For the second part of Jess Rowell’s Dance Residency in Draíocht, we share with you the much anticipated release of ‘Between Us There Is…’, a film featuring dance artist and project director Jess Rowell and Brian McSweeney, a dancer with Down syndrome and an original member of Traces Dance Ensemble (estb 2009). His journey into dance began 19 years ago and he continues to move audiences all over Ireland and beyond with his breathtaking presence and passion for movement.
With an original sound score written by Dublin based composer Stefan French, filmed by film artist Conor Donelan and lighting design by Eamon Fox, the work explores and celebrates the unique 13 year movement relationship between Jess and Brian and their shared passion for dance …
"This was a creative journey like no other. A collaboration made possible through generosity, ingenuity and the ability to adapt whilst staying true to the artistic vision. Growing and creating with Brian over the years has been an incredible experience and having the unique opportunity to acknowledge our relationship within this work is a real honour. 'Between Us There Is...' showcases the power of artistic collaboration and the beauty of long-standing connection."
Jess Rowell, Dance Artist in Residence 2020
“Electricity” ... “Let it go - like the rain falling down from the sky” ...“Back to being ourselves again”
Brian McSweeney, Dancer, on how it felt to dance this year with Jess
"Coming from a background in music for film, this was my first time working specifically with dancers. Instead of responding to what I see on a screen in front of me, in 'Between Us There Is...' I drew my inspiration from Brian and Jess' movements. The resulting music is very much influenced by their energy and connection when they perform together. It has been a pleasure working with Jess over the past number of months, and it was a wholly collaborative experience from start to finish."Stefan French, Composer"It was a privilege to bear witness to this beautiful process."
Conor Donelan, Film Artist
“The impulse to create and communicate with others is universally human. Covid-19 has highlighted that in a way that we could never have imagined. And this impulse, this need is embodied in our artists. Adapting to rolling restrictions in 2020, Draíocht’s Dance Artist in Residence Jess Rowell, dancer Brian McSweeney, supported by their creative team and Draíocht’s dedicated Staff, created a duet called ‘Between Us There Is…’. This film of the process and end piece, captures a shared language, an unspoken connection, a quiet and beautiful reflection of a time, a shining example of our need to create and communicate. It is the best of us.”
Emer McGowan, Director Draíocht
Jess Rowell began her Dance Residency at Draíocht in March 2020, just as Covid-19 entered our lives. This project was made possible through sheer determination, adaptability, team work, online rehearsals, live streaming sessions and the dedicated support from Draíocht's technical team.
With special thanks to Theatre Royal Waterford, Anne & Tony McSweeney, Libby Seward, Dermot Quinn, Trish Roche & Trinity Studios Waterford, Noel McAoidh and all the staff at Draíocht.
Jess Rowell’s Dance Residency in Draíocht was supported by The Arts Council, with additional funding provided by Fingal County Council.