The Belfast Rope Meet will bring together four rope voices who aim to inject ingenuity, spark creativity and develop a deeper connection to rope repertoire across the Irish aerial community with their expansive and inclusive knowledge and methodologies!

During this bespoke three day event, artists will propose comprehensive and curious choreography aimed at focusing one’s willingness to explore their own skill set and expand their individual aerial journeys through led tuition.

The artists will host sessions suitable for a variety of skill applications to promote an inclusive learning environment!


The four rope practitioners are experienced, inquisitive and pioneering artists who use rope as their primary source of artistic outlet and creative communication.  They have all developed their own understanding of traditional repertoire and lend their voices to the current methods of practise in Ireland.

Emmen Jude Donnelly

Stemming from the contentious countryside of northern Ireland in the 80s, Emmen has become a touchstone in modern Irish circus and aerial practice.  His work has been likened to knitting or crochet, moving like a curious blade around the apparatus and cultivating new intricate patterns that challenge traditional methods of practice yet rely heavily on his understanding of loop theory and dynamic application.

A bold, curious and provocative aerialist, Emmen aims to bring all of his passion for rope to the meet and share it with you all with a heavy dose of laughter woven in throughout!

Kate Dunne

The ever imaginative mind of Kate Dunne will add to the team of rope artists this September.  Working across the UK, Ireland and greater Europe, Asia and Middle East, Kate’s work leaves a glowing trace of originality and ingenuity wherever she goes. A passionate facilitator and curious practitioner she shares her findings openly and poses new questions that help others push their understanding of rope deeper and their application further!

Gaia Santuccio

Fearlessly captivating and engaging, the immutable mind of Gaia Santuccio will join the team this September.  This Italian artist has a style defined by challenging what we know and believe about play at height.

Working with restrictions and limitations, Gaia’s work is explorative, intricate and satisfies our yearning for new possibilities.  Gaia will share her methods with participants to help expand one’s aerial journey through a myriad of possibilities with knots and our understanding of them as well as promote independent means of expression at height.

Monika Palova

Born and raised in Slovakia and now residing in Dublin, Ireland, Monika will share her unique insights to the human body working in the “aerial space”. Disciplined, detailed and graceful she floats effortlessly with an enchanting softness and a strength that is a credit to her astute application.

Monika encourages playfulness, supports the physical challenge and welcomes new possibilities in her work and finishes it with an encouraging charm that makes it a pleasure to learn from.  She will work alongside the other artists and hold masterclasses and support sessions to welcome you into her work this September!


When applying yourself to the content we understand you will want to get the most out of every session so a “skill level” is a good indicator if the workshop is appropriate for where you are on your aerial journey.  We have taken the liberty of proposing a few skill level indicators for you and will include them in the upcoming timetable that will be available in the coming weeks!

PREPARATORY – This material will be for those wishing to understand the fundamentals of a certain trick, skill or movement.  An example would be “Introduction to Dynamics” would be a session in learning the tools it takes to carry out swinging technique from the very beginning stages.

EXPLORER – You may have been doing rope classes for a number of years now and you wish to challenge yourself but not exhaust your strength and endurance.  This level will task you with new challenges but do so within a paced supported delivery.

SKILLED – Here we see those capable of pushing their fundamental understanding of aerial whilst also pushing their strength, endurance and muscle memory. This will mean multiple tries at the same repertoire with repetition being key to new learning. With minimal spotting or hands on guidance you will be tasked at integrating the artist’s material into your own choreography.

OPEN – These sessions are designed to welcome all who wish to tackle the proposed content at their leisure.  You can apply yourself alongside others with the help and supportive guidance of the artist.


Website: www.circusful.org

Located in the heart of Belfast city centre, the cobbled streets of The Cathedral Quarter will lead you to the doors of this unique building.  Though colourful and full of promise on the outside, inside is where the magic happens.

At 9.8metres high and with several complimentary working areas, offices and other facilities the Circusful space is the only space of its kind in Ireland.  With a long history of community based circus work, outreach projects and in-house weekly classes and workshops for all levels, this bespoke building will give us the freedom to climb and learn like never before and share our love of rope as part of their circus family!

The space will be broken up into THREE ZONES, each holding the focus of individual artist’s methodologies and practices. Below you will get an insight to exactly what will be going on and where. In the coming weeks we will be posting more about the exact details of each individual session and what the artists have prepared for the meet in a comprehensive timetable.

The space will be open to you from 9am, communal movement will commence at 9:30am led by one of the artists and the first sessions will commence at 10am. Similarly, the space will host a communal reflection and cool down at 4pm and the space will remain open for conversation and preparation to leave until 5pm!   If any of the spaces are free during the day’s activities, participants are able to use them for ground based practices such as stretching, conditioning or catching up with friends but we ask you do so with the other participants’ experience in mind.

The building will be manned by a member of the Circusful staff to allow you to come and go as you need.  We will be supplying you with a “Meet Pass” which you will show each time you access the building.  We ask that the Circusful space is respected, that we leave no trace when departing from the meet and return all that we use after we’re done!


10am – 12noon

2pm – 4pm

Masterclasses will happen twice a day with two masterclasses running side by side in the main hall at the same time.

These will last two hours and will be for detailed in depth repertoire and technical learning, especially that which requires the full height of the building. They will be focused in their exploration, high in technical delivery and totally immersive. Some participants may wish only to come to the meet for the masterclasses whereas others may choose to mix it up and combine one masterclass with another complimentary session.


10:30 pm – 12 noon

2:30pm – 4pm

This space is intimate, riggable to approx 4.5-5 metre and is attached to a small office space with conference table and also a kitchen. This is one of two spaces with lower rigging points to allow for more advanced spotting, face to face  breakdowns, and overall a safe and inclusive space for proposing new material.  Artists will prepare content that will support your advancement and peak your curiosity within this more personable setting, some of which may touch on concepts, themes, narratives and group related work.


10:30am – 12 noon

12:30pm – 2pm

The Lab is a semi black out space with stage lighting that will give room for participants to get to grips with the artists secondary skill sets that add to their overall methods of aerial practice.  Here participants will tackle integration of floor based movement, vertical restrictions and working in lower spaces.  Elements of partner work and double rope repertoire are even on offer.

Artists may also infuse music with movement, propose questions that incite risk and over all daring application whilst working safely under guided facilitation.


  • The timetable will be released shortly where you will have the opportunity between now and August 1st to choose which sessions best suit your intentions.
  • There will be no planned lunch break so when choosing your combination of sessions, bear in mind that you will need to eat & rest.
  • The meet will have a designated “green room” area that will give you some space away from the hub of activity situated at the front of the Circusful building which will have toilet access but all food and drink must either be brought or purchased outside of the building.


In the coming weeks we will be updating  you about exciting additions that will help make your experience at the meet and of Belfast even more impactful.  Not only will we provide a full breakdown of what exactly each individual artist will be offering at the meet but also information surrounding support artists and practitioners such as straps facilitators and holistic therapy practitioners who will offer bespoke learning opportunities.

Also we aim to collaborate with local eateries and the greater suppliers of the community to create special offers on food, drink and hospitality as well as leave you with a token of our thanks through merchandise and insight to upcoming events happening within the circus space throughout Ireland.

All of this will be at no extra cost to you!

We hope to see you soon and look forward to meeting you all this September