Tabernacle has already been happening. It started in the film Mo Mhórchoir Féin. It’s been happening as Niamh sent out contracts to Mikel, Matthew, Elena, Bernadette and Stéphane (and Iarla, Sarah, Kevin and Sinéad). We already discussed brochure copy with Ellie at the Dance Festival. But with this first research phase at the Stary Browar (The Old Brewery) in Poznan, I feel I can say we’re really starting to make the piece.
I’m in Poznan because Joanna Leśnierowska who runs and curates the dance programme at Stary Browar invited me to visit as part of my Modul Dance research. It’s a great opportunity as I’ve never been to Poland and, given Tabernacle’s focus on Catholicism and the Irish body, it’s interesting to see religion in action in Poland and to think about how that impacts on the greater Irish body now it has a lot of Polish DNA in it. Everyone tells me that Poznan is much less observant than Crackow but midweek morning mass is still pretty full as far as I can tell. I don’t know what it says about Catholicism in Poland that the churches are still decorated for Christmas with nativity scenes and Christmas trees, even though it’s the beginning of February. But with snow on the ground outside, the effect is aesthetically pleasing.
Stary Browar is an interesting environment to be visiting since it’s a regenerated and much extended old brewery that houses a high end shopping mall as well as a contemporary art gallery, glitzy Nativity scene on a grand scale#mce_temp_url# and contemporary dance space. The whole project is sponsored by Grażyna Kulczyk, a wealthy art collector whose private collection decorates the complex. Her support means that the Stary Browar dance programme is operated almost exclusively without government subsidy.