SPARK Youth Dance Company’s new production Granuaile hits the stage this month to tell the true story of Grace O’Malley, a rebellious leader and pirate queen who challenged the political waves of 16th century Ireland.
Featuring a collaboration of contemporary dance and live orchestra, Granuaile’s story can be seen as an inspiration to a new generation of young women and girls to follow in O’Malley’s footsteps.
Company director Alexandra Dellaportas said it was a story about empowered women, based on an old story of Grace O’Malley, who was a courageous, independent woman who challenged stereotypes.
“I became fascinated in Grace’s story and became even more fascinated after speaking to the author Anne Chambers in Dublin, who said O’Malley was literally written out of history because she was a woman,” Dellaportas said.
“It’s a really amazing story that we have turned into a dance piece, it delves into who O’Malley was, her relationship with the ocean and the emotions she goes through in her life.
“By part three, we look at her relationship with Queen Elizabeth I, another strong-willed, independent woman – it’s got some incredible characters and messages.”
The play has an all-female cast and a live orchestra and is on at Frankston Arts Centre over three performances on 29 and 30 September.
Spark Productions Australia is a non-profit Australian arts organisation driven by youth under 25.
Based on the Mornington Peninsula, it provides a platform for young dancers and creatives to create new dance works together.