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Junk Ensemble is a multi-award-winning dance theatre company established by joint artistic directors and twin sisters Megan and Jessica Kennedy in 2004. The company create brave and imaginative productions centred around the human condition and contain a strong visual concept.
Winners of Best Production Award at Dublin Fringe Festival 2011, Culture Ireland Touring Award 2008, Excellence and Innovation Award 2007 and listed as a Sunday Times Highlight in 2011, Junk Ensemble’s work tours nationally and internationally and is regularly presented at Dublin Theatre Festival and Dublin Dance Festival.
Their productions are often created in collaboration with artists from other disciplines to produce a rich mix of visual and performance styles that seeks to challenge the traditional audience performer relationship. This approach has led to productions being created in non-traditional or found spaces as well as more conventional theatre spaces.
Junk Ensemble were Artists-in-Residence at Tate Britain, London in 2012.
‘junk ensemble has created some of the most impressive contemporary dance in Ireland of recent years.’
The Sunday Times
‘junk ensemble have guts and ingenuity’
The Irish Times
‘Enthralling and exact’
The Sunday Times
The Irish Times
‘Delicately beautiful, clever and frightening’
‘Anything seemed possible in this skilfully wrought work of illusion and disenchantment from an ever imaginative company’
Irish Theatre Magazine
‘junk ensemble’s creativity continues to impress’
‘Unsettling, raw and even beautiful … heartbreaking’
The Irish Times
‘Beautiful, delicate, superb; you’d be lucky to see it’
The Sunday Times
‘junk ensemble revel in transience and cracked memories. In Drinking Dust, they’ve harmonised a collection of images – still and moving – that gradually string threadbare connections between characters. Birthday cakes, family stories and father-daughter dancing reveal the background to the action.’
The Irish Times
The Falling Song
Sometimes We Break
Bird with boy
Five Ways to Drown
The Rain Party
In collaboration with Brokentalkers, It Folds is a reverie. A dream-like story of death, grief, beauty and humanity. It’s a poignant and humorous portrait of the tragicomic events that shape our everyday lives.
Fusing the distinctive choreography of Junk Ensemble with the innovative theatricality of Brokentalkers, It Folds features a large cast of Irish and local Bristol performers brought together to present an assortment of characters who attempt to find connection through their shared humanity.
Winner of the Best Performer at Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival 2015
‘Perturbingly powerful , this beguiling production is stirringly beautiful’
‘A captivating exploration of humanity and character through a surreal and stylised lens which gets under your skin, permeates your brain and touches your heart.’
‘Rich theatrical pickings’
The Irish Times
‘Extraordinarily unique fusion of eccentric theatricality and distinctive dance style’
Le Cool Dublin
Exploring blindness and invisibility, Dusk Ahead shows the murky fading light of dusk when it is difficult to discern what is real and what is imagined. Dusk is the hour between dog and wolf, between domestic and wild.
The talented cast of international and Irish performers also act as the band, playing live music throughout the piece. The visual design incorporates hundreds of golden threads stretched across the stage, which are dimly and beautifully lit through carefully constructed lighting.
Dusk Ahead was presented at Dublin Theatre Festival and Kilkenny Arts Festival in 2013 to wide critical acclaim. It is touring to New York and venues throughout Ireland and Northern Ireland in 2015.
2013, 70 min
Witty dance theatre meets mythical chamber opera in The Falling Song. Male physicality is pushed to the extremities to explore self-destruction, invincibility and failure in this compelling production. Performed by an international all-male cast and a live children’s choir, The Falling Song looks at the nature of flying and falling and the dangerous relationship between the two.
The strength of this piece lies in the Kennedys’ considerable skill in allowing images, sounds and movement to sit side-by-side in their production without one element undermining or overwhelming the others.
Featuring an ambitious stage set, with towering ladders, stacked mattresses, mounds of apples and a local children’s choir, the performance investigates the simple metaphor of falling; falling in and out of love and falling from grace.
The sub-plot is male identity, explored by the excellent cast of male dancers (Jesse Kovarsky, Omar Gordon, Eddie Kay and Carl Harrison).
2012, 63 min
Sometimes We Break is a dance and sound promenade piece that explores incompleteness and ‘parts to a whole’. Leading the audience on a designed journey of movement and sound, the piece focuses on things that stop working, things that are interrupted and missing parts.
