Monday, January 24, 2011


Woo! Really excited to announced Bella A Go Go's next super show extravaganza! And isn't the poster fabLAs? I'm thinking up some really fun stuff for this and since I'm all blonde again, I reckon a Tank Girl act is long over due, especially since these photos were taken about a year ago by Rick Taylor with myself and Natalie Da Costa, but they are awesome and Tank Girl is a teenage dream what with her tank-love, anarchy living, hot crusty kangaroo guys uh... kissing and you know, general debauchee cartoon feminist stylin'! Of course, since discovering HotHead Paisan Homicidal Lesbain Terrorist Tank Girl has taken a figurative backseat in the ferocious-hot-lady stakes (and some of you may know what HotHead makes of Tank Girl and her, eh, association with the, uh, Kangaroo-man). However! Tank Girl was my first introduction to gorgeous punky strong women and an advocate for compulsive haircuts and I will love her for it forever.

Tank Girl by Jamie Hewlett:

I'm also working on a very special second act for this event - oh yes, gonna be a good night indeed. Prizes for best invention too!

Bella's Steampunk Show
February 25th
Doors @ 8pm

Monday, January 17, 2011

Dublin Aerialists

(Pictured: Elaine McCague, Karen Anderson and Emily Aoibheann at the Complex in Smithfield. Unfortunately the fourth member, Niamh Creely, was absent for the shoot)

Introducing, the Dublin Aerialists!

This is the first time I have discussed my aerial practice on this blog because so far it has been intermittent and limited, although I have been intermittently training for a number of years, despite the limitations. In November, a woman I perform with invited me to do an aerial number for a night of dance she was busy organising for March of this year. I said, ok, I'm going to use this as an opportunity for action! I'll have a training space by December and a routine by March! It was really a good kick off point to get the Dublin Aerialists ball rolling. We called a meeting immediately, brainstormed with other circus, fire and performing artists and dancers and acro-balance yoga practitioners (!) and started considering practical issues like insurance and possible venues and creative possibilities such as future collaborations.

We established a daily conditioning and stretching class in Seomra Spraoi with other advanced practitioners of various disciplines: yoga, bellydance, acro-balance and contortion. We placed an ad on Gumtree seeking spaces we could use, introducing ourselves and giving some information about what we wanted to do. In the meantime, we visited Vanessa in the Complex in Smithfield where I had performed with the Pony Girls (and she remembered me, favourably). It was one of the first places we thought of and found Vanessa to be both supportive and creatively ambitious, like us!

We have formed an alliance with Fidget Feet, Ireland's only aerial dance company, who have been training us these past years and campaigning for Aerial arts in Ireland for a long time. We are hoping to organise classes in an aerial specific venue in the very near future and are all extremely excited about how our mutual efforts and achievements thus far will continue to develop and produce results. Truly, wonderful.

We received an email from Claire Ryan from the Sunday Tribune who writes a column about classified ads. She wanted to interview us about who we were and what we were about which is how we came to feature in today's Sunday Tribune Magazine. It's really exciting to get national coverage and we are hoping that this publicity garners us some positive attention that will aid us in our aspirations.

We are only just getting off the ground now so have very limited facilities, but there has been strong interest and excitement within our personal circles alone so we are confident that our project has a strong future. We are really pushing to develop things fast, to facilitate aerial dance and circus arts in Dublin and make it available and accessible to more people. It is an absolutely fabulous art and the training, intensive as it is, slowly becomes completely impulsive and addictive in a positive way. After years of two-week bursts and irregular training opportunities, it is brilliant that we can now access some facilities regularly and start to train seriously. I can see my progress already and it's very exciting indeed.

I'm working on a few ideas for aerial performance at the moment too - so watch this space... no doubt I'll make a big deal about it once I'm prepared to debut.

Here is a direct link to the article, but I have also included it below.

You can contact the Dublin Aerialists on dublinaerialists[at] or add us on Facebook.

Ad Lib - Emily Aoibheann, Aerialist, Theatre Artist and Writer
The story behind the personal ads

"Aerial performance is basically acrobatic circus art. Cirque Du Soleil is probably the most well-known and professional example of it. Those performers are amazing and at the absolute top of their class in terms of what aerialists can do. Ours is much more grass roots and amateur because we've only been training for a couple of years. We don't do swinging trapeze but we perform with fabric silks that you climb up and drop down – and we also perform with aerial hoops and rope.

I first tried aerial performance at a flying workshop during a fringe festival three years ago. It was mostly wall-running on harnesses but I was instantly hooked. I met the other main organiser for the Dublin Aerialists, Elaine McCague, through the workshops and we've both been really determined to establish a strong aerialist community here in Dublin ever since. The problem is that it's been very difficult to find spaces where we can practise. Galway and Cork and Belfast have their own community circus bases that are fantastic, which cater for professional artists and hold classes for the public, but there isn't one in Dublin. Elaine has spent a lot of time training in aerial performance in London and aside from that we've both been training with Ireland's only aerial dance company, Fidget Feet, as much as we can but that's all outside of Dublin so it's not ideal. We really want to get a hub going here in the city. It's such an exciting and spectacular skill and we'd love to make it available to more people so that they can try it out.

