Joel O'Donoghue. Photo by Anisa Sanford
When creating work I want to make something that is gripping for an audience, but without them necessarily understanding why. As such, my work is often a contradiction in terms. It is incredibly physical, but places an equal emphasis on subtle gestural moments and outlandish exaggerations of pedestrian action. It moves seamlessly from the minimalist, to the fantastic, to the completely nonsensical. This juxtaposition, though bizarre, provokes a sort-of understated humour by coaxing the audience into an acceptance of the inexplicable, and delight in the non sequitur.
I have a background both in dance and set design, and I am interested in finding ways of adapting work to new environments. Over the past year I have been collaborating with a lighting designer, a sound designer and a composer, to see if we could create a mutual coexistence between movement, light and sound. The three different elements should work in harmony together, whilst also being independent from one another - like a conversation.
I believe that each of the works I create are accidentally linked to past experiences of mine. In 2003 I had a brain tumour removed from my left temporal lobe, which badly affected my aural and visual memory. The different works I create are like a journey through my own forgotten past. I recently discovered that a work I choreographed in 2014, was heavily inspired by my grandparents.