Relive Light Ballet, with Light Sculptors, Waterways Ireland & Le Boat

Le Boat is the No.1 provider of boating holidays on Europe and Canada’s beautiful inland waterways, bringing together 50 years of experience, expertise and memories. From 13-20 June 2021, Le Boat and Waterways Ireland supported Light Sculptors, in partnership with Culture Works, with the highly successful creative project Light Ballet. The floating installation transformed the surrounding landscapes of eight counties, covering 125 miles in eight days, with a dazzling display on Ireland’s River Shannon. Viewers everywhere can now watch the best of Light Ballet, in an aspirational three-minute video, which showcases the dramatic scenery of this stunning boating region like never before.

Created by Light Artist Mick Murray and Lighting Designer Matthew Cregan of Light Sculptors, Light Ballet was an innovative project that travelled the River Shannon aboard a specially converted Magnifique boat, which normally accommodates Le Boat holidaymakers. With additional support from Discover Ireland and it’s ‘Hidden Heartlands’ programme, the display was visible each evening from up to four miles away and was accompanied by a newly composed soundscape by the musician David Kitt with lyrics by the poet Nidhi Zak/Aria Eipe.

Light Ballet formed part of the Arts Council of Ireland’s Brightening Air | Coiscéim Coiligh, which was a ten-day festival of arts experiences throughout the Republic of Ireland. During the period, each evening from dusk, local residents were able to view Light Ballet from the banks of the River Shannon, with audiences accessing the soundscape via the Culture Works and the Brightening Air websites. The light installation and soundscape were synchronised in real-time, allowing audiences to experience the accompanying music at home, along the edgelands and those in-between places on their phones, tablets and computers. In all, Light Ballet danced through the Irish county skies of Clare, Galway, Leitrim, Longford, Offaly, Roscommon, Tipperary and Westmeath.

With many social activities on pause during the pandemic, Light Ballet provided a shared experience and spirit, that helped to reconnect the river communities along route, with fantastic engagement from the viewing public and the Irish boating community. There was also involvement by local schools, with students working with the project team, providing creative input that influenced the light displays.

The journey was documented with expert videography throughout, which included the use of drones by Aerial Photography Ireland, and resulted in spectacular scenes being caught on camera. Wild Island Pictures then edited the footage to the original Light Ballet soundscape, to produce a stunning video short, which can now be viewed on Vimeo. Watch here.

For holidaymakers wishing to follow in the footsteps of Light Ballet, a self-drive cruise on the River Shannon with Le Boat means crystal clear waters, lush green landscapes, beautiful wildlife and exploring monastery ruins, medieval churches, stately homes and more. A seven-night self-catered holiday, during the 2022 Irish boating season (which begins on 14 March and concludes on 31 October), starting and finishing at Le Boat’s base at Carrick-on-Shannon, is priced from £539 per boat. Ryanair offer return flights from London Luton to Dublin from £38 pp.