One Last Dance – An Chéad Damhsa
A perambulating dance between Guildford (the location I lived in when I first arrived in the UK as an Erasmus student in 1994) and Cloughjordan (the rural Irish village that I am moving to post-Brexit).
Following the Brexit vote I am leaving, and One Last Dance – An Chéad Damhsa is my final love letter to the UK.
As I dance my way through the UK I meet (and stay with) other EU citizens who walk/dance part of the way with me. Each EU citizen choreographs a section of One Last Dance, and all choreographic sections are linked to one another. As I dance I encounter arts organisations which have been part of my work in the UK over the past 24 years. At each of these encounters I perform One Last Dance to the accumulative stage that it will be at. As I enter the island of Ireland, the work shifts into its next stage: An Chéad Damhsa, which in English means My First Dance. Eventually I reach my final destination (Cloughjordan), where I perform the entire accumulated choreography. The 2-month long perambulating dance will be documented on film.
I expect…That the walk will be physically exhausting. That saying goodbye to the country which was my home for so many years will be an emotional journey.
I fear…That I won’t physically be able to do it.
I doubt…That I won’t physically be able to do it.
I wish…That the work will have contributed to an increased awareness around the Home Office’s hostile environment policy towards immigration in general, and more specifically to those EU citizens who will acquire settled status in the UK. That my sadness around Brexit will have transformed into gratitude for the many beautiful years I have had in the country. That by the end, the work will feel like my final love letter to the UK.
Cloughjordan resident (and member of Cloughjordan ecovillage) Julie Lockett will be my final collaborator for the project. On Friday 26th October 2018 Julie and I will walk together into Cloughjordan. During the walk we will devise a short performance that will end the accumulative dance.
We invite you to attend the performance!!
Friday 26th October, 8-10pm,
We Create Workspace, CLOUGHJORDAN
Tickets: pay what you decide and no need to book
Further information on the project
Instant Dissidence is a UK/Ireland-based company directed by Rita Marcalo. “It is my way of bringing different artists together, in different combinations, to realise different ideas: through Instant Dissidence I invent ways of offering other people art experiences. My practice began in dance/choreography but eventually I was more interested in communicating concepts than in sticking to a particular art form. I began collaborating with others to create work in different media, and today I bring in people from different areas to solve creative problems. Instant Dissidence’s is also a socially-engaged practice where the company foregrounds the role that dance/choreography can play as a social engine: we are ‘artivists’ who believe in the power of connecting art and social consciousness.”
….. Press reviews of previous work
With tears in my eyes I end this dance. With tears in her eyes Rita thanks me for dancing with a stranger.
(Lisa Stertz, Incident Magazine)
A series of powerful duets performed with people on the streets, each one an act of hope.
(Steve Wright, Bristol 24/7)
The perseverance and singular purpose of Rita and her team shines through, despite facing considerable adversity and resistance both socio-political and cultural barriers to her dance workshops, she wins the community around.
(Michelle Dee, Transgressions: Breaking the Rules)
One Last Dance – An Chéad Damhsa is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. Additional project funders and presenting organisations can be found here, project partners here, and individual donours here. An Instant Dissidence production.
For press related enquiries and images contact Kristina Lomas at email@example.com.
Read More here:
A series of music concerts, sessions and workshops in Cloughjordan, Co. Tipperary on September 15th – 17th.
Featuring Andy Irvine and Don Baker in a very special double bill on Friday night, and a rare Irish appearance by world-renowned maestro harmonica player Brendan Power on Saturday night. These concerts will take place amuigh faoin spéir in the newly opened Cloughjordan Amphitheatre (or alternative venues in the event of poor weather).
On Saturday and Sunday there will be a series of workshops, lessons and masterclasses in the harmonica for all ages and abilities by expert repairers, teachers and players.
Information on where to purchase concert tickets and book workshop places, and on travel and accommodation to follow.
