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Productions

The Book and The Body
Dolores
It Folds
Dusk Ahead
The Falling Song
Sometimes We Break
Bird with boy
Five Ways to Drown
Drinking Dust
The Rain Party
Pygmalion Re-Visited
Blind Runner




PRESS QUOTES


‘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

'Mesmerising'
The Irish Times

‘Delicately beautiful, clever and frightening’
Irish Independent

'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’
The Stage

★★★★★
‘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

 

JUNK ENSEMBLE

ARTIST BIOGRAPHY

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.

Visit Junk Ensemble website @ www.junkensemble.com


 

 

The Book and the Body

National University of Ireland Galway, 13-14 April.

University College Dublin, 21-22 April.

Jessica Kennedy and Megan Kennedy of Junk Ensemble have curated a two-strand symposia entitled ‘The Book and The Body’ in National University of Ireland, Galway and University College Dublin in April 2018, as part of Dublin Dance Festival partnering with Dance Ireland and Live Collision Festival. This is surrounding a new Junk Ensemble dance-theatre production, an off-site work titled Dolores, which is inspired by Vladimir Nabokov’s visual and disturbing novel ‘Lolita’, and will premiere in May 2018.

‘The Book and The Body’ Symposia will comprise of panel discussions, masterclasses, a viewing of an open rehearsal, roundtable discussions and international keynote speakers, and will take place at the National University of Ireland Galway: 13-14 April and University College Dublin: 20-21 April, covering themes which include: body & literature, gender & performance, sexuality and abuse, trauma & memory, how the body is represented in literature through the male perspective, and Vladimir Nabokov’s novel ‘Lolita’.

Detailed schedule and booking here

Booking link: https://www.eventbrite.ie/o/the-book-and-the-body-16753068284


Dolores

Junk has begun rehearsals for our new site work Dolores, to premiere in Dublin in May 2018.

Inspired by Vladimir Nabokov’s visual and disturbing novel ‘Lolita’, Dolores is a powerful and uncompromising work finally told by a silenced girl. Dolores gives a voice to the neglected and traumatised child, the candy girl full of hope and the enraged woman full of fire and revenge. Performed by the acclaimed Mikel Murfi and Amanda Coogan, Irish & international dancers and musicians and exquisitely designed as an off-site piece, Dolores digs into the poetry of the novel and exposes the unsettling abuse and tragedy of a young girl through imagery, song, dance and text.

Direction and Choreography: Jessica Kennedy, Megan Kennedy created in collaboration with the cast.

Dolores is funded by The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon and commissioned by Dublin Dance Festival. Supported by Dublin City Council, Project Arts Centre, Dance Ireland, Dance City Newcastle.

Junk Ensemble are Project Artists at Project Arts Centre and Cork City Dance Artists-in-Residence at Firkin Crane.


It Folds

It Folds - Brokentalkers - Junk Ensemble - Project Arts Centre, Dublin

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’
Broadway World

★★★★
‘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.’ 
Reviews Hub 

‘Rich theatrical pickings’
The Irish Times

‘Extraordinarily unique fusion of eccentric theatricality and distinctive dance style’
Le Cool Dublin

  • Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival 2015
  • Mayfest 2015, Bristol

Dusk Ahead

Dusk Ahead - junk ensemble - Project Artists Supported by Project Arts Centre, 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

  • Cross-border Irish tour including Project Arts Centre, October – November 2015
  • LaMaMa Moves! Festival in partnership with Irish Arts Centre, New York, May 2015
  • Dublin Theatre Festival at Project Arts Centre, October 2013
  • Kilkenny Arts Festival at Watergate Theatre, August 2013

The Falling Song

Junk Ensemble: The Falling Song at The MAC, Belfast Festival at Queen's 2012

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

  • 12-venue UK and Ireland tour, March – April 2014
  • Belfast Festival at Queens, The MAC Theatre, October 2012
  • Dublin Dance Festival at Project Arts Centre, May 2012

Click here to view the tech rider for The Falling Song.


Sometimes We Break

Sometimes We Break - junk ensemble - Project Artists Supported by Project Arts Centre, Dublin

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

  • Mind Your Step Festival at The Factory basement, Dublin, March 2015
  • Tate Britain, North Duveens Gallery, London, February 2012

Bird with boy

Bird with boy - junk ensemble - Project Artists Supported by Project Arts Centre, Dublin

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

  • Dublin Theatre Festival at 12 Henrietta Street, October 2012
  • Dublin Fringe Festival at Kilmainham Gaol, September 2011

Five Ways to Drown

Five Ways to Drown - junk ensemble - Project Artists Supported by Project Arts Centre, Dublin

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

  • 5-venue national tour, June – July 2012
  • Dublin Dance Festival at Project Arts Centre, May 2010

Click here to view the tech rider for Five Ways to Drown.


Drinking Dust

Drinking Dust - junk ensemble - Project Artists Supported by Project Arts Centre, Dublin

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

  • Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris, October 2009
  • Behaviour Festival at The Arches, Glasgow, April 2009
  • Re-Presenting Ireland showcase at Dublin Dance Festival, May 2009
  • Teotramania Festival, Bytom, Poland, May 2009
  • Dublin Fringe Festival at Smock Alley Theatre, September 2008

Click here to view the tech rider for Drinking Dust.


The Rain Party

The Rain Party - junk ensemble - Project Artists Supported by Project Arts Centre, Dublin

  • ARENA Festival, Erlangen, Germany, June 2008
  • Sonraigh Festival, Wexford, October 2007
  • Droichead Childrens Festival, October 2007
  • Dowsa Dance Festival, Sligo, October 2007
  • Kinsale Arts Festival, Cork, October 2007
  • Dublin Fringe Festival, September 2007
  • Cultivate Centre Dublin commissioned by Project Arts Centre, February 2007

Pygmalion Re-Visited

Pygmalion Re-Visited - junk ensemble - Project Artists Supported by Project Arts Centre, Dublin

  • Aix-en-Provence Festival commission, 2010

Blind Runner

Blind Runner - junk ensemble - Project Artists Supported by Project Arts Centre, Dublin

Junk Ensemble completed the short film Blind Runner in 2013, commissioned by Dance Ireland

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