Aparna Shukla, performing Rajesthani Folk Dance.

Shakest returns this Saturday in Tullamore

Shakefest returns for its 17th year - providing a plethora of cultural talent from local, national and international performers.

Shakefest is remaining a virtual event this year in Tullamore but that is not stopping organisers from delivering an amazing variety of online creative and cultural talent in the form of a Virtual Hafla and Online Art Exhibition.

Shakefest has entertained local, national and international audience for years since its inception in 2006 where it began as a small workshop and performance day for cultural dancers.

It had since then grown in 2015 to a wonderfully diverse family festival to fit 1,000 including a live gig from Kila. In recent years as a result of Covid, like many festivals, Shakefest has had to re-invent itself online to keep the spark alive.

This year once again, treat yourselves to an eclectic variety of multicultural and diverse entertainment from local, national and international performers.

Firstly, local poet Roseanna Tyrrell will recite some of her most recent and reflective poems from the rooms of Charleville Castle. Roseanna has been a staple in the poetry community in Co. Offaly for years and is also involved with the Wordsmiths of Tullamore and last year’s Poetry Town supported by Poetry Ireland. Roseanna always starts off as the welcoming act at Rahan Presents on Culture Night, Charleville Castle each year either physically or virtually.

Another local gem is Tracy McEvoy from The Red Embers Cultural Dance. From Tullamore, Tracy has performed and taught in the Red Embers Bellydance Troupe since 2006 in many local and some national festivals including Shakefest, Castlepalooza, Phoenix Festival and Knockanstockan as well as teaching and performing Salsa. Tracy will be performing an Egyptian Pop dance for this year’s online show.

Also expect some national and international flavour this year in the form of Rajesthani dance featuring Aparna Shukla from Dublin and also Meghana Rao, former Shakefest International Guest Instructor, who will be bringing you a Bharatanatyam performance from India! Both ladies bring brilliant zest, colour and cultural flavour in their dances and to the Midlands and beyond. Bharatanatyam is a popular classical dance form in South India and involves carefully choreographed and well practiced combination of eye movements, expressions, hand gestures, steps and dance which we have also seen over the last couple of years at Shakefest online.

Lastly, a Virtual Hafla is not complete with an addition of an amazing array of visuals and sound. Watch colours, shapes and composition come alive in a way of abstract ‘sound painting’ between Marble’s Eye Studio and musician DarrenDajourney in an exploration of spontaneous form created through random recyclable objects.

For Shakefest’s Art Exhibition, this year, the festival is showcasing a sound exhibition instead of a visual exhibition. Shakefest’s Artist in Focus this year is Darren Fitzpatrick (DarrenDajourney) who will introduce a catalogue of electronic and out of this world sounds, which are generated through analog synthesizers, drum machines and sequencers. Dajourney has also appeared at the Burning Man Decompression Ireland, Shakefest, Facefest and Culture Night with his artistic sounds and soundtracks in the past and has collaborated with various international projection artists such as Bunny and the Beardman and Matthew Watkins. Darren’s Music Exhibition can be checked out on the Arts Exhibition page of www.shakefest.net under Soundcloud.

The artists of Shakefest in Charleville Castle, have always provided an enrichment and diversity of their cultural crafts helping to provide engagement, understanding, fun, awe and participation for communities. Help to continue this delightful tradition this Saturday, May 28 where the Virtual Hafla will be shown on the Shakefest Facebook Page and www.shakefest.net at 7pm, and also look out for some special culturally related treats to be shared on Facebook throughout the day as well.

View full programme on www.shakefest.net.