Chantal McCormick

Chantal trained at the London School of Contemporary Dance and became interested in aerial circus after graduating. She toured with established dance and circus companies in the UK touring to Trinidad, Europe and Australia from 1999-2008 including Scarabeus Theatre with whom she started her circus career. Chantal loves creating using her contemporary dance, contact dance and theatre skills and enjoys finding ways to bring them into the air, using anything to climb or fly on.

In 1998 Chantal co-founded FIDGET FEET Aerial Dance Theatre, Ireland’s leading aerial dance company with whom she directs, choreographs, and performs. Since 1998 she has directed many shows including, ‘I Cant Handle me’, ‘Remember Her’, ‘ Wired and Free’,‘ Fairies Tale’, ‘Raw’, ‘ Hang on’, ‘Catch me’, ‘Fire Birds’, ‘The Elves and the Shoemaker’ ‘Cinder & the Ellas’, ‘Dreams under my Feet’, ‘Sky Dance’, ‘Hatch’ and Co- choreographed FF ‘s first early years show ‘Strange feathers’ with Icelandic partner Bird & Bat while also choreographing ‘The Second Coming’, with Mikel Murfi as director mixing Irish dancing with aerial. She choreographed and performed in ‘Bingo Wings’ Directed by Jo Mangan, an award-winning Circus Theatre production. In 2021 she directed ‘A Handful of Dreams’ a new outdoor aerial dance show with traditional Irish music and dance.

As part of FF’s growth in 2022 FF was successful with a fund from the Arts Council Faoin Speir and with a partnership with Clare county arts office, FF is successfully producing events which included “Flutterby”, an outdoor promenade family event , continues to run award winning ”Clare Mela“ Clare’s a diverse community event with many music and dance groups from various cultural backgrounds.

In 2022 Fidget Feet produced a new outdoor drive-in bingo show called ‘House!’ in partnership with 3 local authorities: Limerick City and County Council, Galway County Council and Clare County Council. Chantal is the director of this show involving 14 performers, 4 Soar Up recent dance graduates, community groups, marching bands, street-dancers, cheerleaders etc. In 2023 ‘House!’ FF partnered with Kildare County Council, Donegal County Council, and Tipperary County Council, celebrating 25 years of Fidget Feet with two of the first local county councils to support FF all those years ago. 2024 House returns to Riverfest in Limerick, Clifden Arts Festival and will help celebrate 50th years of Hat Fair in UK.

H.O.M.E is a new co-production with Limerick based Tobi Omoteso and FF. H.O.M.E an adult indoor aerial Hip H’Opera that explores darkness, trust, strength, femininity, male suppression, identity mixing street dance ,hip hop culture, aerial dance and opera. Chantal will direct and perform in this new work for 2024/25.

Chantal directed FF’s new 2023 indoor large-scale work for young audiences, ‘When the Moon Spun Round’ mixing traditional Irish music and dance with aerial, a co-production with Thomas Johnston from Ceol Connected. It premiered in February 2023 in Siamsa Tíre touring September/October 2023, with sold out shows at Baboro children’s festival in Galway, this show will continue to tour 2024/26.
In addition to creating work, Chantal has been teaching since she was 16 years old. Fidget Feet provides creative opportunities to both professional performers and the public by offering educational workshops and one-off classes. Chantal is also a strong advocate for the development of aerial work in Ireland. Running the Irish Aerial Dance Festival (IADF) in Ireland for the last 15 years growing in 2024 to 200+ national and international artists traveling to IADF for 2 weeks, it has grown into one of the biggest aerial festival in Europe, with support from Donegal County Council and An Grianán Theatre. Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin in 2008 saw FF’s performance “Raw” at Edinburgh Fringe, funded by Culture Ireland, then he invited FF to be resident company at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance (IWAMD) at University of Limerick in 2013. Chantal has led this partnership and FF continue to be resident company there Chantal has given many talks, and taught sessions on the MA in festive arts and also she and her team teach aerial to the dance degree and MA students in IWAMD.

At the same time as becoming a new mum, Chantal also opened the Irish Aerial Creation Centre (IACC) in Limerick in February 2015. She and her team secured a capital grant from The Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs with match funding from LCCC in 2017. The renovation of the existing rented warehouse, in Burlington Business Park in Limerick is now finished and it is the first aerial dance space in Ireland with 1 aerial dance studio, 1 blackbox creation studio, a large open space, 15 vertical dance lines, fully insulated, offering classes, residencies from communities to professionals. In 2025 IACC will be celebrating 10years in Limerick. This is the first large capital government grant for Circus in Ireland, and Chantal’s commitment has been for the IACC to be The National Centre for Aerial Arts in Ireland.

Chantal is also the co-founder and was chairwoman of the ISACS network (Irish Street Arts, Circus and Spectacle) for 5 years. Her time on the board is now up, but she continues to lobby and support the growth of the sector in Ireland.

As well as an artist Chantal is also an experienced producer, it is with her leadership that FF, IADF and IACC are where they are today. She has grown the infrastructure of aerial arts in Ireland and as part of that growth what has fuelled her drive is, her spiritual practice, Chantal is a firm believer in the power of aerial arts and she comes from a heartfelt truth that “Art is healing” and shares her passion whereever she goes, running Creative Intensives and labs mixing her skills in circus dance and her spiritual connection to creativity.