Irish dance artist Tara Brandel will be staging the world premiere of Circus, the culmination of her Masters in Fine Arts for Choreography degree she’s just received from UC Davis, at the 2019 San Francisco International Arts Festival.
Circus examines diverse experiences in contemporary Irish culture, through a mix of street dance, contemporary dance, aerial pole, and video projection. In collaboration with Nigerian street dancer and recent immigrant to Ireland Nicholas Nwosu, Brandel tells story of our rapidly changing society and how it views masculinity, queerness, gender and the MeToo movement. The show balances fun, playful energy with poignancy and asks the questions “Who gets to dance?,” “What does Irish look like?,” and “What kind of bodies get to be on stage?”
Tara Brandel is an Irish choreographer, contemporary dancer, aerialist, and contact improviser who has been choreographing extensively since 1990. Brandel has a BA in Dance Theatre from the Laban Centre in London and recently completed her MFA in Choreography from UC Davis. Her work has been shown in Cork, Dublin, London, Berlin, San Francisco, Seattle, Egypt, Canada, and Australia. She performed her solo piece Gawky and Awkward at the San Francisco International Arts Festival in 2015 and performed with Croí Glan, the dance company she co-founded, in Jess Curtis/Gravity's Intercontinental Collaborations #7 in San Francisco in 2018. Along with being the co-founder of Croí Glan Integrated Dance Company, she is also the Artistic Director of the Cork, Ireland-based group.
Brandel is currently touring her new solo dance theatre show about migration, Cappaghglass, to the Cork Midsummer Festival, Ireland; Ponderosa, Germany; Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival, Cairo; and Fresh Festival, San Francisco.
Nicholas Nwosu is a street dancer from Nigeria who focuses on improvised and innovative movement with a mix of hip hop, twerking and hip-let dance styles. Nwosu has been involved in various competitions and performances in Ireland and Nigeria, including the international Calabar street dance competition and teaching for WILD West Cork Contemporary Dance Festival. He is currently studying at University College Dublin.
The central theme for this year’s San Francisco International Arts Festival is “The Path to Democracy,” inspired by current national events, and aims to showcase art that examines the struggle for democracy in different cultures across the globe.
Circus will be performed three times during this year’s International Arts Festival: Thursday, May 30 at 8:30pm, Friday, May 31 at 7:00pm and Saturday, June 1 at 2:00pm. It is 40 minutes long and will be part of a shared program with Cara Vita: A Clown Concerto by Felicity Hesed. Tickets can be purchased on the 2019 San Francisco International Arts Festival website.
Sign up for the Bay City Beacon weekly newsletter! It's a free way of getting the best of political gossip and cutting-edge culture in your inbox every Friday.