Tuesday, 27 November 2007


Xiao Ke's blog reminded me that Dancehouse, where I generally work before going out into the public spaces of Dublin, is itself part of that urban space. As soon as I remember that I recognise that our building makes concrete a complex interaction of political, social and artistic forces: the work and aspiration of dance artists, the regeneration of a under-resourced area of Dublin, a public-private partnership in construction that comes from a particular moment of Ireland's economic history.... It's good to be reminded that these are the concretised stories our bodies are rubbing up against each day.

Xiao Ke's blog is http://blog.sina.com.cn/zhaozhaokklee

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Xiao Ke in Dublin

This past week, Xiao Ke and I have worked together, mostly in the studio in DanceHouse but also crossing the city to give her an idea of its geography and human colour. I learnt a great deal from our collaboration but I'm only beginning to understand what that learning is.
The large windows of Studio 4 in Dancehouse overlook the Eileen McLoughlin Park and the new apartment developments that hope to regenerate, reform and reorient the inner-city communities that have lived in the area. Xiao Ke was amazed at the number of Chinese people who now walk along Foley St with the other recently arrived and long settled, the young, the strung out, the pyjama-clad and well-heeled.

In the bleaching autumn light, the tarmac space that opens between the undressing trees and the peeping tower blocks suggested itself as a place to settle our developing dance. The crows share the space and people mark its perimeter.

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Xiamen -End of the Red Path - Deire an Chosain

Maybe it was the last time for Bernadette and I to experience our connection through the Cosán Dearg material but if it was, it was a joyful and creative valediction. The performance in Xiamen happened in the studios of local artist (and police commissioner), ???. The space, an old cigar factory, covers a vast area, much of it full of ??? work – large sculptures and installations that suggest something of a sci-fi movie set. But there is still plenty of space to move in.

Lu Ming, the curator and organiser in Xiamen, had asked the participating artists to perform simultanaeously around the space. Bernadette and I chose, as we had in Hangzhou, to allow the work to travel around the space repeating our encounters over three hours, performing our solos when we lost each other, always knowing that we would meet again. This process allowed us to explore the work with an audience in the way we have always done in the studio and the way we imagined we could at the end of each single performance at the beginning of this journey in Project Arts Centre.

I was moved when I would discover Bernadette around a corner, focused, in her mind and in her body – dancing.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Hangzhou Dock 47

It is only gradually that I have discovered that the reason that we had so much free time in the very beautiful Hangzhou. The original local partner of the festival was refused official permission to host the festival. The reason for this late cancellation seems to have been Shu Yang’s performance in Beijing in which he referred to Myanmar/Burma. As a result, there was a scramble to find us another venue in Hangzhou. Most of the western artists knew nothing of this at the time but the Dock 47 space was a great last minute choice: another post-industrial art space in the 798 mould.

The audience that assembled was engaged and curious and asked many questions after Bernadette and I performed. Having moderated my energy to allow for the explosiveness of Bernadette’s energy in Macau, I allowed myself to meet her strength in this space and we had fun with the resulting fusion and friction.

One of the audience members said she enjoyed the performance because she could feel that there was conflict and cooperation. I said I was happy that she saw this because the trust between Bernadette and me in this encounter allows us to experience the conflict and cooperation. She said we were like children in this freedom we had to express ourselves. Perhaps but we are, but if we are children we are children who have lived a lot and so this ‘childlikeness’ is no accident of age but a choice or maybe just an aspiration.

Tadeo's post

Another perspective on the Dadao Live Art festival in Beijing


Oxwarehouse: Bernadette fits right in

One of the most flattering observations made about our performance is that it looked as if we always lived in the Oxwarehouse with its funny drainage troughs and sloping floors. For some of the Performance artists, the immediacy of response to an environment is an important way of distinguishing themselves from the rehearsed performance of choreography.
However with Bernadette and me, the relationship to the space and to the particular building comes not from making a work that 'translates' the building into movement: instead it comes from bringing a developed physicality that is robust enough to be open to the energy of the space and doesn't need to ignore it to maintain the integrity of the dance. It makes the work a truly live art that interacts with its specific environment because of the strong preparation the choreography entails.