PICTURES: Offaly's Shakefest 2018 a resounding success

The cultural extrazaganza was a hit in Tullamore

Justin Kelly


Justin Kelly


Shakefest's annual celebration of culture, dance and music took place in Charleville Castle, Tullamore on Saturday, May 26. The event brought together a group of local, national and international performers in an amazing array of culture and talent, celebrating the festival’s 13th Lucky year.

 Shakefest began in 2006 is a celebration of multiculturalism and expression. It features workshops in art and cultural dance for all ages, with dance and music performances in the evening. This year like many others, the festival enjoyed gorgeous weather.

This year featured workshops for all ages from expectant mothers, babies to adults, such as Dance Ribbons and Silk Fans, Improv, Musical Storytelling and Vintage Egyptian Dance and Tribal Bedouin Dance.

Charleville Castle was also delighted to welcome Internationally Renowned Concert Flutist and Music Instructor Adriana VonRunic who conducted fun and specialized Pentatonic Music workshops for tots and schoolchildren. Adriana runs her own ‘Babies Music School’ internationally, and spends most of her time travelling, teaching and performing.

Shakefest was also pleased to welcome for the first time a second International Guest Instructor named Aepril Schaile, originally from America who has recently moved to Co. Leitrim. Aepril is a multi-talented artist, poet, astrologer and theatrical performer, and charmed the students at Shakefest with two inspirational workshops – Tribal Bellydance Style Theatrical Bellydance through ‘Shapeshifting’ as well as studying the Goddess ‘Lilith’ through Astrology.

On Saturday evening as always, Shakefest played host to a colourful variety of cultural performances such as Elona Dance School, Emerald Lakes and Celtic Blondes Irish Dance, Lithuanian Folk dance groups Rafika and Lelium as well as hosting Tribal Bellydancers from France, Kildare, Tullamore and Cork and the local Tracy McEvoy of The Red Embers among other special guests. These multifarious acts combined together to create a dynamic and vibrant atmosphere with lots of cheering and standing ovations.

Although Saturday was the main day for dance, energy and movement workshops and multicultural dance recital, Sunday was all about eclectic art workshops such as Rolled Felting with well known Textile Artist Nicola Henley from Co. Clare. Made out of wool, it is a fascinating process where coloured felt can be created into any shape or form, watered, flattened and rolled to produce vibrant and fascinating pieces that can be shaped into all kinds of receptacles like purses and framed artwork.

Local Traders La Merienda also enjoyed serving the public with their cultural mix of food and drink on Saturday afternoon. 

Shakefest is a not for profit event. Shakefest pays Charleville Castle through the agreement of a set venue hire fee and all other proceeds go towards the performers, insurance, marketing the event and to supporting the volunteers.


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