Firkin Crane’s (online) monthly Forum for November 2021

Firkin Crane’s monthly (online) forum

Friday 5th November 2021 3pm – 4.30pm

Register here to attend

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

The November monthly forum will be facilitated by Firkin Crane and is for anyone involved in dance in Cork, Ireland and abroad. We are delighted to welcome our November Moments of Wisdom guest Chantal McCormack and we will be joined by Natasha Bourke who will present her Firkin Crane Re-Framed Bursary Award mini-colloquium. We do look forward to seeing you there.

Our planned agenda is as follows:
2.45pm:  Doors open (you’re welcome to check in any time from 2.45, chats are welcome!)
3.00pm:  Meeting starts with a little more time for chat allowing latecomers to arrive
3.05pm:  Firkin Crane updates and housekeeping 
3.15pm:Moments of Wisdom with Chantal McCormick
4.00pm:  ReFramed Bursary Mini-colloquium with Natasha Bourke
4.30pm:  Meeting closes

If you have any queries please contact Andrea at

Chantal McCormick: Aerialist, Choreographer, Teacher, Mentor, Mother & Cultural Leader, Chantal is Creative Director & Co-Founder of Fidget Feet Aerial Dance Theatre, Creative Director & Founder of Irish Aerial Creation Centre, Festival Director of Irish Aerial Dance Fest and Co-Founder of Irish Street Arts, Circus & Spectacle Network (ISACS).

Chantal trained at the London School of Contemporary Dance and became interested in aerial circus after graduating. She toured with established dance and circus companies in the UK touring to Trinidad, Europe and Australia from 1999-2008 including Scarabeus Theatre with whom she started her circus career. Chantal loves creating using her contemporary dance, contact dance and theatre skills and enjoys finding ways to bring them into the air, using anything to climb or fly on.

In 1998 Chantal co-founded FIDGET FEET Aerial Dance Theatre, Ireland’s leading aerial dance company with whom she directs, choreographs, and performs. Since 1998 she has directed many shows including, ‘I Cant Handle me’, ‘Remember Her’, ‘ Wired and Free’,‘ Fairies Tale’, ‘Raw’, ‘ Hang on’, ‘Catch me’, ‘Fire Birds’, ‘The Elves and the Shoemaker’ ‘Cinder & the Ellas’, ‘Dreams under my Feet’, ‘Sky Dance’, ‘Hatch’ and Co- choreographed FF ‘s first early years show ‘Strange feathers’ with Icelandic partner Bird & Bat while also choreographing ‘The Second Coming’, with Mikel Murfi as director mixing Irish dancing with aerial.  She choreographed and performed in ‘Bingo Wings’ Directed by Jo Mangan, a award winning Circus Theatre production.

She has a few more new ideas for new productions ‘Hip H’Opera’ mixing circus and opera, ‘Spirals’ a new indoor and outdoor aerial show and ‘A Handful of Dreams’ a new large scale work for young audiences, mixing traditional Irish music and dance with aerial, collaborating with Thomas Johnston from Ceol Connected. Also in the process to work with LCCC to take over the city on culture night 2022/23 with an international large scale vertical dance and crane spectacle.

In addition to creating work, Chantal has been teaching since she was 16 years old. Fidget Feet provides creative opportunities to both professional performers and the public by offering educational workshops and one-off classes. Chantal is also a strong advocate for the development of aerial work in Ireland. Running the Irish Aerial Dance Festival (IADF) in Ireland for the last 11 years growing to over 200 national and international artists traveling to IADF for 2 weeks, it has grown into the biggest aerial festival in Europe, with support from Donegal County Council and An Grianán Theatre. Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin in 2008 saw FF’s performance “Raw” at Edinburgh Fringe, funded by Culture Ireland, then he invited FF to be resident company at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at University of Limerick in 2013. Chantal has led this partnership and we continue to be resident company.

At the same time as becoming a new mum, Chantal also opened the Irish Aerial Creation Centre (IACC) in Limerick in February 2015. She has single handedly secured a capital grant from The Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs with match funding from LCCC in 2017. She continues to lead on the current plans to renovate their current rented warehouse, in Burlington Business Park in Limerick. This is the first large capital government grant for Circus in Ireland, and Chantal’s aim is for the IACC to become The National Centre for Aerial Arts in Ireland.

Chantal is also the co-founder and was chairwoman of the ISACS network (Irish Street Arts, Circus and Spectacle) for 5 years and she is currently one of the directors, continuing to lobby and support the growth of the sector in Ireland.

Chantal is a firm believer in the power of aerial arts and she comes from a heartfelt truth that “Art is healing” and shares her passion where ever she goes, running Creative Intensives and labs mixing her skills in circus dance and her spiritual practice.

Chantal says “Firkin Crane has given me so much when I was an emerging artist. They have been a huge supporter of Fidget Feet and without it, we would not be where we are now. I’m happy to be part of Moments of Wisdom.”

Natasha Bourke is a Cork-based interdisciplinary artist of Irish/Dutch descent with a fine art and extensive movement background (including contemporary, break, folk, jazz, ballet, poetic/authentic movement, contemplative dance, butoh, body weather, aerial, harness work, acrobatics, physical theatre, swimming, yoga and tai chi). Her practice embraces performance, lens-based media, installation, archive, drawing and sound. Bourke is an Arts Council of Ireland 2020 Next Generation artist and has presented live/filmic/installation work, solo and collaboratively, in numerous events across Ireland/Europe, since 2007. The artist’s life/roots underpin her work contemplating themes of self and society including identity, isolation, institution, legacy, transience, perception, polarity, pathos and play. With a surreal, spectral and sincere aesthetic, Bourke continually investigates new ways to refine the different strands of her practice into a unique coherent poetic language, whilst maintaining an open process. As well as involvement in multiple other projects and teacher training in Yoga NAAD (sound), she will soon premiere her Arts Council funded experimental feature film, Concrete Keys following highly-reviewed sister solo installation, rubblebubble, for IndieCork 2019. These works include Coneface, an absurd performance alter ego (conceived by the artist in 2014), to poetically examine the individual’s place in a rapidly transforming vision of institutional society. Recent outdoor solo performance work, Testuro Utero Go! Litter Womb, was conceived and first performed within the context of a derelict sea bath on Sandymount Strand, Dublin for Kirkos Ensemble’s Biosphere (a week long event of public interventions themed around the climate crisis). Bourke received a commission award to further develop and perform T.U.G! Litter Womb at Echo Echo Festival 2021 in Derry and the newly evolved work re-emerged on the Colmcille, a 40-foot currach, on Lough Foyle, Derry and, circumstance pending, will have it’s third iteration on the Lee in Cork for Harbour festival next June. This work is part of research towards an ambitious new water-based performance vision (featuring movement, harness work, tightrope, installation, text, sound and visuals) that Bourke is developing with support of the Firkin Crane ReFramed Bursary, Arts Council, Cork City Council and Cork Midsummer festival.