Irish Aerial Dance Fest – Celebrating 15 Years

Share This Story:
15-EAF2024-IADF-Emma Insley-1

The Irish Aerial Dance Fest (15th – 28th July) celebrates its 15th anniversary in 2024.

The annual festival, which attracts visitors and participants from all over the world, will include lots of great workshops and shows for all the family to enjoy.

In the Fire by Holly Treddenick

Wednesday 24th July, 8pm – Letterkenny, An Grianán Theatre

For Holly Treddenick, based in Ontario, Canada, ‘In the Fire’ is the opportunity to capture stories from her father’s experience as a Firefighter, with his input. The performance intends to share an understanding of firefighting with a wider audience – to appreciate and understand the work they offer – but also pay tribute to the influence Treddenick’s father has had in her life.

Through the creation of set pieces, aerial dance, inventive apparatuses, a choir, and projection, In the Fire captures, re-interprets and shares important stories from Treddenick’s father, who is also the last living founder of the Winnipeg Firefighter Museum. During the 60 minute performance, all are invited into a reflective space to witness the evolution of a father/daughter relationship, to stir a sense of hopefulness in their own lives, and “light the fire”.

In the Fire was first embodied by Treddenick in 2018 as part of the Catalyst Program through CAFT, and has grown and developed in its storytelling and innovative use of aerial arts to become the show it is today. 

It has been generously supported by the Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, Theatre Gargantua, MICC Commissioning Group at THOH and Peak Performances at Montclair State University. 

While some dark moments of the show may not be suitable for younger audiences, In the Fire invites community members, families (teenage children and up), and any person who has an intersection with rescue workers or with fire to share a welcoming, accessible, transformative space and hear the stories of Treddenick’s Father to celebrate his life – and the lives of all seniors and the stories and lessons they hold – while they are still here.

In The Fire acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, Department of Canadian Heritage, Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council.

Jump Start Double Bill

‘MAKOSH’ by Polina Shapkina and ‘One Hundred Thousand Years’ by Ashton

Friday 26th July, 8pm – Letterkenny, An Grianán Theatre

The Jump Start Consortium is Earagail Arts Festival, Cairde Sligo Arts Festival, Fidget Feet’s Irish Aerial Dance Festival and the ISACS Networ

This partnership is interested in supporting emerging circus artists with a speciality/interest in aerial technique and creativity. Together we are developing a residency and creative mentorship programme, which supports and encourages emerging aerial artists to take the first step forward in artistic creation. The selected artists are mentored by mid-career circus artists, therefore encouraging the growth of a supportive eco-system between and among their artistic peers.

MAKOSH by Polina Shapkina

2021-22 Jump Start Artist

Inspired by the works of Carl Jung on the human psyche, journey through a world of symbols on a quest to be the fullest expression of ourselves if we have the courage to take it. A surreal dreamscape, an age old quest for meaning and belonging in a world of disillusion.

A tentative battle plays out between the protagonist PSYCHE who is faced with the challenge of incorporating the deepest parts of herself – this hidden and dark unconscious represented by a second dancer: SHADOW. ORDER is embodied by the third performer.

While rich in Slavic folk motifs that connect to the artists ancestral heritage, and post-soviet dystopianism, the work also presents the world order we are currently living in – one that calls for conformity and imposes oppressive structures on ordinary lives.

One Hundred Thousand Years by Ashton

2023-24 Jump Start Artist

A joyful exploration of time and nature, using vertical dance, theatre and multi-sensory installation. Inspired by the natural environments of the West Coast of Ireland.

Ashton is the recipient of the 2023-2024 Jump Start programme. In the first year their focus was movement research on-site, and they are now presenting a performance-in-development sharing. 

Jump Start is supported by Earagail Arts Festival, Cairde Sligo Arts Festival, Irish Street Arts, Circus and Spectacle Network (ISACS) and Irish Aerial Dance Festival. Supported by Arts Council Ireland.

Emma Insley Cabaret Night

Saturday 27th July, 7pm – Letterkenny, An Grianán Theatre

The Emma Insley Cabaret has been running since the festival began in 2010. This year it’s celebrating 15 years of the Irish Aerial Dance Festival!

The Cabaret will be a curated selection of acts from the aerial dancers participating in the festival, and will be a variety of lengths and apparatus, including some group numbers. We want to share what we’ve been working on, so come and join the celebration with us!

The winners of the Emma Insley Aerial Creation Fund will also perform their piece, the festival is in memory of Emma Insley.

Visit for full details on Irish Aerial Dance Fest 2024.

Sign up to receive the latest updates and news.

More to Explore...