13.30 – 15.00 – Starting at the Community Amphitheatre
NATURE & COMMUNITY
A talk with ecologist and RTE’s “EcoEye” presenter Anja Murray will be held in the stunning location of the new outdoor Community Amphitheatre in Cloughjordan ecovillage. This will be followed by a guided tour of the biodiversity and tourism elements of the project. Participants should be prepared for an outdoor event, waterproofs and sturdy shoes are recommended. Cloughjordan Ecovillage has been recognised as one of Europe’s most successful projects modelling the transition to a low-carbon society. It features a biodiversity trail, allotments for growing food, a community farm and apiary, research gardens and a community woodlands. Also the new Brefne-Beara Walkway (BBW), Ireland’s first Heritage National Waymarked Trail linking the Beara peninsula with Leitrim, comes through the Ecovillage.
This event is organised by the Education Group at Cloughjordan Ecovillage
15.00 – 16.30 – WeCreate Enterprise Centre
RURAL REGENERATION & ECO-TOURISM TALK & PANEL DISCUSSION
‘Rewildling’ aims to end intensive human management of habitats and allow them to re-generate naturally. This could mean the creation of large new areas of native woodland and forest, and new wetlands on cutaway bog, offering significant economic opportunities in marginalised rural areas. In this TED style talk writer and journalist Lenny Antonelli will look at what rewilding is and how it differs from traditional habitat conservation. He will explore its potential to create new eco-tourism enterprises in rewilded areas, based around walking, hiking, mountain biking, nature-watching and other adventure activities, as well as local craft and food industries centred around local nature and wildlife.
The panel discussion will explore the opportunities of developing sustainable eco-tourism enterprises centred on ‘rewilding’ project areas, with a particular focus on the midlands. The panel will include Lenny, Anja, Ricky Whelan, a director of the Abbeyleix Bog Project and others. Broadcaster Duncan Stewart will close the session with his reflections on ‘rewilding’.
For further details or to book a place contact Davie at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0505 56061 –
These are free events are supported by Notice Nature and the Irish Environmental Network, and held in association with the Cloughjordan Community Development Committee’s 2017 National Biodiversity Week Programme. For more details see www.thevillage.ie For the full programme of this year’s Cloughjordan Biodiversity Week see www.cloughjordan.ie
This event is organised by Cultivate Living and Learning.
Both events are FREE events!
Download PDF file: ECOLearn-Biodiversity2017
Friday 2nd June, 1pm
Nordberg String Orchestra
The Cloughjordan Amphitheatre (free event)
The first concert in the Amphitheatre will be given by the Nordberg String Orchestra, a children’s orchestra from a neighbourhood in Oslo, founded in 2011. The players are aged 9 to 14 are passionate about playing their instruments. In this picture they are performing on the roof of the Oslo Opera House. They can’t wait for their first trip abroad, to Ireland this June.
The orchestra is lead by Juliet Jopling, Arvid Engegård, Mari Lerseth and Vivian Sunnarvik, all of whom are leading figures in Norwegian professional music life.
Edvard Grieg: Holberg Suite
V Monti: Czardas
Norwegian folk music and Finnish tangos.
If its raining, the concert will be in St. Kieran’s Hall
Find out more about the Orchestra and it’s leaders here: http://engegardquartet.com/biography/
Cloughjordan Community Amphitheatre was officially opened by President Michael D Higgins on the eve of Earth Day 2017.
In a rousing speech to the gathered crowd of 350 people the President praised the latest development in the Cloughjordan ecovillage as “a work of vision, of reimaging.”
With seating capacity for 250 people, the amphitheatre is a new multi-purpose performance space designed to stage a diverse range of cultural events, from youth, amateur and professional drama to music concerts, educational talks, screenings and recitals.
President Higgins said it is an “important space of artistic learning and sharing” in the vision of the Cloughjordan native, Thomas MacDonagh, the teacher, revolutionary and poet who was one of the signatories of the 1916 Proclamation.
