The time you realise Paris has become ‘home’! A 25-minute interview series hosted by various WRP hosts, including Patricia Killeen.

Episode 97 – Kelly Rivière

On this episode of Turning Points in France, Patricia Killeen chatted with Kelly
Rivière, an actress of Franco-Irish origin. Kelly trained in dance at the Lyon Conservatory and then after translation studies in Switzerland, she studied at the renowned Cours Florent theatre school in Paris, where she now teaches “Acting in English” to third-year students She is also a theatre translator and member of the English committee of the Maison Antoine Vitez. In 2017, she created the Innisfree
company and wrote An Irish Story, a bilingual show on the quest for her origins which has been a phenomenal success, winning her the prestigious New Talent Humor SACD prize in 2020. In 2022, she starred in two films Sage-femmes and Une Année Difficile and she regularly reads plays on France Culture. Kelly chatted about how life’s Turning Points can lead you in a completely different direction; her training in, and disappointment with ballet paved the way for her success on the theatre planks, where she found a new liberty of expression. Writing and performing about a family secret has now projected her on an international path.

Episode 96 – Ronan Dempsey

In this episode of Turning Points, Patricia Killeen chatted with Ronan Dempsey who
has brought his solo play, The Words Are There to Paris for the 7 th  Edition of the
“Festival 7.8.9.” Ronan lived and studied in Paris and is an actor, a playwright, a poet, a filmmaker,
an orator and a professor of theatre. His works are often committed to social issues:
domestic violence, abandon, emigration.
 
The words are There, has been described as thrilling, phenomenal, breathtaking,
compelling and dazzling. Before coming to Paris it was already hailed in the
Edinburgh Fringe Festival. It was listed as one of the top shows in Ireland, and its
premiere was a real Turning Point, sparking a national debate on the issue of
domestic violence against men. It was written in response to the many stories of men
in Ireland who committed suicide as a result of dramatic family situations. The play
was created using the ‘Object Theatre’ method, utilizing multiple props to bring Trish,
Mick’s (Ronan Dempsey) partner to life on the stage.
 
Coming to Paris, is a sort of homecoming for Ronan and as well as speaking about
his trailblazing play, we also looked back on his time in Paris at the renowned École
de Jacques Lecoq, and theatre school in Poland, and how although now world
famous, he feels that he never stops learning on his theatrical and artistic path.

Episode 95 – Caroline Loeb

In this episode of Turning Points, Patricia Killeen welcomed Caroline Loeb who was born in
Neuilly. As a child, she spent 6 magical years in New York and when her family moved back
to Paris when she was ten, it was a real Turning Point in her young existence.
Caroline is an actress, an author, a playwright, a theatre director, a singer and song writer and
many of us have danced to her 1986 hit, C’est la Ouate, which was an instant success in
France and topped charts all over the world.

Episode 94 – Clíona Ní Ríordáin

In this episode of Turning Points, Patricia Killeen welcomed Clíona Ní Ríordáin from Cork in
Ireland. Clíona is a literary specialist, an author and a Professor at the Sorbonne Nouvelle-
Paris 3 university. Now actually living in Paris longer than she lived in her native Cork,
Clíona explained why she considers herself to be “a Parisienne” and discussed the inspirations
and experiences that led to this realization.

She also spoke about the joy and challenges of welcoming post pandemic students back to
campus after a two-year absence and mid-year moving the university to a new campus in the
12th arrondissement.

Between February and May 2022, Clíona hosted monthly conversations with translators, who
translated James Joyce’s “Ulysses” into French, Portuguese and Italian.

Her passion for literature, translation, and bringing wonderful words to a wide public, is
continued in her new work entitled “Plus loin encore” (published by Circé) which will be
published this autumn. It is a personal anthology of poems by Irish poet Gerry Murphy
translated into French. She is also looking forward to co-organizing poet John Montague’s
Memorial Conference, in June 2023 at the Centre Culturel Irlandais.

Episode 93 – HoneyBee

In this episode of Turning Points, Patricia Killeen welcomed “HoneyBee”, a duo comprised of singer-songwriter-guitarist Michael D. Amitin and percussionist-singer Betty Rojas. The two met playing a gig as hired guns in a champagne parlour in Paris, and in October 2021 “HoneyBee” was formed. 

Poet, storyteller and singer-songwriter Michael D. Amitin travelled the roads of the American West from California – east through the smoky burgs and train depot diners of Western Colorado, crisscrossing the highways of America- before moving to Paris in 2009.

