DARRAGH MCLOUGHLIN was born in Ireland in 1987 as the youngest of three siblings and son of two professional chefs. In the early stages of his life he had little exposure or interest in the arts until the age of 15 where he learned to juggle and started to dance. Upon finishing school in 2006 Darragh packed his bags for Berlin to attend a full time programme at the Jonglier Katakomben School of Juggling.
In 2008 Darragh attended the Academy for Circus and Performance Art and completed his education with a Bachelor Degree in 2012. Soon after he founded his company Squarehead Productions - a platform for performance and research. In 2013 Darragh was chosen as a Circus Next Laureate and created "Fragments of a Mind". Then in 2014 Darragh created his second work "The Whistle” which premiered at Dublin Fringe Festival. Darragh teaches at different professional institutions around Europe: FLIC [IT], ACAPA [NL], Die Etage [DE] as well as teaching his own methodology at independent masterclasses. He is currently performing his 3rd piece: “STICKMAN” and is in development of “The Exhibition Project: When Circus Is Not Itself Anymore' which premieres at The Bauhaus in 2021.
Over the past three years Darragh has shifted the focus of his movement and object manipulation practice from juggling to 'object balancing'. While on its most basic level balancing objects is a universally accessible skill and has been a part of juggling repertoire for hundreds if not thousands of years, however on re-examining this practice and bringing it to a deeper level than simply demonstrating skillfulness, a whole new world of research opened up. One of the main features that excited Darragh about object balancing is using it functionally as a movement generator: to be in a state of balance is to be in a state of perpetual movement.
People often have the misconception that the ultimate act of balance mastery is that of stillness, however this is simply not true. In fact the interesting realisation is not that the object cannot find stillness (for it can) but rather is the body that cannot be still and therefore in order to keep the object from falling we must stay in a perpetual dance together, neither allowing the other to be still. This led him to the question: "am I moving the object, or is it moving me?" - which made him shift his relationship from 'master over the object' to that of a collaborator.
This research has led Darragh to explore and unlock each of the far corners of his body in order to be able to balance a stick in any position, to gain a deeper understanding of his body and it’s movement mechanics, to draw with charcoal on canvas using balance to guide the movements, to endure a single balance for many hours as his body slowly fell to pieces and he couldn't hold on anymore. The research continues...
As part of Uillinn Dance Season we present a discussion between Darragh McLoughlin and Andrea Salustri on the nature and relevance of (circus) endurance performance
EVENT Released Wednesday 9 December at 1:30pm until Friday 18 December 2020
Darragh has share some other short films with us which have all been posted to the Facebook event, you can view them by clicking here.
UILLINN RESEARCH RESIDENCY Darragh received a week long research residency from Uillinn, first scheduled in August and postponed to 3 to 10 November 2020 to rehearse and perform his new work ‘The Exhibition Project’ in a gallery setting at UIllinn. The residency and live event was cancelled due to government restrictions and we are working with Darragh to re-schedule a new residency in 2021/2022