The Misunderstanding of Myrrha

The Misunderstanding of Myrrha
Junk Ensemble in collaboration with Alice Maher present
The Misunderstanding of Myrrha
13 February 2020 | Mermaid Arts Centre
May 2020 | Dublin Dance Festival
Junk Ensemble collaborate with acclaimed visual artist Alice Maher for their new work The Misunderstanding of Myrrha, which reawakens the tale of Myrrha from ancient Greek mythology and Ovid.
From Aphrodite’s curse, Myrrha tricked her father and fell pregnant with his child. Fleeing Arabia, Myrrha begged the gods to take pity on her and she was transformed from her human form into a myrrh tree. The sap that falls from the tree are Myrrha’s tears of shame and sadness.
This tale of transformation from female into hybrid form will be re-imagined so that Myrrha’s story is finally told by a woman - we hear it through Myrrha’s once muted voice. Presented through intricate choreography, text, music and a stunning visual design by Alice Maher, the solo dance work cycles through the tragedy of Myrrha’s curse, the acceptance of her fate, and the hope that is unearthed from the trauma. Myrrha’s existence becomes a thing of beauty as she spits out her fate and declares herself a new being: beyond woman, man or tree.
Creation: Jessica Kennedy, Megan Kennedy, Alice Maher
Direction and Choreography: Jessica Kennedy, Megan Kennedy
in collaboration with the cast
Scenography and Costume Design: Alice Maher
Lighting Design: Stephen Dodd
Composition: Denis Clohessy
Performer: Julie Koenig
Design Construction: Ger Glancy
Producer: Gwen Van Spijk
Proudly funded by The Arts Council of Ireland | An Chomhairle Ealaion Arts Grant Fund and Dublin City Council. Commissioned by Dublin Dance Festival and supported by Mermaid Arts Centre, Dance Ireland, Project Arts Centre and Shawbrook LD Dance Trust.

Image credit: The Paragon by Alice Maher 

A Different Wolf at Cork Opera House, Cork Midsummer Festival 2019

A Different Wolf at Cork Opera House, Cork Midsummer Festival 2019
What is the wolf at your door?
‘Fear isn't so difficult to understand. Nothing has changed since Little Red Riding Hood faced the big bad wolf. It's just a different wolf.’ Alfred Hitchcock
A Different Wolf is a new dance opera created by multi-award winning Junk Ensemble and innovative music-theatre company Dumbworld (Belfast). The production is a poignant exploration of fear, where in a complex and uneasy world we all live with our own form of wolf. A Different Wolf blends visceral movement, text and exquisite song to create a powerful visual & sonic experience for the audience. 
Personal testimonies from different communities in Cork give voice to contemporary representations of the wolf as varied as the bank man, loneliness, the world ending and a car not starting. An exceptional cast of four dancers, three singers, six musicians and a 100-strong choir perform in the production. 

A Different Wolf teaser from Junk Ensemble on Vimeo.

When: Sunday 16 June 8pm, Monday 17 June 3pm & 8pm
Where: Cork Opera House, Emmet Place, Cork as part of Cork Midsummer Festival 2019
Book here
Conceived by: Jessica Kennedy, Megan Kennedy, John McIlduff, Brian Irvine
Created and Directed by: Jessica Kennedy, Megan Kennedy, John Mcllduff
Choreography: Jessica Kennedy, Megan Kennedy in collaboration with the cast
Composers: Brian Irvine, James Joys
Lyrics: John Mcllduff
Set Design: Sabine Dargent
Lighting Design: Sarah Jane Shiels
Costume Design: Deirdre Dwyer
Dancers and Singers: Peter Devlin, Aoife Duffin, Stephanie Dufresne, Karl Fagerlund, Lucia Kickham, Stephen Moynihan, Amy Ní Fhearraigh
Musicians: James Joys, Michael Marshall, Declan McCarthy, Gerard Skelly, John Walsh
Choirs: Cork School of Music, Cór Gael
Producers: Gwen Van Spijk (Junk Ensemble), Susanna Lagan (Dumbworld) 
Line Producer: Michelle Cahill
Associate Producer: Rachel Bergin
Researcher: Michele O’Connor-Connolly
Production Managers: Sean Dennehy, Conor Mullan
Chief LX: Veronica Foo
Stage Manager: Barry O'Donovan
Assistant Stage Manager: Sue Crawford

Proudly supported by Arts Council of Ireland Arts Grant Fund. Presented in partnership with Cork Opera House and Cork Midsummer Festival and supported by Cork City Dance Artists-in-Residence Scheme at Firkin Crane and Dance Ireland. Junk Ensemble are Project Artists at Project Arts Centre, Dublin.

