Elysia McMullen and Luisa Schmitz formed Bill and Fred Productions in 2020. They perform as Bill and Fred – a clown duo who merge dance, clowning, circus and theatre. They were in Kerry recently, bringing their show Bill and Fred’s Adventures to a number of schools.
The performances were facilitated by Kerry County Council’s dancer in residence, Catherine Young. The residency is funded by Kerry County Council and the Arts Council and supported by Creative Ireland Kerry.
“It’s really important that children have an opportunity to experience live performance by dance artists, as well as also getting a chance to dance and move themselves,” says Catherine Young. “I had seen Bill and Fred perform for a young audience in Limerick and I knew they would bring a show full of fun and energy to Kerry school children.”
The schools visited were Gaelscoil Mhic Easmainn and Presentation Primary School in Tralee and Gaelscoil Lios Tuathail in Listowel (pictured). Each school was treated to a performance and a dance workshop afterwards.
“It was engaging, interactive, funny, entertaining and had a little message too which was lovely and meaningful for the children,” says Helena Hennessy, Assistant Principal and Arts Co-ordinator at Presentation Primary, Tralee. “They loved it. They were talking about it for the rest of the day. They were asking me afterwards when would Bill and Fred be coming back!”
“They were absolutely blown away by the dancing performance,” says Séana Ní Chuain, Principal at Gaelscoil Lios Tuathail. “We didn’t know what to expect, but the pupils thought they were brilliant and hadn’t seen anything as creative as it before. In my own house, my daughters told me they want to be dancers after seeing it!”
“We were delighted to have Elysia and Luisa with us under the dancer in residence programme – this was a great opportunity for children to access free dance performance and learn about movement in a relaxed and fun-filled way,” says Kate Kennelly, Arts Officer with Kerry County Council.
Kerry County Council have a number of artists residencies covering art forms such as dance, writing, and film funded by Kerry County Council and the Arts Council and supported by Creative Ireland Kerry. To find out more about events and opportunities with the residencies contact the Arts Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit kerrycoco.ie/arts
Photo by: Domnick Walsh email@example.com