Well, the quite popular Mamuska nights return to Limerick on Friday night at their home in the Daghdha Space (John's Square).
In honour of this event, I've dipped into the archives, and found a badly written article I did back a few years ago on Mamuska. Read it and weep.
Mamuska Night, Daghdha Space, St John's Square, Friday 2nd June
By Ciarán Ryan
In the cultural haven that is the Daghdha Space, a group of performers and curious spectators alike have been gathering every second month for a night where dance, installations and music are thrown into the melting pot.
This Friday will see the final Mamuska night of its second season at its St. John's Square home.
"Mamuska" initially developed in a studio in UL, but according to Daghdha Dance Company's Head of Programming Davide Terlingo, they saw the move to the city venue as providing more access to the wider community. "It is an open performers night, where the aim is to blur the barriers between the audience and the performers. We see it as a shared environment", Davide explains.
To this end, audiences are invited to take a more active role in the performances, where the theme of "experimentation" runs throughout. Key to the night's success has been that the company does not tend to regurgitate previous materials and performances, keeping each night fresh for audience and performers alike. The format of the night also has an inherent advantage, Davide believes. "All performances last between five and ten minutes, and there are plenty of other things going on. People can go look at the visuals, or have a drink and chat with their friends. It's not for a specialist audience".
Audience numbers at the Mamuska Night have ranged from 150 to 300, proving that the night does not contain any form of an elitist remit. "We find that most of the people who come to Mamuska don't usually go to dance performances. I think a lot of people feel safe and comfortable when they are here", says Davide. It would appear that comfort is easily provided in the form of bean-bags, which are left out for audience members who really want to relax.
This will be Mamuska's last performance of its current season, but it will be reappearing after the summer. With a night that manages to balance the artistic and the accessible, it perhaps should not be that surprising that the name of the night comes from a film. However, the film in question may be of surprise, as it sees Daghdha keeping away from any high-brow connotations, as Davide explains.
"I was watching The Addams Family, and there is a part where Uncle Fester goes missing. They organise this ball where the extended family is all invited, and they do his traditional Addams dance, which is called "Mamuska"!"
Who are we to complain, as it provides a more than apt name for what Mamuska is about.
In the meantime, here is some copy and paste guff from their site:
Mamuska Limerick is back revealing a taste of the vibrant arts scene in Limerick. Mamuska Limerick, in partnership with Mamuska Nights, is a performance event in which local, national and international artists present their work. The format remains the same, for this legendary event which continues to inspire both artists and audience with its unique flavour and format built around informality and a true sense of artistic experimentation. The performed works are selected on a first come, first served basis which makes each Mamuska Limerick one of risk taking, inspiration, artistry and fun.
Daghdha invites you to the Daghdha Space to chat, listen and gorge on new ideas, playful imaginings and curious experiments. Mamuska Limerick – ‘Harvest’ offers a feast of ripe ideas so indulge yourself on the latest crop of dance, performance, film, sound art and music.