Sunday, August 28, 2011

PaperDolls Process II.


(Photo: Susan Walsh)

A picture diary by Emily Doll


4th of August, Rehearsals with gorgeous Kat Doherty:

Later, Karen and Emily nip off to try out the new aerial point in the Sugar Club:

7th August: PaperDolls/ Dr. Sketchy's Party! Thanks to the powerful Scarlett Nymph of Dr. Sketchy's Dublin branch.

(Photo: Susan Walsh)
(Photos: Ross Waldron)
(Photo: Susan Walsh)
(Photo: Susan Walsh)
Joined by, the ACROBANDITS!
(Photo: Ross Waldron)
Bella A Go Go as Goblin Face!
(Photo: Ross Waldron)
And the wonderful, Arlene Caffrey!
(Photo: Ross Waldron)

With our team, including the beautiful Bearded Lady!

(Photo: Ross Waldron)

13th August, The LoveCats Farewell Show, Karen solo: Venus Panthera is born.

(Photo: Kate Turner)

(Photo: Cashel O'Toole)

19th August, The Burlesque and Cabaret Social Club, Emily a.k.a. Blackbird, brings aerial to the Sugar Club:

(Photos: Rick Taylor)

(Photo: Ross Waldron)

(Photo: Elizabeth Von Deitrich)

Weeks following the 22nd of August = Long days:
Training all day in the Sugar Club


With some sunshine breaks!


And meetings and further rehearsal into the late evening:


And ongoing correspondence with composer Laura Sheeran who is working tirelessly on our musical score for 'Paperdolls'!


September 1st, More time in the Sugar Club! Photo shoot for The Stripe, new free mini-magazine (images coming soon!)


With a little time left over for our own photo fun...

The PaperDolls


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Government folly: Cycling the famine road.

It's been awhile since I've felt compelled in any genuine way to comment on Irish politics, but recently that urge has been getting stronger. With all that has been happening, most of which I have been actively ignoring so as to maintain some sort of stable mental health at this busy time in my life, it took an article on bicycle lanes in today's Irish Times [Thurs, 25th Aug 2011] to make me want to express myself. And so.

Ireland, as the picture above perfectly depicts, has ridiculous, unmaintained cycle lanes. Now, Ireland's "department of transport" would like to invest €4 million in creating more cycle lanes, just like this one above, on national roads in rural Ireland. Despite rational objections from cycling lobbies arguing that it will be a waste of money and is in some cases "wholly inadvisable" the department is planning to forge ahead with it's €4 million 'employment initiative'. To quote the man James Nix of PlanBetter, "...the whole exercise is counter-productive". However, The department said that the suggested postponement of the €4 million scheme is misguided. The department seem quite open about the fact that they don't actually aim to improve cycling facilities at all, but what the investment does reognise is "the overriding need for employment generation given the current economic situation and it is not solely for cycling projects".

Ever hear of a famine road? Well, they are very interesting artifacts indeed. Allow me to quote a passage about famine roads from the aptly titled, Paddy's Lament: 1846 - 1847. Prelude to Hatred by Thomas Gallagher:

Ireland possessed within herself, in her thousands of acres of wasteland, the means of her own regeneration. But the money appropriated by the English government to Ireland's public works (money paid in taxes by Ireland to the English treasury) was not used to reclaim this uncultivated land. Instead it was spent on labour that the law decreed had to be unproductive - that is, on the construction of bridges and piers having no purpose or necessity and on roads that began where there was no need for them and lead to nowhere in particular.


Famine roads and 'follies' were built here during the Irish potato famine as a form of 'poor relief', to provide employment for peasants and unemployed artisans (wiki: folly). As Delores Curran points out in 'Treading the Famine Road' (1995): "Famine roads have existed in unjust cultures throughout time. Promise the victims of injustice relief and redress by inventing useless roles and activities that sap rather than strengthen". Unfortunately, The Irish Department of Transport seem to lack the understanding as to why their idea of spending €4 million on what appears to be a modern day famine road is a bad idea.

This, the wonderful Wonderful Barn in Kildare, is known as a folly, however, according to wiki, a central hole through each of the floors supports the theory that it may have been used as a granary. It makes a good folly though. If I was going to waste my time and energy building something that was supposed to appear useful but be completely useless, I would definitely build a Wonderful Barn. There should be a 'build your own folly' Fás course. Really though, employment initiative? Give me a break.

Photo: mroovka

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Question of Culture, August 20th Irish Independent

What they said I said:

What I actually said (unedited version):
Photo by Kyrstan Healy

Correct dates for 'Paperdolls' at ABSOLUT Fringe are 14th - 19th September.

A Question of Culture: Emily Aoibheann

Favourite aerialist/acrobatic performer? (living or dead). Why?

Empress Stah. She's famous for doing a particular thing that I can't tell you because you might not print it. All I'll say is her current project is performing in zero gravity, as in OUTER SPACE!

The best stage production (acrobatic or otherwise) you've ever seen? Why?

