Ireland and Catalunya collaborate in new international residency project

Share This Story:
EAF2024-International Exchange-COLLAGE

Earagail Arts Festival is delighted to announce the creation of a new international residency project in partnership with Cairde Sligo Arts Festival, FiraTàrrega and the Irish Street Arts, Circus and Spectacle (ISACS) Network supported by the Arts Council of Ireland‘s International Residency Investment Scheme.

Participating organisations meet at FiraTàrrega.

Focussing on creating work in outdoor spaces, artists Rob Heaslip and Kristyn Fontanella will be working on a collaborative programme over the next 12 months with Catalan artists Joan Català and Kamchatka to develop their artistic practice in an international exchange taking place in Tàrrega, Sligo, and Donegal over the next year.

Paul Brown, Earagail Arts Festival, said: “This new residency award through the Arts Council International Residency Investment Scheme enables Earagail Arts Festival to increase our commitment to investing in artists creating new work with an international dimension. Working with festival and street arts partners across Ireland and the internationally renowned FiraTàrrega to bring together artists from different creative backgrounds provides new professional development opportunities for all the artists involved and strengthens our international partnerships and networks.”

Tara McGowan, Cairde Sligo Arts Festival, said: “Cairde Sligo Arts Festival is excited by the opportunities presented by this Arts Council funded International Residency Scheme. We look forward to deepening our partnership with Irish partners Earagail Arts Festival and ISACS; to cultivating a relationship with international partners FiraTàrrega, a significant international platform for street arts and to developing a creative collaboration with contemporary Irish and Catalan artists Rob Heaslip, Kristyn Fontanella, Joan Català and Kamchatka.”

Lucy Medlycott, ISACS, said: “The ISACS Network are absolutely thrilled to see international residencies and partnerships taking shape for the future development of our collective sector such as this one supported by the Arts Council of Ireland. Street arts, circus and spectacle has been growing at an enormous rate and it is so necessary for artists in our network to have the opportunity to meet, work with and establish connections with like-minded artists of such high renown as Kamchatka and Joan Català. The skills and learning that they will gain from this will have a wide impact beyond just the creative development of Kristyn and Rob as individual artists, but out into the wider sector and beyond.”

Natalia Lloreta, FiraTàrrega, said: “FiraTàrrega happily faces this project, which has a clear desire to provoke new relationships with Irish street arts. For us, the great value of this collaboration is that it is a process based on the exchange of knowledge, learning and experimentation with Catalan artists who are experts in the contemporary language of the public space.”

Rob Heaslip. Photo Credit: Amy Sinead Photography

Within his professional practice Rob Heaslip (left) works internationally as a choreographer, dancer, movement director and teacher. He creates his own ensemble work as well as collaborative works, spanning dance theatre, live performance, installation, dance-on-screen, T.V. & Film.

Rob began his career with the National Folk Theatre of Ireland, training at both the Scottish School of Contemporary Dance and the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at The University of Limerick.

As an artist he is interested in how he can re-imagine human rituals for the viewer of today; asking how can the performing body be a vessel for intertwining dance, voice and design. His style combines movement and theatricality with mythos, neon lights, synth music and contemporary aesthetics to portray stories about people, how they think, move and act amongst each other.

Rob’s work has been presented in Ireland, U.K., U.S.A., Sweden, Spain, Germany and China, with highlights including The Made In Scotland Showcase at Edinburgh Fringe, Dublin Dance Festival, AGITART Spain and Dance International Glasgow.

Kristyn Fontanella.

As a choreographer/dance artist Kristyn Fontanella (right) focuses her past knowledge of Irish step dancing and presents it in a contemporary context.

Having toured for many years with Riverdance, Lord of the Dance & as lead soloist in Gaelforce Dance, her current mission is to show another side of the complex world of Irish Step dancing to future generations.

Her work has shown at Dublin Dance Festival, DRFI in NYC, Echo Echo Dance Platform, Marseille New Danse Festival & Tanzmesse Germany. Most notably her large ensemble work, IN LiMBO, has had continued support from the Arts Council, and has completed a seven venue Irish National Tour in February 2020, with future international touring opportunities.

Alongside her choreography, Kristyn finds producing, rehearsal direction, and performing other artists’ work to be beneficial to her practice.She believes working alongside like-minded individuals to present and share their work will widen the market for dance in Ireland. 

Kristyn resides in Co. Galway where she has recently been appointed as Executive Director of Galway Dance, an artist-led non-profit dance organisation delivering support/resources to the dance sector and promoting the development of dance as a prominent and valued art form in the region.  

She continues her creative process exploring the worlds of Traditional and Contemporary dance. Kristyn’s focus now is on a new outdoor solo work tracing her dance family tree, with support from Town Hall Theatre Patrons Donation Award, Galway International Arts Festival Elevate Bursary and a Bursary Award from the Irish Arts Council. 

Joan Català. Photo Credit: Carte blanche/IDIOFONA

For Joan Català (left), the stage is a space in which human, object and environment interact, and work and place come together through craft, ideas and experiences. With a lifelong passion for sport, he has specialised in fine arts, the circus, contemporary dance and physical theatre.

Since 2005, he has worked in different theatres and at festivals around the world with the companies Daramair, Circus Klezmer, Los 2Play and Cia. Mudances – Àngels Margarit.

In 2012, he began developing his particular vision of a performing arts designed for the street and urban environments with the show Pelat, which is still being performed around the world in 2022.

In 2016 he premiered Menar, a two-person show with Roser Tutusaus. In 2021, he premiered 5,100 m/s. He has served as an artistic director to various companies, focused particularly on the arts of movement.

The Kamchatka Company. Photo Credit: Núria Boleda

A collective of artists of various nationalities and coming from different artistic disciplines, the Kamchatka company has been researching migration, immigration, emigration, exodus for more than 15 years, with an eye on roots and history.

Always without words, with everyday and surreal language at the same time, the characters go towards meeting the other, awakening empathy through an immersive, participatory and often improvisational theatre.

Since 2007, Kamchatka continues to perform its shows all over the world, interested, as always, in adapting to unique and particular contexts and environments.

Cristina Aguirre (Girona, 1975) is an actress trained in interpretation, dance, voice, clowning, object theatre and street theatre. She researches and works on movement, interpretation and humour.

She also works with the Catalan companies: Xirriquiteula Teatre, Fadunito, Kimani and with the Pallapupas Foundation as a hospital clown.

Gary (Giyora) Shochat and Cristina Aguirre.

Gary (Giyora) Shochat (Massachussets, 1969) has a degree in film and television and has worked as an art director and screenwriter for television and as a video game designer and producer.

In 2001 he arrived in Barcelona where he trained as an actor and clown. He performed with the company The Fools Militia, directed by Jango Edwards and with the company Fadunito.

Gary is co-founder and member of the collective ‘NCNC’ dedicated to the artistic projects at the territory.

Sign up to receive the latest updates and news.

More to Explore...