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BIRCA Culture Week Festival

Within the Culture week at BIRCA, in the afternoon and evening of 21st of September 2022, a wonderful program of 5 performances created within Island Connect will be shown. The program features two final productions from Island Connect – last year’s production “What planet are you from?” by Nikolina Komljenović and Irma Unušić (Croatia), this year’s production “Dancing with the trees” by Marilén Ribot (Mallorca). The others are works-in-progress presentations – “Where Seaweed Dances” by Danae Wollen & Samuel Arnold Keane (Ireland), “Secret garden” by artists Anna Javoran, Irma Unušićand Sabrina Fraternali (Croatia), and “The Laughing Game” by Danish artist Antoinette Helbing, together with her artwork presentation “The Laughing Crowd” with Brigitte Skands.

Read more about the individual events here. All events except the workshop can be attended by international audiences as no language or English is being used. All events require the purchase of a culture pass, as we are supported by Culture Week.

Irish Aerial Dance Festival

The Irish Aerial Dance Festival is an annual training and showcase festival for aerial dance works based in Letterkenny, Ireland. The Irish Aerial Creation Centre partnered with the festival to bring three final productions to the stage in the northwest of Ireland to a large audience!

Beverley Grant from Scotland presented her work ‘Bev avec big hoop’.

The Amazing Other (Lalla La Cour and Eivind Øverland) from Denmark presented their work ‘Like Lichen’.

Kat Doherty from Ireland presented her work ‘Martyr’.

These presentations were made possible with thanks to Fidget Feet, Irish Aerial Dance Festival, An Grianán Theatre, and Donegal County Council.

SpringLab 2022 in Athens

From April 4 to 8, the ISLAND CONNECT hosts in Athens the SpringLab, a 5-day intensive networking workshop for artists, with the aim to provide the companies with tools for development, creativity and sustainability of their artistic projects. The capacity building workshop will take place in Theatre 104, where both partners and a representative of every company will meet to network and put together their ideas about their residency process.

We are excited to be back hosting the SpringLab in person after these last couple of years! To see the full SpringLab programme click here. To see the full press release click here.

Meet the artists #7: Androniki Marathaki, Natalia Manta & Elton Petri (Greece)

How can colours, light and reflections unravel awareness and flows of movement?

Driven by a dance practice about what is actually a bodily sensation and how motion awakens any sensing through its actualization, choreographer Androniki Marathaki, artist Natalia Manta and performer Elton Petri dig into a research of bare attention on the “feeling of movement”.

By researching the sensorial “materiality” that arises within and is provoked by colours, through the relation of different frequencies of colours, organic and inorganic matter and motion, their range of transparency and transvaluation, they make an effort to unravel how movement is experienced, as one of pulsation, of a dimension of duration, of intensity. Their invitation will be about seeing-with the lure of feeling.

Androniki Marathaki studied Conservation of Arts and Antiquities, as well as Dance. After receiving a grant from the National State Scholarships Foundation of Greece (IKY), she continued her studies abroad at MA level (C.S.S.D.) and since then evolved her own practice as researcher in choreography and dance. Her recent performances elaborate through movement-scapes, flows of movement, relationscapes, triviality and fractals as expanding symmetries of dance and life.

Natalia Manta was born in Athens. She graduated from the Athens School of Fine Arts, as well as the same institution’s MFA graduate program. Memory, time and myth are the three most predominant notions at the epicentre of her visual artistry. Natalia employs different materials such as metal, clay, light-sensitive chemicals and video projections.

Elton Petri was born in Argyrocastro (Albania) and brought up in Athens. He studied in the National Dance School and in the Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance from where he graduated in 2016 with a speciality in choreography. He has choreo-graphed ensemble performances and one personal solo. In 2019, he received the award for artworks of the Supporting Artists Programme of Foundation Stavros Niarxos.

Meet the artists #6: Marilén Ribot (Mallorca, Spain)

(The Armour can be broken when the soul is caressed)

The main concept behind this whole project and its creation is the emotional and physical wounds that people have to face throughout their lives, and the way we relate to them. Facing and overcoming adversity, we become stronger. The beauty of the scars and wounds will be the path of transformation towards resilience. Circus, dance and theatre with all its visual poetry.

Marilén Ribot started circus at the age of 24. She has studied at Carampa circus school in Madrid and at Doch University in Stockholm.

She founded her own company in 2009, Atempo Circ, with which she has performed worldwide. She is part of the F.R.E.N.È.T.I.C Collective, presently on tour with their current show Save The Temazo.

She is also a freelance artist working with companies such as Cirkus Cirkör, Les 7 Doigts de la Main, The Hole 2, Circ Cric, Circo Wonderland, Krystallpalast Varieté and many more.

Meet the artists #5: Mak Murtić, Marta Kolega & Filip Borelli (Croatia)

Medzotermina, in the language of ancient Croatian sailors, meant the place between places, the island in the middle of everything. The group involving composers, performers and visual artists is set to explore the different ways in which humans interact with the environment and themselves and how they affect the agriculture, nature and society. Cres and Naxos, who share some similarities in agriculture, touristification of the Mediterranean, history of various cultures… are to be explored.

The final piece should be an interactive installation, involving the three artists both as musical and light performers and makers and involving the audience in the process.

Mak Murtić is a Croatian composer. In 2010 Murtić moved to London and founded Mimika Orchestra, which has since released three concept albums. He is currently writing music to the film El Shatt, recording the Mediterranean-based Mimika Orchestra album and writing material in continuation of the topic of farce, myth and reality of the Mediterranean islands.

Marta Kolega is a lyricist, poet and vocal pedagogue who lives and works in Croatia. She is inspired by storytelling and poetry, traditional singing and contemporary vocal improvisation. Since January 2020, she has been collaborating with Mak Murtić as singer and lyricist for Mimika Orchestra’s new album.