Most exciting theater experience I've had: The opening scene of Oedipus Loves You in the Project Arts Centre where the Greek mythological seer Tiresias is a naked blind singer of a techno family band revealed wearing only platforms with tucked away genitals, played by Ned Dennehy. Unforgettable.

Craziest experience so far while performing?

One time, not one person tried to take a photograph. The absence of a lens was like a sudden realisation: they are watching me, they are actually watching me. Ironically, I was showered with photographer business cards afterward.

Favourite band? Why?

For years it was Sonic Youth. I hated them at first but then that turned into a great love. Now, I prefer having my music on shuffle and compilation tapes made for me by friends with people like Leslie Keffer, This Mortal Coil, Eurythmics, John Maus and obscure Kiwi queer bands on.

Best concert/gig you've ever seen? Why?

I like going to see bands in local venues best. I really loved Pissed Jeans when they were in Dublin years ago because they have a very raw but unselfconscious masculinity and physicality and organic, mesmeric way of performing. At least two took off their tops - it was like some sort of sexy, subverted, boy ritual. It was a rare spectacle indeed.

Your desert island discs and why them?

Discs? Compilation tapes or a ukulele. Actually scrap that, I'd bring a harmonium and chant the days away.

Favourite book? Why?

I adore books, but some of my most significant authorial genealogies can be located in just four books, Geek Love by Katherine Dunn, Nights at the Circus and the Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter and most importantly Italian Folktales by Italo Calvino. They are each rich in visual description, all have unforgettable characters and highly expressive writing dense with meaning, wit and inspiration.

Last book you read and loved? Why?

Truly Wilde: The Unsettling Story of Dolly Wilde, Oscar's Unusual Niece by Joan Schenkar. This sums it up: "Dolly Wilde made her career in the salons - and in the bedrooms - of some of London and Paris's most interesting women and men... Dorothy Irene Wilde died exactly as she lived: vividly, rather violently, and at a very good address".

The book you could never make it through? Why?

The Heart of Darkness, but come to think of it, I have yet to finish my favourite Geek Love because I was in such a rush to share it I gave away my copy prematurely - so what does it really matter? School is over, I've done my time!

Favourite film? Why?

Labyrinth, 1986: first crush David Bowie in skin tight pants and big hair singing: Your eyes can be so cruel, just as I can be so cruel! Don don don!TOBY!

Last film you saw and loved? Why?

Cat Dancers - Oh wow! It's bizarre and fascinating and touching, a rare look at show biz in the big tops, trashy circuses and animal trainers. The unique relationship between the cats and trainers, the romance between Ron, Joy and Chuck, and then heart-ache and devastation when tragedy befalls them - it's really quite a story.

Last film you saw and hated? Why?

I tend to switch off the visuals pretty quick if it's not happening. Too many good films to watch. Next!

Favourite TV show? Why?

Carnivale: A cult favouite - dark, magical, 1934 America, a time where the kids went on the big wheel while Dad went to see the cooch. Like Geek Love, it inverts concepts of normative and able-bodiedness. Unfortunately it finished after two seasons due to lack of funds. Terrible shame.

Favourite radio show or presenter. Why?

Jonathan McCrea, Future Proof, or Sean Moncrieff on Newstalk. They feature lots of interesting people and questions to pose them. I've noticed it's particularly great to fix your bike to, or cook dinner. Something manual.

Favourite website? Why?

www.pantibar.com/blog. You'll soon see!

Favourite city/country? Why?

My favourite city is probably Dublin, although my perfect city would be a mixture between Dublin and Berlin in a country that does not yet exist - yet. The familiarity, creativity and humour of Dublin with the accessibility of space, diversity and grassroots politics of Berlin.

Favourite food/restaurant. Why?

Kale from my Dad's garden when he grows it, with onions, potatoes and lashings of butter! Or Govindas in Dublin when my Dad is all out of Kale. Or Mam's cooking or Jon's cooking! So many good cooks in my life! Or sushi.

Wine or beer?

Wine and beer, but mostly wine because I'm allergic to beer! Boo, complain! As much as I'd like to deny it, there is no denying what beer does to my gut. Alcohol in general, bit bad for ya.

Cultural blindspot?

That's a complicated question. I guess I'm asking myself a lot these days - does my practice fit in with the current culture or challenge it? What springs to mind is a conversation I had with an Irish clown lamenting that he'll never be as good as the French clowns. I thought this was nonsense. I'm interested in how our experiences and culture can offer something unique and unusual, a different perspective. The only requirement is constant openness and receptiveness and perhaps, some quiet humility.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Pole dancing on Phantom

Woohoo! Amazing!
Tomorrow morning at 11am on Phantom FM, The Kiosk arts programme, I'll be joining the super strong, super talented Irish Champion Pole Dancer Arlene Caffrey for a very interesting discussion on pole dancing and it's place in contemporary theater and dance. You can listen live here: http://www.phantom.ie/



Monday, August 15, 2011

Death by Corde Lisse and Broken Heart

Photo: Ross Waldron

Exciting news: I'll be christening the new aerial point in the Sugar Club with a first ever aerial performance there this Friday at the Burlesque and Cabaret Social Club. The Sugar Club has a special place in my heart and it will be very very cool to do an aerial performance there for the first time, before our big show and of course, before I leave Dublin for Circus school in Belfast. My performance on Friday will mark the end of a personal era for me and the beginning of something mysterious and exploratory. It's the beginning of an adventure really. I'm very much looking forward to it and yet, I'm filled with a sad anticipation which often accompanies the passing of time and visits one on the cusp of change...