The amphitheatre is built into a mound at the northern end of the Cloughjordan ecovillage, and is sculpted from the Tipperary landscape using permaculture design principles.
It incorporates a commemorative inscription, from Francis Ledwidge’s poem Lament for Thomas MacDonagh, crafted by local artists Lian Callaghan and Thomas Wollen.
The President and his wife Sabine were welcomed to the amphitheatre by ecovillage resident Prof Peadar Kirby and a guard of honour by the local Scout group. The opening included performances by local musicians – Rigs and Jeels; Weave; and Angela De Burca and Deirdre O’Leary – and a reading of Ledwidge’s lament by local resident Patrick Bergin.
Michelle Drysdale, a descendent of MacDonagh’s, also addressed the crowd. She described the amphitheatre as “stunning” and a truly fitting tribute to her great-grandfather.
“I know that he would have been proud of it and the community effort that made it happen,” she said.
President Higgins said he was honoured to hear MacDonagh’s relative speak and that MacDonagh understood that “you must be able to have a kind of integrity of imagination such as will allow . . . all of the passions of the heart.”
He lauded the founders of the ecovillage who came together some 20 years ago in the Central Hotel in Dublin “to share their dreams of what might be – a more ethical and sustainable life, lived in a community which isn’t easy and can have difficulties.”
“It’s the first anniversary of the Paris Agreement, and one of the things that strikes one, and particularly at my stage of life, is that very often you can look back at whole reams of words that really are quite distracting unless they are turned into reality.
“But here in the ecovillage so much is being turned into practical achievements,” he said.
He noted that the ecovillage is not alone, that it has a wonderful and important relationship with its surrounding communities and that there is an international ecovillage movement.
He quoted the mission of the Global Ecovillage Network: “A world of empowered people and communities designing pathways to a sustainable future while building bridges of hope and international solidarity.”
“These are inspiring words translated into new ways of living here in Cloughjordan . . . about how we might live together not continually recoiling from one level of anxiety or another, but living with joy,” he said.
“As I formally open this amphitheatre I want to say, may its example flow out, may people discover the courage and the joy of being able to live together and be able to do so.”
The main designer and driver of the amphitheatre project, Mick Canny, concluded the speeches. He expressed his delight at the launch, said he hoped the amphitheatre would live up to the challenge of “reimagining” and thanked all those involved, in particular the philanthropic JVM Trench Trust, which has committed to supporting the project for the first three years of operation.
View or download a PDF transcript of the presidents speech – click here
The amphitheatre is not yet finished, said Canny, and donations are always welcome.
For further information please see
Cloughjordan Amphitheatre Project 2016 on Facebook – @clougharts
Cloughjordan Arts CLG, the not-for-profit company developing the Cloughjordan Community Amphitheatre, is seeking to raise €20,000 to complete the first phase, and to open the facility for public performances in Summer 2017.
So far the company has raised and spent €60,000. This money was raised through local fundraising combined with a 1916 Centenary Special Projects grant from the Department of Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Tipperary County Council.
The JVM Trench Trust, a philanthropic trust with a paticular interest in the Cloughjordan area has committed to supportIng us through our first 3 years of operaIon.
The amphitheatre itself is situated within the lands of the Cloughjordan Ecovillage, a registered educaIonal charity. Cloughjordan Arts CLG will operate the facility under licence from this charity.
In order to bring this exciting project forward we are asking for your help!
Read more here: Support Cloughjordan Ampitheatre
Click below to make a donation now!
This Saturdays Meitheal at the Community Amphitheater may be rescheduled due to bad weather, check back on our Facebook page for updates..
Another milestone on site today with the concrete for the stage plinth, and toilet hardstand being poured. The wet weather delayed this operation for the last week.
The stage dimensions are approximately 6mts(W) x 7.5mts(D) – which is sized to accommodate medium sized touring shows.
The plan is for one big final push now before the winter kicks in, and a Meitheal is scheduled for 22nd – 25th September.
More details to follow on that..