ALIGHT! was a storytelling, dance, performance and art project. Directed by choreographer Muirne Bloomer and visual artist Vanessa Daws, ALIGHT! was led by CoisCéim BROADREACH and coordinated by Dublin’s Culture Connects.
ALIGHT! was about ACCESS – promoting, developing and improving cultural and social access. An inclusive participation project, its aims were to inspire and connect communities and their national institutions in a lasting and meaningful way. The ALIGHT! activities and events were developed by the participants under the mentorship of professional artists, resulting in a series of creative responses that celebrate the natural choreography of daily life.
Spanning all artforms, there was something for everyone as dance, design, light, art, music and film collided on and around the ORANGE double decker project bus.
ALIGHT! events and programmes included:
THE MYSTERY HISTORY CABARET TOUR – An imaginative storytelling and performance tour that brought together local performers with professional artists.
ALL ABOARD – A series of exploratory visits for local groups to the National Gallery and Dublin City Gallery the Hugh Lane – and around the local neighbourhoods.
A VALENTINE’S TEA DANCE – A social dance celebration for people aged 50+
TELL YOUR STORY – Drop-in social exchanges on the bus.
Muirne Bloomer is from Dublin. She has had an extensive performance career in ballet, contemporary and dance theatre both here and abroad, working with Dublin City Ballet, Vienna Ballet Theatre, Rubato Ballet, Dance Theatre of Ireland, Holland Show Ballet, Irish Modern Dance Theatre and CoisCéim Dance Theatre. Her choreographic work includes Pageant, As You Are, Winter in Seasons (CoisCéim Dance Theatre), The Ballet Ruse (with Emma O Kane). Dying To Tell (Creative Steps), Equilibrium and The Dance (CoisCéim Choreography Project).She has been movement director for many theatre shows including: Leon and the Place Between, Duck Death and the Tulip, The Incredible Book Eating Boy, Egg, A Spell of Cold Weather, Nivellis War, Ssh We Have A Plan, Little Red Riding Hood, (Cahoots NI), Gulliver’s Travels (National Youth Theatre),Dancing at Lughnasa (The Gate, An Grianán, The Bucharest National Theatre and Second Age), Dandy Dolls (Peacock),The Tempest, Drama at Inish, Cavalcaders, A Doll’s House, She Stoops to Conquer and You Never Can Tell (Abbey Theatre), Wallflowering, Hue and Cry, Maisy Daily’s Rainbow,Moment (Tall Tales), Can you catch a Mermaid (Pavilion), The Death of Harry Leon (Ouroboros), The Merchant of Venice (Second Age), Rock Rivals (UTV Television),The Lulu House, The Making of tis a Pity She’s a Whore (Siren Productions),Little Women, Arcadia, (The Gate). Rigoletto (Opera Theatre Company). Muirne also choreographed the Special Olympics Opening Ceremony in Belfast in 2005. She co-choreographed A Dash of Colour (Special Olympics Croke Park 2004), Intimate Details and Golf Swing (Opening Ceremony Ryder Cup 2006) and The opening ceremony for UEFA League Final (Aviva Stadium 2011). Muirne directed the Macnas, Galway Arts Festival parade in 2004 and 2005. She has directed a pageant for St Patrick’s Festival annually since 2004, and is currently the director of the City Fusion and Brighter Futures project for St Patricks Festival. In 2014 she was commissioned by DCC to create outdoor, pop up dance pieces to celebrate the Giro d’Italia, by Coke Zero for the relaunch of Dublin Bikes and by Tiger Beer for the Tiger Fringe Theatre Festival. Recent work includes Borstal Boy at The Gaiety Theatre and Red Riding Hood at the Lyric Belfast. She also recently re-staged Egg with Cahoots NI for its premiere at The Lincoln Centre and four-month tour of the USA and is reworking Nivellis War and Ssh We Have A Plan for their USA debuts. Murine most recently staged and co- choreographed Laochra; the 2016 commemoration spectacle for the GAA in Croke Park in April.
Most recently she was movement director for Donegal; the new play by Frank McGuinness for the Dublin Theatre Festival and Pinocchio a co-production between Cahoots NI and The Mac in Belfast.
Philippa Donnellan; choreographer, director BROADREACHCoisCéim Dance Theatre
Philippa Donnellan trained in Contemporary Dance Technique at The Martha Graham School, New York, and gained an M.A in Dance Studies from Surrey University, UK. She has worked as a teacher for many organisations including: Middlesex University; Ludus Dance Company; Adventures in Motion Pictures; ARC Dance Co; The Place Evening School, London; ROSAS Dance Company, Brussels; Institute del Teatro, Barcelona; University of Salamanca, Spain. From 1997 – 2004 she worked with Green Candle Dance Co. in London as Community & Education Coordinator with whom she created and led a variety of dance projects. Following an inspirational journey to Brazil for carnaval in 2004, she choreographedLa Foule for The Company of Elders – a performance group for the over 60’s at Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London. In 2005-6 Philippa worked as Dance Consultant for Hammersmith and Fulham Council, London on a professional development project designed to enable teachers to extend their dance teaching skills within the education curriculum.