We placed the ad to find somewhere to train and maybe reach someone who would be interested in supporting contemporary circus arts and willing to help us get something new off the ground. We've heard of people in the past who've found warehouse spaces that were vacant or unoccupied and managed to come to an arrangement with landlords about occupying the space. They agree to keep it used and maintained and in return they get to use the space rent-free, which would be the perfect solution for us. So we thought we'd put an ad out there looking for landlords who have a vacant warehouse that would suit our needs for a training space. We're very willing to clear up or clear out anywhere that may be suitable. Aerial art and performing with the silks and ropes at a height isn't about the adrenaline buzz. It takes a huge amount of calm and strength and stamina and it's quite schooled; you work for a number of years on your routine. It's not about taking risk. Being in front of an audience is a great sensation and we love the buzz of live performance, but that comes from enjoying the interaction with the public rather than the thrill of danger.

I'm an artist and I work hard at being that. I'm really hoping that I can stay in Ireland because so many people are leaving at the moment. I don't think Berlin needs another artist. I think Dublin needs artists to stay here and cultivate ideas and opportunities so Dublin can become a hub for creativity. I think we really need to start addressing the fact that our artists are leaving and are finding it very hard to stay in Dublin and establish sustainable projects.

We've had some success so far in terms of the ad. We've been offered use of a warehouse in Blanchardstown (note: This is a misquote, we were never offered a warehouse in Blanch, we were invited to come and see one there), which is great, but we're hoping to hold out for somewhere that is a little more central. The circus has always held real romance for me. I grew up in Blanchardstown and the arrival of the circus tent was something that I found very surreal and extraordinary and brilliantly weird. I remember being fascinated by the performers. I think people who become performers or artists have always had it in them."

Friday, January 14, 2011

Solo piece, 29th January

When Party Weirdo were on the go we used to do a lot of gigs with production duo Maximum Joy, a two boy team consisting of music enthusiasts and long time organisers Darren McCreesh and Mici Durnin. When Party Weirdo came to an end, Darren continued having an interested in what I was up to, coming to events here and there and generally keeping in touch. Recently we've reconnected and he's been supporting me and encouraging me to challenge myself, expand my own perspective on my work and take more risks.

About a month ago, Darren told me about a gig he is organising for Japanese noise musician and 'outsider' Yximalloo, taking place on the 29th January in the Joinery, Arbour Hill, Smithfield. Because of Yximalloo's peculiar aesthetic and practice, Darren wanted me to contribute to the night in a performative manner, with something new and performance based.

I toyed with all sorts of mad collaborative ideas ranging from tribal belly-dance rhythmical improvisation to noisy guitar meets vocal scores and although I knew I could rise to the invitation with something really engaging and special, I hadn't fully realised the idea until I saw Dickie Beau perform 'Retroflection' at the Queer Notions Festival at Project Arts Centre. Suddenly I knew what I wanted and would do.

This event is probably the beginning of a new venture for me and the next stage of my performance practice. I am both excited and nervous, knowing how experimental the event is and how so many people who know me as a musician will witness all that I've been doing under cover of cloud for the last few years - and who knows what anybody will make of it! But it isn't alienating, in fact it is very much in the theatrical and engaging performance art vein, I make it easy for the audience to be entertained, unlike Yximalloo himself who, I've heard, is extremely alienating indeed.

I have some people helping me with this project and there will be other voices and figures present during the piece, but this is the first time I have been billed as myself, not under a guise of Cixous Ghost, Blackbird or any other fantasy. This is me taking what I do a bit more seriously. I would love everyone who takes an interest in my work and in this blog to venture along and see this performance and maybe even have some conversations post event, online or in person.

Emily Aoibheann
supporting Yximalloo
w/ Nightcycles
29th January, 7.30pm, €10
The Joinery, Arbour Hill, Smithfield

Monday, January 10, 2011

Applications with benefits

UGH! After lots of hard work, I've finished the first of four applications I'm submitting in the coming weeks for performance related opportunities of various kinds.

So, for the online applications I've uploaded a selection of choice music from bands and projects I've been in over the years - a personal playlist if you please. I'm going to add to it and make compilation playlists and whatnot, so if you like my noises, have a listen. It's great revisiting them after such a long time.

Here's a sample: Panic by Party Weirdo (previously unreleased!)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Can Can Cabaret

This Saturday, St. Blackbird will be thrashing roses on the back of a Zentai Jesus quite early on in the evening, before settling in with the crowd to enjoy the host of other spectacles on stage that night. Can Can Cabaret is a fund raiser event for CanTeen, a young people's cancer support group. I'm really glad to be contributing to this charity event and excited to experience the Passion in Dublin's house of Burlesque, the Sugar Club. Love that gaf!

Can Can Cabaret
The Sugar Club
Saturday Jan 8th
€10 at the door

Scanner: Declan Kelly

I visited the creative dynamo Declan Kelly in Galway before Christmas and we made art, raspberry sushi and various trips on buses. He is a very interesting photographer, scientist, experimenter, as knowledgeable about the history of photography and technical techniques as he is open to implusive experiments and possible miracles. He's a bloody good musician too. We've just started a music based collaboration where I send him passages of writing and specific themes to which he composes and developes musical scores. I hope to feature his creations in some of the film and performance projects I have up my sleave for 2011. SMASHING.