His credits include songwriter/musician on the RCA album “First Fire”, self-produced albums “Seaspiders”, “Jemima Puddle-Duck” and ‘Three Party System.” Michael’s songs have been recorded by Motown greats David Ruffin, Natalie Cole and others. Since moving to Paris, he’s played in clubs and concerts, and in 2021 was awarded “International Poet Laureate”for his poetry and writing efforts.

Percussionist, Singer Betty Rojas moved from Miami to Paris in 1990 and has since played in numerous festivals (Jazz à Vienne, Festival de jazz de Nice, and many more) with Rumbanana, a Latin Jazz big band, with French pop star Camille Hardouin at “Festival Les Francofolies”. She’s also played on television with Dick Rivers and on Dominique Farrugia’s, “La Grosse Émission”. Betty played with Leon Parker and was featured on his latest album, “The Leo”. She plays in many other groups around town as well. East Coast – West Coast, the collaboration of Michael and Betty creates a unique Americana brew of country-blues tunes stacked with bristling, soulful vocal harmonies as Latin percussion percolates infectious grooves beneath.

Episode 92 – Declan Mc Cavana and Julie McDonald of the Paris Bloomsday Group

In this episode of Turning Points, Patricia Killeen welcomed Declan Mc Cavana and Julie McDonald, who both hail from Belfast, Northern Ireland.Declan Mc Cavana MBE, is a senior lecturer of Rhetoric at the Ecole Polytechniqe in Paris, and is also President and co-founder of the French Debating Association. Julie McDonald worked in Ireland and the UK as an actress, was a theatre director in Bucharest, before embarking on a career in academia and international relations in Paris. 

Declan and Julie are both members of theParis Bloomsday Group which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. 

James Joyce’s Ulysses was published by Sylvia Beach, the owner of the Paris legendary bookstore Shakespeare and Company on February 2nd, 1922. That magical date was also Joyce’s birthday… 

In 2022, the centenary year of the publication of Ulysses, on Bloomsday 16th June, (the day Joyce’s masterpiece Ulysses took place in 1904), the magic will continue and Joyce and his masterpiece, will be celebrated to the hilt at a picnic in the courtyard of the Centre Culturel Irlandais at 12h30, followed by a Centenary Bloomsday afternoon at Shakespeare and Company, from 15h00-18h00

Julie, Declan, and the Paris Bloomsday Group will perform at both events and to get us into the Bloomsday mood, they both read passages from Ulysses for Turning Points. www.centreculturelirlandais.com
www.shakespeareandcompany.com

Episode 91 – Andrea Cooper – Territory Manager for Junk Kouture France

Andrea Cooper comes from Ireland. She’s a school teacher, a horse riding instructor
and since August 2021 has been Territory Manager for Junk Kouture
(https://junkkouture.com/) in France. Extremely passionate about fashion, education
and sustainability, her work for Junk Kouture marries all these interests together.  
Junk Kouture is the largest sustainable fashion competition in the world. It challenges
the world's talented emerging designers (aged 13-18), artists and performers to
create and model high-end couture made from everyday junk! It is a youth-led project
inspiring climate action by turning waste into something amazing.
After spreading the competition to hundreds of schools across France, Andrea is
organising Junk Kouture’s first ever Paris City Final at the L’Imprimerie, in the 9th
arrondisement on 25 May at 7:00pm.
L’Imprimerie will welcome to the stage a total of 40 haute-couture designs made from
100% recycled materials created and modelled by talented young designers as they
aim to make the Top 10 to represent France at the Junk Kouture World Final later
this year, competing with young designers from Milan, London, Dublin, New York and
the UAE.

Tickets for the Paris final on 25 May are available on:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/junk-kouture-paris-city-final-tickets-317533881387
Here is also a link to a video about Junk Kouture which explains what it’s about:
https://vimeo.com/656073803/bf347de179

Episode 90 – Alan B. Gibson

In this episode of Turning Points, Patricia Killeen chatted with author Alan B. Gibson. He wrote his first novel following an eclectic life as language professor, advertising executive, and entrepreneur. For most of his adult life, he wrote and produced television, radio, print, and digital commercials and is renowned in entertainment advertising.

After four decades writing in the constraints of commercial spots, he made the switch to long-form novel writing. He’s published three best-selling thrillers; The Dead of Winter, High Voltage, and Tracked to Kill. He made his debut in Urban Fantasy with the late 2019 release of Summer Thunder. He plans to release his second in the series, Summer Heat and is currently writing Summer Lightning.

His first book, The Dead of Winter, is the inspiration for a feature film expected to shoot later this year.

