Check out what we’ve been up to here...
Our creative adventure has begun on a new dance film featuring members of Create Dance, Brian McSweeney, myself (Jess Rowell) and a new sound composition by Stefan French. ‘Ripples’ will premiere in July this year.
This project builds on the relationship and movement repertoire I established with Create Dance during 2020. Create Dance is Draíocht’s dance programme for young people with complex needs. The project also supports Brian McSweeney’s professional development as he joins me on the creative team.
It is the energetic exchange between these unique dancers in space and on film that is the spark for this work.
In late March Brian McSweeney and I began a creative exchange via zoom.
We devised a series of movement sequences that will become signature motifs within the film. Next we began sharing weekly emails and sequence updates with the Create Dance participants, enabling us all to stay physically connected to the project and devising process from wherever we may be.
Interwoven with the choreographic exploration Stefan French and I have enjoyed many creative conversations exploring musical themes and variations inspired by movement, nature, energetic exchange and ‘the ripple effect’. This collaborative approach to the composition has greatly informed and continues to enrich the devising process to date.
We recently had our first ‘Ripples’ Zoom workshop live from Draíocht’s main stage. These workshops are a fantastic way of bringing everyone together, exploring and devising, sharing and having fun!! It felt wonderful to connect with everyone and witness each dancer’s individuality and creativity shining through.
The joy felt on stage and through the screen was electric!!
In mid June we will come together for a week-long socially distanced film shoot with film artist Kristian Mantalvanos for the making of ‘Ripples’.
We can’t wait!!
The wheels are in motion for our second residency project!
A new ‘sensory friendly’ dance theatre performance designed for children with additional needs in mainstream national and special schools in Dublin 15. I will be joined by two other movement artists, set designer Orla Kelly, lighting designer Sebastian Pizarro and composer Stefan French on this exciting adventure.
As part of my research I will be spending some time with children in St Vincents Special National School as well as receiving mentorship from well renowned children’s theatre maker Anna Newell of Anna Newell Theatre Adventures and the Network For Extraordinary Audiences.
Lots more exciting news to come so watch this space!
Jess Rowell’s residency is supported by The Arts Council with additional funding from Fingal County Council and Draíocht Blanchardstown.