Philippa joined CoisCéim Dance Theatre in 2006 to set up BROADREACH – access and participation programme. Under BROADREACH, she has facilitated the development of residencies and partnerships projects with a number of leading Irish institutions. Philippa has also directed and choreographed a range of projects include creating new work for CoisCéim’s youth dance group Creative Steps, developing an annual Dublin City Council performance project for people aged 50+as part of Bealtaine Festival, and choreographing performances with Dublin Bus drivers as part of Gut Busters –a major health initiative for CIE. In addition, Philippa coordinates the Teacher Education element of CoisCéim’s Dance Residency at St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, now in its second year. In 2013 Broadreach was awarded a CocaCola Thank You Fund Award for which Philippa directed The Beat Project – an intergenerational dance/music performance project which was presented at The Big Bang Festival of Rhythm, Dublin in June of the same year. Following an award from IPB Insurance, a second intergenerational project Striking Moves was created and performed at the festival in 2014. Philippa is currently directing Feast on Dance: The Main Course, CoisCéim/Dublin City Council’s latest Bealtaine project 2015.
Vanessa Daws is a visual artist, arts facilitator and collaborative designer.Vanessa designed for St Patrick’s Festival Dublin working on “Brighter Futures” and “City Fusion” in 2005/07. Vanessa worked for Macnas in Galway and was the designer for the “1st Macnas Halloween Street Celebration” in 2003 and “Betty Big Shoes” in 2004.Vanessa is also a visual artist; her own art practice revolves around swimming. In 2013 Vanessa was given the Artist in the Community Award from the Arts Council & Create to make work with the sea swimming community from Malahide, Co Dublin. In September 2016 Vanessa became the first person to swim around Lambay Island in Dublin Bay, this was the third and final swim in her project “The Lambay Swim Trilogy”.Recently Vanessa has been awarded the Docklands Art Fund to work on a swim project in the Docklands in 2017.
Hugh Brown, Performer / Writer
Hugh W Brown lives in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He is an Actor with 21 years experience in Film, Theatre, Street Performance, Circus, Clown and Music, specialising in producing work for young audiences. Recent theatre credits, with CahootsNi, include Duck Death and the Tulip, The Family Hoffman Mystery Palace, Shh! We have a Plan, and Egg ( which recently toured extensively in the United States and in London was winner of Best Show for Young People Off West End, (OFFIES). As a solo performer he has performed all over Europe, Asia and Australia with highlights including representing Ireland in the Street Performance World Championships, performing at the Opening Ceremony of The Special Olympics in Croke Park, Dublin and as The Point Man in ‘The Waking of the Giant’ at Carlingford Lough.
Most recently Hugh was the co-creator and librettist for CahootsNi/The Mac’s musical production of Pinocchio and also Co-Director/ Writer and Performer in the Dublin Culture Connects/ Cois Ceim production ALIGHT!. In Cambodia, Hugh has recently written, produced, co-directed and performed the lead in the feature film INSIDE THE BELLY OF A DRAGON which received a special selection at the Cambodian International Film Festival and will be presented this April 2017 as part of the Belfast Film Festival. Throughout those 21 years and as a result of his work with leading arts organisations like Belfast Community Circus, Lunar Circus, City Fusion and CahootsNI, Hugh has developed his own programme of creative exploration, Theatrical Thinking, working with people of all ages and backgrounds, using the disciplines of Circus and Theatre as a metaphor for learning about confidence, creativity and individual expression.
Jennie Brady works with The LAB, Dublin City The Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin City Council Public Art programme and IMMA to produce high quality documentation of art events as well as web video for organisations such as Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, UCD and DCU. Jenny Brady is also an artist who works with moving-image. She has exhibited recently in institutions such as The RHA, IMMA, Kunstmuseum Bonn and at EVA. She is co- founder and co-curator of PLASTIK Festival of Artists’ Moving Image and her work features in the Arts Council collection.
A Dublin-based photographer with a BA in Photographic Media (Faculty of Journalism & Media Communications). Recipient of the Noone Casey Award, Best Academic Achievement Award, Highly Commended for the Inspirational Arts award (An Uncommon Beauty) as well a finalist in the National Smedias Award (Photographer of the Year category) and Expressions International Portraiture Competition. Published internationally in print and online, his work is predominantly but not limited to the areas of social documentary, portraiture and event/commercial photography.
He is also a course tutor with the Photography Academy of Ireland and British Academy of Photography.
Project Advisory Group
Cleo Fagan, Project Manager, ALIGHT!
