A Recession Pirouette

October 23, 2013



It’s busy times for Jessica and Megan Kennedy, identical twins, artistically conjoined, who were all over the Dublin Dance Festival recently. Last week they debuted their company Junk Ensemble’s newest show, The Falling Song, which ends tonight at the Project Arts Centre as well as premiering Jessica’s movie Motion Sickness as part of the Dance on Film series. This week there’s The Blue Boy which marks their return to performance after a sabbatical spent directing, before rehearsals start for Five Ways to Drown, their hit 2010 show, revived in June.

“It’s a good time to be an artist,” says Jessica when I meet the twins for a post rehearsal drink in the Gresham Hotel. “Things aren’t as big as they used to be but there is still a lot of work being made that is different and varied.” Before the sentence has even finished Megan picks up the baton, as is their wont. “There was a time when people wouldn’t do things for free. Now they will and when the money comes back around all those favors you have done stand to you… and the work.”

Though, financially, the other shoe has dropped, in dance terms at least the recession has helped artists do a pirouette. “If you have unlimited funds it’s easy to rely on the gimmicks and tricks” says Jessica. “To do things that doesn’t involve a whole lot of thinking. What we found with Bird With Boy (their show in last years fringe) was that we had so many ideas and so little cash that we had to just make it work. We had to be really clever with our resources. And we won Best Production.”

Originally published in the Sunday Independent in May 2012

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