SHAKEFEST – A CELEBRATION OF DANCE is a successful venture associated with Charleville Castle’s many creative and musical pursuits towards a gathering of local spirit. The 6th annual ShakeFest will take place once more on the last weekend in May (May 28-29th 2011) at Charleville Castle. This is a community run holistic fair day for families, international dance enthusiasts and anyone active!

Different types of dance and culture are easily available in larger communities and cities in Ireland, and in bringing such a variety ‘Shake – A Celebration of Dance’ helps link such creativity together at Charleville Castle, Tullamore.

Shake consists of an educational series of dance workshops starting from 12pm Saturday, May 28th and Sunday, May 29th along with an evening of cultural performances starting at 8pm on Saturday, May 29th. It is purposely orchestrated with a multicultural and international theme; in line with a new Ireland, that leads to an evening of a multicultural dance of excellence.

A full list of the classes and events at Shakefest is available from the Shakefest website and tickets are currently on sale through Brown Paper Tickets (A Fair Trade Ticketing Company)

Shake over the past years has grown from a day of Energy, Movement and Dance to a unique week-end of multicultural and international relaxation and holistic living – Come for the week-end – stay locally or camp around the castle – but also, if you prefer, just pop-in for your preferred course – this is a special time-out for everyone – every age – every taste – a community switching-on!

Shakefest began as a one day event which hosted up to 12 instructors of various cultural dance and art backgrounds, with a strong Middle Eastern Dance element to half of the workshops on offer. Creative Director Claire Tobin began Shakefest as a creative end of year project while attending college in Bray in 2006. It became an instant hit within her fellow student dance circles in Bray and Dublin, with over 100 attendants in its first year. Immediate potential was seen, and Charleville Castle was the perfect venue to promote its cultural and creative ethos.

Shakefest celebrated its 5th Birthday by providing more quality and varied dance, Burlesque and band performances in the Ballroom, the addition of an international guest instructor from Iraq who wowed the audience with her Iraqi Gypsy dance and taught us her experiences growing up in an Iraq. Assale Ibrahim was so enraptured with Charleville Castle and Shakefest’s ethos that she is returning with her own students from her current residence in Switzerland this year.

ALL of Shakefest’s proceeds go to The Charleville Castle Restoration Fund which aids in sustaining important intercultural volunteer training programmes, the 200 year old Neo-Gothic structure itself, and future fundraisers. This particular event sponsors operation RAISE THE ROOF – in which all proceeds will go towards the construction of a new roof on the castle chapel. Charleville Castle is an Independent Arts and Culture Center of the Irish Midlands and encourages arts, culture and dance mediums of all kinds.

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