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Meet the artists: Eirini Tiniakou and Zoi Mastrotheodorou (Greece)

Zoi Mastrotheodou and Eirini Tiniakou create a performance by engaging in observation and research of the natural and social landscape of Bornholm and Naxos islands. They collect organic materials and relics of human activity that construct an entity of life and death. The entity embodies the falling, the violence, the ludicrousness and a neο-primitiveness. Remnants of the performance can be either picked up or renounced by the participator-viewer.

Eirini Tiniakou (Athens,1993), holds a BFA from the Athens School of Fine Arts (2018) and an MFA from the University of Applied Arts Vienna- Department of Art & Science (2021). Previously, she participated in the workshop “Disappearance” with Omer Fast and Heike Schuppelious and worked as a performer in documenta14 for Ibrahim Mahama. During her postgraduate studies she developed a project with CERN and presented a collective show at the Venice Biennale Sessions (2019). Her practice entails photography, text, and costume-hybrids with a focus on tradition and manual work in the rural and urban environment.

Zoi Mastrotheodorou (Athens, 1993), graduated from the Greek National School of Dance (KSOT) in 2019. During her studies, she collaborated with choreographers such as Anton Lachky, Yannis Mandafounis and Markella Manoliadi on performances in Megaron Athens Concert Hall and in Athens and Epidaurus Festival. In November 2019 she participated as a performer in Athens Digital Arts Festival with the work SYMBIOSIS by Eleni Xynogala. In January 2020 she was a resident of Fire in Kinono Arts Gathering in collaboration with Areti Athanasopoulou. Coming across various techniques, her interests and her artistic research focus on performance, the body in nature, comicality of the dancing body and acrobatics.

The two artists began their collaboration in 2019 on the occasion of a trip to Tinos, where they decided to explore the land and learn from the environment and its residents, thus placing their practices in critical discourse. Their research is based on body performativity and found materials and their work is shaped by the geopolitical landscape that surrounds them during each interaction. With Island Connect (2021) they have the opportunity to present a collective work for the first time.

Meet the artists: The Amazing Other (Denmark)

Through aerial arts and video projection, we place our universe on the wall, creating an island that can move in size and location. We intend to create a unique ecosystem that can include audiences in its perimeter and make them part of an island ecosystem.

Lalla la Courr and Eivind Øverland are who we are and trapeze of all kinds is what we do: Duo, solo, static, and swinging. And exploring all kinds of aerial opportunities. We are on a joyous mission to explore what we can do with our bodies, and what we can make our audience feel. We push our artistic expression, the format of our art form, as well as our physique and level of skill just a little bit further. Together we are Lalla and The Amazing Other.

Norwegian Eivind Øverland, coming from the world of martial arts, moved into the field of contemporary circus. Studying in Norway, Denmark and Montreal. He went through his education pushing boundaries and wowing the established circus community. From specializing in duo trapeze, with a flyer taller than himself to inventing a new trapeze, now being researched by more and more artists around the world. After graduating from École Nationale de Cirque in 2015, he started collaborating with Lalla la Cour, founding the duo The Amazing Other. Working for larger theater production, german variete or co-producing contemporary circus shows, people fall in love with the unique expression Eivind brings to all parts of his versatile repertoire. Always combining as much of his favored things into each project he joins, bringing stage fight, strapeze, duo trapeze, dance and theatre to a party of performative expression.

Lalla la Cour grew up in Denmark, where she quickly became interested in theatre and dance. She fell in love with the circus at AFUK in Denmark and went on to complete a BA honors in swinging trapeze at National Center for Circus Arts in London, 2010. She created her own company, Borderline Cirkus, which toured Scandinavia and Greenland, 2011-2014. She then decided to go freelance and worked as a performing circus artist, festival arranger and trapeze teacher internationally. She also worked for Clowns Without Borders in Uganda and Sweden, and was the daily manager of the circus department of Kulta in Norway. In 2015 she started working with Eivind Øverland and they formed the duo The Amazing Other. With their two full shows and “The High Life” and “The Low Life” plus their variety of acts they have toured the world always looking for new adventures.

