Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Jameson, Modern Art, Fringe Festival & DanceHouse - Dublin

This past weekend I set out for Dublin again for a jam packed weekend of fun!
I started to plan a small trip because the Dublin Fringe Festival was happening and I really wanted to see Chunky Move (a contemporary dance company based in Australia) perform. I decided to stay till Tuesday night and also catch a performance by the Irish Modern Dance Theatre, and just to fill out my nights, I also booked a show for Sunday night by a company called PaperDolls who I knew nothing about... but more on that later.
The trip was shaping up!
Then I got great news! I was so excited to hear that my friend Lauren (who I met a few years back at ADF New York) was able to come down from Belfast for the weekend and meet me in Dublin!
And I was lucky enough to stay with Anna (a new friend who is a Fulbright researcher at Trinity now) in her full friendly house in Dublin!

Lauren and I arrived in Dublin on Saturday and Anna met us at the bus station so we could walk our bags back to her place, then head out for a tour of the Jameson Distillery!
 It was a beautiful day out so we hiked across Dublin and sat in the sunshine till it was time for our group tour of the distillery.
 The tour was really interesting and our guide was great! She was such a tiny little thing, but was very knowledgeable and well spoken and great at handling our group that included a very drunk and disorderly stag party (bachelor party) where the groom was for some unknown reason dressed as Steve Irwin and the best man wearing an alligator hat. Hilarious but obnoxious.
 It was cool to see the whiskey at different stages in the aging process, how the color develops and how much evaporates each year! They call the evaporation the "angels share" - cute!
 Of course the best part was the tasting at the end! There were options to try your Jameson sample different ways so the three of us each got it a different way and then chose our favorite. We tried it neat, with sprite, and with ginger ale, and we all liked the ginger ale the best!
 Anna and I at Jameson

Saturday evening, Lauren and I were going to see Chunky Move at the Samuel Beckett Theatre at Trinity, but had some time to kill before the show so we went to some vintage shops around the area and had a great time looking through all the quirky knick knacks and clothes!
Chunky Move's I Like This was different than we both expected, but a great show. It was a bit more of a performance art piece than the pure movement we were both craving, but it was so interesting to see how they used gesture and spoken word along with creative lighting to lead the audience through the crazy and sometimes hilarious process of creating work. Thoroughly enjoyed! Also at the show I ran into my friend Lucia who I met during the IMDT intensive my first week in Dublin. Always nice to see friendly familiar faces and start to feel like you know a place.

After the show we met up with Anna again for coffee and split an AMAZING dessert, chocolate fondant with strawberries and ice cream!
 Perfection with a mocha to top off and amazing day in Dublin!
 We crossed over the bridge (newly built, meant to look like the Irish harp!) and passed out at Anna's!

Sunday we also had a fun day planned to go and see the Museum of Modern Art Ireland! The building itself, while quite beautiful, was not so modern!
 We had a great time exploring the interesting exhibits (and floor plan) of this museum, then stopped in the cafe for some sweeties!
 Anna and Andreas
 Lauren and I 
Delicious raspberry cupcake I enjoyed with an herbal blood orange tea!

 After reviving ourselves with some sweets and coffee/tea we headed out to the gardens surrounding the museum and found these interesting animal signs all around. Of course we couldn't resist a picture with the kitty! As you can tell, it was WINDY!
 The gardens were really beautiful, even in the wind and rain!
 We made one last stop in a separate part of the museum to see this photography exhibit, and I am so glad we did! It was my favorite part - gorgeous images!
Sunday night I went to see the PaperDolls show. I was a little apprehensive about going to the show on my own (as Lauren had to head back to Belfast and the show was sold out so Anna couldn't get a ticket!) but I am sooo glad I decided to go! The show was amazing! It started out with a maze of paper walls that you had to go through to find your way to the seating. There were little cutouts in the walls and in nooks and crannies along the way with scenes of people and houses and all sorts of things made out of paper and lit up. It was the perfect way to get the audience in the right state of mind for the show! As we found our seats I was thrilled to see aerial equipment! I hadn't read anything about the company before, wanting to be surprised instead of reading tons of reviews and heading into the show already opinionated and I'm so glad I did. It was so exciting to see aerial and not even be expecting it! 
There were different artists on the lyra, silks, rope, and pole but they were all fully integrated and not at all choppy like some aerial performances can be with awkward time between acts. It was the perfect amount creepy circus feel, playful exchanges, and enticing movement all backed with bizarre images projected on 3 paper walls behind them and an original dubstep-esque score that hyped excitement.
Fantastic show!  

On Monday and Tuesday I headed to DanceHouse to take class. It felt like coming home. It is so interesting how quickly dance makes me feel so connected with a space. I have probably talked about this before, but I really am seeing it over here. Just walking into DanceHouse I knew the receptionist's friendly smile, and made my way with ease to the right dressing rooms and studio where I comfortably stretched out in a spot by the window, like I had been doing it every day my whole life. I no longer felt like a foreigner lost in the sea of Dublin. Movement tied me to this space. This space where no matter your nationality or background, you know you have a passion for dance in common with those around you and it is easy to feel safe and free. 
This week an international guest teacher Ennio Sammarco was teaching morning professional contemporary. Originally from Italy, Ennio's accent was almost as beautiful as his weighty flowing movement. It had been awhile since my last real dance class (back to the first week with IMDT) and I felt a little stiff and uninspired at the beginning of class, but as we got moving and I allowed myself to look past my tweaks and imperfections, rather than focusing on them, I really fell right into the movement. A lot of the phrases we did reminded me of some of my professors work at UGA and I became more confident as my body tapped into some muscle memory and aided me in the movement. There was a ton of spiraling and ground work that called for full body integration, and I love how Ennio brought to our attention the importance of our eyes and focus as being the key to real movement. Something I have known for awhile I need work on, but somehow the way he explained it made more sense to me. Great class, I am so glad I got soak it in for two days!

Tuesday night was my final night seeing Fringe shows and it was the Irish Modern Dance Theatre! Walking from the Luas into Temple Bar to find the Project Arts Centre and I saw crowds of people and lights up and someone informed me that they were shooting some sort of Bollywood movie there! I am pretty sure I saw some pretty famous people, but I couldn't tell you who they were ha! A bunch of black SUV's pulled up and some people walked out and onto the set and everyone got riled up and started taking a ton of pictures, so of course I had to as well (no one had to know I had no idea who I was taking pictures of... haha)
I had some time to kill before my show so I sat in a little cafe and enjoyed some tea while watching the madness right outside on the street in front of me!
The performance was a little off the wall to say the least. It was choreographed and performed by Adrienne Truscott (from NYC) with the Irish Modern Dance Theatre. It was avant-garde, crazy, dirty, thought provoking, entertaining, performance art. A few words without giving it all away - red spandex, shopping bag t-shirt, full frontal nudity, screaming, flash mob, leaping/stomping/hopping(naked of course), projected images on cardboard,  bread shoes, red face paint, jeggings, sequin dress, mixed age/race/gender, in your face... and that's just the start :) A very interesting way to cap off the Dublin Fringe Festival. It was so refreshing to see a wide range of dance and performance art that was highly attended and appreciated by the Dublin community!  
Ready for another trip to Dublin, every time I find more and more to explore and investigate!

1 comment:

  1. I love your posts, pictures and way of talking about dance. You are amazing.