Blackbird
Death by Corde Lisse and Broken Heart
Burlesque and Cabaret Social Club
The Sugar Club
19th August 2011




Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Kathleen Doherty



First of a two part story about a performance artiste on a mission to find a performance space in Dublin in 2011, starring the wonderful, talented, inspiring, gorgeous Kat Doherty who is currently working as rehearsal director and movement mentor with PaperDolls. She also performed with us at Body&Soul. She's an amazing dancer and I absolutely adore this little film. I admire how cleverly the creators make their statement about the survival of arts in the city. Can't wait for the next part!


Kat as an Eccentric Lady of the Wood,
performing with PaperDolls at Body&Soul Festival, June 2011


Sunday, August 7, 2011

PaperDolls Dr. Sketchy's party!


Trust me.

Budda Bags, benches, watercolours, lights, pole dancers, pretty boys with glitter beards, cup cakes, tequila, dangling girls, dancing lads, gypsy pop, balkin beats, singing beasts, a warehouse in an empty square. Us, you, me, all on our own. Doing what we like.

Can't wait to see you all...

Ross Waldron: Hoop-skirt space ship

Photo and post production: Ross Waldron

ABSOLUTE ADORATION IN ZERO GRAVITY.

Captured backstage (in zero gravity) at
Bella A Go Go's Steampunk show,
Ross and I both agreed, this shot should be in outer-space.
And so, it shall be.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Impromptu photoshoot: Kyrstin Healy

There have been two promotional opportunities sent my way via the ABSOLUT Fringe offices recently, which have required head shots - no funny stuff, no costumes, just little ol' me. No glitz, no glamour, just straight up - that's her. I find it endlessly humourous that in the vast galleries of my face and figure which exist, of all the photographers I have worked with, of all the photoshoots I've done of myself, I have not ONE straight forward head shot, no costumes, no madness, no 'just' Emily. 'Yes', I thought when the first opportunity came about, 'I have millions of good photos just waiting for a printed home', sending on a reel of colourful, action shots and funny poses. 'Thanks Emily pics are great' Conleth said, 'but do you have any of you in your everyday clothes?'...

Everyday clothes?
No believe it or not, I don't.

Only upside down, swinging from trees, painted with tattoos, slicing a pair of stripy nylons off, dumping a box of Special K over my head or that one of me floating in space - but I can't say I'm wearing everyday clothes in any of those.

I quickly passed that particular promo op onto another PaperDoll, but when the problem presented itself a second time, I knew I needed to call an emergency impromptu photoshoot and get some good, wholesome, head and shoulders Emmo shots for just such occasions. So I called on Kyrstin Healy, a photographer I have been meaning to shoot with for a good while now and thankfully she was all for it. We got the portraits done quickly, but it was during the uploading process from camera to computer that things started to go a little technologically awry...

Photo: Kyrstin Healy

I guess my will for bizarre, ridiculous and generally more interesting visual imagery has begun influencing even the hardware of my environment! Excellent. But still, if you want to see the successful head and shoulders, plain ol' Emmo photo that Kyrstin and myself created this morning, keep an eye out for the Irish Indo's A Question of Culture column in the coming weeks where you can read the answers to those questions I'm sure you've always wanted to ask me:

Favourite aerialist/acrobatic performer? (living or dead). Why?
The best stage production (acrobatic or otherwise) you've ever seen? Why?
Craziest experience so far while performing?
Favourite band? Why?
Best concert/gig you've ever seen? Why?
Your desert island discs and why them?
Favourite book? Why?
Last book you read and loved? Why?
The book you could never make it through? Why?
Favourite film? Why?
Last film you saw and loved? Why?
Last film you saw and hated? Why?
Favourite TV show? Why?
Favourite radio show or presenter. Why?
Favourite website? Why?
Favourite city/country? Why?
Favourite food/restaurant. Why?
Wine or beer?
Cultural blindspot?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

PaperDolls Press photos by Leon Farrell

PaperDolls were lucky enough to be invited for a photocall to launch ABSOLUT Fringe 2011 at the Project Arts Centre in early July. As a result, we were featured on the cover of Metro magazine, inside the Irish Times and the Irish Independent. Pretty cool. Here are some of the press images which were taken by Leon Farrell.


Outside Project Arts Centre:



With Director of ABSOLUT Fringe, Roise Goan: