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Meet the artists #1 – Danaë Wollen & Samuel Arnold Keane (Ireland)

A performance project exploring and inspired by the coastal habitat, Where Seaweed Dances brings a mélange of live music, acrobatic movement and theatre. During this residency we will be collecting further local knowledge of the coast, studying the movements and sounds of people, animals, seaweeds, that live where land meets the sea. The sea inspires the tale; as it has for generations, through mythology and music known by both Irish and Greek traditions of storytelling.

Danae Wollen is a contemporary circus performer, with specialisations in floor acrobatics, cyr wheel and aerial. She takes particular interest in creating stripped-back performances, incorporating elements of physical theatre and dance into her current practice.

Samuel Arnold Keane is a musician and multidisciplinary artist. At the essence of his creative practice are songwriting and performance. He is also an illustrator and designer; this comes into play in performances. Strumming since the age of 11, Samuel accompanies his voice with guitar, as well as playing all sorts of percussive instruments.

2022 Island Connect Brochure

Our 2022 brochure is released! Take a look at all of the artists and projects participating in Island Connect 2022.

2022 Residencies Announced

The Creative EU-funded project ISLAND CONNECT will support 7 performing arts projects from Croatia, Denmark, Ireland, Greece and Spain in 2022. This support will be dispersed via granting residencies and the “Island Connect SpringLab” in Athens (Greece), a 5-day workshop in April 2022 with the aim to provide the companies with tools for development, creativity and sustainability of their artistic projects. ISLAND CONNECT’s goal is to support and assist artistic creation and the mobility of artists. The 2022 call for residencies received 74 applications.

The 7 granted companies are:

  • Danae Wollen & Samuel Arnold Keane (IE) – residency at ENTROPIA (Naxos, Greece). Project: “Where Seaweed Dances”.
  • Antoinette Helbing & Birgitte Skands (DK) – residency in Cres (Croatia).  Project: “The Laughing Crowd”.
  • Cecilie Schyth Kjær & Marcus Alexander Roydes (DK) – residency at C.IN.E. Sineu (Mallorca, Spain).  Project: “Ode To Y2k”.
  • Anna Javoran, Irma Unusic & Sabrina Fraternali (HR) – residency at BIRCA (Bornholm, Denmark).  Project: “The Secret Garden”.
  • Mak Murtić, Marta Kolega & Filip Borelli (HR) – residency at ENTROPIA (Naxos, Greece).   Project: “Medzotermina”.
  • Marilén Ribot Estelrich (ES) – residency at IACC (Limerick, Ireland).  Project: “Open Armour”.
  • Androniki Marathaki, Natalia Manta & Elton Petri (GR) – residency at IACC (Limerick, Ireland).  Project: “The Lure of Feeling”.

The residencies will take place in the five islands (Bornholm, Cres, Ireland, Naxos and Mallorca) at different times throughout 2022. The 7 companies will develop their projects during a 2-week residency in their own country and a second 2-week residency in the partner country, flights & coaching/mentorship included. The supported artists distinguish themselves by the richness and originality of their artistic approaches, as well as their aim to experiment. This way, the Island Connect Program acknowledges talent, innovation and creativity, supporting the next generation of artists.

The ISLAND CONNECT program not only supports new emerging companies of the 5 countries, but 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.

For the full press release click here.

End of Year One

Thank you to all of the artists, partners and funders that made Island Connect such a success in year one. We look forward to continuing the project in 2022 with a whole new batch of artists and projects!

Meet the artists #9: Beverley Grant and Chrissie Ardill (Ireland)

Our last Island Connect 2021 group is formed by Chrissie and Beverly, a professional dancer, aerialist and rollerskater and a dancer and circus artist based in Ireland. They will be exploring with the cyr wheel, aerial hoop film and a long rope duet during their work in progress.

They will be exploring weight, restriction and balance with the wheel. Creating a duet but also finding ways to dance together and what happens when we aren’t in sync. The Aerial Hoop inspires a clash of skin, textile and metal. Fighting against fabric and yarn in the struggle to create beauty on a ring of steel. A visually beautiful circus film, rich in texture, moving between light, beauty, strength and dark, ugly struggle. Finally, the long rope duet mean for the artists separation. They want to revisit the apparatus without pinning a narrative on it.

Beverley Grant is a dancer and circus artist based in Edinburgh, she trained at Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance in London. Since graduating she has performed nationally and internationally with multiple dance, opera and aerial companies. In 2015 Beverley was awarded a BBC Performing Arts Fellowship in collaboration with Dance Base. She is currently performing regularly with All or Nothing Aerial Dance Theatre (AoN), Fidget Feet, Aerial Cirque and Wired Aerial Theatre.

Chrissie Ardill is addicted to exploring and creating with movement. With a degree in dance and over a decade of professional performance experience, she has worked extensively with performance companies, from Glasgow to Ireland and Skegness to Puerto Rico. Chrissie works in the air, on the floor and on any structure around, creating dynamic and original performances as well as teaching people of all backgrounds and abilities. She also works extensively for camera, having choreographed and/or performed in 12 music videos and counting.

Meet the artists #8: La Contrapiel Teatro (Majorca, Spain)

A boat held in the sway of time, anchored, adrift. Medea returns from death to re-present her story. A ritual journey that aims at collective healing: the community of the victims is the same as the one that unites the victim to the executioner. Those who pity Medea, who do not forgive her, will return to the starting point and will trace a spiral.

This is the main topic of the piece that the company LA CONTRAPIEL Teatro will work on during the Island Connect Residency. This Majorcan group, led by Sara Sánchez, was born with the need to reinvent, to oxygenate, to dream a theater: visceral, visual, and physical. Betting on performance: Back to the origin of the game and the ritual from creations that dialogue with new media, inhabiting unconventional spaces and creating synergies with artists from other fields that are not exclusively from the scenic universe. With the intention of shaking the spectator towards an active reflection… They will be creating on the island of Naxos, in Greece.

