Experiments with Textiles and Tension (research title)
Elaine McCague & Hazel McCague
1 to 8 May & 11 to 15 May 2023

The Experiments with Textiles and Tension is a creative professional development project within Loosysmokes that will support the evolution of a powerful new performance. This project will focus on broadening the companys approach to adapting skills and techniques outside of the traditional circus setting and aerial apparatus.

They will undertake a series of experiments in collaboration with textile artist Hazel Mc Cague and competent riggers to analyze the aerial acrobatic possibilities of several common textiles, with the aim of bringing high level circus skills onto non-traditional apparatuses. The residency time at Uillinn will explore and develop the initial construction and transformative possibilities of the apparatus; informing the conceptual development for a new performance work. The residency will place particular focus on development of the artists’ individual physicality and dynamics of movement working primarily in the air on the rope as well as movement investigation on the floor.

ELAINE Mc CAGUE - Co-Creative Director | Producer | Multi-disciplinary artist | Aerialist | Mentor
Elaine Mc Cague is a professional aerial performer, and co-creative producer and director of modern circus art at Loosysmokes.
Interested in contemporary human based circus Elaine’s ambitions are to construct unique site responsive works in the collaboration and experimentation of the physical, visual and audio scape, that is not bound by the traditional trapping of art, circus or performance. She strives to create the unbelievable, and an all-encompassing visceral experience by method of circus.

Supported by The Arts Council/ An Chomhairle Ealaíon - Circus Arts Grant


Circus/Dance Research Residency
10 January to 8 February 2022 

This is Loosysmokes second studio residency Award with Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre. This exciting and ambitious Company recently relocated to West Cork adding to the richness of the circus and dance community developing in our region. The research residency taking place on Mondays and Tuesdays over spring at Uillinn will support the final development of movement for a new performance work titled In Rhythms.

The residency will place particular focus on development of the artists’ individual physicality and dynamics of movement working primarily on ground based duo acrobatics and dance. More specifically considering choreography out of form and pushing ideas for embodiments of characters of the abstract. Ultimately the aim within this time is to refine and finalise the quality of movement for the new work that will be produced by Loosysmokes and premiered in 2022.

A little about In Rhythms
This project is the development of an intricate and complex aerial and acrobatic ensemble performance piece in collaboration with two visual artists working in the form of expanded cinema. The ambition is for an audience to loose their footing in reality, and enter a warped sense of time and space; where gravity's push is forgotten and performers inhabit an expansive and engrossing void, where machine manipulated light moves in rhythm with performers. This collaboration will develop through a series of creative sessions and experimental weeks and will premiere in summer 2022. Sound design for this production will be developed by Oliver Ryan and evolve in tandem with the physical and visual developments.

Loosysmokes is an award winning modern Circus company that seeks to create synesthetic spectacles that swallow an audience. The company is made up of a close-knit group of hardworking artists, craftspeople and performers produced by Elaine Mc Cague and Jonah McGreevy and is a unique combination of circus, spectacle, dance, theatre and visual art. Working with the shapes of waking dreams, the glimpses at the edges of eyesight, and the intensity of lightening struck they aim to create a visceral experience that ends deep in the gut of the viewer.

Their two major works to date Behind the Dark and Raven Eyed have both received five star-reviews, toured to sold-out audiences, and been nominated for multiple awards.




WCAC acknowledges the financial support of the Arts Council and Cork County Council in making these residencies possible

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