Galway ghost estate to come to life with sean-nós and dance for one night only


NOT SO long ago,“social networking” involved “rambling” to neighbouring houses for story and song. That “rambling” tradition is being revived for one night in Connemara this weekend – on an unfinished ghost estate.

Tango and sean-nós, straw boys and céilí musicians will invade a vacant house, as will practitioners of contemporary dance. The multimedia performance is the centrepiece of an international conference hosted by NUI Galway.

The Mapping Spectral Traces V conference, which begins today, aims to explore “the connections between how everyday spaces are inhabited, and how they are influenced by traces of the past”.

The organisers are Dr Nessa Cronin and Tim Collins of NUIG’s centre for Irish studies, Dr Karen Till of NUI Maynooth and Galway dancer-in-residence Ríonach Ní Néill, who is curating a parallel festival entitled Dancing Days.

The ghost estate was chosen for Saturday night’s cuairteoireacht, or rambling house performance, as a metaphor for Irish society today. Audience members will be invited to take a bus from Galway city centre to a “mystery” location west of the city for the dances, video works, installations and projections.

Musician Tim Collins, a member of the Kilfenora Céilí Band, will lead the programme, which will also involve sean-nós singer Lillis Ó Laoire of NUIG.

The conference opening at the city’s Black Box Theatre tonight will be followed by the world premiere of Frame by Ní Néill.