- See more dance
- See theatre in new places
- Go to more than just performances.
I’m not sure if I saw any dance theatre this year but I heard wonderful things about junk ensemble’s Dusk Ahead and Cois Ceim’s Missing and I was sorry I’d missed them. This year I will make an effort to see more dance shows. I’ve chosen a good time to do it too as Dublin Dances into Spring is starting at the end of this month. This is a collaboration between Irish Modern Dance Theatre, Liz Roche Company and CoisCéim Dance Theatre and involves lots of performances happening in venues around Dublin between January 25th and March 22nd.
I would love this to include festivals and venues outside Dublin, such as the Limerick City of Culture performances and the Happy Days festival in Enniskillen but I’d settle for visiting a few new Dublin venues too. I only seem to go to The New Theatre during festivals so I like see more productions there and also at Theatre Upstairs. I’m also hoping to get down to The Lir to see a few of their student productions.
Working with Theatre Forum, I attended members meetings and Open Space events and really enjoyed seeing the performing arts community coming together to share information and talk about difficulties in the sector. Community is important and useful. Even knowing other people are having the same problems are you can help sometimes. I always learnt something new at these events and came away with a new perspective on some part of the arts world. And as the commemorative year of the Lock-Out ends, it’s worth remembering that there is strength in numbers and we need to stick together!
This year I also enjoyed the Gate’s World Actors Forum, IETM and coffee mornings in the Fringe offices. They were all good for meeting theatre types informally and see that they’re not so scary after all. The theatre world has a reputation for being a bit clique-y and but generally most people are very friendly and willing to chat. Seriously, I am terrible at networking but even I managed to make a few new friends at events this year.
On a more intimate scale, I started attending the Cultural Freelancers Meetings at the end of September and found them really useful and invigorating. They are designed to give freelancers a chance to talk about their work and the problems they’re facing with a small group of like-minded individuals.
All of these meetings helped keep me motivated about working in the arts this year. Often they were also great social events! I intend to go to lots more meetings and gatherings of like-minded souls in 2014.