Galway 2020 Programme Launch

Galway 2020 Programme Launch
Gratte Ciel (FR)
Anna Mullarkey (IE)
Produced by Craig Flaherty
Commissioned and presented by Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture

The launch of the Galway 2020 programme was curated with a number of key objectives in mind. It needed to give a sense of what was to come while being its own event, it needed to look at the programme concept – the fours season of the Celtic Calendar Imbolc, Bealtaine, Lughnasa and Samhain. Most importantly the launch need to take place in the public realm so audiences could take part in the collective experience.

On the night of the launch, Anna Mullarkey shone with an ethereal voice that held the attention of thousands of people. Her piece ‘ Spéir ’ was commissioned as an ode to the Irish language and the Celtic yearly cycle upon which the Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture programme was based.

Gratte Ciel performers were a sight of strength and elegance, with all the daring components of French new circus – an influence that felt very much at home in Galway. As they climbed 35 meteres into the sky, Mullarkey’s bubbling bass, emotive strings and climbing synths took us through the transitions of the year – from free-spirited beginnings to the reflective depths of Samhain.

Speckled with pagan and carnivalesque details, the performance was an explosive taster for the year of magic to come that explored the relationship between the sky and the land moving through the wheel of the year. The culmination of the performance was a confetti explosion the cascaded across the audience and being caught in a dreamcatcher that sat above the performance. 

Image credit: Aengus McMahon and Declan Colohan.
Film credit Heavy Man Films,
Courtesy of Galway 2020.