Since 2003 Artastic have created a pageant spectacle for St Patricks festival parade in Dublin, using a variety of community groups along with our talented artists. This blog will describe in brief of a spectacle along with credits to those involved from the years 2003 to 2007.
This is now stepping back a few years but lost a lot of the record of our work. This is a attempt to preserve what we remember of the early years. Hopefully we may be able to add to this information as time goes along.
Aside from the theme of the spectacle each parade brings its own personal story from us as artist but more importantly the stories of the individuals attending. Many participants who got involved with the parades, came back year after year, and in turn some also became the artists who helped create our parades of the future. There are many hardships associated with creating these productions but one thing that made it so worth it was meeting so many wonderful people over the years
2007 Midas Touch – Saint Patrick’s parade
This was a pageant created for Saint Patrick’s parade. The work was based on the story of Midas who wished that everything he touched turned to gold, which was great until he touch his beloved daughter who also turned to gold. Them moral of the story is often told as ‘be careful what you wish for’ while another moral is , ‘to fulfill all of someones dreams is to drive them mad’.
We based the visual idea on some of histories first know parades parades, which were military parades showing strenght in numbers. The parades were huge displays were often captains told of the victories through dance and theater.
This was Artastic’s biggest parade in Saint Patrick’s parade ever with over 260 participants. The pageant actually cover the entirety of O O’Connell street as we passed through it. We had schools from Dublin and all over kildare involved.
One of the artists who currently work with us Eugenia, was in the parade as a transition student from Leixlip, and joined the parade a few year later when she was a student in Iadt. She was been in every parade since, as well as working with artastic projects through out the years.
2006 Elemental thought – Saint Patrick’s parade
I remember least about the theme or story but it was based on a Celtic Ireland and the four elements. By 2007 we were noticing a repeated request from participants from previous Saint Patrick’s parades in Dublin. A strong bond start to form with the participants and this is when I think that it was more than just I start to really identify with been part of Artastic.
I had just lost my studio and this entire parade was created inside a sitting room.
2005 Chaos in Calcutta – Saint Patrick’s parade
This was Artastic’s third entry in Saint Patrick’s parade in Dublin. It was another comic version of a story from when Vijaya was in India. In Calcutta he noticed they stopped cars to protect cows who had decided to stop and have a rest in Calcutta city centre. The pageant was based on the tree colours of traffic lights as there were no traffic lights in Calcutta.
2004 Knicker Bocker Glory – Saint Patrick’s parade
This was our second parade and at least this year we had managed to get some music into the performance. The story as in many years to come, was a comic story based on monsters who like to disco, but had a keen taste for ice-cream and sweets. The visual idea was to try build everything on the three shapes, square, triangle and circle.
Artists involved with this were
Vijaya Bateson, Denis O Connor, Valerie Kelly.
2003 Journey to the bottom of the garden – Saint Patrick’s parade
This was our first year to create a pageant for Saint Patrick’s parade in Dublin. If was a steep learning curve but lots of fun. I was hard to believe that only after two years of creating local parades in Newbridge Co Kildare we were not creating work for Saint Patrick’s parade in Dublin. The parade route went from St Stephen’s Green to Western way in the early days.
The story in the pageant was based on being conscious of the damage that was created to the environment by not recycling. The story told of creatures who’s natural habitat was been destroyed. We tried to create some of the creature by recycling materials such as milk bottles.
Artists involved with this were
Vijaya Bateson, Denis O Connor, Valerie Kelly.
We do not have many images of this event, but have whatever is left can be seen below.
Since 2003 Artastic have created a pageant spectacle for St Patricks festival parade in Dublin, using a variety of community groups along with our talented artists. This blog will describe in brief of a spectacle along with credits to those involved in the year 2009
This is now stepping back a few years but we like to keep a record of our work, and their is a special personal story that goes with each of the parade for those involves so we wanted it to act as a trip down memory lane for anyone who wanted it.
The Age of Aquarius
Artastic’s pageant brings you on a journey through the age of Aquarius into the colourful and adventurous sixties. A time when hippies also became known as flower children because they often would hand out flowers to promote ideas of love and peace. The sixties was more than just a decade, it was a state of mind. The sixties were an exciting, revolutionary, turbulent time of great social and technological change: unforgettable fashion, new musical styles, the first man landing on the moon, peace marches, flower power. Where “go with the flow” was the motto, “the sky is the limit” realized new expectations for mankind.
