13 to 17 July 2021
Coming from a dance background, I often feel frustrated by the static quality found in the discipline of handbalancing. In my artistic practise I strive to blur the lines between the upright and the upside-down body - smoothing out the transitions from one state into the other, and working to achieve greater freedom of movement while inverted. In my performance work to date I have been using props such as string, wool and paper, of which I manipulate with my toes and feet while in a handstand. I feel it is important to give the legs something to do; a task, a story to tell, a game to play, or simply allow them the freedom to explore and take on other forms. I am currently investigating the use of a large skirt, inspired by those of the Whirling Dervishes, to wear and manipulate while handbalancing. I love the effect it has on the image of the inverted body; covering the head and torso, leaving only the hands, legs and feet visible. The hem of the skirt can be picked up by the toes, creating beautifully intriguing imagery and allowing for the draping of the fabric over the inverted figure. During my residency at Uillinn I will be exploring the physical union of dance and handbalancing, searching for fun and creative ways to present my skills, and aiming towards the accumulation of a body of work that is unique to my own personal artistic style and movement quality.
Libby Halliday a professional circus artist, born and raised in Skibbereen, West Cork. She identifies herself as an acrobat, specialising in handbalancing, with a background in dance. In her artistic practise she strives to combine the two art forms. Libby has a dilpoma in dance from Colaiste Stiofan Naofa, and a dilpoma in circus from Carampa Circus School, Madrid. She has spent the last four years, following graduation from Circus School, engaged in creation processes and touring with two seperate circus companies, performing in theatres and festivals around Europe, as well as continuing her training in dance and circus disciplines through workshops and courses.
Libby has received a bursary from the Arts Council of Ireland for this residency.Image: Photograph by Einar Kling-Odencrants
WCAC acknowledges the financial support of the Arts Council and Cork County Council in making these residencies possible.