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Hospital in County Limerick will be the place to be this Saturday (18 November 2017) for a spectacular show including aerial dance, fire-drawing, lantern making and mass movement.

Since Monday (13 Nov 2017) Limerick has played host to a European School of Spectacle where 25 artists from across Ireland and Europe will undergo training in outdoor arts for night time events, including introductions to fire technique and performance, mass movement and working with aerial artists, lanterns and illuminated costume.

The school is taking place in the Irish Aerial Creation Centre, while on Saturday the trainees will put together a small ‘scratch’ performance titled Glean Áine Alight with the community of Hospital in Co. Limerick.

The performance starts at 8.15pm at the grounds of the Hospital/ Herbertstown GAA Club and will showcase the skills learnt by participants during their six day school.

Limerick is hosting the European School of Spectacle as part of a wider capacity building initiative in line with Limerick’s Culture Strategy: Framework 2016 -2020.

School of Spectacle is part of a wider Creative Europe project called the European Outdoor Arts Academy, with seven European partners overseeing five intensive training schools into small scale scratch productions in Pafos, Limerick, Plovdiv, Kaunas.

The creative practitioners were engaged through an open call for performers and include 18 local and 7 international practitioners.

The EU application was led by Walk the Plank, an outdoor arts spectacle company based in Salford in the UK, who create outdoor theatre and spectacle.

Limerick City and County Council is the lead partner in Ireland.

Limerick Culture and Arts Office along with Fidget Feet/ The Irish Aerial Creation Centre are associate partners for this exciting training school initiative. The training schools are designed to build skills that creative practitioners need for making outdoor arts events and civic celebrations. The school will involve hands on practical workshops in aerial dance, mass movement, fire drawing, production and delivery.

At the start of the course the creative practitioners will meet community members or community representatives, and hear their ideas for the performance (proposed theme is to connect to the mythology of Hospital – Knights of Hospice/ Glen of Anne).

They will then return to deliver practical workshops to 30 – 40 members of the local community in lantern making and mass movement for the purpose of performance. In the last two days of the school they will work rehearsing and ultimately performing the ‘scratch’ performance Gleann Áine Alight.

Sheila Deegan, Culture and Arts Officer with Limerick City and County Council said: “The School of Spectacle came out of the planning and ambition of Limerick in the bid for European Capital of Culture recognising the need for learning and sharing of skills across art forms as part of our shared cultural heritage. This week participants from around Europe will share knowledge of creating spectacle and will collaborate locally with the Hospital Arts Festival Committee as part of a social negotiation for the common purpose of developing outdoor arts events.”

“I would encourage everyone to come to Hospital on Saturday for what will truly be a spectacular show.”

Limerick is fortunate to be hosting two Schools of Spectacle as part of this European project, the second taking place in March 2018.