was documented daily with video recordings and reports written by our mentor Libby. Film artist Conor Donelan joined us for a day to capture raw footage of the rehearsal room in action and some publicity shots that will be used to document the residency and promote ‘Threads’ on Nov 20th & 21st at Draíocht.
All in all our first week in the studio was a wonderfully satisfying and creatively rich experience, which is reflected in the work produced. Huge thanks to the creative team and all at Draíocht for the continued support and to our funders Fingal County Council and The Arts Council for making this possible.
‘Threads’ - Guest artist update:
‘UNSEEN’ by guest dance artist and Co Artistic Director of Croí Glan Tara Brandel.
Last week Tara was also immersed in her own R&D week at Ballina Arts Centre.
An ongoing research project by abstract painter and environmental artist Stacey White, and contemporary dancer Tara Brandel.
Drawing on research into plankton (a life giving microscopic organism that produces 50% of the world's oxygen), Unseen looks at benevolent and less benevolent invisible forces and the unseen. (A hidden disability. An invisible virus. A life giving microscopic organism). Layering video projection, movement, sound and painting, Unseen reveals that which is invisible.
‘Threads’ - Chance to Dance update:
‘Chance to Dance’ with Jess Rowell & film artist Conor Donelan
Our dance film project with Draíocht’s Create Dance members featuring dancers from Traces Dance Ensemble Co. Waterford continues online through weekly emails. Each participant receives a new creative task each week from Jess. Last week Brian McSweeney introduced himself ‘virtually’ to all the participants and we are awaiting their individual video responses. We are gearing up for the final stage of filming with the participants live in Draíocht in mid-October. All the footage we have compiled over the past few months will feature in the final film ‘Chance to Dance’. A film which explores and captures the power of communication through movement and the exchange of gestures between dancers in space and on camera.
‘Threads’ Triple Bill - Novemeber 20th & 21st at Draíocht - tickets on sale soon.
Jess Rowell’s Residency is supported by Fingal County Council and The Arts Council.
Jess Rowell – Sharing the Journey
MARCH - NOVEMBER 2020
Brian McSweeney & Jess Rowell - Traces (Garter Lane Theatre 2016)
Jess Rowell, Draíocht’s Dance Artist in Residence 2020, has found innovative and exciting ways of moving forward with her residency this year. This dance residency responds to our 2018-2022 Strategy ‘Space for the Arts’, in particular our commitment to expand equality of access to more children.
Jess has a specialism in working with children, young people and artists with an intellectual disability. So far this year she has been facilitating and supporting members of Draíocht's 'Create Dance' project, our special needs dance programme, in a new film project ‘Chance to Dance’. The film explores and captures the power of communication through movement and the exchange of gestures between dancers in space and on camera.
Jess and film artist Conor Donelan have been running this project online to date and are due to move into the final phase of filming live in Draíocht during October.
Throughout the coming months Jess will continue to develop her own professional practice, work with other professionals in the same field, and build on a magical partnership with dancer Brian McSweeney, a dance artsit with Down syndrome of Traces Dance Ensemble. She is currently devising a new collaborative work with Brian and Dublin based composer Stefan French with mentorship from Libby Seward. This collaboration will premier live at ‘Threads’ an evening of dance, music and film focusing on disability and inclusiveness in arts practice on November 20th & 21st 2020 at Draíocht. ‘Threads’ will mark the completion of Jess’ residency and will also feature the premier of Create Dance’s film ‘Chance to Dance’ and a live performance by quest dance artist and Artistic Director of Croí Glan, Tara Brandel. More info on this to come.
Some of the overarching aims of Jess’ residency are to:
- Expand on Draíocht’s relationship with artists of all disciplines, nurturing collaborative exchanges between artists, young people and the community.
- Be at the forefront of the dialogue around dance and disability in Ireland.
- Create ‘Chance to Dance’ a short film capturing the power of communication through movement. Engaging and communicating with young dancers online and in Draíocht throughout the year.
- Offer principal dancer Brian McSweeney, a creative role in the research and development phase of a new collaborative work, thereby supporting his professional development.
Jess Rowell’s Residency is supported by Fingal County Council and The Arts Council.
HOMEGROUND Art, People, Place, Identity
Research and Development Mentoring Awards (2020-2021)
Fingal Arts Office, in collaboration with Draíocht, is delighted to announce an Open Call for HOMEGROUND: Art, People, Place, Identity, five new Research and Development (with mentoring) Awards for artists working in socially engaged and collaborative practice and/or artists working with children and young people.
The call is open to artists from all disciplines across the visual and performing arts.
The artists will demonstrably be either:
(a) currently involved in socially engaged, collaborative project or a project with/for children and young people in Dublin 15 or the wider Fingal county
(b) have the idea, the capacity and the existing relationships to initiate a socially engaged, collaborative project or a project with children and young people in Dublin 15 or the wider Fingal county .
The Award will support the research and development of a pertinent project with attendant mentoring support. The Award does not cover the realisation of a project at this point. In undertaking the researching and development of a project at this point, its realisation may however be envisaged for a gallery, theatre or site-specific space in Dublin 15/Fingal. Subject to resources, Fingal Art Office and/or Draíocht may consider future support for the realisation of one or more of the projects developed through a HOMEGROUND Award.
