Delve: Carlow Arts Festival
Enda Moran, Waterford Youth Arts.
8-10 June 2018
In June 2018, I was invited to be part of the Delve residency at Carlow arts festival. I was one of two south-east based ISACS members selected to partake in the award. ISACS kindly provided us with accommodation, dinner and a timetable full of inspirational theatre, dance, circus and some large-scale spectacle work. I’m working with Waterford Youth Arts Circus and we are about to embark on a theatrical adventure with a new street spectacle titled ‘WeirdWacky & Wonderful' showcasing at Spraoi 18.
Our weekend kicked off with the magical L’Apr é s Midi D’un Foehn, a space area set with a large number of electric fans. The one-man show invited the audience on a journey of exploration of plastic bags caught by immersive lighting techniques and fans. The plastic bags danced together, solo’s and ambled height up to the ceiling. Truly special show and a great introduction to the festival.
On leaving the theatre we were greeted by a display like no other by Tom Campbell, ‘100 dog project. Tom had unleashed his dog creations to the public in a green area. The piece was interactive and allowed children and adults to step into the dog project and become immersed in its magic.
Ambling the streets there was no shortage of entertainment, Donnacha Cahill giant Gramophone provided festive sounds. He even allowed you to select some songs you wished to hear.
Nested next to this was Tombs Creatius (Catalonia) ‘The Trip’. After a well worth wait, I got my turn to enter the ‘The Trip’, It was spectacular. I can't say any more about ‘The Trip’ as each person has to sign a form of confidentiality that they will not tell anyone has happened in ‘The Trip’.
My Left Nut by Michael Patrick & Oisín Kearney bought us into the O'Hara's Pavilion circus tent. Michael’s left testicle when he was a teenager was the subject to the piece. An interesting interactive tale of adolescence, coming to terms with puberty, body changes and the uncertainty that unfolds in Michael’s Left testicle!
‘What am I worth’, by Extraordinary Bodies bought there works to Carlow with a large scale rotating hamster ball like cage. The set was as well constructed to allow the performers move safely and comfortably. Extraordinary bodies display the human form in all its inclusive glory.
After dark, we were greeted with Spraoi’s wonderful night parade, ‘Birds’. I followed the parade through the narrow streets of Carlow. It was procession like, we followed the large sculptures as they squeezed through the narrow street. Locals watching from there front doors and upstairs windows. The parade led up to the wonderful R.S.A.G who was in full swing with his dance like live drum beats. The audience danced as the night was lit by a fireworks display. Magical end to a truly inspiring day.
On Sunday morning, we got to wander the streets and take in some of the local artists' works that were happening as part of Carlow Fringe Festival in venues all over the city. At 1.30pm we entered the circus tent again for ‘My Place in Space’, by Dr. Niamh Shaw. This one-woman show was interactive from start to finish. She worked the audience in a exploration of Space and had head’s spinning and children on stage within minutes. Displaying practical physics and personal stories about her relationship with space, her experience there and the training involved in being an astronaut.
Coming out of the hot circus tent we went straight to ‘Wet Floor’, by CRIS-IS. A street spectacle piece that saw a slapstick clown show about a lady in a cleaning role and how it can all go very wrong very quickly. The audience was in hysterics within minutes, the stage was becoming increasingly disastrous and the show moved along. The performance saw every day cleaning objects used in stylised, interactive way. The floor becomes outrageously wet as the performer tries to manage the chaos. This short interactive piece was truly inspiring.
My Delve experience came to an end with 'D- Construction’ by Compagnie Dyptik. Greeted by wire mesh type fence structure, we see the audience placed on either side of the fence. The hip-hop dancers emerge from the audience, perform otherworldly dance experience like no other. The dancers invited both side of the fence to come closer. We moved and were bought head to head with audience members and the dancers navigated the structure above us. Dancing from pole to pole and coming to ground level occasionally. My favorite moment was when one of the dancers jumped the fence placing there leading foot through the wire mesh landing inches from my face. Magic!
I would like to thank Irish Street Arts, Circus and Spectacle Network, Carlow Arts Festival, Waterford Youth ArtsCircus and all involved in organising the Festival itself. It’s great to see such successful events happening in the South East and gives south eased based artists opportunities to meet up. The residency allowed me to truly Delve into a very interesting diversified arts festival. It has informed and inspired me as a performer, director and community worker.