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Geena O Keffe
ISACS Member - Geena O'Keffe

geena o keffeDelve: Carlow Arts Festival

Geena O'Keeffe

8-10 June 2018


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I didn’t really know what to expect from the DELVE programme. I am very new into the circus and street arts scene and am really quite clueless on how to start creating more and working more in this area. That’s why I joined ISACS in the first place. So I thought DELVE might be a good way to meet people and get an idea of next steps.

Lucy was incredibly thoughtful about the entire programme and what we would be getting out of it from the get-go, providing us with a schedule of the shows that she thought we should see. Then, during the weekend Lucy made every effort to introduce us to as many people as possible. We got chatting to so many different people, took contacts down, made notes of the people we had met, and generally just made connections. I can’t think of another instance, unless you were doing an internship, where you would have such a good opportunity to get these types of introductions.

Then, besides all the class, creative people we got to meet, we also saw some incredible performances. Lucy made sure we didn’t miss any of the ones that fitted in well with our areas of interest, insisting that I make it to a comedy street show called Wet Floor, which was a joy to watch. She had the crowd in the palm of her hand and everyone around me was laughing. Another highlight of the weekend was Kamchatka, which featured a group of what I thought to be 8 lost travellers transported years into the future into the middle of a shopping centre. With confusion and curiosity, they start to explore the space. What really struck me about the whole piece was how brilliantly they interacted with onlookers. People seemed to feel a little awkward at first, but Kamchatka expertly won them over without a word being spoken. It was definitely the most relaxed and organic audience interaction I’ve ever seen from a street show and I really learned a lot from watching them. There was a young boy who had been talking loudly about how weird the performers were, and I don’t know whether they overheard this but after including him in a piece of the show they seemed to change his mind. We talked to the boy afterwards and he told us the show had made his day. These were definitely the most interesting and relevant shows for me and I really enjoyed watching how naturally they seemed to bring the audience into the world they were creating. 

The other show that really stuck out in my mind was D-Construction, a group of dancers and probably one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. Everyone I know who saw the act were completely blown away. The sheer talent of the dancers, the story they were telling, the slow build as more and more dancers joined the group. It was perfect. Again, they interacted with the audience. We moved on either side of the massive structure they danced around, changing our perspective as we moved closer, until each half of the audience was sat facing each other through the chain-link fence. The dancers sat there on either side too.  Breaking down the space we keep from strangers in public and making us look at each other face on. It was brilliant; I immediately started looking up their other gigs to see if I could catch them again. And these are just three of the wide variety of shows we were able to attend over the weekend.

I’d highly recommend applying for the DELVE programme for anyone who is thinking about it. It’s a really cool opportunity, and I learned a lot from watching the performers and from meeting so many different people. I’d just like to thank Lucy for such a thoroughly enjoyable weekend, and for being such a kind and welcoming person. I had high expectations for the weekend and it far exceeded them!

Irish Street Arts Circus and Spectacle Network

Irish Theatre Institute, 17 Eustace St, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, Ireland
00 353 (0)87 0541812 info@isacs.ie
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