Article: Mamuska in Daghdha Dance Company

by Ella Daly

The last year has seen a lot of change in Limerick's Daghdha Dance Co. Since the arrival of Michael Klien, Artistic Director, last June the company has been given a new lease of life, taking on four full time dancers from all over the world: Davide Terlingo (Italy), Angi Smalis (Greece), Nicole Piesl (Frankfurt) and most recently appointed Mami Shimazaki (Japan). In addition to dancers, Daghdha has welcomed Tanya Lowe as dance teacher and Roisin Kinsella as General Manager.

All these new appointments have marked a new and exciting time for the company who, though still based in the University, are shortly to move into St John's Church in the city centre. The company launched their move last December with "Gravity and Grace" a weekend of music and dance in the church which featured Irish and international dancers and was an open house for all. For 24 hours tea and coffee was served to the public. The artistic programme included works by Ballett Frankfurt, as well as traditional Irish music and Sennachie Eddy Lennihan. Daghdha Dance Company plans to follow on this thread of open performances featuring all kind of work and so has given birth to "Mamuska Night".

Mamuska Night is an event dreamt up by Research Officer Davide Terlingo to showcase small pieces and works in progress by individual artists. The first ever Mamuska Night kicked off Saturday April 24th in the company's base in the University of Limerick. It featured dance, video and performance pieces from both Daghdha Dance Co., Amalgamotion Theatre Co. and music technology students Kunal Agarwal and Mark.

The first piece by Davide Terlingo and Mani Smalis was a tongue-in-cheek look at evolution featuring the naked torsos of Terlingo and Smalis. It got the evening off to a chuckling start, setting the stage for an evening that was not to be taken too seriously. Next came "Empty Shells", a more serious dance piece choreographed by Terlingo and Angi Smalis. Following was "Kloshken", a contemporary dance video made by UL MA In Music Technology students Kunal Agarwal and Mark. It featured the music of Mark and dancing by Barbra Piagal (MA in Contemporary Dance Performance) and Ann-Sophie Martin (MA in Ethno-Choreology).

Between performances the audience were invited to refreshments; soft drinks, tea, biscuits and assorted sweet things were free for all. A general air of relaxation prevailed with people sitting in clusters discussing the evening's performances. At precisely 8.40 we entered into "Theatre Der Welt" by Michael Klien, an improvised piece that gave audience members instructions: "stand in the square looking normal", "you are being observed by a woman who is wondering if she could find you attractive". "Theatre Der Welt" attempts to explain the rules of the world in a simple way and was certainly entertaining.

"Finding Sympathy" by Amalgamotion Theatre Company was a performance and video piece which contrasted the romance of love letters from 1908 with the coy bluntness of modern day text sex. Though they both deal with desire, how different and yet alike the approaches are! In front of a video featuring the letters and text messages Ciarda Tobin and Aidan Crowe dressed and undressing in Victorian and contemporary garb. We finished up with a video piece by Davide Terlingo and Angi Smalis and a solo performance by dancer Nicole Piesl, "Seemingly, Seemingly".

With no piece lasting more that 10 minutes, the night gave a snapshot of the arts scene in Limerick. The next Mamuska Night, due to take place June 26th, will move to a venue in the city itself. It is hoped that this will encourage greater involvement by students of the Art College while featuring further work by students from the University of Limerick. The arts scene in Ireland is increasingly represented by bi-monthly showcases: Enso in Galway, the Civic Arts Enquiry in Dublin, Electric Rain in Cork. Daghdha Dance Company are on the ball with Mamuska Nights, leading the way for the arts in Limerick.

Programme: Saturday 24 April 2004


concept: Davide Terlingo
dance: Davide Terlingo | Manuel Smalis
music: Sergey Prokofiev

KLOKSHEN (DVD video - 5'15'')
director: Mark Wagy
dance: Barbara Piga | Anne-Sophie Gosselin
music: Hitesh Rupani
video: Kunal Agarwal

EMPTY SHELLS 2 (dance - 6'20'')
concept: Davide Terlingo
dance | choreography: Davide Terlingo | Angi Smalis

FINDING SYMPATHY (DVD video - 5'42'')
director: Ella Daly
performers: Ciarda Tobin | Aiden Crowe
video editing: Kunal Agarwal
naked men: Ewan Oughton | Niall McGlade | Cormac Mulhall | Aiden Crowe

8.40 PM:
concept: Michael Klien
up to 15 performers

4 CHOREOGRAPHIC WORKS (mini DV video - 6'24'')
choreography | text: Angi Smalis
dance: Angi Smalis
video | concept: Davide Terlingo

SEEMINGLY, SEEMINGLY (dance - 4'00'')
choreography | text: Nicole Peisl
dance: Nicole Peisl