In 1916, British knight, Irish rebel and international humanitarian Roger Casement was hanged in Pentonville Prison. Knighted for exposing human rights abuses in the Congo and the Amazon, his support for Irish nationalism during the First World War was a British scandal. His homosexuality was just as controversial.
One hundred years later, Butterflies and Bones: The Casement Project used dance to imagine a national body that welcomes the stranger from beyond the border, as well as the stranger already inside. It used the queer body of Casement to address today’s questions of belonging and becoming, and to ask: Who gets to be in the national body? How can the national body move?
The Casement Project is dance at its most ambitious, a choreography of bodies and ideas that took place across multiple platforms and national boundaries. An award-winning creative team, a cast of internationally acclaimed performers and contributors from beyond the arts helped choreographer Fearghus Ó Conchúir to create five interconnected ways for people to be involved in The Casement Project: a stage performance, a celebratory festival of dance, a dance film, an academic symposium and a series of opportunities for the public to engage with and participate in the project.
The Casement Project is produced by Fearghus Ó Conchúir in association with Project Arts Centre. It is an ART:2016 National Project supported by the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon, and its London presentation is supported by Culture Ireland, as part of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme. It is co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW, WW1 Centenary Art Commissions, supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund, and by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
Its creation is also made possible through the generosity of Dr. R. Martin Chávez and supported by Dance Ireland; The Place, London; The British Library; National University of Ireland, Maynooth; Dublin City Council; Micro-Rainbow International; The National Archives, London.