Iseult Byrne, Project Director, Dublin’s Culture Connects
Liz Turley, Senior Librarian, Pembroke Library
Jessica O’Donnell, Collections Curator, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane
Katy Fitzpatrick, Education Curator, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane
Logan Sisley, Exhibitions Curator, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane
Caoilte O’Mahony, Education Administrator, The National Gallery of Ireland
Brina Casey, Education Officer, The National Gallery of Ireland
Sheena Barrett, Assistant Arts Officer & Curator of The LAB, Dublin City Council
Declan Hayden, Community Development Manager for the South-East, Dublin City Council
Dublin City Libraries’ mission is to maximise opportunity for all – individuals and communities – through guided access to ideas, learning, literature, information and heritage resources supported by cultural programming.
Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane is a public gallery of modern and contemporary art. A registered charity, it is part of Dublin City Council. The gallery’s original collection of modern art was presented by Sir Hugh Lane in 1908 and, in the ethos of its founder the gallery continues to collect and exhibit modern and contemporary art. The role of the gallery is to enhance public engagement, enjoyment and appreciation of the visual arts by way of temporary exhibitions, exhibitions of the collections, education programmes and projects and publications. As Dublin’s City Gallery The Hugh Lane has a responsibility to give value added to the cultural life of the city through its engagement with the people of Dublin and beyond.The purpose of the gallery is to promote understanding and public engagement with modern and contemporary art and to contribute to public discourse on the creative arts especially visual art. The Hugh Lane’s role as a leading museum of modern and contemporary art has been enhanced over the years by notable bequests and gifts, including most recently, Francis Bacon’s Studio and Archive and Sean Scully’s gift of paintings.The Hugh Lane Gallery Trust Limited is a company which was established in 1998 under the Companies Act 1963. It is a wholly owned company of Dublin City Council. The Company (Members), under its Memorandum and Articles of Association, elects Trustees, who are the Board of Directors and who are charged with the strategic development and management of the gallery. The gallery is located in Charlemont House on Parnell Square North and is open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday. Closed Mondays.
The National Gallery of Ireland (NGI) was founded by an Act of Parliament in 1854 and opened to the public in 1864. It houses over 16,000 items: over 2,600 oil paintings, and some 13,000 works in different media including watercolours, drawings, prints and sculpture. The works range in date from the fourteenth century to the present day and broadly represent the development of the major European schools of painting: British, Dutch, Flemish, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Netherlands, complemented by the world’s most comprehensive collection of Irish art. Since 1884, the NGI has been home to the National Portrait Collection. To accommodate these additions, the NGI has been extended over the years, in 1903, in 1968 and in 2002. As part of the Master Development Plan (MDP), a significant refurbishment project of the historic Dargan and Milltown Wings is underway and scheduled to be completed in 2017.The purpose of the NGI is to care for, interpret, develop and showcase art in a way that makes the National Gallery of Ireland an exciting place to encounter art. The NGI is dedicated to bringing people and their art together by providing an outstanding experience that inspires an interest in and an appreciation of art for all.Open 361 days of the year and located in the city centre, in the heart of Georgian Dublin, the NGI is easily accessible on foot, and by public transport. The Gallery is open 7 days a week, with late opening on Thursdays. Admission is free.
The City Arts Office assists artists and communities to enhance their contributions to and experiences within the arts. The City Arts Office is part of Dublin City Council’s Culture Recreation Amenity and Community Department. The City Arts Office works in partnership with other Dublin City Council sections, and in particular with those concerned with arts and cultural programming and provision. It holds a specialised remit to practice the arts, participate in the arts, develop audiences for the arts, and work with other City Sections to maximise opportunity for the public to engage in the arts, and particularly to improve access to the arts.
The South East Area is one of 5 administrative areas used by Dublin City Council to co-ordinate the delivery of services in the city. The Area stretches south from the River Liffey to Terenure and east along the Dodder over to the Merrion Gates on the coast. It is a very diverse district containing part of the medieval core of Dublin, the City’s premier shopping district, the cultural quarter of Temple Bar, Inner City commercial and residential districts and suburban villages such as Ringsend, Irishtown, Sandymount, Ranelagh, Rathmines, Terenure and Rathgar. Pleasant canal walks, coastal facilities, parks and elegant squares and the many local sports clubs provide a host of recreational amenities.
ALIGHT! focuses on the Pearse Street, Irishtown, Ringsend and Sandymount areas of Dublin. Our partner national cultural institutions are the Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane and The National Gallery of Ireland.
The vibrant neighbourhoods in ALIGHT! each have strong communities and a distinct sense of place. The aim is to facilitate the people in these localities to work with artists to creatively celebrate their own and each other’s communities.
With these projects the aim is provide a framework for the artists and people to work together, facilitating cultural and social exchange and sometimes providing the opportunity for building creative skills. This mixing of community and artistic expertise is an exciting one and intended results are necessarily open-ended – we want artists and local people to work together towards artistic outcomes.