Source: Culture Ireland

Five-day online festival to celebrate Irish culture worldwide

Five-day online festival to celebrate Irish culture worldwide

Watch it for free on Culture Ireland’s YouTube channel from 17 to 21 March

Over 100 Irish artists and companies representing all art forms - from architecture to visual arts - will take part in SEODA (Irish for ‘jewels’), an online festival celebrating Irish culture around the world. The one-of-a-kind festival, unveiled on Tuesday by Culture Ireland, will run from 17 to 21 March, at a time of pandemic anguish, when Irish artists are barred from appearing on international stages and sharing Irish culture.

Free online attendance

Culture Ireland is a division of the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, responsible for the promotion of Irish arts worldwide. The 5-day festival will offer audiences in Ireland and around the world more than two dozen events to marvel at - all of them available for free through Culture Ireland’s YouTube channel.

Expectations are high that this year through SEODA Irish artists will reach a global audience on a much larger scale than in March 2020, when many had just reached international destinations but could not perform over St Patrick’s Day period because of the first lockdowns. 

Strong theatre offer

Irish theatre takes centre stage at SEODA, with highlights of the Abbey Theatre’s Dear Ireland 2020: Reflections on a Pandemic, Druid Theatre’s production of The Cherry Orchard and Solar Bones, based on the award winning novel by Mike McCormack and performed by Rough Magic Theatre Company.

Children will be treated to the internationally acclaimed The Wolf and Peter by CoisCeim Dance Theatre, The Girl Who Forgot to Sing Badly by Theatre Lovett and Prime Cut’s production of Removed.

The film programme’s highlight will be Golden Globe nominee Wolfwalkers. Kila, part of the movie’s composer team, (nominated for the Hollywood Music in Media awards), will perform live during an exhibition in the Butler Gallery Kilkenny dedicated to the animated film.

The wide-ranging musical selection will feature traditional music with Ireland’s Cultural Ambassador Martin Hayes, a diverse programme by the Irish Chamber Orchestra and The Trials of Tenducci by the Irish Baroque Orchestra.

The literature events include a tribute to Derek Mahon, produced by TradFest and led by stellar actor Stephen Rea, a special evening from the National Concert Hall curated by Sinead Gleeson and a Cúirt Festival event aired from Ashford Castle.

The global aspect of the festival will be underscored by events from three of the key Irish Cultural Centres abroad: Irish Arts Center, New York, The London Irish Centre, Camden and Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris.

Ireland’s treasures

In launching SEODA, Minister Catherine Martin T.D said, quoted by the government news service: “Our artists are Ireland’s treasures and despite the many challenges this year, our artists continue to create and perform in innovative ways. Through sharing a selection of amazing performances in line with the aims of Global Ireland, we can reach audiences around the world and maintain our cultural connections and offer hope and joy at this time when Irish culture holds a central place on the world stage.”

All artists will be paid for the online presentation of their work and many are supported by the Arts Council. A schedule for the festival will be published on 8 March. Full list and details of the events can be found at Culture Ireland’s website.

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