Dance House, 3 September 2020
This is a recording of a live improvisation by dancers Marion Cronin, Sarah Ryan, and Lucia Kickham whilst listening to Zosia Kuczyńska’s placeholder recording of the opening monologue from Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa (1990). Accompanying live and recorded sound is directed by Robbie Blake and performed by Bláthnaid Conroy Murphy and Michelle O’Rourke, combining improvisation with non-vocalised, articulated speech using only the lips and teeth. Whilst developing this piece, the dancers were directed to experiment with different ‘intentions’, responding to the content of the monologue or its imagery or its rhythm. Singers were likewise directed to respond by singing pitched rhythms, improvising freely, or mouthing the words with percussive articulation as they heard them. This work in progress is an example of some of the material from the collaboration that remained unused due to the project having to be reimagined for film rather than live performance in the wake of the ongoing pandemic.
This draft of Michael’s opening/closing monologue from Dancing at Lughnasa (1990) features some of the ways in which Friel would annotate his notes.
Jessie Keenan notes, 6
In this extract from Jessie Keenan’s project notes, Jessie plans different intentions for the dancers to try.
Has the play its own reality?
In this note dated 28 May 1989, Brian Friel interrogates the reality of his own play, Dancing at Lughnasa (1990), in relation to its narrator.
Robbie Blake's blue notebook, 8
In this page from Robbie Blake’s project notebooks, Robbie sets out the aims and methodology of a week of workshops and rehearsals at Dance House in August 2020. They also make a note to ask Zosia Kuczyńska to record some monologues from Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa (1990) as a tool for generating material.
Rehearsal, 3 September 2020
These photographs were taken by Zosia Kuczyńska during project workshops and rehearsals at Dance House on 3 September 2020.