Soldier Still Irish Tour - November 2018

Soldier Still Irish Tour - November 2018
Soldier Still is currently touring to four venues throughout Ireland in November. A beautiful and harrowing evocation of the impact and of violence, realised through the collaboration between an international team of artists and former soldiers.

Tour Dates:
Nov 1 Pavilion Theatre, Dun Laoghaire
Nov 6 Town Hall Theatre, Galway
Nov 13+14 The Everyman, Cork
Nov 22 Dance Limerick
'Raw power and a palpable elegance ... Not to be missed' 
The Arts Review

'Junk Ensemble’s most visually focused work to date.' The Irish Times

‘Dynamic and rich contemporary contemplation of the trauma of militant violence … Powerful.' The Reviews Hub

Soldier Still - Promo show from Junk Ensemble on Vimeo.

Ancillary Events associated to Soldier Still Tour:
Library Talks with Tom Clonan
25 October, Dalkey Library 6:30 - 8pm
7 November, Galway City Library, 11:30am
14 November, Cork City Library, 1:10pm

Dance Theatre Workshops with Junk Ensemble
5 November, NUI Galway, 3 - 5pm
14 November, University College Cork, 9 - 11am
22 November, University of Limerick, 10 - 12noon

Post-show discussions are held after each performance on tour, individually chaired by a facilitator and attended by members of the company including the directors and Dr Tom Clonan.

Funded by The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon Touring Award. Winner of Best Design Award at Dublin Fringe Festival 2017. Soldier Still was co-produced with Mermaid Arts Centre and Project Arts Centre and supported by Dance Ireland and Dance Base Edinburgh,.

The Bystander - Autumn 2018

The Bystander - Autumn 2018
Our new work The Bystander premiered as part of Dublin Theatre Festival 2018 at axis:Ballymun in addition to performances at Mermaid Arts Centre in October and Project Arts Centre on 9+10 November.

‘I didn’t want to get involved.' Anonymous Neighbour
The Bystander is an intriguing and adventurous production by multi-award winning dance theatre innovators Junk Ensemble. Taking its name from the bystander effect phenomenon of the murder of Kitty Genovese outside her apartment in New York City in 1964, whereby thirty-eight witnesses saw or heard the attack, yet none of them called for help, The Bystander brings to the surface some of the murkier and complex behaviours of contemporary society.

Performed by an internationally acclaimed cast and drawing on the expertise of a psychologist, The Bystander gets under the skin of how we behave as individuals and groups. What makes us help someone and what makes us simply 
stand by?

The Bystander promo from Junk Ensemble on Vimeo.

‘The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.’ Albert Einstein

Creation, Direction and Choreography: Jessica Kennedy, Megan Kennedy
In collaboration with the cast

Set Design: Sabine Dargent
Lighting Design: Zia Bergin-Holly
Costume Design: Sarah Foley
Music & Sound Design: Denis Clohessy
Dramaturgy: Feidlim Cannon

Consultant Sociologist & Collaborator: Ciaran Smyth

Performers: Steve Blount, Stephanie Dufresne, Stephen Moynihan, Tilly Webber

Additional performance dates:
Friday 12 October 
Mermaid Arts Centre, County Wicklow 
9 & 10 November Project Arts Centre, Dublin

Junk Ensemble are Project Artists, an initiative of Project Arts Centre.
This production is funded by the Arts Council of Ireland. Presented by axis
:Ballymun in association with Dublin Theatre Festival.

Call-out for Participants - Behaviour of The Body

Call-out for Participants - Behaviour of The Body
Behaviour of the Body Workshops at Dance Ireland
Junk Ensemble invite you to work with them in a series of three workshops this summer, which will assist their research for their new work, The Bystander.
In these workshops, you will work with a psychologist and choreographers Jessica Kennedy and Megan Kennedy.
Different ‘body based phenomena’ will be explored in each session such as:
  • Spatial design of performer and spectator
  • Body/group behaviour
  • Mob mentality
  • Social dynamics in space
Dates: Sat 30 Jun & Sat 7 July & Sat 14 Jul 2018
Time: 11:00 - 14:00
Venue: DanceHouse
Admission: €10 per session, or €25 to attend all three
The workshops are open to all. There is no previous dance or performance experience required. Further information:

