Friday, June 24, 2011

PaperDolls @ Body&Soul

Some gorgeous images from our show at Body&Soul Festival last weekend. Thanks to photographers Laura Sheeran, Fi Mahon, Hywel Evans for capturing the stunning site designed and decorated by textile group Lace and Wine and of course the awesome show that PaperDolls put on, our first project and my first ever aerial performance! I was watching Aoife Hardiman and Kat Doherty dancing and thought, oh my what a talented bunch. My friends are unreal. We were also joined by the wonderful Bella A Go Go, aerialists Jess O'Connor, Enda Moran and the extraordinary Tash Bourke. The beautiful Laura Sheeran rocked the hoop skirt while us PaperDolls (myself, Elaine McCague and Karen Anderson) sported elaborate aerial hairstyles. It was hard work, it was a challenge, it was fantastic, it was gorgeous, it was an absolute success! The beginning of many excellent adventures.

Steampunk II

I am so excited to be performing at the second of Bella A Go Go's fantastical Steampunk shows on the 29th of July! I've been working on a new idea that involves resurrecting the beautiful rotating pedestal I used for my first and most elaborate act, Blackbird's Tattooed Lady.

There are some interesting rumours that the Sugar Club will soon become one of Dublin's few venues equipped for aerial which means the Steampunk audience may be in store for a very special treat... After the success of my aerial debut at Body&Soul last weekend (pictures to come) I can't wait to share my airbourne joy with the cabaret family.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Donegal entertainment market oversaturated by Dublin imposter...

Front of the Donegal News! Fame at last.

More from the launch of Earagail Arts Festival, featured on the Donegal News website. I believe the photographer is Declan Doherty who was a nice chap who wondered how long it took me to 'get into my gear' and wanted me to kiss the camera. Some nice shots Declan! I'm as bright as a beacon!

I should always have a trio of jesters with me. It's a good look. What fun!
And with the director of Earagail Arts Festival, Paul Brown. Good job!

Fidget Feet

Some images of Lee Claydon and Chantal McCormick of Fidget Feet Aerial Dance Company performing 'Hang On' in Merrion Square, Dublin.

I saw 'Hang On' for the fifth time on Friday evening in An Grianán Theatre, Letterkenny as part of the Irish Aerial Dance Festival, which Fidget Feet organise every year for the past three years. The piece gets more exciting and intense every time I see it. The score is entirely composed and played live by Jym Daly, the other part of the Fidget Feet company and who took this wonderful shot of me during an impromptu photoshoot. I do believe he took the images I have included here.

I was also very thrilled to see Fidget Feet's new production, 'Catch Me', a take on Little Red Riding Hood - one of my favourites! It's a very sexy, clever, funny and visceral interpretation and performance, with serious aerial doubles-skills on display. Human hybrids fascinate me, so I particularly enjoyed the robust wolf man played by Lee Claydon. Jym Daly wrote and directed this piece and composed the music too and it's an interesting take on the tale. My favourite version Angela Carter's "The Company of Wolves" featured in 'The Bloody Chamber' book of short stories where Little Red Riding Hood seduces the wolf after he's eaten her Granny.

In 'Catch Me', Red Riding Hood is much more vulnerable, mesmerized and eventually raped by the wolf. The transvestism of the original tale is also reinvented, with familiar consequences. No powerful trannys in this production I'm afraid! The tranny wolf is both subhuman (quite literally, being a wolf man), mentally ill and a menace to society. There's no woodsman however; Red comes up trumps and perhaps emerges wiser in the aftermath. Exciting, visually excellent, fun, spectacular. Definitely one to see.

Earagail Dollybird

Helping to launch the Earagail Arts Festival on Saturday outside An Grianán Theatre in Letterkenny. Dolly birds and some very tall men, rrrar!

9th-24th 2011. Two weeks of music, theatre, visual arts, film, literature, circus and carnival at Donegals largest arts festival.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

PaperDoll: First Aerial Photoshoot

Impromptu photoshoot with Jym Daly of Fidget Feet, Graphics by Niamh Creely, An Grianan Theatre, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal.

Funny time I'm having here in Letterkenny. A couple of weeks ago I traveled all the way from Dublin to An Grianan for the Crash Cabaret, made a whole ton of friends and was invited back to launch the Earagail Arts Festival yesterday, Donegal's largest annual festival. Conveniently, I was already in Letterkenny as I am taking part in the intensive two week Aerial Dance Forum hosted by Fidget Feet Aerial Dance Company. The course is amazing: 9.30 - 20.30 each day, conditioning and stretching, fabric technique, counter-weight, fabric creative lab, aerial hoop and more conditioning. Next week is aerial yoga, fabric technique and my favourite, corde lisse technique and a creative lab. Perfect timing for our aerial show at Body and Soul!

I looked so pretty after the walkabout launch that I couldn't resist wrangling Jym Daly into taking some aerial and corset photographs - never a wasted opportunity for an impromptu photoshoot! Perfect combination of the style we are creating for 'The Eccentric Ladies of the Woods' at Ballinlough Castle and our aerial heft! A little help from Niamh Creely with the Graphics and I absolutely adore the result. Iconic, don't you think? Perfect for a budding performance company.

Monday, June 6, 2011

PaperDolls at BODY&SOUL festival!

PaperDolls is the name of my new performance collective (consisting of Dublin Aerialists and our collaborators) who have a BRILLIANT aerial and textile installation at this year's Body and Soul Festival. Take a look! Bella A GoGo and Fafa Hardiman will be there as the eccentric ladies, with new-in-my-life contemporary dancer Kat Doherty, and I'll be in femme form flashing my bloomers upside down to all and sundry! Watch out for our Fringe show too - more details on that shortly...

The Eccentric Ladies of the Woods

Strangers, ramblers and dancers! We are having a lemonade banquet in the woods! Eccentric ladies in elaborate costume, rouge and powdered wigs, serve pink lemonade from china tea pots.

There's people in the trees! Cheeky girls and boys swing from hoops and ropes, flashing their bloomers to visitors below. An aerial welcome! Come witness the charming carry-on in the upper echelons of the forest! Tall bikes trek the grounds with ladies in tow. When darkness falls a fire and light show will ignite the spirits of the woods.

New aerial performance group PaperDolls present a collaboration especially co-ordinated for Body & Soul Festival incorporating members of various Irish performance groups including Dublin Aerialists, Galway Community Circus, Seomra Spraoi Bike Workshop, the Queen of Cabaret in Dublin city Bella a Go Go, belly dancer Aoife Hardiman and contemporary dancer Kat Doherty.

'The Eccentric Ladies of the Woods' wear vast dresses made of up-cycled fabric crafted by textile group Lace and Wine and the Lampshade installation creates an atmosphere of decadent decay in the forest at Body & Soul.

Shape & Situation: Gráinne Mhaile

Ooo look, exciting. The second issue of the Inspirational Women Poster Book from the brilliant Melanie Maddson of Colouring Outside the Lines fanzine.My contribution to the first issue was a poster dedicated to the beauty, mystery and wit of Dolly Wilde mentioned here. For this issue, I've traveled (sailed to be precise) back in time, way back into my own familial heritage to pay homage to a relative of mine, Granuaile, the Pirate Queen. She is also know as Gráinne Mhaol, Gráinne Mhaile, Gráinne Ni Mháille and Grace O'Malley. I only have anecdotal information about this aunt of mine, but knowing I have pirate blood in me is enough.