Before I am catapulted head-first into a week of 12-hour day rehearsals for the Land of Giants, I stole an hour to actually write a blog! It's been so long! And boy oh boy, what a start to what will undoubtedly be a defining Summer for PaperDolls aerial performance group, details of which will slowly and steadily be revealed over the next month.
Ferocious looking gals that us Dolls are, we have been frequently plucked for the odd photoshoot here and there to promote this gigantic event. This one was taken in Belfast Circus School (where I've been in incubation since September 2011). They pretty-ified my arm pit by photo-shopping my sweat patch out...
To my absolute delight, I was one of three aerialists selected from the Belfast Circus School crew to fly at a great height (up to 70 meters) from a crane over a sea of 20,000 people that will make up the audience for The Land of Giants. This is the harness I've been getting acquainted with, the only thing keeping me safe as I somersault through the air in choreographed abandon! I've labeled her "Emmo".
And here is where we have been rehearsing the last week. T13 is a huge warehouse which is also a skate and bike park. There's a bunch of hardcore breakdancers, BMX-ers and skateboarders who rally around doing pretty insane stunts - while we, well, rally around doing marginally insane stuff. And the banal - there is much waiting and repeating as we initiate a few 100 volunteers! On occasion, it rains inside! Seriously...
Yesterday we went on site for a quick run through of the opening scene. It was also raining outside!
In preparation for the big event, it has been our absolute pleasure to work with Simone and Joseph from Cuerda Producciones, Argentina, for the last three weeks doing lots of aerial harness! Here's a little video of the PaperDolls and friends, coming to terms with the harness. Graceful - as only us Dolls can be :)
In the meantime, our doppelganger clones have been working hard plotting, scheming and creating amazing new productions to bring to Dublin this year! I feel like exploding with excitement just thinking about what we have in store for our beloved city this Summer! Que facial BEAM!
Mere days after we dangle from cranes, shoot pyro from tethers, build ships and wrangle letters (you know, the Land of Giants show thing!) we return to Dublin to start our own gigantic work - beginning with what promises to be a very productive two week residency in Axis Theatre, Ballymun from the 5th - 22nd July.
As part of our time in Axis, PaperDolls will be hosting an evening of performance on the 21st July as well as public workshops in aerial and acrobatics on the 22nd July.
See Elaine Dolls upside down on the front cover of Axis' Theatre's Summer programme!
The full Axis Theatre programme can be downloaded here, including details of our performance and workshop weekend happening on the 21st and 22nd of July.
Finally, just so you know, PaperDolls were so pleased to present 'Soul Juncture' at the Irish Aerial Dance Festival in Letterkenny earlier this month. Jym Daly took some absolutely stunning photos, a sample of which can be seen here.
Well... here I go... head first into the most amazing Summer of my life.
☮ The last week has been completely mad! Regular training and routine was cast out of a high window as the circus school was taken over by the Festival of Fools, Belfast's annual street performance festival. It was AMAZING! Not only did PaperDolls get the chance and challenge of creating a street performance (in less then a week), we also got to socialise, work with and witness high class international street performers of fine repute. I was pretty sure that I would always be an indoor kind of girl, but who would have thunkit! Now I'm a burgeoning street performer.
Karen Doll took the lead with our performance idea, with my love of Harajuku style contributing to the over all look and concept. The piece itself was completely ridiculous and utterly bizarre but fun, visual, full of potential for development and very much in the spirit of comedy which Belfast Circus School is well known for.
It was pretty terrifying to face an audience of strangers on the street, a large crowd of people who may decide to go against your performative coaxing and commands. The world of indoor theatrical performance is cosy in comparison - the street is a dangerous playground, but one which is ripe with potential for inspiration and learning and elements of circus I love like risk taking challenge and experimentation.
The act may change, but I do believe the Harajuku Dolls are here to stay... Project!☮
Oh it was a rainy day for a protest parade, but not only did they see it through, The Spectacle of Hope and Defiance along with several other groups including the Workers Solidarity Movement, did a damn good job of brightening up Dublin city which was drenched in dismal weather yesterday.
PaperDolls were absolutely delighted to be invited back to don the scales of injustice and flaunt our gowns and smiles, with the last minute addition of eccentric lady rain gear to add to the wet spirit of the event (and to avoid saturation as much as possible! Which was largely ineffective... oh well!).
It's raining, it's pouring! That didn't stop the political revelers and
the PaperDolls taking great and spectacular strides down O'Connell
street in Dublin yesterday. Great thanks to Brian Fleming and big
congrats on a great parade of defiance.
I tell you now, chips taste better in the rain.
See and read about the last time PaperDolls appeared on the scales here.