First fortnight festival show
CHALLENGING mental health stigma will be the theme behind a series of dance pieces at Mermaid Arts Centre on January 14.
There will be four short performances as well as ‘spontaneous happenings’ in the foyer in what is expected to be a transformative evening.
The show, ‘A Shadow that Leans’ is part of First Fortnight Festival which aims to challenge mental health prejudice through the creative arts.
Mermaid are hosting the year-long residency of three Wicklow-based dance artists, Nick Bryson (Legitimate Bodies), Karen Gleeson and Aisling O’Coineen.
The artists will produce new work, research and engage with the community of Wicklow.
A Shadow That Leans is the first of three dates where the artists-in-residence will showcase their works.
The arts allow us to create a space where people can talk about mental health issues in a non-scripted manner.
Once that conversation has begun, it will help to change people’s perceptions about an issue that affects us all with one in four of us set to experience a mental health problem at some point in our lives.
Dance is a proven route towards psychological healing, and has the capacity to integrate several brain functions at once — kinesthetic, rational, musical, and emotional. As an art form, it is a fitting addition to First Fortnight Festival.