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Image: Ramon Fromont from the film Before You Go by Jorge Leon.

The Art of Dying (Dublin Dance Festival / Bealtaine)

Date: Thursday 28 May
Time: 2.30
Venue: The Gate Lab

Dare we speak of the unspoken, life’s challenging frontier – unrehearsed, unknown, often imagined and widely feared? By what means, if any, might we retain some agency over the process of dying? How can art and artists begin a conversation that is often without words?

Create, the Bealtaine Festival and the Dublin Dance Festival invite a panel of artists, philosophers and end of life care specialists to discuss the role of arts practice within the ethical, philosophical and practical realities of this subject.

Create, the national development agency for collaborative arts, seeks to provide a platform for meaningful discussion on all aspects of collaborative arts. Bealtaine Festival celebrates creativity as we age. They partner with Dublin Dance Festival to present a talk connected to wider issues on art and society raised by Jorge León’s powerful film Before We Go, which features choreographer Meg Stuart.

See also: The Machine of Death and Love workshop with Gary Keegan

See the film Before We Go at the IFI, Sun 24 May, 5pm.
Reserve places through the Dublin Dance Festival website.


Chair: Vincent Woods is a writer and broadcaster. His plays and poems have explored themes of conflict, death, folklore and traditional beliefs in relation to death and the afterlife. Plays include At the Black Pig’s Dyke and A Cry from Heaven; and poetry collections are The Colour of Language and Lives and Miracles. He presents the weekly programme Arts Tonight on RTÉ Radio 1. His song lyrics have been set to music by Mairtín O’Connor and Charlie McGettigan, among others and recorded by Mary McPartlan and Colleen Raney. He is co-editing a book of poetry and writings on music, and editing a folio on poetry and the Great Famine for the Great Hunger Museum in Quinnipiac, Connecticut. He lives in Dublin and is a member of Aosdána.

Jo Bannon is a UK based artist making live art and performance. She has presented work in the UK and Europe including The Southbank Centre, The Barbican, In Between Time Festival, Spill Festival of Performance, Battersea Arts Centre and the National Theatre. She is an In Between Time Associate Artist and founder member of Residence.

Her work is concerned with human exchange and encounter and explores how our physical bodies experience the world around us and how this sensory experience can or cannot be conveyed. Her recent work Dead Line 'is a live encounter that creates a space to talk a little more openly about our fears, hopes and desires for living and dying. It is a part-installation, part-performance, for one person at a time which invites you to confront your own mortality, to ask another what you daren’t even ask yourself. A one to one encounter which will help you sleep at night.'

Muirne Bloomer is a choreographer and dancer, who also works for theatre and TV and has worked with key dance and theatre companies here and abroad. Two pieces for The Ark dealt in differing ways about ideas of death and loss.

Muirne also choreographed the Special Olympics Opening Ceremony in Belfast in 2005. Together with David Bolger she devised A Dash of Colour (Special Olympics Croke Park 2004), Intimate Details and Golf Swing (Opening Ceremony Ryder Cup 2006) and the opening ceremony for UEFA League Final (Aviva Stadium 2011). Most recently she was commissioned by Dublin City Council to create outdoor, pop up dance pieces to celebrate the Giro d’Italia in Dublin.

Gary Keegan is a graduate of the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, London. He is an internationally renowned, multi-award winning theatre maker and is a founding member of Brokentalkers, one of Ireland’s leading contemporary theatre companies. Gary is the former Artistic Director of Dublin Youth Theatre and he still works extensively as a facilitator and lecturer within community, youth theatre, second level and third level settings. Recent credits include Frequency 783, Have I No Mouth and The Blue Boy. Gary is currently an artist in residence at Project Arts Centre. Gary's latest project with Brokentalkers will premiere at the Munich Kammerspiele in February 2016. Brokentalkers is a multi-award winning Dublin-based theatre company. They have built a reputation as one of Ireland's most innovative and original theatre companies making formally ambitious work that defies categorization.

Regina Mc Quillan is a palliative medicine consultant at St Francis Hospice and Beaumont Hospital on Dublin’s northside. As well as providing care for patients and their families, education and raising awareness is an important part of her work. St Francis Hospice as an organization supports patients by providing volunteer-led arts classes, and facilitating arts participation. McQuillan engaged with the arts in a number of different ways, including supporting of the development of plays by theatre companies, from the perspective of patients and staff; facilitation of concerts for patients relatives and staff and public engagement at arts events such as pre- and post- show discussions. She has a Masters in Ethics, and is a member of the hospice research ethics committee, which includes reviewing research proposals, some of which involve arts involvement, such as exploration of staff experience of photography around the time of death, drama therapy for bereaved people and film student documentaries.

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CreateIreland If you're going to @TheBigChapel by @Asylum_Theatre tonight you're in for a powerful two hour performance. A brilliantly collaborative project as part of @KilkennyArts
6 days ago.
CreateIreland Great to see a taster video of the Creativity and Change course - do check them out!
6 days ago.