International celebration of Irish culture for St. Patrick’s Day
For the St Patrick’s Day season this year, Culture Ireland is supporting artistic events across the globe, with a special focus in 2012 on several key cities, Beijing, Moscow, London, New York and Paris, as part of an initiative by Ireland’s Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan, to raise the international cultural profile of this iconic day.
Minister Deenihan said: “St Patrick’s Day is the ideal time to celebrate and share with the world the evolving imagination, intelligence and innovation of Irish creative talent. While Irish artists are supported year round by my Department’s Culture Ireland, this time of year, when there is a global focus on all things Irish, offers a real opportunity to highlight our creative talent and our artistic reputation on the world stage. I hope that the rich cultural potential and profile of our national day will continue to grow in the years to come.”
In Russia, Macnas is bringing an air of excitement and Irish energy to the streets of Moscow on St Patrick’s Day, as performers with a strong visual aesthetic parade and interact with the audience, representing Ireland in their unique and acclaimed style as an international leader in street theatre and spectacle. The street events are complemented by the Moscow Irish Film Festival, now in its fifth year with a growing audience base, and offering an extensive programme of Irish features, documentaries and short films, including The Pier, Kisses, Death of a Superhero and One Hundred Mornings.
In Beijing, leading faculty members of the Royal Irish Academy of Music are giving a series of chamber music concerts in Beijing and Shanghai, while dynamic young traditional music group Ciorras perform at various venues in Beijing. Collaborative Irish/Chinese multi-media art exhibitions are also being held in Beijing and Shanghai.
The special season of events at the Irish Cultural Centre in Paris encompasses film, literature, visual arts and music, while in New York there are a range of events at the Irish Arts Centre and across the city, as well as a special concert featuring Edel Bhreathnach, Moya Brennan & Cormac de Barra in an evening of literature, history and music at the American-Irish Historical Society on 5th Avenue.
The streets of London are experiencing a contemporary parade by day with Irish street theatre and spectacle specialists Bui Bolg and Artastic, while in the evening a showcase of Irish traditional and popular music including Gemma Hayes and The High Kings is being presented on stage at Trafalgar Square.
Culture Ireland is also supporting significant artistic events across the US, in Australia and New Zealand, and is working closely with other Government agencies to maximise the cross-promotional opportunities that St Patrick’s Day offers.