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Shakefest 2012: May 26th – Charleville Castle, Tullamore, Ireland

2012 Shake Fest: Charleville Castle, Tullamore, Ireland

Shakefest 2012
May 26-27th, 2012 * Charleville Castle * Tullamore * Ireland * Shakefest.net *

This year will be Shakefest’s “7th” Annual Dance and multi-cultural festival held at the historic epic Charleville Castle. The festival grounds is starting to bustle with activity as preparations are in the flow to welcome local and international community, visitors, friends, and family to celebrate culture. Since 2006, Shakefest has been bringing together an eclectic mix of Middle Eastern, Cultural Dance, and Artistic Workshops ending with a multi-cultural evening of dance performances. This year, Shakefest is expanding into more folklore, diversity, performance art, crafts, and themes for all ages, sexes, and cultures. This year features numerous workshops, classes, performances, and activities such as a “Faerie Glen” to get lost in, A “Madhatter’s Tea Party”, A bouncy Pirate Ship, Indian Cuisine, Performances by Tullamore’s “The Red Embers”, Galway Bellydance, Appolonia Tribal Bellydance, Sheeoneh, Nicole Volmering, and Aoife Hardiman.

Joana Saahirah ~ photo courtesy of Shakefest

This year’s International Guest Instructor is Oriental Dancer Joana Saahirah of Cairo, Egypt providing authentic education on Egyptian History and Folklore as well as Oriental Dance instruction in Classical, Saiidi and Alexandria of Mellaya styles. Declan Kiely will host a special workshop on how to “Dance like Michael Jackson”. Hip Hop, Jazz, Poi & Ribbon Dancing, Bachata and Argentinian Tango classes are also offered. There will also be African dance, poetry, open-mic sessions, a kid’s gigantic Dragonfly and butterfly hunt, punch and judy, juggling & stiltwalking by Stagecraft Ireland, Drum Circles, and a magic show. This year will also be breaking ground on a live history section with the KHI Medieval Re-enactors treating audiences to combat simulations of the Crusader’s Knight’s Templar with medieval tents, a full try-on armoury and archery for all ages.

KHI Medieval Re-enactors ~ photo courtesy of Shakefest

Featured musical performances by 40’s Swinging The Bugle Babes, Our Annual Multi-cultural Hafla, daring fire show by The Red Embers & Babylon’s Inferno, The North Strand Kontra Band from North Dublin. Dazzling Romanian and Bulgarian instrumental band is expected to finish off the fest with explosive energy and lively dance accompanied by original and traditional tunes from clarinet, saxophone, trombone, keys, banjo, double bass, and drums. If you’re travelling through Ireland this weekend or live in the magical isles, this event is not to be missed. Gates open at Noon on Saturday the 26th with admission only €10 general entry, €10 camping, €20 family day pass or only €15 for evening entertainment.  All proceeds will be going towards Charleville Castle Restoration Fund – Operation ‘Raise The Roof’ project in which money will be raised towards putting a protective roof on the castle chapel. We’ll be covering this event, so come back here for photos, review, and the stories we weave from the experience …

North Strand Kontra Band ~ photo courtesy of Shakefest

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Cirque Du Soleil’s “Alegría” (Dublin, Ireland) ~ April 25-29, 2012

Allegria - Cirque du soleil

Allegria - Cirque du soleil

Allegria – Cirque du soleil
– April 25-29, 2012. Dublin, Ireland * http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/en/shows/alegria/show/about.aspx.

Coming soon to Dublin is the world infamous monumental “Cirque Du Soleil” with their astonishing troupe and show “Alegría”. It’s a mood and a state of mind after which the show is named. Coming from the Spanish term for “jubilation” the troupe will show power and the handing down of it through time with artistic demonstrations of the evolution of ancient monarchies to modern democracies, old age, youth, and the cycles of time. With the King’s fools, minstrels, beggars, old aristocrats, and children making up the show’s universe speckled with clowns, they come again to stun their audiences. I’ve been fortunate to experience this amazing show of acrobats, music, performance, arts, stilt-walking, fire art, juggling, comedy, clowning, and breathe death-defying feats. Mesmerized by the costumes, stage design, arts, illusions, super-human body twisting and endurance … I’ve been addicted to the Cirque since I first saw them in the early 1990’s at their home arena in Quebec. Definitely a not to miss show when they come to town. Unfortunately we don’t have the funds to see this show while it hits Dublin this year, but for those that can afford it, definitely go out for a time of your life. You will not only be amazed and whirl-winded, but tingled to sheer ecstasy. If for some reason we do find a way to go via winning tickets or being gifted with them, we’ll definitely add on to this review with a stunning report. ~ Tom Baurley

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