Renewing their partnership in 2022, I.NY x IAC hosts a conversation about Irish Arts Center's commissions programme Grásta: Grace in Uncertainty.
In 2020, IAC invited twenty-six Irish & American artists to reflect on the chaos of the moment, and the idea of finding grace in uncertainty.
Donal Dineen talks with two of those artists - Oona Doherty & Loah - along with IAC Director of Programming, Rachael W. Gilkey, on what it meant to connect with the Center and with New York during the pandemic, and how they view it now as the work finds its audience.
Commissioned by St. Patrick's Festival 2022
Oona Doherty is an Irish Choreographer based in Belfast. She studied at London School Of Contemporary Dance, University of Ulster and LABAN London (BA Honors and Post Graduate in Contemporary Dance Studies).
Since 2010 she has created and toured internationally dance and theatre works with Companies such as TRASH (NL), Abbattoir Ferme (BE), Veronika Riz (IT), Emma Martin /United Fall (IE)
Oona’s work has been recently performed at festivals around Europe including Ravnedans Festival Norway, and the Dublin Dance Festival. Her creations include ‘Docnite’, the first full length programme of her original work consisting of three episodes exploring metaphysical states; ‘Hard to be Soft – Episode One: Lazarus and The Birds of Paradise’ (Belfast Children’s Festival and Dublin Dance Festival); ‘Hope Hunt’ (Galway Dance Days, Tiger Dublin Fringe), ‘Leather Jacket Deluxe’, ‘Lady Magma’ and ‘Echo Hunt’.
Oona has been teaching dance theatre workshops in Europe since 2012. She is an ISSAC Associate Artist.
Loah is Sallay Matu Garnett, an artist of Irish / Sierra Leonean origin who grew up between Maynooth and West Africa.
With her unique blend of Afro-folksoul, she released her debut EP This Heart in 2017 followed by an entire EP of remixes in 2018, before starring as Mary Magdalene in Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s iconic Jesus Christ Superstar at the Barbican, London in 2019. She has featured on records by Lisa Hannigan and Kíla, co-written with Hozier and shared stages with greats in multiple genres such as the Wainwrights, Paul Brady, Bilal and Cassandra Wilson.
She has toured in Ireland, the UK, Sierra Leone, Iceland, France and the USA and has multiple television and film appearances to her name (Striking Out, Finding Joy, Girl from Mogadishu).
Over the last year she released a number of musical collaborations with Irish, Icelandic and Sierra Leonean producers, including her sister Fehdah and her regular collaborator and Corkonian, Bantum.
This year she continues to release music and perform in Europe, West Africa and the United States.
A musical pioneer since his early days as the presenter of No Disco (RTE) in the nineties, through to his long-running late night radio show The Small Hours (Today FM), and his recent series Radio Activity for RTE 2XM/2FM, Donal Dineen has always used his discerning ear to seek out, listen to and encourage experimental music in all genres.
As a curator, Dineen has worked on several musical series, most significantly A Month of Sundays and Fresh Air which both profiled new Irish soundmakers live and on-air. He is also a photographer and filmmaker, and brings that sensibility to this rare conversation.
I.NY is an international cultural project that celebrates and brings to life the shared story of Ireland and New York. With year-round audience engagement, artist collaborations and cross-Atlantic initiatives, all activity culminates in the annual I.NY Festival.
I.NY is the creative brainchild of David O’Donovan and Aoife Flynn, who developed the project with the help and support of numerous individuals and organisations in Ireland and New York
Held over ten October days in Limerick, Ireland, the festival is anchored by the I.NY Cultural and Diaspora Programmes, telling the story of the relationship through music, literature, film, theatre, dance, street-art, the I.NY Gathering, the Annie Moore talks series, and more.
In addition, the festival features Enterprise and Education programming, while I.NY Explore celebrates the Irish influence on New York fashion, food, sport, politics, architecture, design, religion and more, and explores how that influence eventually returned home.
“It’s from a fascination with and love for both the history and modernity of the Ireland -New York relationship that I.NY is built. The intention is to uncover the stories that are the fabric of that relationship, to tell them to a wide audience, encourage that audience to share their own, and once a year, through these stories, bring that relationship to life in an Irish city.
I.NY creates opportunities for an audience to explore what it means to be local and global, Irish and American, emigrant and native, and to share and experience these stories”.