Ruairí Ó Donnabháin

Ruairí Ó Donnabháin
Thursday 20 & Friday 21 January, Saturday's 12, 19, 26 March & 2 and 9 April

For his residency at Uillinn, Ruairí will continue his research into how touch links us to place and how intimacy can be created from a bird's eye perspective, (de)centering the body in the landscape using drone photography and video capture. Ruairí is interested in developing movement research in conversation with the work of philosopher Richard Kearney and his new text Touch - Recovering our Most Vital Sense.

This residency will be a return to studio-based movement research for me after a long break from this way of working over the pandemic and over the past years. I have been working with non human subjects in developing my choreography, working with sculpture, objects, animals and systems so I am excited to getting back to working with bodies and being in the space with other dancers.  

Supported by an Arts Council Agility Award. 

RUAIRÍ Ó DONNABHÁIN Is gníomhaí teanga agus choreografadóir é Ruairí Ó Donnabháin, tá sé ag thógáil uirlisí deasghnáth de treibh atá chaillte. Bíonn sé ag eagrú damhsaí in Éireann ó 2008. Tá Máistreach aige i Choreografaí ó DAS Graduate School Amstardam agus Céim Onóracha dhá ábhar i Béarla agus Dramaíocht ó Coláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh. Is as Chontae Chorcaí é Ó Donnabháin agus tá a taidhde faoi 'chleachtais aeistéitic chúraim'. Tá sé ag obair ar agus ag chur Oileán Chléire fuann. 

Ruairí Ó Donnabháin is a language activist and a choreographer; he is making ritual objects for a tribe which doesn't exist. Ruairí has been making dances in Ireland since 2008. He is a Masters in Choreography Graduate from DAS Graduate School Amsterdam and holds a joint honors B.A. in Drama & Theatre Studies and English from University College Cork. Ruairí is from County Cork and his choreographic practice is concerned with ‘aesthetic practices of care’. He lives and works on Oileán Chléire, a remote island and Gaeltacht off the south west coast of Co. Cork investigating Gaeilge as a site of queer resistance and new materialist collaboration ‘in the wild’.

Residency in association with Cork Dance Initiative
In It For The Long Run

31 May to 11 June

Ensemble choreographies, caring conversation and bespoke performances reach across digital space and lockdowns. Including chance encounters at a market of ideas and the sharing of golden resources In It For The Long Run is a series of bite-size events that connect the city with the wider county, from Ballyphehane to Baile Iarthach and beyond.

Four Cork-based dance artists have come together to create Cork Dance Initiative (CDI). CDI launches with it’s debut event In It For The Long Run at Uilinn; West Cork Arts Centre and Cork Midsummer Festival, a proposition for a grass roots dance collective in Cork City and County.

Over the course of a week CDI will connect with audiences and the dance community both locally and nationally in a series of live, in person and virtual bite-size events. The four members of CDI each provide an opportunity to creatively engage with an aspect of CDI’s formation.

Lisa Cliffe focuses on what is needed to nourish and grow something new with a meet and greet stall at the Coal Quay, Cork City. Luke Murphy considers the principles that guide coming together in an online movement score which can be viewed and danced to. Siobhán Ní Dhuinnín reflects on conversations about the value of dance through movement and text in a live stream from her garden.  Ruairí Ó’Donnabháin questions the methods and philosophies that inform collaboration and the creation of CDI, in an online performance lecture informed by his neighbours and butter.


UILLINN RESEARCH RESIDENCY Ruairí received a research residency at Uillinn, DICKscheduled for 21 to 26 September &  2, 5, 23, 26, 27 November 2020, new dates will be rescheduled for 2021 due to government closures.

DICK is a multi disciplinary performance project by Ruairí Ó Donnabháin (IRL) and Julie E. Phelps (USA) to be presented in parallel in Ireland and San Francisco in 2021.

DICK is an exploration of truth and the production of knowledge which uses Herman Melville’s 1851 novel ‘Moby Dick’ as source material but ebbs and flows from adaptation to completely new rendering.

We are specifically interested in how spectacle has been employed throughout dominant western cultures to subjugate other knowledge forms. This project examines the methodology of spectacle, asking how myth gets made. Using intersecting mediums of spectacular reproduction – oral storytelling, scenic design, pyrotechnics and virtual or ‘mixed’ reality; ideological aesthetic forms are under research toward the creation of a live performance event across multiple mediums and interfaces.

The work is also intended to extend beyond the stage in multiple interconnected actions, installation and community engagement. To kick-off the project we initiated a community reading project to subsume the volume, the book in an oral retelling and communal ritual. We’re collecting the chapters of the book from 135 people, inviting both known and unknown contacts in the Bay Area and Europe to record themselves reading chapters in their mother tongue. We frame this exercise as an ‘an-archiving’ of Melville’s text, asking people to record during COVID-19 lockdown in their homes in, around or near water. This small ritual performance in the domestic frame produces a community portrait of intimacy through fragmentation.

During our residency at Uillinn we will focus on generating texts, capturing field recordings, learning folk songs, experiments with plastics and object work, research and development with ‘mixed reality’, VR, digital media and installation in nature. We first began discussing working with the western canon in September 2019 and have been developing this project remotely since a residency on Cape Clear Island off Ireland cancelled due to Storm Ciara making landfall in February 2020 and throughout the international pandemic


Image Credit
Headshot: Ruairí Ó Donnabháin
In It For the Long Run photograph by Dervla Barker.


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

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