About Emily

About Emily

Emily Aoibheannis an artist, aerialist, director and mentor who has contributed almost two decades of creativity and enterprise to her native city of Dublin. Her varied background leads to unconventional, collaborative and original integration of multiple art forms from music to sculpture, crossing cultural contexts. Realised with a broad artistic and technical team, she primarily uses aerial dance and circus arts as tools to explore ideas of all kinds: philosophical, ecological, historical, magical and is considered a pioneer of experimental methodologies for physical performance and emergent circus-inspired dramaturgies. Her recent work concerns bodies without context and 'dances of dissolution'; transience and trace making; the heart and spine; embeddedness, dwelling and death; writing and music. She is founder of the Experimental Circus Award, a pilot programme currently in its first year, which supports intellectually engaged and unconventional circus practice in Ireland through bursary and residency resources and peer based facilitation. 

Her work in 2022/ 2023 is supported by the Arts Council Arts Grant Award, as a Markievicz Award recipient, Animation Ireland Immersive Innovation Award, Fingal County Council Artist Bursary, Dance Ireland Hatch Award, and as a visiting artist at Project Arts Centre in Dublin, Courthouse Arts Centre and Mermaid Arts Centre, co. Wicklow.

Current work: 


With long-time collaborator, digital artist 1iing heaney, I have been exploring the usurpation of the real by the virtual, adapting motion and spatial data capture merged with 3D animation to reveal previously unseen, uncanny, lurid and strange internal landscapes and dances of dissolution. We plan to continue the development of this work over the next two years, aiming for future performance and film presentation in 2024. Other collaborators involved in this project include artist Robert Mirolo, musician and sound designer Oliver Moloney, Algorithm creative production studio and Tentacle Films production company. 

A Year of the Heart

In 2022, I begin development of a new project Death: A Year of the Heart, which delves into themes and material of transformation, ecstasy and courage, with music, dance imagined at scale. This aerial fabric centred piece incorporates ambitious stage design, immersive audience experience and written text to be adapted musically. The project takes the spine and heart as choreographic and visual starting points, which extend outward for dramatic, immersive and expansive live production. 


Object Piggy (2013-2015); Papaveracea (2015); Sorry Gold (2019); Mother of Pearl (2019). Director, PaperDolls (2010-2013); Co-founder and Director, Cat's Paw Experimental Aerial Dance Meeting, Slovakia; Director, Creation Aerial studio and school (2014 - 2020); Director, Experimental Circus Bursary Award (2022); Artist in Residence at The Courthouse Arts Centre, Tinahely, Co. Wicklow, ongoing since 2018.

Portrait by Emilia Pasón, Mermaid Arts Centre, 2021