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Creative Audiences

Photos by Luca Truffarelli

What is Creative Audiences?

Creative Audiences is an annual collaborative initiative. It offers 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 across a three-month period in the lead up to company premieres. Creative Audiences launched in 2020 and is run by facilitator Jenny Macdonald, Artistic Director Liz Roche, and continues to partner with Dublin Dance Festival.

The history

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.

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 develops, produces and performs a dance work in a variety of performance settings.

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 hither to normal Dublin City Centre reach

In 2020, we gave our participants an insight into the company’s creative process on ‘The Here Trio’, exploring key themes such as memory, empathy and relationships between politics and psychology on this island and beyond.

Our participants engaged in many different ways with the process over this time. The process began with improvisation and creative writing tasks designed for a social distancing situation, as well as a series of behind the scenes talks with Dublin Dance Festival 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.

Listen to a conversation with Creative Audiences Participants and the Dancers of The Here Trio

  • HERE/SAFETY by Maria Kelly

"At the beginning there was only movement without thought. Movement began to inform what’s unfolding. ‘Here’ began emerging as balance, centre and breath. I/Mummy Harmony began remembering some of the collected answers to questions about safety I have been exploring with the public. It feels to me as if the answers are forming a poem, they found their flow through the movement."

  • PUSHING WALLS by Fabiana Scaglioni

"The choreography arose from the feelings and experiences lived during the lockdown and organized after performing the creative tasks. Suffocating feelings were expressed in the contraction movements where the red picture appears as padded walls that do not allow the movement to complete. When a little air was reached the movements expanded and an image of elastic and colored walls appeared. This picture illustrates my experience of isolation during the pandemic where the walls of the images suffocated and at the same time were dispatched creating gaps of breathing."

  • MOVING INTO NOTHING by Fionnuala Conway

"As I sit in this chair, I feel a grounding happening, a heaviness that helps me to sink.

An anchor drops into the ocean.

Relief.

Breathe out.

I am here.

Here, and nowhere.

The waves are taking me, breathing me, rocking my body gently.

My aching heart is easing.

This is what here has to offer: a much-needed softening.

The spine starts to unwind, feeling like a fern unfolding, uncurling.

Where am I now? I seem to be moving into nothing.

Head and neck reach upwards, looking for light, moving towards the Sun.

The edges are moving outwards, the body is expanding.

Filling up this space; growing taller. Forever reaching for the Sun."

Listen to Moving Into Nothing by Fionnuala Conway

  • SLOWLY CONNECTING by Shonagh Hill

"Working on the creative tasks allowed me to take time for myself away from my children and all the exhausting work of getting us through the lockdown. I am very grateful for what the process gave me during this period. Initially I was working in a very small space and the limitations this put on my movements without doubt reflected what I was struggling with in daily life. Our engagement with The Here Trio led me towards creating space ‘here’ that reflected my desire for ‘there’ and that channelled my efforts to expand my movement and create breathing space."

  • GROUNDED by Aoife Dempsey

"This piece evolved from a series of creative exercises which involved tuning into the senses and following movement impulses. Throughout the process, the group explored the idea of what it means to be “here.” This took on new significance taking place as it did in the midst of lockdown. “Here” was experienced simultaneously in two opposing ways. “Here” was the loss of an elsewhere and the involuntary grounding of the body, leading to feelings of frustration and claustrophobia. “Here” was also an intense grounding and moving within nature’s rhythms, bringing a sense of peace and harmony not usually permitted by modern life."

  • IN THE SHADOW SPCAES by Clara Fitzgerald


  • WHERE IS HERE by Brian Keegan

In 2018, we partnered with The Civic Theatre Tallaght, Tallaght Community Arts and Dublin Dance Festival and invited audiences to engage with contemporary dance over a six month period. 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. Liz Roche created a specially tailored and unique to Tallaght preamble to the company performances of WRoNGHEADED at the Civic Theatre 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.

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