Man At The Door at Cork Midsummer Festival 2018

Man At The Door at Cork Midsummer Festival 2018
Our new production Man At The Door (Number 54) will premiere at Cork Midsummer Festival in partnership with Firkin Crane and Cork City Council. Performed in the atmospheric Sunbeam Bingo Hall in Blackpool Cork, the idea of the doppelgänger is played out, exploring themes of care and the beautiful banality of life. What happens when your double knocks on the door? How does the story of your life play out through a bingo game?
Direction and Choreography: Jessica Kennedy, Megan Kennedy
Created in collaboration with the cast

Visual and Lighting Design: Sarah Jane Shiels
Composition and Sound Design: Peter Power
Costume Design: Laura Perrem

Performers: Jessica Kennedy, Megan Kennedy, Lucia Kickham, Siobhán Ní Dhuinnín, Hugh Scannell, Luca Squillacciotti

Photography: Luca Truffarelli
Friday 15, Saturday 16, Sunday 17 June at 3pm
Friday 22, Saturday 23, Sunday 24 June at 3pm
Sunbeam Bingo Hall, Blackpool, Cork

Funded by The Arts Council’s Cork City Dance-Artists-in-Residence Scheme at Firkin Crane. Supported by Cork City Council, Firkin Crane and Sunbeam Bingo Hall.
Book here

Dolores at Dublin Dance Festival 2018

Dolores at Dublin Dance Festival 2018
Dolores  recently premiered at Dublin Dance Festival from 8 - 13 May 2018 at Chocolate Factory in Dublin.

Inspired by Vladimir Nabokov’s visual and disturbing novel ‘Lolita’, Dolores is a powerful and uncompromising work finally told by a silenced girl. Dolores gives a voice to the neglected and traumatised child, the candy girl full of hope and the enraged woman full of fire and revenge. Performed by the acclaimed Mikel Murfi and Amanda Coogan, Irish & international dancers and musicians and exquisitely designed as an off-site piece, Dolores digs into the poetry of the novel and exposes the unsettling abuse and tragedy of a young girl through imagery, song, dance and text.

More info and booking here

DOLORES from Junk Ensemble on Vimeo.

Direction and Choreography: Jessica Kennedy, Megan Kennedy
created in collaboration with the cast
Scenography: Valerie Reid
Lighting: Sarah Jane Shiels
Music: Denis Clohessy
Costumes: Sarah Foley
Dramaturgy/Collaboration: Jo Timmins
Videography: Luca Truffarelli
Photography: Fionn McCann
Performers: Amanda Coogan, Danny Forde, Deirdre Griffin, Julie Koenig, Mikel Murfi, Conor Sheil

Dolores is funded by The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon and commissioned by Dublin Dance Festival. Supported by Dublin City Council, Project Arts Centre, Dance Ireland, Dance City Newcastle. Junk Ensemble are Project Artists at Project Arts Centre and Cork City Dance Artists-in-Residence at Firkin Crane.

The Book and The Body Symposia, April 2018

The Book and The Body Symposia, April 2018
Jessica Kennedy and Megan Kennedy of Junk Ensemble have curated a two-strand symposia entitled 'The Book and The Body' in National University of Ireland Galway and University College Dublin in April 2018, as part of Dublin Dance Festival, partnering with Dance Ireland and Live Collision Festival. This is surrounding a new Junk Ensemble dance-theatre production, an off-site work titled Dolores, which is inspired by Vladimir Nabokov’s visual and disturbing novel ‘Lolita’, and will premiere in May 2018. 

'The Book and The Body' Symposia will comprise of panel discussions, masterclasses, a viewing of an open rehearsal, roundtable discussions and international keynote speakers, and will take place at the National University of Ireland Galway: 13-14 April and University College Dublin: 20-21 April, covering themes which include: body & literature, gender & performance, sexuality and abuse, trauma & memory, how the body is represented in literature through the male perspective, and Vladimir Nabokov’s novel ‘Lolita’.

Detailed schedule and booking here

Soldier Still at Belfast Festival 2017

Soldier Still at Belfast Festival 2017
Soldier Still will perform at the prestigious Belfast International Arts Festival in association with The MAC on October 17 & 18 at 7:45pm. There will be a post show discussion with Professor Jay Winter after the performance on October 17.
Book tickets here

***** The Arts Review 'Raw power and palpable elegance ... Stirring, poignant ... Not to be missed ... Exquisite.'
**** The Irish Times 'Junk Ensemble’s most visually focused work to date.'
**** The Reviews Hub 'Dynamic and rich contemporary contemplation of the trauma of militant violence.'

Soldier Still - Promo show from Junk Ensemble on Vimeo.