Originally commissioned and performed in Tate Britain, Sometimes We Break is a collaboration between choreographers Jessica Kennedy and Megan Kennedy, composer and sound designer Tom Lane, visual designer Lian Bell and dance artists Justine Cooper, Carl Harrison and Jessica Kennedy.
The piece creates different physical, visual and musical environments throughout the promenade performance. The company was interested in re-inventing the piece into a new space to highlight the shifting sense of belonging and the idea of ‘home’. The movement derives from the theme of being interrupted and the question of where the body is taken when it is between two places.
This sense of incompleteness is demonstrated in a section whereby the performers cut off certain movement before it can finish. In another section, toy soldiers demarcate the performers’ path forcing them to continually shift their physical sense of belonging. The space begins to exist fully when the performers inhabit it. By occupying the space, we make it our home.
2012, 30 minutes
Bird with boy is a beautiful and fragile promenade piece by Junk Ensemble with Jo Timmins. Unravelling with fractured stories and littered with moving images and live music, this immersive dance installation concerns itself with things that end before they should.
The audience is lead from room to room, saturated with moving images and live music; fractured stories unravel and a quiet tension builds.
Bird with boy is performed by a cast of eleven; with two musicians, three dancers and six boys from Company B, Ireland’s only contemporary dance group for younger boys.
2011, 75 min
Winner of Best Production and nominated for both Best Design and Best Female Performer at Dublin Fringe Festival 2011
The living room is strewn on the front garden for all to see.
Five Ways to Drown looks into the interior of peoples’ lives and exposes the sadness, the absurdity and the banality through vignettes of dance and installation.
In this public display of the private, the choreography of everyday life becomes extraordinary. Continuing Junk Ensemble’s explorations of how spaces can be reinvented, the piece creates a different perspective on live performance.
Performed by three dancers, a young boy and an older woman, Five Ways to Drown shows us a picture of a family with the light going out: a little boy in a bath, a man wallpapering on a trampoline, a woman attached to an IV drip.
The movement is both violent and expressive with the dancers supporting each other in a climbing section; throwing a boy repeatedly into the grass; silently arguing on a sofa; spitting water and then dancing on a wet wooden floor.
2010, 55 min
Drinking Dust is a haunting dance theatre piece that pulls together fragmented stories, lost people and forgotten memories.
The piece is a collaboration between two highly acclaimed Dublin-based companies, Junk Ensemble and Brokentalkers, and is performed by two dancers, a small girl and an older man.
There are stories of a little girl on a tricycle, an older man with a birthday cake, secrets told through megaphones, separated audiences and compelling choreography.
Drinking Dust was awarded the Culture Ireland Touring Award 2008, nominated for an Audience Award at Dublin Fringe Festival 2008 and listed as an Irish Times Highlight of 2008.
The piece premiered at Dublin Fringe Festival 2008 and toured to The Arches Theatre Festival in Glasgow; Dublin Dance Festival; Teatromania Festival, Poland; and Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris in 2009.
2008, 60 min
Junk Ensemble completed the short film Blind Runner in 2013, commissioned by Dance Ireland
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August 31 2017, at 12:43pm
Welcome to Project Arts Centre’s 2017/18 season. I am delighted to bring you this packed programme featuring new work, the best of international artists and some old favourites. Project has supported brave, creative and amazing ideas since 1966. This season marks a step in a new direction for Project and the launch of a new strategic vision for our organisation. Project is Ireland’s first arts centre; an independent and ambitious multidisciplinary organisation in the heart of Dublin with a local, national and international remit. We are a home for contemporary arts, a producing house, a resource for artists and a…Read More
August 30 2017, at 08:38pm
Project Artists Brokentalkers have had a busy year. You saw them here earlier this year with Have I No Mouth as part of a national tour, back in April they presented The Passion a re-imagining of the Passion in collaboration with community of Ballyfermot and Cherry Orchard, and now they are hitting the road again with their critically-acclaimed show This Beach. This Beach is a blistering satire of white western privilege made in response to the global refugee crisis. Touring to seven venues across Ireland this autumn, with performances in Blanchardstown, Galway, Dún Laoghaire, Belfast, Cork, Bray and of course…Read More