The Creative Process

So what is surfacing (rehearsal), 25 February 2020

This is a version of Jessie Keenan’s live dance improvisation to audio she recorded in response to the question ‘So what is surfacing?’, adapted from a phrase written by Brian Friel during the composition process for Dancing at Lughnasa (1990). This is a rehearsal for a performance that took place at the UCD Humanities Institute as part of an illustrated talk by Friel scholar Zosia Kuczyńska, in which she spoke about the collaborative process of creating new work from creative encounters with the Brian Friel Papers. This presentation—a condensed version of an earlier talk at the Belfast Book Festival in June 2019—featured a showcase of work in progress by Jessie and Robbie, including early versions of ‘So what is surfacing’ and ‘Running the ending’.

Jessie would later go back to this footage and learn a phrase from her performance to teach to dancers Marion Cronin, Lucia Kickham, and Sarah Ryan. This phrase, danced in unison with moments of deliberate hesitation and repetition from two of the three performers, forms a significant portion of Jessie’s film ‘So what is surfacing’. 

Don't anticipate the ending Creative encounters with the Brian Friel Papers

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Presented in partnership with the National Library of Ireland