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The music for the Fabulous Bird Dance is a powerful composition:
"Call across the Canyon" from the Album Pipedreams by Irish piper
Davy Spillane. Maura had been playing it over and over again while touring around the Ring of Kerry and the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland.

We decided to merge art with dance in a Celtic-style choreography. The music had conjured up images of  birds, so we used this idea as a theme for both. Artist Judith Brown led a series of workshops, using Celtic bestiaries and knotwork as inspiration. Imagination took flight and the result was a set of individual free-standing pieces of art work: the Fabulous Birds. The idea was to display them during the dance. Due mostly to the snow, this dance went off at half cock! A couple of the Fab Birds were ready and did feature in the one and only performance of the dance at the Halifax Hafla in January 2010. Sadly others never got off the ground, and were doomed to remain flightless.

" Canyon" features uilleann pipes, low whistle, didgeridoo and the ancient dord árd. Besides being awash with Celtic themes the music conjures visions of North American Indians in feathered headdresses, colourful totem poles, tattooed Aborigines in Dreamtime mode. It suggests tribal-style moves, and the sweep of wings. The costumes were inspired by the original Celtic artwork: vivid red, green and blue taken from the colours in the manuscripts, and from bright enamel and gold metalwork. Accessories included brightly woven fabric trims, gold embroidery, gaudy feathers, spirals(of course), and a dream-catcher!

The Fabulous Bird Dance

"Ars gratia artis"

Get knotted...!

Fabulous Bird dance at Halifax