An exploration of our connection to the sea, through the power of personal story, collective song, poetry, and light art
This Bealtaine, on April 30th and May 1st as part of Galway Theatre Festival 2023, two multidisciplinary ritual beach performances that celebrate our ocean, will take place in Kinvara on Trácht Beach and Ladies Beach in Salthill, Galway City. People are invited to the beaches at dusk where they will be immersed in a performative ritual.
SALT, a collaboration between a community of sea-swimmers based in Kinvara, composer Robbie Blake, poet Mary Madec, and marine scientists, led and directed by theatre-maker Vanessa Earl and produced by Culture Works will celebrate our connection to the sea as a coastal community. SALT, inspired by the powerful personal stories of local swimmers gathered during the pandemic, is about belonging, authentic connection, healing and empowerment. To belong, to be part of, and to be connected with ourselves, each other and the sea. These themes have informed the creation of a 30-minute site-responsive, outdoor performance.
A Community Choir of up to 70 voluntary participants will be singing alongside a performing ensemble cast made up of professional performers Daniel Guinnane, Johanne Webb, and Sophie Hutchinson who will perform with artist and vocalist Ceara Conway. Over an extended period of three months, the choir rehearsed with composer Robbie Blake and Vanessa Earl exploring together soundscapes of the sea and Ode. The ode celebrates and honours human experience in this moment (post-pandemic and climate crisis); our intrinsic and vital connection to the sea; acknowledging we are part of something bigger than ourselves. This performance inspires empathy in us, transforms our thinking, changing individual and collective behaviour. What is ‘well-being’ and how can we protect our sea and protect its’ ‘well-being’?
SALT champions the work of FairSeas who are working to fully protect 30% of Ireland’s ocean territory by 2030, thus making Ireland a world leader in marine protection. Galway Bay has been identified as an area of special interest due to its’ high density of bottlenose dolphins, harbour porpoise and the 65,000 birds who breed here every year.
This project is funded by The Arts Council’s Arts Participation Project Award, Creative Ireland, Galway County Arts Office, Galway and City Council. For more information get social on Instagram @saltprojectgalway and @cultureworks.ie