ALIGHT! was a dance, art and performance project led by CoisCéim Broadreach and Dublin’s Culture Connects, together with Dublin City Council and partners. I was brought onto the Artistic Team to document the process, performances, as well as to produce images for various social media sites. It was also during this time that I worked with Press Play [see photoblog] and a storytelling workshop as part of The National Neighbourhood [see photoblog].
Alight! was open to everyone from the very young to older people living in the Irishtown, Ringsend, Sandymount and Pearse Street communities. The core element of the project was around promoting and developing cultural and social access between communities, with the aim of connecting people along the capital’s number No.1 Dublin bus route. An original, inspiring and inclusive project, on, in and around a special customised double decker bus. The theme of journey and navigation assisted with the focusing of ideas and helped to draw out stories about the communities and allow other themes to materialise.
Over the course of the project, the bus became a focal point for collective creativity, from initial taster workshops in art forms such as dance, design, drama and storytelling, to social events and performances. People choreographed, used light as a form of design and perform in other 'moving interventions' on and off their bus and in local centres in their neighbourhoods.
An extremely fun and rewarding project in which to be involved and to work alongside choreographers, visual artists, videographers and facilitators.
As selection of images below from (i) The National Neighbourhood Storytelling (ii) St. Patrick's NS Brent Geese inspired dancing on Sandymount Beach (iii) St. Valentine's Day Tea Dance (iv) All Aboard (v) Mystery History Cabaret and (vi) Tell Your Story.
Above: Children from St Patrick’s National School in Ringsend took a trip recently to Sandymount beach, inspired by the annual Brent Geese migration to the shores of Dublin 4.
The children worked with choreographer Muirne Bloomer on movement and dance and in this way traced the patterns and formations of geese flocking and communicating. They kids created their own flying and dance sequences to represent and interpret geese on the move.
Visual artist Vanessa Daws was also on hand for some added inspiration and Brent Geese drawings were created by the 5th and 6th class students. These drawings were used as part of the design for the ALIGHT! double-decker bus which last week took passengers on a Mystery History Cabaret tour of the local area.
Brent Geese fly some 8,000km from their breeding ground in North Canada to Dublin every winter (stopping off in Iceland on the way). They first arrive in Dublin at the Merrion Gates on Sandymount Strand in one large group, where they feed on eelgrass and green seaweed. Once this food becomes scarce they fly inland in smaller groups to search for more grub in local parks, football pitches and, more recently, Dublin Port. - By Paul O’Rourke, Journalist, NewsFour