Dublin Dance Festival 2022 – Programme Announcement
Dates: 17-29 May
The weird and wonderful world of dance will be explored for 12 days in Dublin, in just under two months’ time. Are you ready for it? If not, let us take you by the hand and guide you to some of the best-looking events that will arrive at our door!
This year, there’s a new Artistic Director in Jazmin Chiodi, so it will be interesting to see what she has chosen for this event. The festival will include Performances, Talks & Workshops, Families events, Outdoor events and some In Development work, with productions coming from Africa, Brazil, Europe and Japan.
Some of the most interesting looking work includes Encantado, (from Brazilian choreographer Lia Rodrigues, which comes to the Abbey for two nights), Siguifin (by Amala Dianor with includes performers from Mali, Senegal and Burkina Faso to celebrate the vitality of a collective African dance). Closer to home, Junk Ensemble’s latest work is Dances Like a Bomb gets its premiere at the Project Arts Centre. Graces by Italian Choreographer Silvia Gribaudi explores “ideas of human imperfections to an artform” again at the Project.
If you haven’t ventured back to the theatre just yet, there’s a full section of Outdoor performance here. Full details of the Festival are below.
Dublin Dance Festival will burst back onto Dublin’s stages and streets 17th – 29th May with a stunning programme of boundary-breaking, energetic, and thought-provoking works from Africa, Brazil, Europe and Japan, curated by new Artistic Director Jazmin Chiodi. Visionary artists invite us to imagine, to dream, to challenge, to protest, to embrace – reminding us of their vital role as speakers of truth and beacons of hope. With cutting-edge contemporary premieres, dazzling street dance, world-class flamenco, joyous work for younger audiences, and vibrant outdoor performances, the 2022 Edition of the festival explores the power of the collective and celebrates diversity in all its facets, offering a timely response to our times of global upheaval and fragility.
Extraordinary Brazilian choreographer Lia Rodrigues will present her latest creation as part of DDF when Encantado comes to the Abbey Theatre. In Afro-American culture, an “encantado” is a magical being, believed to traverse the natural landscape creating sacred places. Performed by an ensemble of eleven dancers with rivers of bold fabrics and set to songs of the Guarani people that call to recognise endangered ancestral territories, Rodrigues’ hypnotic journey into a world of enchantment explores our connection to the earth. Created in the context of the current health and environmental crisis, Encantado invites audiences to return to a natural source of strength and rediscover the power of the collective.
Boundary-breaking star of the flamenco world, the multiple award-winning Rocío Molina has been described as “punk and glorious” by The Independent. For DDF2022, she is bringing her radical celebration of womanhood Fallen From Heaven (Caída Del Cielo) to the Abbey stage. Performed to live music, this daring work transforms the traditional dance form into an explosive, theatrical experience as Molina cycles through multiple incarnations of the feminine archetype – from virtuous beauty to bondage-clad toreador to bloodied supernatural being, expertly fusing the fiery intensity of flamenco with a contemporary feminist aesthetic.
“Any attempt will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones” said Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2019, in relation to the right to protest and demonstrate. Jan Martens / GRIP & Dance On Ensemble have taken his words as the title of their production addressing this all too timely theme. Their uplifting production embraces diverse voices and the strength of shared movement, with a seventeen-strong, atypical dance ensemble ranging in age from 17 – 70. Each individual seeks out their own voice to a soundtrack full of protest songs from different eras, with pieces from Henryk Górecki to Kae Tempest. The production – the third of the festival’s trio on the Abbey stage – is a celebration of the fundamental right to freedom of speech and the unique power that lies in being out of step.
A constellation of talents from Mali, Senegal and Burkina Faso will open DDF2022 as Siguifin, a collaboration between three choreographers under the direction of Amala Dianor, has its Irish premiere at Project Arts Centre. In Siguifin – which means “magical monster” in the Baramba language of Mali – nine young dancers revel in the vitality of a collective African dance that explores cultural contrasts, celebrates individuality and finds power in connection. As choreographer Naomi Fall (Mali) explores striking individuality, Ladji Koné (Burkina Faso) searches for connection and cohesion, and Alioune Diagne (Senegal) delves into the cultural contrasts between neighbouring countries, the ensemble creates powerful, pulsating magic through the collective.
