Kind Words Spoken

“This is very close to what I would say is the ultimate job of the artist. It is great to see so much thoughtful and engaged work curated over one evening, defiantly inclusive at a time when it is probably more easy to have an argument than a discussion” - DRAFF Magazine for the Autonomy Project 2018.

Live Collision Present:


The Kindness of Strangers

Dates: 25 Apr - 25 Apr

Show Time: 6pm (Final Performance in Cube)

Tickets: € Free Admission, Booking Required

I place myself at the mercy of the kindness of strangers and seek to find balance on the spreadsheet of my life.

An exciting collaboration between Dancer & performer Lisa McLoughlin and mathematician Professor John McLoughlin, creating an equation of care and dependency exploring our interdependence as a species. This work is the culmination of four site specific durational performances across Limerick, Galway, Belfast and Cork before the final culmination event to create an immersive shared experience at Live Collision.

“The kindness of strangers, looks to explore the mathematical equation of dependency in collaboration with Maths Professor John McLoughlin. As an artist, a mother, a carer, spouse, daughter and member of a rural community, I carry the weight of my three children, aging parents and depend heavily on those around me to help me carry my responsibilities. This is the lived equation of dependency and care. This equation is usually gendered and heavily relies on women to carry this burden. I bring this equation back into my body, the body that does this work and ask for the help I need to carry this weight and place myself at the mercy of “the kindness of strangers” – Lisa McLoughlin

This is a durational performance piece which will take place across the city with the final episode in the Cube, Project Arts Centre followed by a Post Show Talk

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Post show-discussion will follow final performance in the Cube

Further information:

This piece is a durational movement performance and a development from “The Autonomy Project, 2018”, funded by the Arts Council under the Invitation to collaboration scheme. The Autonomy Project explored our ‘power’ and autonomy in society, The Kindness of Strangers seeks to look at the flip side to autonomy and explore our influence and dependency on one another. This one-woman solo will be performed in five main Irish cities on the busy streets in a commissioned performance programmed by Live Collision International Festival.

“In this piece I will carry the weight of the dependants in my life relative to the amount that I care for them, this weight will be unburdened equal to the amount of help that I receive from strangers on the streets of Ireland’s five major cities (Limerick, Dublin, Belfast, Galway and Cork). This symbolic equation will be created by Professor John McLoughlin of the University of New Brunswick.  I will ask people I do not know to hold my elbow and assist me in carrying the burden and as I receive help, With their help I will lighten the load.

This durational work will be balanced once the equation has been met and I will then be able to perform a dance solo created through this research. This “twice behaved behaviour” (Schectner, 2011) of durational performance places the performer at the mercy of the kindness of strangers. We enter and leave this world in a state of dependency with a middle period of relative strength, yet we are entirely interdependent on each other from birth to eventual death. By balancing this equation before being able to dance, I metaphorically perform this unburdening. Having taken this weight off, my body is free to dance this release”. – Lisa McLoughlin 


This work will also have a companion workshop that will be hosted in each of the cities Lisa performs in including: Queen’s University, The Galway Dance Project, The Frikin Crane and the Limerick Arts and Health Research Cluster and Live Collision International Festival 2019.

These very human interactions aim to speak to the vulnerable in us all, how we all need to ask for help and in the immortal words of Blanche DeBois “I’ve always depended on the kindness of strangers” (A streetcar named desire).


Lisa McLoughlin has been a professional dancer for twenty years, toured extensively nationally and internationally and has worked many of the major Irish contemporary dance companies. Graduated from the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary dance in London, holds a first-class honours MA in Dance and in the third year of the arts practice PhD from the University of Limerick. Recipient of awards for choreography, performer and researcher of dance and the body and co-created the BA in Contemporary dance at UL. Recipient of multiple arts council awards, most recently, the designer of “The Autonomy Project, 2018” in collaboration with the Limerick Arts office, under the Invitation to collaboration award. Her work focuses on the body in society and the relationship between society and the individual.

Creator and Performer: Lisa McLoughlin

Mathematician and Collaborator: Professor John McLoughlin

Collaborator: Dr. Neil Kenny

Filmmaker: Lucy Dawson

Sound and Lighting Designer: Adam Gibney

Producer: Lynnette Moran

Mentor: Amanda Coogan

Co-commissioned by Live Collision

Funded by Arts Council Ireland and Limerick City Council with support of The Galway Dance Project;, Galway; The Firkin Crane, Cork; Limerick Arts and Health Research Cluster, Limerick; Queens University, Belfast

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