There are five Research and Development Awards (with mentoring). One award of which will be available specifically for an artist from a minority ethnic or migrant background.
The timeframe of the HOMEGROUND Award is November 2020 - April 2021.
HOMEGROUND AWARD ELEMENTS
1. A six month mentoring research and development period to support the development of the artist in researching a project of mutual interest to the artist and to Fingal Arts Office/Draíocht.
2. A fee to the artist of €2000 with an additional €500 to a mentor
3. A monthly meeting for peer networking and sharing/learning opportunities. Meeting to be convened by Draíocht there or on Zoom (tbc) and will include presentations on themes of interest and relevance to the artists by key experts. Dates: 11 November; 09 December; 13 January; 10 February; 10 March; 14 April.
-have a proven track record of work in their chosen field of socially engaged/collaborative practice and/or with children and young people
-be currently involved in a socially engaged, collaborative project or a project with children and young people in Dublin 15 or the wider Fingal county
-currently have the idea, the capacity and the existing relationships to initiate a socially engaged, collaborative project or a project with/for children and young people in Dublin 15 or the wider Fingal county
-provide an outline project plan that they wish to develop and that could be or is located in Dublin 15 context or the wider Fingal county in a gallery, or theatre or site specific context
-provide a statement of benefit (max 1 page) as to:
(a) how you as an artist would benefit at this time from this opportunity in this context
(b) how your proposal would benefit the Fingal / Draíocht context
- provide an up-to-date CV (max 2 pages)
- provide 10 images (max) in jpeg format (max file size 3MB) and/or three links to projects
-identify the key qualities they seek in a mentor at this time in the context of HOMEGROUND and also identify their own needs for support and guidance required of a mentor at this time in the context of HOMEGROUND. Note: Mentors can be based locally, nationally or internationally and mentoring sessions can be conducted face-to-face or through Zoom/others platforms. It is important that the mentor be experienced as a mentor and also have a high level of experience in your artform/art practice area. You are not required to identify a mentor for this application but if shortlisted this will be an important point for consideration. Through an organic process of discussion Fingal art office arts officers / Draíocht's Director and resident curator together with the artist will work to identify a suitable mentor. You will be asked to address this on the HOMEGROUND Application Form.
-be available to engage fully in all elements of HOMEGROUND over the time frame November 2020-April 2021. A Memo of Understanding (MOU) will be agreed with all artists in receipt of an award. Participation in the following will be central to the MOU : An orientation session (half-day) in November and thereafter 6 monthly (half-day) meetings (until April) at Draíocht/Zoom (dates indicated above); regular meetings with mentor as agreed between artist and mentor and Fingal Draíocht; a comprehensive written review of the experience and a plan for the future.
HOMEGROUND APPLICATION Summary of requirements
-CV (max 2 pages)
-Outline project plan (max 1 page)
-A statement of benefit: a) how you as an artist would benefit at this time from this opportunity in this context; b) how your proposal is of benefit to the Fingal / Draíocht context (max 1 page).
-Max 10 images jpeg format max file size 3MB and/or three links to projects.
Please submit as one single PDF
HOMEGROUND KEY DATES
Closing date for applications: 5pm Friday 18 September 2020
Selection of shortlist: 24 September 2020
Zoom interviews for shortlisted artists: 28 September 2020
Selected artists notified by: 02 October 2020
Selection will be made by a panel of members from Fingal Arts Office and Draíocht. The panel’s decision will be final and no correspondence or other engagement will be entered into in respect of its decisions.
Launching on 13th June 2020 and continuing weekly on Saturday 20th and 27th June, join Draiocht on our Facebookand YouTube Channels to enjoy free video workshops with artists Andrew Carson, Anne Cradden, Conor Donelan, Genevieve Harden, Emily Matthews and Jo Quinn. Illustrator and artist Alan Nolan has created these fun downloadable Activity Sheets to complement each workshop. Enjoy!
It’s the final week of #ShowUsYourArt, and we are so grateful for all of the mini-artists and their essential helpers who have provided us with so much beautiful and entertaining content during these tough few months. We all have someone or something that we are thankful for helping us through this lockdown, so now is the time to show your appreciation!
So as we wrap our art challenge up, let’s take the time to design a thank you card to all of those who have helped us through all this. It could be your family for providing for you, a worker who has persevered through the restrictions, your cat who has entertained and loved you, or even a fictional character who has whisked you away to a land of imagination.
Simply take a photo of your child's artwork and email it to Paula at email@example.com by the deadline each week. Tell us your child's first name & age (this may be posted on social media with your permission with their gorgeous artwork for all to enjoy).
Keep your artwork safe, as very soon we will have an exhibition showcasing all of the amazing artwork from all 12 weeks of #ShowUsYourArt!
Let's get creating! We are super excited for you to #ShowUsYourArt
You can see all of our THANK YOU CARDS entries in our Facebook Album HERE.
Week 12 Theme: THANK YOU CARDS
Enter your art by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline: Friday 19th June 11am.
We'll pick 3 random winners and prizes include Draíocht Movie Tickets and Chocolatey Treats (delivered to you after we're all back in action!)
This week’s randomly selected winners are:
Muhammad age 4
Sakina age 6
Freya age 9
Congratulations! An email will be sent out with details about your prizes, which includes 2 tickets to a movie showing in Draíocht, and some sweet treats to go along with them!