Dancer and choreographer Joel O’Donoghue likes to make work that that is gripping for an audience, but without them necessarily understanding why. As such, his 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.
Memory is a key area Joel explores through his work. He believes that each of the works he creates is accidentally linked to past experiences. In 2003 he had a brain tumour removed from his left temporal lobe, which badly affected his aural and visual memory. The different works he creates are like a journey through his own forgotten past.
Whilst in residence Joel will be developing the work ‘Treasure and Tat’ (T & T) a dance piece exploring the relationship between personal possessions and memory.