We are delighted to announce that Michael McEvoy has been selected for a two-week residency at Grand Studio Brussels from June 24 to July 02.
Michael will be working on his project, 'The Gate House', a devised new dance-theatre work. The Gate House is a sharing of lineage, flashes of personal history stemming from the lives of Michael’s grandfather, father and own history. A physical expression of inherited trauma, the passing of the touch and three generations of raising men in Northern Ireland. This work allows audiences to bear witness to the effects Michael’s lineage has had on him as an artist.
My grandfather was burnt out of his house during the NI civil war known as 'The Troubles'. He worked for Guinness his entire life and this piece is inspired by the events that took place to my family during this time
This piece also looks at male well-being and alcoholism. I will also be looking into my fathers life during this time. A young man growing up in the middle of a war zone, researching the development of masculinity and its social perception, inherited trauma along with the responsibility of being a 'peace baby' - those that were born around the time of the Good Friday Agreement and the legal end to the war.
Growing up as a peace baby, Belfast was so behind in terms of queer rights, support, cultural identity, among many things. It’s really tough to build and design a show so close to my heart and life experiences. This residency will allow me post one week of creation to dramaturge the show, and further edit and design the messages of the work.
Prior to the residency, I will have completed a one-week residency collaborating with a film maker - Neil Hainsworth, supported by Shawbrook Residential. This residency was the beginning of the work. It allowed me to explore the third section of the piece - me. My trauma, my experience of loss and my upbringing in an anti-queer and toxic masculine society. 'A ladder in headlights' is a short film capturing the findings of this residency which will also act as the beginning of the initial creation week.
I will also have completed a one-week creation period with 6 dancers, to begin exploring the story of my grandfather and my father. This took place February 20th - 25th.
This brings me back to the support of this residency. This time and space will allow me to reflect upon the time with the 6 dancers, to further create and design the production, to potentially meet new collaborators to share and discuss ideas of scenography, music composition and the longevity of the work
Watch A Ladder in Headlights, a short contemporary dance film made in Ireland by Michael McEvoy. This piece uses the metaphor of a lighthouse to navigate the narrative of a split Ireland post-civil war. The work represents the loss of culture and the feeling of being raised as a gay man in a cultureless hyper-masculine society.
Photography: Neil Hainsworth