DI Residency Partnership: Jessie Keenan

Mon 10 Aug 2020 - Fri 7 Jun 2019
10:00 - 18:00

Jessie Keenan is a choreographer making work that crosses over into science, visual art, architecture and archives. Interdisciplinary connections are at the heart of her work. In 2018 she premiered Fragments at Dublin Fringe Festival where it was nominated for Best Design. This work was developed with the support of Arts Council Ireland’s Next Generation Bursary. Other selected projects include: Low Lying, a collaborative work with visual artist Ciara McKeon and musician Robbie Blake, Dublin Fringe 2016; Her Supreme Hour, a solo commissioned by the Dublin Dance Festival/GPO Witness History Public Art Commission for Embodied 2016.

Jessie is a recipienct of a Dance Ireland Partnership Residency in DanceHouse where she will be developing her new work, Don't Anticipate The Ending

This project is an ambitious new dance work across artforms and academia, led by choreographer Jessie Keenan, composer Robbie Blake and researcher Dr Zosia Kuczyńska. This collaboration sets out to research, create and produce a new body of performance that emerges from archival encounters with the Brian Friel Papers (BFP) at the National Library of Ireland. In dialogue with the research of Kuczyńska, this project explores recovering Friel as a playwright of ideas. 

Beginning with archival encounters with Friel’s vast notes of questioning, experimentation with form, and grappling with ideas, a central focus has emerged for us around ‘creative process’ as a source of inspiration. Out of this rich source material–archival encounters, Friel’s process, and our own creative processes–we are developing a diverse programme of interdisciplinary work realised across performance and exhibition contexts.

Ultimately this project is a way of looking at archives—artifacts, bodies, performances—without anticipating the ending. It seeks to follow a creative process to set Brian Friel’s artistic legacy and our own practices not in stone, but in motion.


Robbie Blake (b. 1989) is a vocalist, conductor and composer based in Dublin Ireland.  As an artist working across disciplines, Robbie has presented new work in festivals and venues across Ireland and internationally.  Drawing on a range of influences, Robbie’s work focuses on the live act and shared communal moments, and as a non-binary artist, this work often explores relational themes, the in-between, and identity.

Dr. Zosia Kuczyńska is a Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Research Fellow at University College Dublin where her research is focused on the Brian Friel Papers at the National Library of Ireland. She is a longtime collaborator with Jessie Keenan and Tonnta Music. Her debut poetry pamphlet, Pisanki, was published by The Emma Press in 2017, and her work has appeared in The Tangerine, Poetry Ireland Review, and _The White Review. _