MISS: Melbourne’s Gaelic Concerts

Tuesday 11th October, 2022 at 4:30pm (AEDT), 5:30am (GMT)
Rhys Ryan, 2022 Russell Beedles Performing Arts Fellow SLV
Na Trí Céilithe: Revisiting the dances of Melbourne’s Gaelic concerts in the early twentieth century

Na Trí Céilithe – Rhys Ryan’s creative fellowship at the State Library of Victoria for 2022 – examines original manuscripts documenting the annual céilithe held in Melbourne in the early twentieth century. By focusing on the specific dances performed at these concerts and the context in which they occurred, his research considers how, in a period of burgeoning Gaelic cultural consciousness, these choreographies both preserved and promulgated Irish identity throughout the diaspora.

The forthcoming output of Rhys’ fellowship is a choreographic film that imaginatively reinterprets the dances performed at these céilithe, informed by an assemblage of disparate sources woven together to understand this moment in Irish-Australia’s history. By combining the known (or ascertainable) choreographic forms of folk dance that emerged from the Gaelic Revival, with contemporary visions of Irish cultural expression, the film embraces the archival gaps caused by the ephemerality of dance and its resistance to formal documentation. To this end, the project engages the broader dance scholarship on the politics of reproduction, and the generative possibilities of resurrecting historical dances through corporeal means.

In this seminar, Rhys will present in-progress findings of his research project and discuss the creative methodologies behind the film’s creation.

Rhys Ryan is an emerging dance artist working across performance, choreography and critical writing. He trained at the Victorian College of the Arts and has presented choreographic works at Dancehouse, Adelaide Fringe, Melbourne Fringe and VCA. Rhys writes on dance for Limelight and Dance Australia and is currently the Russell Beedles Performing Arts Fellow at the State Library of Victoria for 2022. Rhys is also a practising lawyer and former sessional academic at La Trobe Law School.

LOCATION (In-Person and Online)
This free public seminar will be streamed live online via Zoom, and held in-person in the Jabiru Room at Newman College (enter via main gate and follow the signs). The Zoom room will be open 10 minutes before the scheduled start to give everyone time to connect. Please keep your microphone on mute for the duration of the talk. There will be time for questions at the end of the seminar. Please RSVP to Dianne.hall@vu.edu.au if you would like the zoom link.