Alan also serves as Co-founder and Chairman of OneClick chat, and currently resides in the small town of Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

Exactly one year after the death of his partner of 31 years, Alan returned to Paris, the city he and Dr. Scott Beard had so often visited together and where they’d planned to hang their hats…

He shared their Paris stories and relived the excitement of Scott playing the piano at Le Madeline, where he was granted the key! And at the Salle Cortot, in the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris, where he was awarded the prestigious Roussel Foundation Prize.

We were serenaded by Scott’s rendition of the “Motif finlandais” by Theodor Leschetizky; his winning Parisian performance.

Episode 89 – Liv Monaghan

In this episode of Turning Points, Patricia Killeen speaks to Liv Monaghan, vocalist and songwriter based in Paris.

Her music pulls threads from Jazz, Soul, Rock, and Romanticism to create an alternative, sometimes experimental, often poetic and always original sound.

Lover of the left-behind, of old things of letter-notes and half-light ghosts which get stitched, strung or typed back up together to make something new.

Liv’s next concerts in Paris are :

March 23 – 38 Riv – https://yurplan.com/event/Liv-Monaghan-trio/80217#/

April 26 –  Sunside Jazz Club – https://www.sunset-sunside.com/2022/4/artiste/2680/8158/

Episode 88 – Saelkie Folk

In this episode of Turning Points, Patricia Killeen welcomed Scotsman Jordan Kay. Jordan grew up near Glasgow and is a musician and music teacher. He was accompanied by Franco-Irish singer Maureen O’Donoghue, his partner in the Folk duo Saelkie Folk.”

Jordan plays the 5-string Banjo, Autoharp and Bodhrán and Maureen plays Guitar and Fiddle. Both sing, with Maureen as lead vocalist.

“Saelkie Folk” play raw, folky and traditional songs and tunes from Ireland, Scotland and Brittany. Jordan and Maureen performed three songs from their repertoire during the interview, which really got the show on the road!

Jordan spoke about how after a touristic visit to Paris, 3 years ago, mainly to see Notre Dame, 9 weeks later he was back on a one way ticket to the City of Light and has been here ever since!

Jordan has had many Turning Points since arriving in Paris but one of most important was when in January 2021, he met Maureen, at an old time jam session in a mutual friend’s apartment. When Maureen sang a capella and he accompanied her on the banjo, people were blown away. Two weeks later, what was meant to be a solo performance by Jordan on the “Acoustic Nights Online” series actually became the launch of “Saelkie Folk” and the rest is musical history!

Jordan also spoke about his work as a music teacher and the many interesting students he has taught over the past three years in Paris.

Jordan and Maureen are planning their first international tour, but before that you can catch them at one of their regular gigs in Paris. Details on :

Face Book @saelkiefolk

and Instagram: @saelkiefolk

If you would like to reach out to Jordan for music lessons or “Saelkie Folk” for a private music gig (like we enjoyed in the WRP studio!): e-mail saelkiefolk@gmail.com

Episode 87 – Dino Salomon

In this episode of Turning Points, Patricia Killeen welcomed Dino Salomon, a young crooner, whose “honeymoon” voice carries the banner for the Rat Pack, in the most authentic Parisian venues.
Born in Rabat-Morocco, Dino moved to France at the age of 18 to study History of Art, then studied Art and finally Japanese language and civilization.

When he arrived in Paris, he lived at the foot of Montmartre. One sunny day, he saw a singer performing on the steps of Sacré-Cœur and had an epiphany! He picked up his own guitar and spent years busking on the Sacré-Cœur steps, singing all kind of genres. After a lengthy period singing the Blues, Dino discovered early 1900’s music and found his genre and voice.

He built a repertoire based on Bing Crosby, Dean Martin and The Mills Brothers songs. He teamed up with pianist Sheldon Forrest and sung for years at the Club Rayé, and spent three years performing at the mythical Chat Noir.

Nowadays you can hear him at the magical Café Blanche.
For private concerts, alone or with other artists, contact Dino by email: tarexki@gmail.com
FB: @Dino Salomon
Instagram :@dinocrooner

Episode 86 – Mariamne Everett

In this episode of Turning Points Patricia Killeen chatted with Mariamne Everett who was born in Italy. Her family moved to Cork in Ireland when she was 12 and she is a British/American. Mariamne has been living in Paris for 6 years. She has a Batchelor of music degree from the CIT Cork School of Music and an Art History degree from the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. She currently works as a translator for The Africa Report magazine which is part of the Jeune Afrique Media Group and she hosts the Hidden Paris podcast for WRP. She has recently been recruited as a journalist for Radio France International where she works one day a week.

