Tuesday 24 October 2023

Uillinn Dance Season: Nóra Ní Anluain Fay from NAF Dance

Naf Dance, Credit: Berkey Photography

What are your impressions of West Cork as a creative place for dance?
Initially I wouldn’t have made a direct link between West Cork and dance but the more time I spend there, the more I clearly see the two things intertwining. There is a hunger and an eagerness in the place to see work. This is really highlighted by the crowds that Uillinn can draw in. People that aren’t usually introduced to dance or feel welcome to it, and can bring a whole new lens to the work. West Cork is also home to so many great artists of all mediums such as musicians, writers and visual artists. Anywhere where artists, as a whole, and creativity can thrive leads to other art forms to flourish.

What was the Inspiration for your work?
I have always been infatuated by the idea of growing up, looking forward, looking back, imagining what characters we’ll become at different points of our life and figuring out how we relate to them as time passes. This has continuously come through in many of my pieces. No matter how I try to escape it I always revert back to childhood fantasies and attempt to see the world through a cinematic lens. I believe it captures such a contrasting collection of chaotic emotions from joy, nostalgia, regret, panic, spontaneity, doubt, mania, confusion and so many more that I’m continuously trying to decipher. The act of growing up is such an incredibly personal yet universal experience that I truly find it an endless pool for inspiration.

What point did the work go from concept and development to becoming a full work?
I’ve always been busy with this concept and made two solos around this topic in my third year at Fontys University, the Netherlands. I still wanted to develop it further and ‘You gotta trust the future is gonna be a bit Sexy,’ ended up being my graduation piece from the choreography department. I always had a clear vision of what it could be and as we began to explore in the studio the work stayed quite loyal to the original outline. It was supported by DansBrabant and Panama Pictures in the Netherlands to help it come into fruition and become the piece it is today.

Naf Dance, Credit: Berkey Photography

How has your work evolved by bringing it to West Cork Arts Centre?
Since it premiered in June 2023 as part of ‘Get Out,’ Festival in the Netherlands in the Theater de Nieuwe Vorst it has toured in festivals across Ireland and the Netherlands. But the performance has never been shown in its entirety in Ireland until now for Uillinn Dance Season which makes it a very special moment. I received a DLR Emerging Artist Bursary Award which makes the premiere thankfully possible. It is so lovely to return to Uillinn after being a dance artist in residence here over the summer and be able to bring new work to the audience we are growing in West Cork. The work continuously evolves by bringing it to a new audience which makes it such an enriching experience.

Has the way you approach the work you are presenting changed from the time of its creation given that the Uillinn is a gallery space?
Since its premiere the work has already been adapted to different lengths and spaces such as restaurants, outdoors and different scale theatres. Because of this ever changing setting it has really solidified the core and tone of the work. The essence of what the piece strives to do has never changed but the relationship with the audience is ever evolving. Each setting invites the audience into the world we’re creating in a different way. The fact that we’ll be performing in a gallery setting offers the possibility of it being a more intimate experience with the audience which will only add to the work.

Book your tickets for Uillinn Dance Season, 2023

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