About Emily

About Emily

I come from an island with renowned literary and theatrical traditions, including traditional circus, but with only a very emergent aerial dance and experimental circus scene. Due to the new contemporary circus circumstance in Ireland, Irish artists have an opportunity to experiment beyond the established conventions of circus in the UK and further afield. This embryonic moment is one of immense possibility and freedom to create, which also comes with a sense of isolation and invisibility. Actually, it is the combination of permission and restriction that inspires the work I make. 


I am an artist, aerialist and educator. Although my expertise lies in circus and aerial, my varied background leads to a highly creative, collaborative and original integration of multiple art forms.


After many subterranean years involved with music, performance art, writing, academia and burlesque, I discovered aerial dance and feel entirely in love. I quickly formed PaperDolls Performance Company in 2010 who went on to win the Spirit of Fringe award for Constellations at Dublin Fringe 2012, a first for an Irish circus company in the then 21 year history of the festival. PaperDolls lived hard and fast and ended in 2013 after our show BUNK. Between 2013 and 2015 I produced a series of work, Object Piggy, culminating in a live production at the Lir Academy as part of Dublin Fringe Festival. Object Piggy won the Judge's Choice Award that year. Later in 2015, I presented an ensemble performance piece Papaveraceae at the Quadrennial of Sceneography and Design in Prague (July) and again at IMPACT festival in Macedonia (November).

2016 marked the beginning of an extended period of experimentation. With support from the Arts Council, I researched new methodologies for aerial movement, performance and circus dramaturgies. In extension, I presented a work in progress Smiling Devil (my first exchange with ongoing collaborator Liing Heaney) at Dublin Theatre Festival, October 2017. In 2018, I received Arts Grant Funding for a two-year programme of work including a twin production project: Sorry Gold, at Project Arts Centre as part of Dublin Fringe Festival and Mother of Pearl, also at Project Arts Centre, in September and November 2019 respectively. Sorry Gold was nominated for Best Ensemble at the festival that year.

I co-founded Cat's Paw Experimental Aerial Dance Meeting with Slovakian Aerial Priestess Ariadna Vendelova, in 2018. The second international meeting took place in Košice, Slovakia with support from Tabačka Kulturfabrik, in January 2020. I am owner and director of Creation Aerial Studio and Aerial Dance School. We offer professional training and creative facilities to aerial artists, as well as recreational classes in aerial dance and related disciplines. Our studio is temporarily closed, but we plan to reopen at a new venue as soon as possible; global pandemic pending. I train a number of clients online and provide creative and dramaturgical facilitation to artists internationally. 

I am associate/ visiting artist in residence at the Courthouse Arts Centre, Tinahely, Co. Wicklow, ongoing since 2018. My work has been supported by the Arts Council, Dublin City Council, Project Arts Centre and D.I.Y. self-support made possible through Creation Aerial. 

I am excited to continue my artistic endeavours in 2021 and beyond. 
Would you like to contact me? I would love to hear from you! Write via the email below.

In joy, 
Emily Aoibheann