During the interview, they chatted about her life and career in Paris. And since it was the day that French far-right media pundit Eric Zemmour announced he will run for president in next year’s election, they also discussed how the far right currently impacts life in the City of Light.

@hiddenparispodcast
Twitter : @EverettMariamne
Instagram: @mimsical_93     

Episode 85 – Tendayi Olga Chirawu

In this episode of Turning Points, Patricia Killeen chats with Tendayi Olga Chirawu. Tendayi is a third-culture person and mom based in Paris who writes fantasy fiction with strong female characters and diverse people doing incredible things all over the world.

She studied Global Communications and Civil Society at the Master’s level and has been working as a digital content and communications expert in the city of light since. She has written for several publications, including The Spire Newsletter, Quartz Africa, Insight Magazine, and more. She has also worked in professional proofreading and copy editing for over a decade. 

In today’s episode, along with chatting about her life and her writing, Tendayi also presents her newly published novel, “The Glitter Horn”.

website: http://www.tendayichirawu.com

Instagram: tendayi_olga

Episode 84 – Claudine and Isabelle van den Bergh Cooke

In this episode of Turning Points, Patricia Killeen went to the Moulin Rouge to interview two dancers, Claudine and Isabelle van den Bergh Cooke, sisters from Ireland. On 10 September, they fluffed up their feathers and went back to work at the Moulin Rouge, which had been closed for 18 months due to Covid restrictions.

The red windmill in Pigalle, is one of Paris’s most recognizable icons. The “Feerie Show” is played to a full house, twice a night, six nights a week. There are 80 Doriss dancers in the show, hailing from 14 different countries. 450 people work behind the scenes and the budget for the show is estimated at 10 million euros, including over 4 million for the spectacular costumes.

Claudine, 29, has been dancing since she was two years old and has been with the Moulin Rouge for over nine years and is one of the three principal dancers. She interprets the legendry “La Goulue” (1866-1929) whom artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec painted when she danced the French can-can and was star of the Moulin Rouge back in the Belle Époque

Isabelle, 24, found out she had successfully auditioned for the company while she was studying for her Leaving Certificate (high school graduation exams) just over five years ago. For her it was “a dream come true.” She was delighted to join Claudine in Paris. She loves dancing the French can-can and finds her background in acrobatics is a real plus for the energetic dance.

Claudine and Isabelle are delighted to be back at work. Being part of the world renowned Moulin Rouge is an honour for a dancer and a night out at the Moulin Rouge show, is a perfect way to celebrate the thrilling return of liberty in the City of Light!

Episode 83 – Jelly Germain Ngono

In this episode of Turning Points, Patricia Killeen speaks to Jelly Germain Ngono, dancer, choreographer, musician and dance master.

Born in Cameroon, Jelly Germain moved to Paris when he was ten. As a young boy, he loved watching old jazz films, which kindled a passion for tap dancing.

Shortly after donning his tap shoes, he was noticed by Olivier Brard, conductor of the “Royal Tencopators” who gave him his first break. Initially autodidact, he subsequently enrolled in dance classes at the Candela Conservatory in Paris, took classes with Jacques Bense and enrolled in circus school. He was mentored by Cotton Club Dancer, Ralph Brown, and rubbed shoulders with tap giants; Buster Brown, Lon Chaney, Diane Walker and Chuck Green

In 1991, Jelly Germain left Paris for Amsterdam where he was choreographer of the “Holland Show Ballet”. At that time, he also created his first company “Rythm Aces” and worked on video advertising projects. He taught at the Amsterdam Dance Academy and became choreographer of the “Lido” in Amsterdam.

In 1993, he toured with the renowned “Riverdance” show, and subsequently toured with “Black and Blue”. From 1997 to 2000, he performed in variety shows at the Sporting Club in Monaco and the Casino Rhul in Nice. 

Over the years, he shared the stage with some of the greatest blues, jazz and boogie musicians. 

He finally hung his hat in Paris, and has been entertaining us in the City of Light for the past two decades. He has his own band, “The Harlem Drivers” and a female dance troop, “The Starlites”.

On 31 December 2021, he will perform at the “Les Paris Follies” gala, organised by “La Bâronne de Paname”, at the mythical, roaring twenties brasserie and ballroom “La Coupole”, razzle-dazzling us into 2022 with a sparkling, sensational program. (Facebook: labaronnedepaname).

Facebook: jellygermain.ngono       Instagram: jelly_germain_ngono