Visual concept for pageant
The visual concept is one of three stages. 1/The spiral dancers, 2/ the flower children, 3/one small step for man.
The spiral dancers leading the procession, who dance to the sound of the Beatles, represent the notion of ideas starting to escalate. Spiritual ideologies emerging from eastern continents which influenced western thinking. Social expectations been questioned and revolutions begin for human rights. A race for technological advancement.
The flower children section is bedecked with a huge mix of colours. This section represents the state of mind that became known as the sixties. Wild fashion, new music, road trips, festivals, new ideals, a new found liberation which knew no limits. Visually we attempt to bring the eye of the observer upwards with this colour and height.
The final section ‘One Small Step for man’, is a simple, almost baby-like step into the infancy of the space age. Along with the Apollo rocket, our quirky moon dancers float around in the space gear, to represent the brave step out into the unknown. Rob Creage created the sound scape to accompany the section, which has an interesting mix, of moon landing recordings and sixties tunes to create a very bouncy tune.
ABOUT THE COMPANY
Artastic’s collaborative art projects are nationally recognised as models of community theatre in Ireland, where artists and community groups work together to transform our urban landscapes with colourful creative performances.
This year Artastic’s pageant has a cast of 120 performers made up of many community groups and friends of Artastic
Artastic is involved with four different parades today, with over 300 costumes in parades throughout the country. Organising this has been a real challenge to the team.
Although they are based in Newbridge Co Kildare. They work all year round with a variety of community settings, right through out Ireland.
Artastic has worked alongside many Dublin inner city youth projects over the past three years, where they have though many young people and a few not so young how to walk on stilts.
Artastic have worked with the Rose of Tralee over a number of years and plan to work closely with organisers this year to celebrate the fiftieth year of the Rose festival.
Transition year from ST Patricks Secondary school – Naas
Celbridge Youth Theatre
Balitore Youth Theatre
Various friends and guest of Artastic
Saorise Kearney, Amber Short and Kinkari Bateson.
Our choreographer Paula O Reilly, and two artist Aoife FitxGerald (aka Aoife FitzPerfect) and Kirtsen Armstrong , would have all been young participants in Artastic parades over the years, who have now become valuable assets to the creative team.
Since 2003 Artastic have created a pageant spectacle for St Patricks festival parade in Dublin, using a variety of community groups along with our talented artists. This blog will describe in brief of a spectacle along with credits to those involved in the year 2010.
“A topsy turvey world”
FollowArtastic on a journey through the extraordinary wonders of “A topsy turvey world” where nothing is quite as it seems and strangely magical characters are simply the ‘norm’. Inside this world you will meet talking cats in bowler hats, life sized dolls on their way to the ball. Liquorice shops, candy floss mops and spinning tops being chased by clocks! A giant cake would not look altogether out of place either…..
Visual concept for pageant
The visual concept is one of a colourful journey through a Childs eye that not only leaves your eyes wide open with joy, but then has you licking your lips, and stomping you feet. The Topsy Turvey World will leave you with a lasting smirk on your face for the rest of the day.
The show opens with spinning tops whirling you into frenzy. Wave hello to Tic and Toc, the talking clocks, but don’t be alarmed with what they may say to you. While candy sticks fly through the air, candyfloss dancer, show of their long hair.
Watch those cheeky chatty cats, with the funky top hats; try to steal a bite from the liquorish house. Watch the sweet liquorish dancer, twist and twirl.
And look at those large dancing dolls, looks like their dressed for a ball. But with that mischief in their eyes, you can tell someone is for a surprise.
Then the back-to-front boys, full of teenage joys bumble around the huge cake. With a spin in their eyes, were not sure if it’s from sugar, or carousel rides.
The pageant is ushered on by the large twisters, and a flock of hyper active birds, but were are not sure if their singing, or just mumbling strange words..
Caitriona McGowan has worked with Artastic for a few years, but this is her for first year to act as Artastic Director for the St Patricks day parade. Caitrona, who is from Killybegs in Co Donegal, has been responsible for the pageant from design stage, through to finish. She has leaded the team brilliantly to create this wonderful pageant.