So what is surfacing
This note towards Dancing at Lughnasa (1990) contains a phrase that directly inspired Jessie Keenan’s short dance film of the same name, ‘So what is surfacing’. Here, Friel makes a note of key elements of the play that are beginning to emerge, including dance as both a substitute for language and a means of accessing what he calls ‘suppressed + almost forgotten truths’.
From MS 37,104/1, National Library of Ireland; copyright Brian Friel Estate, reproduced by permission.
So what is surfacing: – (see below)
1) Dancing as language
2) Fr. J. as the catalyst: houseboy.
3) Dancing as release and entrance to suppressed + almost forgotten truths (Final Scene).
Jessie Keenan's questions
Jessie Keenan compiled this list of phrases and questions after visiting Friel’s archives and sharing research with Friel scholar Zosia Kuczyńska.
So what is surfacing?, original improvisation
This is Jessie Keenan’s original 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).
Task Sheet, 14 April 2020
These task sheets were given to all participants in a series of Zoom workshops during April 2020.
Portrait: Jessie Keenan
Jessie Keenan is an Irish choreographer whose work intersects science, visual art, architecture and archives.