As we prepared for our gathering in the iconic Cobblestone Pub, the dark walls of the backroom were progressively enveloped in a blanket of yellow.
Helium-gorged lemons floated from every corner, suspended in the air, while people clad in yellow milled about, topping tables with candles and repeatedly attempting to attach the golden event poster above the stage without it falling (the third strip of duct-tape was the charm). Finally, visitors poured into the room, peering at the merry parade of paintings around them, created by the adventurous Federica Lencioni, whose brushstroke matches the buoyancy of her step.
To open the night, Joy slipped onto the stage unnoticed. With her melodious fingers, she gently wove the thrum of chatter in the room into silence, before departing, carrying her cello, and the audience’s rapt attention. Our host Ligia gave a beautiful introductory speech, finding the perfect few sentences to highlight the importance of celebrating our multicultural Dublin community, on that night and every night. We next heard from Federica Lencioni, who stood charmingly before us, mapping words onto the acrylic colours of her landscapes. Ligia made sure to counteract Frederica’s modesty, and remind everyone that these beautiful paintings were for sale!
Next, Santierra and his two Protones Errantes, Alejandro and Raúl, set the stage ablaze with their golden tunes, Spanish songs full of vivid imagery, ranging from intimate existentialism to energising political ballads. Several members of the audience could not be contained, and sprang from their seats to dance together, in the narrow space between the tables. This energy was carried on throughout our break, during which the acts were discussed in many languages, while eager eyes traveled to admire the paintings more closely.
Clad in a dress of pure white, Anna Paula then graced the stage, suspending the room in contemplation. She progressively freed herself of her dress, headband, and shoes, all while unbraiding her hair, telling a wordless story through each of her gestures. Anna brought a Brazilian song about female empowerment into tangible focus and (e)motion, followed by a second, celebratory dance. It was up to me, then, to bare my closet to the audience. Clad as a giant, six-legged moth, I shared my words and was warmed to watch them land on welcoming faces (though I could see close to nothing through my insect-goggles, which was perhaps for the best). With each poem, I associated a piece of clothing from the rack, adding to the pile I was to feast on at end of the performance.
Next, the Franco-Italian ensemble Reminiscence took to the stage, to regal us with a colourful parade of folk tunes. I was baffled to discover that this was their first public performance, which they executed so elegantly and joyfully that by the end of their set, the entire room was joined together in song. Finally, as always, in her radiant and space-giving manner, Ligia announced that the last words of the night, rather than being pronounced by herself, would be left to Joy and her cello. Too airborne to be contained by the loop-pedal, Joy’s rich melody carried us out of the gathering in its raw and compelling acoustic texture, leaving us wanting more — a collective hunger that could only be quenched by delicious tiramisu.
Jo Morrigan Black
Video made by Lobo
1. Federica Lencioni
About the author:
Jo Morrigan Black is a Paris-born poet of Irish, French and American nationalities. After being birthed in the basement gatherings of Spoken Word Paris, they have left stray feathers in Berlin, bared their heart in Turku, Finland, and stalked the streets of Dublin as a vampire.
Their stage performances aim to celebrate the queer and the unknowable in each of us.
This collection of blog posts is a firsthand account from artists who are an integral part of the La Mansarda community. Whether they took the stage or enjoyed the show from the audience, each post offers a unique perspective on our vibrant community.