Moving Voices | Blog

Tipperary Dance Platform’s blog, giving a voice to our dance community

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Get to know it. Mistakes, markers, repetition.

This month's Moving Voices blog entry is in the form of digital post-its from dance artist Lucia Kickham. Lucia is a recipient of the Tipperary Dance's 2021 International Exchange Programme.
Lucia spent a week in residence at Nenagh Arts Centre, Ireland in August and will spend 10 days with our partner organisation Le Grand Studio, Brussels, Belgium in September, and will perform that the Tipperary Dance International Festival 2021


Lucia Kickham

August 2021

On trusting and counting on each other - by Monica Muñoz

Monica Muñoz was commissioned by Tipperary Dance Platform in 2021 to create a dance piece for young audiences. UP-CLOSE will be performed in schools at TDP’21 International Dance Festival


UP-CLOSE revolves around people's often strained relationship with themselves and the world around them. Connection is the only handhold as they struggle. Yearning for it gives a powerful force. It is the trust in each other that gives the performers the opportunity to go from nothing to something, from nowhere to anywhere.

The use and re-use of an object, a car tyre, an ordinary object to create a physical challenge for the dancers so they had their own power, a special life… They wake up or become alive in some weird way, at the same time the tyre becomes central to the process and is regarded as a third cast member. 

I love the idea to create a duet that will be performed in school yards, with two dancers and an object. Focusing on the surface and space impacts the choreographic choices that you can make, and restrictions can create something new by forcing you to solve problems. The desire to explore the duet form derives from a need to re-determine the basic means of creation, alongside the need to define an extremely clear context. The use of the car tyre gives us wings, in this way I like to bring performances to children where performers try everything, even if they fail they keep going… and nothing seems impossible. 

In conversation with Jack and Matt:

How is this process of creating UP-CLOSE?

Jack: I found the process very flexible and there is a lot of space for our creative voice and conversations in the room, with a clear direction.

Matt: Introspective, it is nice to look at our own qualities, how to dig out our own material, from personal language, to be respected as artists in that sense that the choreography is not dictated by the external.

Where are the challenges? 

Jack: There are many layers. Layers of ideas from our own movement language, the human aspect, the use of an object. Combining these ideas and finding different nuances is quite complex.  

Matt: Yes there is a lot going on… but the challenge for me is to create interesting reoccurrence of material and to keep the object engaged with our movement happening at the same time.

What is the tyre for you?

Matt: The tyre is the link between the two of us, the same that a chain has links, this is another link and reason for establishing  a relationship, some things can work with ease when others need hard work.

Jack: I like the many metaphors the tyre can present, but ultimately it presents an opportunity, it presents an alchemy that can happen between two people. There are moments during moving with the tyre and another that you lose the momentum and it falls apart. What do you do? The tyre itself has its own power and even if we create movements for it, the tyre makes its own decisions, that we can’t predict, it is going to crash and we have to adapt in order to save it…  

Matt: and this makes it exciting!!!

Monica Muñoz, Jack Bain and Matt Szczerek

July 2021

UP-CLOSE is a TIPPERARY DANCE PLATTFORM 2021 Commission  for Young Audiences with additional support from Baboró Pathways to Production. Many thanks to Jazmin and Alex for their trust and support to this commission and Roy for his hospitality. We had a ball!!

Taimid faoi Chomaoin agaibh - by Eoghan Breathnach

Eoghan Breathnach is the Principal of Gaelsoil Thiobraid Áran. TDP created a dance film with 40 children of the school in June 2021.


No school tour, no mingling with other classes on the school yard, no inter-schools GAA matches/chess competitions... the list went on for our unfortunate students who were unintentional victims of a global pandemic. However, as we lay basking in the sunshine, hidden in a lush meadow under a majestic oak tree which has survived many such pandemics and crises, Covid 19 was far from our minds. We were taking a short break from filming our creative dance piece in collabOration with Tipperary Dance Platform in the stunning grounds of Lismacue House....and all was suddenly right with the world.

The almost four months of rehearsals with Jazmin and Lucy were clearly bearing fruit. As formations and dance movements were called, children ran seamlessly to their designated spots to begin their piece. As I watched them move amongst each other gracefully and manipulate their bodies at impossible angles to each other, so as to almost morph into one abstract body, I was reminded of the first rehearsal all those months ago when boys stood a safe distance from their female classmates. No such inhibitions now as they glide, swoop, and dive as one murmur of starlings. It is the perfect ending to a difficult and emotional year for all of the students. The freedom and abandon of their movements as they skip through the grass is more than a dance piece. It is an expression of having come through the worst. The shackles are coming off, they see light where there was none before. It is beautiful and moving in equal parts.

We are indebted to the professionalism of Jazmin and Lucy who treated each and every student as if they were a fellow dancer and worthy of their attention at all times. A relationship had evolved between student and choreographers built on a solid foundation of mutual respect. The children would have attempted a triple somersault on a tightrope by the time filming came round (note: the children were NOT asked to attempt a triple somersault on a tightrope!!). The crew including Alex, Shane, Ariel and Caleb were great fun and knew exactly how to get the most from children with gentle coaxing and funny anecdotes. We couldn’t be more excited to see the fruits of everyone’s labour when the screening is scheduled in October. Thank you everyone at Tipperary Dance Festival for the joyful and fitting end to our very own "annus horribilis". We needed this release. We just didn’t realise it until now. Taimid faoi Chomaoin agaibh.

Míle Buíochas
  Eoghan Breathnach

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