Ronan is an Irish circus artist, specialising in roue cyr, doubles trapeze and hand to hand. His own work, created with circus partner Aisling ní Cheallaigh includes the indoor theatre piece How to Square a Circle and outdoor performance piece Sub Rosa. Ronan has also worked and toured with other Irish companies such as Fidget Feet Aerial Dance, in Cinder and the Ella’s, THISISPOPBABYs RIOT and Theatre Lovetts FRNKNSTN.
Website: ronanbrady.me or howtosquareacircle.com | Instagram: @anomalyronan | Facebook: @AnomalyPerformance or @hottosquareacircle | Twitter: @AnomalyRonan
What did you do with your Bursary award?
To upskill technically and expressively on cyr wheel through one to one coaching and dedicated self exploration in the studio. To look into my own personal identity coming from rural Ireland and how I represent that and relate it to my work.
What has receiving a Bursary award meant to you as an artist/for your career?
The bursary award has done so many things. Firstly it gave me a financial cushion to know I could give focused time to what I need to do to develop my craft as an artist opposed to do what’s needed to pay the rent. It removed a certain amount of internal stress which allowed me to delve further into my process as a creator. It also came at a time when I was dealing with a physical injury that wasn’t healing. It allowed me receive the proper treatment which without the bursary, I wouldn’t have been in a position to get.
How would you describe your creative process?
My creative process is constantly developing. Most of the time it is about getting into a room and just starting with movement. The movement is influenced by many factors. Music, mood, what I’ve been reading, what I’d like to say. Sometimes it’s simply what feels right in that moment. There is a constant process then of checking if what felt good, looked good. Or accurately represented what it is I was looking to say, if I was looking to say anything at all. Sometimes beautiful movement for the sake or beauty is enough.
What is the best piece of advice you received as an emerging artist?
There are 2 pieces:
1. “We have as much time as we need”
This was a piece of advice I got from a mentor of mine in Montreal when I arrived to a circus school audition with no prepared act for presentation (I wasn’t aware I needed one) We had only a few hours in the studio and the audition was the next day.
Krin: So, let me see your act.
Ronan: What act?
Krin: Your act for the auditions, everybody needs an act.
Krin: *Takes deep breath*... we have as much time as we need. Let’s get started.
I had no circus skills at the time, so we developed a clown act involving a banana and a potato peeler.. I’ll be honest, it wasn’t great, and I didn’t get into the school. But people remember it to this day almost 6 years later and I learned a lot from the process. The thing is, no matter what the deadline, you have exactly as much time as you need.
2. Just Start
Sometimes we can get caught in analysis paralysis and don’t actually know what to do when we have an idea. It’s very difficult to know what to do when you’ve never done it before. There are two options, keep analysing and go nowhere, or Just Start…
We sometimes feel we are not ready, we don’t have all the information or think, who am I to attempt such an idea. The truth is you’ll never be ready, you’ll never have all the information, and you are as worthy as the next person to attempt anything. Anyone who is now an expert was once an absolute novice. Just Start...
What or who has influenced your practice the most?
The idea of achieving the impossible inspires me. Impossible is relative though. None of what I can do now physically as a 32 year old circus artist, could I do as a 26 year old footballer. What’s possible for one person seems impossible to the next. The pursuit on the next impossible is what drives me and I hope that it gives permission to others to pursue theirs too.
Many people have influenced me on so many levels. Chantal McCormick of Fidget Feet for getting me started in this circus world. Krin Haglund my first cyr wheel coach. Joli Vyann for creating movement. Aisling Ní Cheallaigh for constantly pushing boundaries.