Meet the artists #7: teatreBLAU collective (Majorca, Spain)

“I wonder if we are not on the path towards a Great World War over Water”, Pope Francis, Seminar on the Human Right to Water, 2017.

Water appears to be unlimitedly available in Europe; the fear of drought and thirst is nearly unknown. The production “War on Water” shall contrast the fascination and beauty of water itself with the scientific facts that evidence how neglectful our society treats this vitally important common good. An international team of artists will start in May in Cres (Croatia) this theatrical expedition, aiming at forming the results of their explorations into a multi-media and multi-lingual drama, exploring movement, dance, theatre and audiovisuals.

Teatre BLAU is an artistic international network based in Majorca and Germany. The first project of the collective was “Voices of Damascus” (2018), which examined the city of Damascus through five art forms: drama, dance, music, painting, photography and film. In May 2018, teatreBLAU participated in INCART (Majorca) with a dance performance which was a collaboration with Harake Dance Company/Berlin. In 2019 the dance performance “Las Hermanas Verán” was produced in collaboration with the Andrea Cruz Company and the Teatre Principal de Palma. In 2020 they started the international dance and video project Close up/Zoom out, which has been produced in collaboration with the Kleist Forum in Frankfurt, the C.IN.E. in Mallorca and the T-Werk in Potsdam. The team of Close up/Zoom out was invited to develop an educational week at the Ciclop – Festival de Teatre Visual de Sineu and is also working in digital theatre and workshops though different projects.
Udruga Domino
Pic credit: Santiago Stankovic Fotografía

Meet the artists #6: Nikolina Komljenović and Irma Unusic (Croatia)

WHAT PLANET ARE YOU FROM? is the title of this work in progress

Performers are hanging in the air on the ropes above the audience. The audience lies comfortably on the floor. Bodies are creating one unidentified object. Around them are different objects and surfaces suspended on different levels. The idea starts from the experience of a touch — which has brought us to extremes: of understanding, sensing and needing it in context of today. This project is about the continuity of connection between various surfaces, modelling materials and/or elements that can be touched, remade and reshaped to make a new context for action. We want to work on fragility, uncertainties and to practice flexibility towards different surroundings and inclusivity. We would work to investigate and highlight our differences as individuals in terms of bodies, backgrounds and environment towards acceptance of those differences; simultaneously revealing the inevitability of togetherness and collaboration as primary conditions for the existence of the individual element.

Nikolina Komljenović has a master’s degree in art history and comparative literature. She is a professional contemporary dancer, choreographer, aerialist, pedagogue and producer of the ekscena Association. With her work and the work of other authors, she has toured around the world. As a performer and co-author, she participated in the work of Croatian and foreign visual artists and curated exhibitions. Nikolina has been teaching since the age of 19, working as a synchronised swimming coach, pedagogue of dance, circus, drama and physical theatre workshops. She is a member of the supervisory boards of the Professional Association of Dance Artists Croatia and the Association of Shadow Casters and a member of the Croatian Association of Independent Artists. She is the founder of the circus group S.VILA.

Irma Unušić graduates at Franjo Lučić Art High School in contemporary dance department. She is educator, choreographer and performer in field of contemporary dance. She shows her first choreographic work at Platforma.hr festival (2013) within the project TASK. She founded SHOOMA art organisation in 2017, whose main goal is to create interdisciplinary and innovative artistic content for young audience with emphasis on interactive models. Another field of interest is inclusive dance so she collaborates with IMRC (Inclusive Movement Research Collective). She strongly focuses on developing dance theatre for young audiences by participating in several regional and domestic projects (Generator, Kliker, Teen Generator). Astronauts (2018) is the first play for children in SHOOMA production. Irma works in the field of popularising contemporary dance in the area of Bjelovar and the county with diverse programmes. She holds a bachelor degree in pre-school education and a master degree in cultural anthropology.

Meet the artists #5: Group θΘ (Greece)

Something was pushing to breathe, to take shape. Occasioned by a song. “Antonis the boatman” by M. Vamvakaris. A ceremony set up with the aim of initiating the human, whose nature is male, into nature, which is female. A female figure who tries to reconstruct her memory, recomposing the song. Carmen who sings / Mora who remembers. Always having as vehicle the theatrical act, the group attempts to envision a transformation that will take place in the present time, though the final form remains a secret to us. We are, however, invited to unite the moment of the transformation’s conception with the moment of its first breath. Techniques used by the group in the past, are enriched, deepened and lead them to new ones, which are yet to be explored.

Konstantinos Pavlidis is a mixed media artist, graduate of the School of Fine Arts of the University of Thessaloniki, who has exhibited his work at the international centre GLO’ART in Belgium. He mainly focuses on performance and installations, while in sculpture he engages with soft materials, such as wood, creating compositions with abstract tendencies.

Andreas Konstantinou studied Social Work in Crete and graduated from the National Theatre of Greece Drama School. He works as an actor, performer and musician in Greece and abroad (Germany, France, Luxemburg, Spain, Poland, Cyprus, Iran, India). He is the founder of the artistic group θΘ (thetaTHETA).

Costis Kontos is an electronic music composer and sound designer with a PhD in Music Composition from the University of Birmingham (UK). In addition to his personal work, he has participated in various theatrical and cinematic projects.

As part of the group θΘ (thetaTHETA) the three artists have created the theatre performances “Francis Bacon Project” presented at the UKYA festival in Nottingham, “Project Bacchae” presented in Thessaloniki, Athens, Crete and Elefsina and “Moth” presented at the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation.

Meet the artists #4: 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.

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.