On 28th June our Artistic Director Joanna Williams and wire walking tutor Mollie O’Brien joined Fran Curry on Tipp Today to chat about the very popular Wire Walking workshops, Circus Summer Camp and other club’s activities this summer.
Joanna gave a short introduction about the Wire Walking workshops and how they started a few years ago.
Initially this project was a European project headed by Galway Community Circus and they had the idea of developing a very accessible way of teaching the wire walking with big, long poles for balancing. They wanted to teach this art form to as many people as they could in Ireland, and lead to a big celebration event that was to be a part of Galway 2020. And then pandemic came along.
We were due to have some of our members go to Galway, learn the wire walking, and participate in this event as part of community involvement, but when pandemic came along, there was an opportunity to bring the workshop to Cloughjordan as a part of an outdoor event, and it was amazing. We used big, long poles so it necessitated the social distancing. It was outdoors so we were able to do it at times when meetings indoors were not possible.
Over the next couple of years, with support from Galway Community Circus, we held these workshops on village green, and lots of people came and learnt to wire walk. We gradually trained some of our own members to be able to teach the wire walking and they became very proficient at it, and in fact, took part in a big crossing last summer in Galway called ‘Lifelines’ – the biggest high-wire spectacle ever in Europe. – Joanna Williams, Artistic Director of Cloughjordan Circus Club
Molly shared her own experience about learning to wire walk, becoming a wire walking tutor herself, and sharing the joy of this activity with others.
I have been a member of Cloughjordan Circus Club since I was younger, later becoming also a tutor here. The whole idea of nearly being able to ‘walk on air’ was amazing to me. I first started out as a participant when Tony Mahon from Galway Community Circus came down and was teaching the workshops, and the following year I got trained in by Tony and became a wire walking tutor, and I have been spreading that joy with everybody since then.
There is a little bit of balance in it but it is also the mindset. It has been made very accessible for anybody – all levels, ages and capabilities. When you have started, it is very accessible, and once you get going, you get into this meditative state, you work on your breathing, and it keeps you calm, you are just able to ‘walk on air’ and just be free from your mind. – Molly O’Brien, wire walking tutor at Cloughjordan Circus Club.
If you would like to listen to the recording of the interview, please follow the link here or click on the recording below!
Read more about Wire Walking workshops in Cloughjordan here!
Book a place at the Wire Walking workshop here!