Artistic Directors Jessica Kennedy and Megan Kennedy
Junk Ensemble was founded by twin sisters and Artistic Directors Jessica Kennedy and Megan Kennedy in 2004. The Dublin-based company exists to engage diverse audiences through the creation and presentation of brave, imaginative and accessible dance-theatre work that sheds light on important human issues relevant to society today. Previous Artists-in-Residence at The Tate, the multi-award winning company have built a reputation in Ireland as dance innovators. Junk Ensemble frequently collaborate with artists from other disciplines to produce a rich mix of visual and performance styles that challenge the traditional audience/performer relationship. This approach has led to productions being created in non-traditional or found spaces as well as more conventional theatre spaces. The company often work directly with communities in the creation and performance of their work. Their work has toured to New York, Europe, and throughout the UK and Ireland. Junk Ensemble are Project Artists at Project Arts Centre and Cork Dance Artists-in-Residence at Firkin Crane.
Productions include Soldier Still (Belfast International Arts Festival/Dublin Fringe Festival 2017), Walking Pale (GPO Witness History Commission/Dublin Dance Festival 2016), It Folds, a joint production with Brokentalkers (Edinburgh Festival 2016/Mayfest Bristol 2016/Dublin Fringe Festival, Abbey Theatre 2015, Dusk Ahead (NYC La MaMa Moves Festival 2015/National Tour 2015/Dublin Theatre Festival 2013/Kilkenny Arts Festival 2013), The Falling Song (8-venue UK & National Tour 2014/Belfast Festival 2012 /Dublin Dance Festival 2012), Bird with Boy (UK Tour 2016/Dublin Theatre Festival 2012/Dublin Fringe Festival 2011), Sometimes We Break (Tate Britain Commission 2012), Five Ways to Drown (National Tour 2012/Dublin Dance Festival 2010), Pygmalian Revisited (Aix-en Provence Festival Commission 2010), Drinking Dust (2008), The Rain Party (2007), and short film Blind Runner (2013), commissioned by Dance Ireland.
Jessica Kennedy trained in the United States, Dublin and London, completing a Bachelors Degree in Dance Performance & English Literature at Middlesex University, London and a photography diploma at Dun Laoghaire College of Art & Design. She has performed extensively with dance and theatre companies throughout Europe and the UK, including Blast Theory (UK) Retina Dance Company (UK), Tanz Lange (Germany), Firefly Productions (Belgium), Storytelling Unplugged (Romania). In Ireland she collaborates regularly with Brokentalkers (Circus Animals' Desertion, The Blue Boy, Frequency 783, In Real Time, On This One Night) and has performed in productions with The Abbey Theatre, The Ark and The Pavilion Theatre. Jessica co-created the award winning and internationally acclaimed short film Motion Sickness in 2012, which has screened across 30 festivals worldwide, and has choreographed for and performed in numerous film, theatre and opera work. Other film credits include Oiche Nollaig na mBan (TG4/Oonagh Kearney 2016), The Wake (Invisible Thread Films/Oonagh Kearney 2013), Turning (Highly Stimulating Productions 2013), Dance Emergency (TG4 2013), Wonder House (JDIFF 2012) and Her Mother’s Daughters (RTÉ 2010/Oonagh Kearney). Other choreographic credits include the creation of Songs from a Car Park (Dublin Fringe Festival/RUA RED 2014) and Nixon in China (Wide Open Opera/Bord Gais Theatre 2014). Jessica has lectured at various universities and also performs in the band Everything Shook. She was awarded Best Female Performer for Dublin Fringe Festival 2006. Jessica was Dance Artist in Residence at RUA RED Arts Centre 2012-13.
Megan Kennedy trained at Alvin Ailey Dance Center in New York City and received a B.A. Honours from Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh. Choreography for live performance includes Villette (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Town is Dead (The Abbey Theatre), Marble & Bread (Dance Limerick), Tchaikovsky’s Queen of Spades Opera (Edinburgh Festival Theatre), Bram Stoker Festival (IRL), and eX Choral Ensemble (IRL). Performance and choreography for film includes Óiche Nollaig na mBan (RTÉ TG4), The Wake (dir: Oonagh Kearney), Blind Runner (Junk Ensemble/Dance Ireland Commission), Wonder House (Dublin Film Festival), Her Mother’s Daughters (Winner Best Actress Capalbio Festival Italy/Dance on Camera NYC/RTÉ Dance on the Box). Megan has performed with Retina Dance Company (UK), Tanz Lange (Germany), Firefly Productions (Belgium), Storytelling Unplugged (Romania), Blast Theory (UK) and in Ireland with Brokentalkers (The Blue Boy, On This One Night), CoisCéim Dance Theatre (Faun, As You Are), The Abbey Theatre (Romeo & Juliet), Mouth on Fire (Everlasting Voices), Bedrock Productions (Pale Angel) and productions for The Pavilion Theatre and The Ark (IRL). Megan was Dance Artist-in-Residence in Limerick in 2014/15. She is a Fellow of Salzburg Global Seminar and the chair of Dance Travels.
Photo credit: John Stead, Fionn McCann