Filip Borelli is a multidisciplinary new media artist diving into the understanding of interactions between light, sound, movement, and music. He is involved in various music projects as a choreographer, instrumentalist, singer, beatboxer, interpreter, and composer.

Meet the artists #4: Anna Javoran, Irma Unusic & Sabrina Fraternali (Croatia)

The Secret Garden is the title of a participatory site-specific performance for young audiences over the age of 12 developed by Irma Unušić, Sabrina Fraternali and Anna Javoran. Having the connection of the individual to their environment in mind, the performance offers a search for the genius loci, the good spirit of the place. This search aims to restore harmony and a favorable flow of energy to a space that has maybe become uninteresting, unproductive and boring for its daily inhabitants.

Anna Javoran acquired her BA in Contemporary Dance at the Academy of Dramatic Art in Zagreb and has since worked as a dancer, choreographer and movement director. She is mainly interested in authorial work that diminishes the boundaries between genres of the performing arts and is currently an MA student of Performance dramaturgy.

Sabrina Fraternali studied Dance and Choreography in Turin and Milan and holds a Master’s Degree in Comparative Literature. She currently works as a choreographer, actress and performer. She develops dance and community dance programs for kids and youngsters.

Irma Unušić is a dance artist interested in making for young audiences, including intergenerational and participative formats. Backgrounds in pre-school education and cultural anthropology influence her artistic activity. She works on bringing dance to small areas, towns and villages to humans no matter the age, background or abilities they have.

Meet the artists #3: Cecilie Schyth Kjær & Marcus Alexander Roydes (Denmark)

Ode to Y2K is the title of ongoing research by the collective PATCHWORKS. In this research, they explore and unravel the sparkling, alluring, ugly, maddeningly fascinating and sometimes deeply problematic culture of the 90s and early 00s. This research will ultimately culminate in an evening-length performance for a young and adult audience.

Cecilie Schyth Kjær is a Danish dance artist based in Copenhagen. She was educated at Artez University of the Arts in Arnhem, the Netherlands, where she lived and danced for three years.

Marcus Alexander Roydes has a bachelor’s in Contemporary Dance from The Royal Conservatory of Antwerp. Since he completed his studies in 2018, Marcus has worked in Denmark and abroad with, for instance, the company Unusual Symptoms in Bremen.

Meet the artists #2: Antoinette Helbing & Birgitte Skands (Denmark) – The Laughing Crowd

The Laughing Crowd oscillates between a dance, an installation and a concert as the work equally involves body and voice work to unfold laughter as social communication, bodily state, stirring sound and sparkling sensation. Breaking with the common sense of looking at laughter as only being funny, laughing will be portrayed as a physical manifestation of a broad range of mixed feelings.

Antoinette Helbing is a German dance artist based in Copenhagen. In her choreographic works, she shares her fascination for social interaction – exploring social phenomena such as laughter, crying and the process of how our self-image is formed. Taking the point of departure in the Feldenkrais method she has developed a choreographic practice that invites the spectator to slow down and observe closely. Audience involvement is an integral part of her work – giving the audience the role of an active participant, without being asked to do anything specific.

Birgitte Skands is a Danish dance artist, choreographer and academic teacher who has been working in the field of dance for more than 4 decades. After graduating from The Juilliard School, she pursued a career as a company dancer touring worldwide. She holds a master in philosophy of Education which is the source of inspiration for her series of Philo-Physical Lectures. Birgitte is co-creator and performer in The Laughing Crowd.

2021 Residencies Announced

25th January 2021

The Creative EU-funded project ISLAND CONNECT will support 8 Performing Arts projects from Croatia, Denmark, Ireland, Greece and Spain in 2021. This support will be dispersed via granting residencies and a “SpringLab” in Limerick including different Capacity Building Workshops. ISLAND CONNECT’s goal is to support and assist artistic creation and the mobility of artists. The 2021 call for residencies received 81 applications.

The 8 selected companies are:

  • Kathleen Doherty and Alexandre Duarte (IR) – residency at BIRCA (Bornholm, Denmark)
  • Christopher McAuley and Emmen Donnelly (IR) – residency in Cres (Croatia)
  • The Amazing other (DK) – residency in IACC (Limerick, Ireland)
  • Eirini Tiniakou and Zoi Mastrotheodorou (GR) – residency at BIRCA (Bornholm, Denmark)
  • Konstantinos Pavlidis (GR) – residency at C.IN.E. Sineu (Majorca, Spain)
  • Nikolina Komljenović and Irma Unusic (CR)– residency at C.IN.E. Sineu, (Majorca, Spain)
  • teatreBLAU (SP) – residency in Cres (Croatia)
  • La ContraPiel Teatro (SP) – residency in Naxos (Greece)

The 8 companies will develop their projects during a 2-weeks residency in their own country and a second 2-weeks residency in the partner country, fights & coaching/mentorship included. The supported artists distinguish themselves by the richness and originality of their artistic approaches, as well as their aim to experiment.

Furthermore, the program will support this year 2 more projects in the framework of the Islander Focus productions, aimed at more established artists that have already been researching specificities of the insularity conditions. In 2021, a Danish company will travel to Majorca and Greece and a Croatian company will create in Ireland and Denmark. Both will benefit from and a final presentation of their work abroad.

The ISLAND CONNECT program not only supports new emerging companies of the 5 countries, but it also encourages artists’ interaction with the island area and community. Specific community members are contacted to spend a day with the artist on an island field-trip exchanging experiences, practices and reflections. Other public activities are artists’ work-in-progress presentations organised at the end of each residency and presentations of finished works of selected artistic companies in partners festivals. All presentations are followed by an artist-audience feedback session.

Download the press release PDF here.