An annual collaborative initiative, Creative Audiences is an interactive audience development project which gives audiences the opportunity to engage on a deeper level with Liz Roche’ Company’s work through a free programme of open-access workshops, talks, rehearsals and performances spread out across a three-month period in the lead up to company premieres.
Through this project, we aim to build a new generation of dance audiences in Ireland, allowing people to discover and enjoy our work and with a long-term ambition of instilling a profound understanding and appreciation of contemporary dance which demonstrates the highest level of artistic and technical quality.
Creative Audiences originated through another programme, Active Audiences which ran in 2017 and 2018 with the Civic Theatre, Tallaght Community Arts and Dublin Dance Festival as part of Liz Roche Company’s residency at the Civic Theatre Tallaght 2017 – 19. The project was facilitated by Jenny Macdonald and Liz Roche.
The residency centered around Liz Roche Company’s work and invited audiences to engage with contemporary dance throughout 2017 and 2018. Participants followed the work of Liz Roche Company through a programme of events, workshops, talks and performances that allowed them to experience up close how the company goes about developing, producing and performing a dance work in a variety of performance settings.
In 2020, Creative Audiences began. The programme is run by facilitator Jenny Macdonald and Liz Roche, and continues to partner with Dublin Dance Festival.
In response to the 2020 lockdown we moved the programme online. We were able to offer our 40 participants a series of weekly practical creative tasks, talks and feedback sessions, with the overall programme offering a deeper insight into the art form of dance, with opportunities to discuss and to respond creatively to dance works by Liz Roche Company and a range of choreographies presented at Dublin Dance Festival.
Facilitated by Jenny Macdonald and Liz Roche with members of Liz Roche Company, this opportunity gave our participants insight into the company’s creative process on their recent work, The Here Trio, exploring key themes such as memory, empathy, what it is to be “here”, and relationships between politics and psychology on this island and beyond.
Our participants engaged in many different ways with the process over this time. We began with improvisation and creative writing tasks designed for a social distancing situation, as well as a series of behind the scenes talks with DDF artistic director Benjamin Perchet, Choreographer Liz Roche and The Here Trio dancers Sarah Cerneaux, Glòria Ros Abellana and Ryan O’Neill.
The process then moved towards the generation of personal creative responses to the experience with the facilitators supporting participants throughout.
Below are 7 responses from different members of the group that show their journey through this process. Some reflect their own personal process and some are presented as independent creative responses to the experience and the issues we encountered along the way. All took the journey with us with open hearts and real commitment and we hope you enjoy the work.
In 2021 Liz Roche Company has undertaken the task of building a more diverse and inclusive pool of participants from which to draw on over the coming years. We are currently working with three community groups; The Saol Project, Headway and Noise Moves. This has come about as a result of a consultation process between the company and key dance community leaders in the Dublin area and beyond. We are carrying out a series of workshops currently with our participants this winter, and we plan to begin to see this pool of people grow and be guided to engage with the proposed Creative Audiences programme in 2022.
We were delighted to be able to invite members of the Saol Project to the dress rehearsal of our recent production Dēmos at the O’Reilly theatre for Dublin Dance Festival Winter 2021 Edition and follow that experience up with a creative workshop.
Active Audiences 2017 & 2018
Liz Roche Company-in-Residence Civic Theatre Tallaght 2017 – 19
The aims of the residency were to:
utilise the resources of a significant venue to maximise the quality, scale and out-reach of its current and planned artistic programme
to enable, through collaboration and support the further development of the company’s practise
to develop joint projects of scale and locality
to develop and grow an audience in the 250,000 strong catchment area of South Dublin County region, expanding the company’s audience beyond its hitherto normal Dublin City Centre reach
Active Audiences 2018
Liz Roche Company partnered by The Civic Theatre Tallaght, Tallaght Community Arts and Dublin Dance Festival invited audiences to engage with contemporary dance over a six month period in 2018. Participants followed the work of Liz Roche Company through a programme of events, workshops, talks and performances that allowed them to experience up close how the company goes about developing, producing and performing a dance work in a variety of performance settings.
Co-ordinated by Jenny Macdonald, the programme responded to the group feedback from 2017 and Liz Roche created a specially tailored and unique to Tallaght preamble to the company performances of WRoNGHEADED at the Civic Theatre (Oct 19th &20th) by way of a dynamic installation involving local audience reactions to the source subject matter behind the creation of the piece. The installation was called Wrongheaded Responses.
Company artists involved: Liz Roche (Artistic Director), Luca Truffarelli (Film maker), Katherine O’Malley (LRC Associate dance artist), Lucia Kickham (LRC Associate dance artist).The Active audience programme runs one event each month from June – October with varying levels of participation.
Liz Roche says “Following on from last year’s Active Audience experience, I am confident that in 2018 we can take it to the next level. Creating an installation performance alongside our ongoing workshops and performances is an exciting prospect, that will bring our Active Audience into the very heart of how we make and present our dance.”
On October 19th and 20th the Active Audience performed inside an installation created by videographer Luca Truffarelli and choreographer Liz Roche at the County Library in Tallaght.
Active Audiences 2017
As the first project of the 3 year residency with the Civic Theatre Tallaght Liz Roche Company, The Civic, Tallaght Community Arts and Dublin Dance Festival invited audiences to engage with contemporary dance over a six month period from April to September 2017. Participants followed the work of Liz Roche Company through a programme of events, workshops, talks and performances which allowed them to experience up close how the company goes about developing, producing and performing a dance work in a variety of performance settings. This project was co-ordinated by Jenny Macdonald.
Some Feedback from the Participants 2017
seeing spaces as possible spaces to perform. That is looking at the art gallery in terms of its space pattern and its content-and also made me more aware of other spaces
very enjoyable so far. Different kinds of unexpected learning! Now knowing what to expect anyway-that’s the joy of it for me.
I feel like I’ve experienced the ‘landscape’ of the dance through the movement and creations of the dancers…& moments during the week have ‘echoed’ some of the movements
I would love to experience being able to move in the day. Be the dancers more-which given my age and general unfitness is not possible (well in my dreams I can sometimes fly so maybe in my dreams)
We are proud of our partners.
Liz Roche Company is strategically funded by the Arts Council and supported by Dublin City Council