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Iniscealtra Festival of Arts 2008, Mountshannon, Co. Clare
arts and media |
Friday May 02, 2008 08:11 by Jim Grady - Iniscealtra Festival of Arts jgrady at iol dot ie Mountshannon, Co Clare 087 6968577
Art,Music, Poetry,Workshops and Classes in a week of culture and fun.
The exceptional Iniscealtra Festival of Arts is back with a week of culture and fun. Taking place in the stunning surrounds of Mountshannon from 23rd May – 2nd June. Themed ‘Community / Muintir’ this years programme brings many artists, groups and people from the region together. Guaranteed to entertain and appeal to all the family this is a festival not to be missed.
So prepare to be captivated and charmed with a full weeks programme of art, film, inspirational music, exhibitions, delightful storytelling, poetry, puppet shows, exciting workshops and classes.
Friday 23rd May will see the festival begin with the Fishbowl Youth Group presenting an acoustic evening of entertainment, music, poetry, prose and dance. Transforming Mountshannon Hall into a delightfully relaxed and candle-lit style café.
Theo Dorgan, renowned poet, writer and broadcaster will officially open the festival 8pm on Saturday 24th with traditional music from Eoin O’Neill (musician and broadcaster) accompanied by the young, talented Eimear Howry and choral work from the local ‘Lough Derg Singers’. Promising to be a charming evening in the beautiful setting of St Caimin’s Church of Ireland and everyone is welcome.
Then come with us to Mountshannon Hotel for a night of music where Orla Harrington (The Lord of the Dance) will bewitch audiences with fiddle playing from her forthcoming debut album. Followed by traditional/crossover music guaranteed to get you dancing with: multi-instrumentalists Eoin O'Neill (recorded and performed with Sharon Shannon, The Waterboys and Martin Hayes); Quentin Cooper, a consummate musician equally comfortable rocking on electric guitar as playing soulful traditional music; Jonno Connell on double bass (from ‘The Walls’) and Jerry Kelly on drums (Admission €10).
The Riverside Sculpture installation along the riverbanks of Scariff Harbour to Lough Derg will delight all who use the waterways throughout the festival. Working with artists Ian Castles, Paul Browne and ‘Greenmantle’, visiting German students and young people from the local Alfa Project School, will create and install this magical trail. Local fisherman will kindly provide boat trips on Saturday 24th and 31st May from 2-5pm.
Sunday 25th May sees Charles Harper, one of Irelands best known painters, open the contemporary art exhibition at Derg View Gallery in Mountshannon Village. This innovative exhibition will feature works from renowned East Clare Artists including, sculpture, painting, print, ceramics, glass and photography. Come along and chat with the artists, mingle and enjoy a glass of wine. Admission is free and purchase/commissions welcome.
Sunday night promises to be one of the highlights of the festival with an unforgettable performance by John Feely in St Caimin’s Church. Hailed as one of the world’s top guitar virtuosos, his command of the instrument is simply breathtaking. The festival is delighted to welcome Feely back to Mountshannon.
New for 2008 is the Session Trail of Traditional Music, taking place at various locations throughout Mountshannon. Beginning on Sunday 25th May, every night of the festival until Monday 2nd June (See programme for times) these evenings of music are guaranteed to get the feet tapping!!
Wednesday 28th presents an evening of dynamic and enthralling storytelling with Eamon Cagney and Ruth Marshall. Taking place in the Snug Wine Bar, Mountshannon, this special evening is free and ideal for all the family. Both Cagney and Marshall’s stories will be informed by working with the young people of East Clare prior to the event.
‘Where Do We Go From Here’ on Thursday 29th May will be an evening of film and illuminating dialogue, looking at the extraordinary, yet ordinary lives of Travellers within the UK and the present Travelling Communities here in Ireland. Philip Donnellan’s 1970 documentary, narrated by John Seymore will begin the evening, followed by talks and discussion by specialist Dr. Michael O hAodha, (lecturer and the University of Limerick) Mountshannon Hall, 8pm, admission €8.
Friday night (30th) is film night with ‘Future Shorts’ followed by the Irish premiere of ‘As it is in Heaven’ at Mountshannon Hall from 8pm, by Midnight Court Film Society. The evening opens with a series of vibrant and eclectic short films and culminates with the heart-warming Swedish film ‘As it is in Heaven’.
If this doesn’t tickle your fancy then maybe an evening of Dance and Ceili will wet the appetite. Taking place in Mountshannon Hotel ‘The Dancers’ at 8pm will present innovative contemporary dance by Daniel Vais, in partnership with acclaimed dance artists based in Ireland. Inspired by this contemporary performance you will then have the opportunity to dance your own legs off with the Four Courts Ceili Band at 9.30pm.
This week of delightful entertainment and culture culminates on the Bank holiday weekend. From Saturday 31st May through to Monday 2nd there will be workshops with something for everyone. Including Sean-Nos dancing with Gerard Butler, Traditional Music Classes with local musicians, African Drumming workshops with Michael McGuire, Hot Air Balloon making with Lisa Jones, Writers workshop with Galway poet and writer Nuala Ni Chonchuir and the exceptional Boat Building Course with Pete Browne. For more information visit our website or pick up a brochure.
Saturday also sees the Mixed Bag United Soccer Tournament at Scariff Soccer Field, a Gallery Talk at the Snug with Catherine Marshall from The Arts Council, followed by poetry readings with Nuala Ni Chonchuir.
Saturday night presents a night of revelry and music including the Madcap genius of Beoga, a young energetic five-piece traditional band. These musicians take traditional Irish music and creatively incorporate other genres to create a fresh and uplifting repertoire – guaranteed to be great night!
On Sunday 1st June wake up with a refreshing 8-mile walk, meet at the Aistear 11am. The day continues with the ever-popular Green Fair, hosted by members of CELT and a wonderful series of open-air performances and concerts by young, local talent and Clare Musicians.
Sunday evening will present an array of performances from local and visiting groups, from Drumming and Salsa to Capoeira and belly dancing. The hot air balloons made during the festival will be released in a colourful display over the picturesque shores of Loch Derg.
The evening concludes with the inspirational and hypnotic North Strand Klezner Band, so come and dance the night away!!
Monday 2nd June, the festival sees the grand launch of the hand-built boats from Mountshannon Harbour, constructed over the weekend – come watch as they float away. A magical day for all the family includes ‘Androcles and The Lion’, by Spring Onion Puppet Theatre from 2.30pm in the Aistear. Throughout the afternoon and evening Session Trails, with singing and music, will bring to a close this wonderful week of the Iniscealtra Festival of Arts.
Various festival exhibitions will feature in a number of locations throughout the festival and please see website/brochure for more details.
To find out more call 087 6735111 or visit www.iniscealtra-artsfestival.org and look out for our programme.
Kindly supported by The Arts Council and IMMA (The Irish Museum of Modern Art)