Fri 11 May, 6:30pm–9pm
Sat 12 May, 11am–9pm
Sun 13 May, 12pm–4pm
Cost – €50 (includes tickets for five performances)
Dublin Dance Festival’s Fast Track is an initiative that aims to give people an insight into Dance. Over the course of two days, you will see a number of productions and meet makers and people involved in the industry. The movers and shakers behind the programme are Lynnette Moran and Niamh McCann of Live Collision. The programme is aimed at a wide spectrum of individuals, you simply apply for tickets. In 2017, the people were from backgrounds including theatre practitioners and performers, along with those from outside the artistic community such as academics and computer programmers. There was also room for one Workhorse (me!). Here is a short synopsis of what went down in 2017.
The event started with meeting Tobi and Sam from Top 8 hip-hop dancers. The main thing that came from them was their passion for dance. They are two street dancers who have no professional qualifications behind them, so found it difficult to get anyone to take them seriously. Eventually they found their way to Festival Director Benjamin Perchet, who opened the doors of the Project Arts Centre to their event. The will again partake in the 2018 festival.
The next talk was from Benjamin Perchet himself, the festival director. He talked of his time working in Lyon, where the emphasis was always on getting new work from the dance companies. In Ireland, dance is not a mainstream art form, and his aim is to show as wide a spectrum of work as possible, hoping to attract an audience from a variety of sources. This work is often a number of years old, but they are the best pieces from the companies involved. He also talked of the difficulties of staging dance events in Ireland, as the stages are too small. The Abbey stage is only 9 metres long, whereas in other countries the stages can be up to 15 metres. This meant a number of the performances had to be modified for the stages available.
The final talk was with Liz Roche who talked of making contemporary dance in Ireland and the difficulties involved. While saying she knew she was very lucky, she talked about the limited rehearsal time available when compared to other countries, and also the need to create new work every year, instead of perfecting older work. She also talked of her new production Totems, which ran in the National Gallery of Ireland last year (and we reviewed here). It helped celebrate the reopening of certain sections of the National Gallery and took place in the Gallery itself.
The three productions included in the Fast Track were Displacement, Extraterrestrial Events and Striptease. The group debated the merits of each, with opinions split on a number of productions! As expected, there was a lively debate. For fans of Dance or those who are tempted to try something new, this programme is a great place to start! The deadline is fast approaching so get your applications in before Wed April 11th.