Interview with John Scott – Dancer from the Dance: Festival of Irish Choreography – Part 2

Interview with John Scott – Dancer from the Dance: Festival of Irish Choreography – Part 2

John Scott of Irish Modern Dance Theatre curates a New Festival of Irish Dance called ‘Dancer from the Dance: Festival of Irish Choreography’. You can see Part 1 of our interview here.

Full details of all events are here.

Can you tell us a little about the events? It seems to be a mix of events for the public and other events for those involved in Dance? 

There is a wide mix of events, from masterclasses and talks to dance film showings and performances. We are working closely with Project Arts Centre and Dance Ireland. The masterclasses, talks and film showings take place in Dance Ireland and are open to the public as well as the dance community. The classes range from percussive dance, with Darrah Carr and dancers, including TONY Award winning dancer, Trent Kowalik, who was an original Broadway Billy Elliot, to Cunningham technique with Ty Boomershine, Director of Dance On Ensemble, Berlin and also worked with Merce Cunningham and as assistant to Lucinda Childs.

At Project there are two nights with 9 choreographers. Two with live music: Oona Doherty’s new work ‘Almost Blue’ with live trumpet from John Walsh and Liam Ó Scanláin’s ‘Nascanna’, showing work by a series of choreographers, some of whom have never performed in Dublin before. Each work is between 10 and 20 minutes long so the audience will see a variety of styles and techniques that we expect will prompt a discussion over what it means to be an Irish choreographer and the Irish dancing body. There will be a post-performance talkback after each evening of performances.

Is this a one-off event, or are you planning to have another one next year or in the future? 

This is the first of what we plan to be an annual event that will take place in New York and in Ireland. We have a partnership for three festivals in New York with 92nd Street Y and Irish Arts Center, both of whom were tremendously supportive of the festival that took place there in April this year. For many of the choreographers, it was a unique opportunity to showcase their work in New York and interact with fellow choreographers based 
there. There are many more Irish choreographers and Irish diaspora choreographers to show.

What international choreographers do you particularly admire? Can you explain a little what makes you like their work?

I adored and still miss Merce Cunningham, who died 10 years ago. I love and follow William Forsythe. He closed his company in Frankfurt and is now working freelance, mostly with ballet companies. His work subverts and inverts everything. His compositions and challenges always surprise me. At times in his live performances, I almost felt my life change. The dancers went to the limit. I am a total fan of Meredith Monk, who is still making extraordinary genre defying works fusing music, dance, film and metaphysics. I’m continually inspired and moved by Oona Doherty and her ability to go to special emotional and physical places. I dance in her work ‘Hard to be Soft’ and I keep learning from her. Boris Charmatz and Anna Teresa De Keesmaeker are established artists who always make great work. The Judson generation: Yvonne Rainier, Deborah Hay, David Gordon … and I like the work of Kat Valastur.


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