Meet the artists: Christopher McAuley and Emmen Jude Donnelly (Ireland)

The Irish artists Christopher McAuley and Emmen Jude Donnelly will be working on their show “Boys, like us” in Cres, Croatia, thanks to the Island Connect Residency.

A tentative waltz between two male performers, “Boys, like us” addresses the physical characteristics presumed of males and aspects of habitual binary conditioning. This project is an ambitious insight into their individual experiences as men explored through an introspective narrative with an immersive display of physicality through circus disciplines.

Christopher McAuley

Christopher, 28 years old and weighing a whopping 58kg, began his circus adventures in Northern Ireland in a social circus direction. Now having devoted 4 years to Codarts University, Rotterdam, Christopher has graduated as an award-winning aerialist and has begun his search for rigging points throughout UK and Ireland. Lover of all things nerdy and absurd, he likes to incorporate his queer identity into his work in an array of styles. Having worked internationally on a variety of creative projects showcased in solo and group performances, Christopher is ready for his next adventure.

Emmen Jude Donnelly

Emmen is a consummate aerial performer and credited circus mentor. His diverse practices strike a balance between the understanding of physicality & an unabashed sense of whimsy, layered with the experienced handling of their technique. His work takes a confident creative stride towards exploring new methodology with aerial and acrobatics, unashamed of his fierce playfulness and untamed curiosity. Emmen cuts an impressive physical presence on stage and is highly respected for the use of his studious and personable creative skills.

Meet the artists: Kathleen Doherty & Alexandre Duarte (Ireland)

Kathleen Doherty and Alexandre Duarte have been selected as the Irish artists heading to Birca in Denmark. They will be working on their show “Martyr”.

Female-driven, emotionally charged, visually captivating. Martyr is a direct and threatening view into the human psyche.

From the raw realness of the female form, bound and trapped in a repetitive loop, to the chaotic movements of a soul driven mad. Heavily littered with esoteric and occult symbolism. This work is a daring use of body and props.

Martyr is a work in progress by Alexandre Duarte and Kathleen Doherty, it is multi-disciplinary, blending dance, physical theatre, butoh and the aerial arts. Combining innovative rigging and atmospheric design with Shibari, ladders, moveable lights and a chair. We invite you to enter what may be experienced as a nightmare that hints at current events and darker political agendas.

Kathleen Doherty

Kathleen trained from a young age in ballet, making a smooth transition into contemporary dance and then aerial, she has toured extensively; Korea, Hong Kong, Europe and the USA with various companies including Dance Theatre of Ireland and Fidget Feet Aerial Dance Company.

Her own work: “Chasing Shadows”, “Longing, Here” and “Pandora” have been shown across the Europe in various festivals and theatres including Trengo and Fara (PT), Pitch’d Arts Circus festival and the Irish Aerial Dance Festival (IRE), Cirque du sZiget (HU), Derida Dance (BG), The Place and Dance Space (UK).

As co-creator, mentor and director, she worked in sell out shows for the Paper Dolls, Guinness Storehouse and Alexandre Duarte’s “The Newspaper Man”. She has mentored artists from all around the world including Rachel Strickland, Arlene Caffrey and Jen Crane from “Cirque Physio”.

Alexandre Duarte

Alexandre is a gender-fluid multi-disciplinary artist from Portugal, currently based in Italy. He regularly performs, creates and coaches across Europe, having toured internationally with his own projects and external companies.

He studied gymnastics, dance and the aerial-arts, gaining spots in both Ginasiano Dance School, Portugal and Codarts Hogeschool Voor de Kunsten, The Netherlands. Alexandre has over a decade of experience in the performing arts with companies such as Companhia Instável, Teatro da Didascália, Cirko Vertigo, Compagnia Sarabanda and SONICS etc.

Currently working for Compagnia Blucinque and Fondazione Cirko Vertigo in Italy. He also divides his time on his own productions and shows; melding dance, circus, dance theatre and butoh with site specific and theatre based performances. In the recent years, he toured in different theatres and festivals between Portugal, Ireland and Italy with his most recent work “The Newspaper Man”, which has been extremely well received by both critics and audiences alike.

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.