The Non Parade, Parade

The Non Parade, Parade: Cavan County Council

CavanImageSepcatacleThe Non Parade, Parade by trans-art curators Joe Keenan, Siobhan Harton and Sally O Dowd for The Life of Reilly Festival.

‘Spectacle’, what is it. There are various definitions and apart from making a show of yourself, a common definition of spectacle is ‘an object, phenomenon, or event that is witnessed, especially one that is impressive or unusual’. In Cavan our notion of spectacle has recently been defined by Casting Light illuminations by John Byrne projected on to the façade of the Ulster Bank and parades we have witnessed locally and further afield. A ‘non parade, parade’ was a challenging and unpredictable concept. At the appointed time on Main St, Cavan, a rhythmic beat announced action; dancers emerged and moved down the street, brightly attired, alternating in pace, claiming the pavement and street. Bright love heart flags fell into place from first floor windows. Props such as umbrellas, sweeping brushes and large dust bins were introduced, the everyday merged with the artistic. An ‘office worker’ on a swivel chair furiously typed while scrambling down the street. Three ladies in fabulous evening dress admired themselves at a drapery shop window. A stylized Cavan Rugby Scrum erupted and brought us to the Market Square where an assemblage of musicians created a big sound and the dancers performed a choreographed piece. Table cloths and picnics were laid out and hospitality presented. We were intrigued. Our attention was captured by the coming together of movement, visual imagery and sound, by the commitment and potential of this human spectacle.

The Non Parade, Parade by trans art curators, arts practitioners and volunteers working with Jessie Keenan, choreographer and Sally O’Dowd, performance artist was an ‘organic’ spectacle piece that involved the participants and audience in something a bit different on an ordinary Saturday afternoon in Cavan. It presented us with an alternative to our common perception of spectacle as something with massive props, large scale effects and technology. This was an approach to spectacle through the intimate, the ordinary, trusting in the artists and in ourselves as an audience to appreciate and participate, to believe.

The Non Parade Parade’ was commissioned by Cavan County Council arts office for the Life of Reilly Festival, 2013 and supported by the International Fund for Ireland as part of the Culture Cavan project.

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