Dublin Dance Festival 2016 – Highlights

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Dublin Dance Festival – Highlights by Stephen McDermott

Identity, migration and territory are among the themes that will feature as part of the 2016 Dublin Dance Festival.

The highly contemporaneous programme also sees pieces that will respond to the 1916 proclamation, with new Irish work programmed alongside work from Greece, Canada, the U.S., and Spain.

Combining dance, circus, visual art, and theatre, the programme continues a tradition of boldness and open-mindedness, according to new festival director Benjamin Perchet.

Here are some of highlights from the festival, which runs from 17 – 28 May next year:


Planites (Patricia Apergi / Aerites Dance Company)

The Irish premiere of choreographer Patricia Apergi’s latest work sees five men in a highly physical, urban fusion piece which confronts immigration and the concept of the foreigner. The piece is inspired by flamenco, traditional step dance, and Arabic and African movement and is described as a “compelling mix of dynamic movement and sharp humour”. The result, we’re told, will be an interplay between diverse traditions and Apergi’s own choreography, which itself is inspired by street culture and protest.

17-19 May, Samuel Beckett Theatre

(Tickets: €25/€20)



Shostakovich, Rasa (Alonzo King LINES Ballet)

San Franscisco ballet master Alonzo King comes to Dublin for the first time, with two works in one night at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre. Classical technique and modern movement are bridged in a showcase of King’s style, with twelve dancers taking the stage for almost two hours of performance. The first work, Shostakovich, sees his choreography set to four string quartets and an exploration into the space between harmony and discord.

The second, Rasa, is performed to an original table score by the Grammy-winning Zakir Hussain.

22 May, Bord Gáis Energy Theatre

(Tickets: €20-€55)



Betroffenheit (Kidd Pivot & Electric Company Theatre)

Betroffenheit – a German word for a state of shock and trauma – sees a collaboration between two of Canada’s most renowned artists: Olivier Award-winning choreographer Crystal Pite and playwright Jonathon Young. Described as a marriage between dance and theatre, Betroffenheit’s inspiration comes from the tragic death of Young’s daughter and two of her cousins in a fire in 2009. The two-hour piece sees a crisis-management team keep an emergency situation alive, while “The Show” provides a distraction from the horror of reality. Touching on universal themes of loss, trauma, addiction and recovery, it promises to be as thrilling as it is harrowing.

24-25 May, O’Reilly Theatre

(Tickets: €32/€28)



Anam (Siamsa Tíre, The National Folk Theatre of Ireland)

Co-commissioned by Dublin Dance Festival and Siamsa Tíre, Anam sees a collaboration and fusion of styles between world-class step dancers from the US, Canada and Ireland.

The piece, which will be performed to live music and songs by acclaimed musician Fergal O’Murchú, seeks to explore the similarities and differences between each of the dancers and their styles. Performers will include: Matthew Olwell (Appalachian Flat Foot), Jonathan Kelliher (North Kerry “Munnix”), Nathan Pilatzke (Ottawa Valley, Canada), and John Fitzgerald (Modern Irish).

23-25 May, Samuel Beckett Theatre

(Tickets: €25/€20)


Embodied (GPO: Witness History Public Art Commission)

As a curious counterpoint to the recent Abbey debacle, six female choreographers will present their response to the 1916 Proclamation to mark the opening of the new GPO: Witness History Centre. Embodied will see a series of new dance solos by Irish-based female choreographers, in what are being described as ‘physical proclamations’ in response to the Proclamation and its relevance today. Among those whose work will be performed are Jazmín Chiodi, Sibéal Davitt, junk ensemble (Jessica Kennedy & Megan Kennedy), Liv O’Donoghue, Jessie Keenan and Emma O’Kane.


Full details on the Dublin Dance Festival Website.


Categories: Dance, Festivals, Header, Theatre

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