Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Bohemian Bodies from Merrion Square to Kilkee, County Clare...

"Bohemian Bodies" talk at the Irish Architectural Archive about to begin...
Last Tuesday, February 12th I was delighted of the opportunity to present an hour-long talk at the Irish Architectural Archive entitled "Bohemian Bodies - Erina Brady's Modern Dance in 1940s Dublin", as part of Shane O'Toole's series of talks to accompany his fascinating exhibition "Noel Moffett - Restless Pencil".  Who ever knew that pre-fabs could be so cool?  This is a seriously great exhibition and it's not on for that much longer so get in there while you can! As you can see from the above photograph (taken by the great Una Kavanagh), of "The Silent Isle", a section of Erina Brady's 1946 production "The Voyage of Maeldune", after Tennyson, at the Peacock Theatre, there was no lack of great visuals to illustrate what I was talking about.  I showed 39 images in all, on top of Liam O'Laoghaire's 11 minute film "Dance School" which gives us a precious glimpse into Erina Brady's studio in action in 1943 (how amazing is that?).  It was great to get all this off my chest! 

Of course I have been steeped in this material, between working on my upcoming crowd-funded film "1943 - A Dance Odyssey", based on Liam O'Laoghaire's film "Dance School", and the tiny tots therein; my ongoing TG4 project "Dance Emergency", and the book, the book, which springs eternal...  So it was good to give it an airing in public, and I'm relieved that talk is over and delivered, to be honest! It is ready to go now, for anyone else who wants to book it. Just drop me an email.

Oh yes, and the exhibition - "Bohemians - Et Ce Chant dans mon Coeur".  It hasn't disappeared you know.  After a great month in Culturlann Sweeney, Kilkee, County Clare in August/September, 2012, the prints are in waiting in Limerick for an exhibition space to become available.  That's all I can say for the moment, but watch this space, it's coming...

The hang, in progress...
We had a great time in Culturlann Sweeney, including a gala opening on August 28th, with Nick Bryson's "Legitimate Bodies" kindly traveling all the way from Birr, County Offaly to share their work in progress with us.  
Tom of Culturlann Sweeney hanging the Bohemians

"Bohemians", at Culturlann Sweeney, Kilkee, County Clare

The Banner Theatre Company, including Mary Cusack, a former schoolmate of
mine from Cahercon Salesian Boarding School, in Kildysert, County Clare, did a wonderful job performing  Jacqueline Robinson's poems in English.  I recorded them on my Handy Zoom recorder, have a listen to "7 Songs from my Heart" by Jacqueline Robinson They were impressive, and it was really great to hear those handwritten words performed (directed by Jenny Bassett, the theatre manager) - I wonder if they were ever performed in a theatre before?
On Culture Night we had a wonderful extravaganza of dance in conjunction with the exhibition, from Dinan School of Dance, Ennis, to Siobhan ni Dhuinin, who had just completed her MA in Contemporary Dance at University of Limerick.  The Banner Theatre Company performed the poetry again, and I gave a talk on Modern Dance. 

Banner Theatre Company perform "7 Songs from my Heart"
So as you can see this project is all about the interdisciplinary, and is constantly evolving.  It seemed therefore perfectly appropriate to me that the talk should make its debut in the context of an architecture exhibition.  Erina Brady sent her Modern Dance pupils June Fryer and Jacqueline Robinson to Noel Moffett for architecture lessons (Shane O'Toole has the receipts to prove it), and Noel Moffett's first wife, Margot Moffett, was one of Erina's dancers, and is 2nd from the right on the above photograph of The Voyage of Maeldune.  To be continued!

In the meantime I am looking forward to hosting the Q & A with Catherine Owens this evening after the JDIFF premiere of her 3D film "Colin Dunne - Sculpting Space".

Culture Night, 2012, in Kilkee, County Clare
Q & A with Catherine Owens, director of "Colin Dunne - Sculpting Space" #JDIFF

1 comment:

Marie said...

you're amazing Deirdre! you have rescued a really precious piece of history here.