Fidget Feet Aerial Dance Company breaks new ground

Patrick Conboy

Reporter:

Patrick Conboy

The Fidget Feet Aerial Dance Company has revealed plans for a purpose-built studio near Rathowen in Co Westmeath.

The Fidget Feet Aerial Dance Company has revealed plans for a purpose-built studio near Rathowen in Co Westmeath.

The facility, which will be the first of its kind in Ireland, will be located at The Paddocks in Derrydoan, and will be designed to specifically meet the needs of aerial performance artists, including high ceilings, sprung dance floors, multi-purpose rigging and a fully equipped sound and lighting system.

Up until now, Fidget Feet has relied on spaces provided by other groups, including the Backstage Theatre, but this ambitious project will allow it to become a fully-independent entity.

Speaking to this paper, Fidget Feet’s general manager, Adam O’Keefe said: “The total budget for the project will be in the region of €300,000. We are looking for €200,000 in Leader funding, and then we’ll have to make up the remainder ourselves. It’ll take until the middle of the year to get approval for funding, which means we won’t break ground on the project until 2014, and hopefully it’ll be open for 2015.”

Talking about the building’s construction, Mr O’Keefe explained that it has been designed to fit in with the local landscape and that the outer wall will consist of a metal skin, which is designed to rust. “This will provide an extra layer of insulation,” he said. “It’s an ecologically-friendly project and we went through a number of architects before deciding on Dominic Stevens, who has worked extensively in this area.”

In addition to performance and rehearsal spaces, there will also be a workshop for set-building and maintenance of equipment. The facility will also include an accommodation area, consisting of 12 single rooms, a living room and a kitchen/dining area. “This is so we can offer the space to other dance companies to help them with their productions,” Mr O’Keefe said.