Fearghus Ó Conchúir Choreographer and Dance Artist

Starlight – Irish Times

The Irish Times – Friday, June 29, 2012


Firkin Crane ****

Because transformation is a key ingredient of the Cork Midsummer Festival, one never knows whether what is happening should be happening and should it be happening here. Thus early customers for Starlight found themselves enjoying Door, the improvised mobile orchestra created by composer George Higgs. Escaping the downpour and the street party drawing passers-by under the portico of the Butter Exchange across the road, where every door held a notice insisting that “this door must be kept closed at all times”, musicians Sean Carpio and Kate Ellis explained that this interdict had nothing to do with their Door, which is delightfully open at all times.

This slightly giddy prologue to the interrogation underlying Fearghus Ó Conchúir’s choreography for Starlight seemed to suit both the moment and the momentum of his piece. Again, transformation is the guiding element of a sub-text that questions even as it explores. Advised to “watch out for yourselves and for one another”, the audience is led through the innards of the Firkin Crane Dance Centre arriving first and in darkness at the main stage. Ó Conchúir’s work is acknowledged as challenging, but both Matthew Morris and Peggy Grelat Dupont display their technical and physical assurance along with the necessary confidence that everyone will get out of the way. Responding to the idea of the void under the sparkle, the audience is moved closer or further off, flinching as Morris in particular whips himself across the space, scattering like fowl in a hen-run at his sequined impetus yet gathered in again to lie obediently full-length on the floor. Alma Kelliher’s sound balances Waiting for a Star to Fall as Morrison twists on the silks and Paul McCarthy’s lighting design swarms with galaxies as if to prove that the darkest place is often under the light.