Jumpstart is a new multi-annual, artist development platform in partnership with the ISACS Network, Earagail Arts Festival, Cairde Sligo Arts Festival and Irish Aerial Dance Festival. Supported by Arts Council Ireland.

This new national partnership will offer an artistic and sectoral mentoring programme for emerging aerial dance and circus artists via an open call residency – delivered by internationally recognized street arts, aerialists, circus and spectacle performers.

We are delighted to announce that the Jumpstart Artist for 2021 is Polina Shapkina.

Along with a  bursary of 500 euro  each week, plus accommodation costs, Polina will also receive:

  • October 2021 – An Artistic Residency at Acroaer Sligo with mentoring from Aisling Ni Cheallaigh.
  • November 2021 –  Placement on  the Creative Intensive training programme at the Irish Aerial Creation Centre, Limerick.
  • January 2022  – An Artistic Residency in Donegal with mentoring from Tumble Circus.

About Polina

Polina Shapkina is a Russian born, Dublin reared aerialist, fire performer and contemporary circus artist. She works solo as well as generating and directing larger shows under the name “Erebidae” – a circus theatre group and love child of herself and storyteller/circus artist Aoife Kavanagh. She relishes looking at themes of ego, nature, archetypes and mysticism through her work which she has showcased across a broad variety of events in Ireland, Thailand and India.

What Polina is looking forward to

I am beyond thrilled and honoured to be offered the Jumpstart programme. It feels like such a blessing to be offered the space and resources to give a journey of creation my full and undivided attention. Throughout the past year I’ve sown seeds within my research on aerial hoop, ( through programs I found through ISACS such at the IACC creative intensive and DCP IGNITION residency) and I’ve been working on embodiment of archetypes, channelling natures elements through movement, as well as exploring contrast and duality within these contexts. I’m bursting with excitement at the prospect of being supported on this path and to receive the space and guidance to let these seeds grow and develop into something beyond the research and development stage.

Sometimes it’s easy as an artist to feel like you and your ideas live alone on an island, and this sentiment had me craving mentorship with other artists for quite some time. So, the technical coaching, artistic discussion, constructive feedback and overall support from inspirational established artists is something completely invaluable to me. At this moment in time, it feels crucial for enabling ideas to grow and blossom into fully fledged, authentic work.