Interview with Benjamin Perchet, Director of Dublin Dance Festival 18-28 May.
Part two of our interview with Benjamin Perchet about the upcoming Dublin Dance Festival. You can see the results below.
With Festivals, I always like to see companies that are new to our shores. What international groups are you most excited about welcoming to the festival?
What do we want to share with others during our festivals, if not boldness, audacity, nerve and excellence?
I’ve already told a lot about Maguy Marin… In the meantime, over 11 days this year, the Festival programme combines micro-movements and minimalism with Greek choreographer Christos Papadopolous (Elvedon); an explosion of new sounds and exuberant energy with Emanuel Gat and Awir Leon (Sunny at the Abbey theatre);a deconstruction of Syrian traditional dances with Mitkhal Alzghair (Displacement at the Peacock); a live choreographic film and installation with Austrian choreographer Chris Haring and French visual artist Michel Blazy (Deep Dish also at the Abbey.)
Last not but least, who would resist the chance a attend a striptease, a performance and a conference which humorously and ironically compares the theatrical event with the art of undressing, Striptease with Spanish artist Pere Faura?
Who are the bright new upstarts? Any new Irish companies that you’d recommend?
Swedish born choreographer Maria Nilsson Waller and Irish choreographer Philip Connauhgton are presenting new and awaited pieces at the Samuel Beckett Theatre.
In merry.go.round Maria Nilsson Waller is examining our most human of concerns: the search for true love. As part of Dublin Dance Festival 2015, Maria has presented the very sophisticated solo piece Blanca. For merry.go.round she gathers on stage an A-team of dancers whom I’m happy to mention: Elin Hedin, David Nondorf, Marcia Lu, Justine Cooper and Mikel Aristegui.
Philip Connaughton is world-premiering Extraterrestrial Events, an original dance opera. From the team behind Tardigrade presented as part of Fringe Festival 2014, Connaughton is joined by four experienced dancers – Zoé Bernabeu, Kevin Coquelard, Lucia Kickham, Ryan O’Neill and composer Michael Gallen and world-renowned soprano Kim Sheehan. Extraterrestrial Events is inspired by real UFO sighting reports. What a line-up!
Oona Doherty is one of the foremost dance performers in Ireland. So while she’s performing Arlington by Enda Walsh and Emma Martin in New York, our Box Office is the place for the exhibition of about 10 of her unique collages, Deep Clean.
Liz Roche Company will be in residence with the Festival from 2017 until 2019. Planned activities for 2017 include: a studio-sharing of Totems as part of First Looks during the Festival in May; the world premiere of Totems beyond the Festival dates at the National Gallery of Ireland from July 6-9; and a dance audience development initiative and performances in association with the Civic Theatre, Tallaght.
Liz Roche and Philip Connaughton will also respectively present their work at Cork Opera House in September and in October, in association with Dublin Dance Festival.
What are your events for younger viewers? Any other events you’re excited about?
Fostering the interest of youngsters is a priority for the Festival from 2016 onwards. This year, the Festival is presenting Italian choreographer Alessandro Sciarroni with two soloists of the Balletto di Roma, with a piece for children aged 6+ at The Ark, At Home Alone.
Also, we’re delighted to deliver the second ‘movement’ of Moveable Feast, an afternoon of fun free dance experiences for all ages in Merrion Square Park, on Sunday 21st from 12pm.
After a gentle start with family yoga, we’ve got a ‘Bubble Baby Boogie’, a ‘Dress-up Selfie Station’, some ‘Funky Feet’ and ‘Bollyrobics’ workshops, some pop-up performances by CoisCéim BROADREACH’s Dance Ensemble 50+ and Dublin Youth Dance Company. The Dublin Ukulele Collective will also be a hero at this event. Then, from 2pm, we will be organising Ireland’s biggest NELKEN-Line (a project by the Pina Bausch Foundation) with hundreds of dance amateurs and professional dancers from other neighbourhoods and towns.