Italian choreographer Silvia Gribaudi will bring her generous humour and radical empathy to the Project stage as she elevates ideas of human imperfections to an artform in Graces, going well beyond the expected or the cliché. Questioning gender stereotypes with wit, joy and tenderness, the three male performers together with Gribaudi search for new meanings of the word ‘grace.’ This work, inspired by mythology and The Three Graces – a sculpture representing Zeus’ daughters, was described by Movement Exposed as “an homage to the poetic powers of imperfection.” For more than a decade, Gribaudi has been questioning gender stereotypes and the concept of virtuosity in dance and daily life, blending the boundaries of dance, theatre and performing arts. In Graces, she reveals a vital and welcome core of humanity with warmth and lightness.
Project Arts Centre will also be home to premieres of works by three of Ireland’s leading dance artists.
A Call To You is a compelling and hopeful new work by Catherine Young, emerging from the urgency of the incomprehensible times we live through. Featuring a cast of outstanding international performers and live music, her production is a passionate celebration of life, togetherness and dance; an antidote to the imagery of war and the endless rhetoric of politics. A Call To You is a companion piece to Young’s trilogy exploring human rights through the lens of the human body.
Somewhere in the Body is a film installation by Áine Stapleton centred around Lucia Joyce – the talented visual artist, musician, and dancer, and daughter of celebrated Irish writer James Joyce. Combining exquisite performances by Colin Dunne and Katie Vickers, original light sculptures, and a unique soundscape, Somewhere in the Body reveals both the real and psychic spaces inhabited by Lucia and her father. The production examines the artistic relationship between the two artists, with a particular focus on the iconic and dark tale of Finnegans Wake in which Lucia can be seen to appear in various guises. The theme of light runs through this work as it did throughout Lucia’s life whose name, taken from Saint Lucia the patron saint of the blind, is described as meaning “light giver.”
Multi-award-winning dance innovators Junk Ensemble will premiere their Dances Like a Bomb, a powerful and uplifting duet exploring ageing and care, performed by acclaimed actor Mikel Murfi and leading Irish dance artist Finola Cronin (former Pina Bausch company). Celebrating the strength and beauty of mature bodies and challenging the cult of youth, these performers are heroic, vulnerable, comedic, acerbic, and completely themselves. They care fiercely for each other and defend their independence. As they move, interact and connect, the universality of ageing and the ‘performance’ of age is unpacked, alongside the limits of love and care. Blending visceral imagery, dance, text and music, Dances Like a Bomb is a reclaiming of the ageing body.
At The Ark cultural centre for children audiences aged five and under will be swept away on a magical and fanciful adventure with Club Origami from Japanese choreographer Takeshi Matsumoto. This immersive and interactive dance show invites young audiences to create, imagine and explore new ways of thinking, playing and moving. Dance, fashion and live music meet the magic of origami in a spirited and inspiring adventure through a land of paper and play.
DDF 2022 will also be offering a free programme of outdoor performances for people of all ages. In the grounds of Christchurch Cathedral, dance artist and architect Gilles Viandier will present his vibrant outdoor performance Street Pantone. In this stunning visual experience, Viandier envelops the surrounding structures and spaces with a brightly coloured monochrome veil made of 30 metres of lycra – at once delicate, strong, compact, expansive, and bold. Viandier explores the history and identity of heritage sites and urban landscapes, rediscovering and exploring the city’s architecture, hypnotising audiences with transient constructions and ephemeral landscapes. Wood Quay Amphitheatre will also come alive over the last weekend of the festival with the fierce energy of three young female artists, from diverse backgrounds but connected by street dance culture in Ireland, with the festival’s DanceScapes programme, commissioned by DDF and co-curated by Top 8’s Tobi Omoteso. Each of the three new choreographies being presented, from Onai Tafuam, Jessie Thompson and Jessie O’Reilly, will bring a unique movement language to the stage – sometimes lyrical, sometimes hard-hitting – but all serving up powerfully personal stories, with raw intensity and a passion to sweep audiences up for an unforgettable dance experience.
Also at Wood Quay Amphitheatre during the final weekend will be Laura Murphy with The Shake, an immersive participatory performance where movers are united in a celebration of dance. Part class, part concert, part hooley, and guided by four performers, participants will be able to move at their own pace and in their own style, whether that’s mellow or wild!
The Originate – Performance Showcase will present a programme of new works-in-development by artists based in Ireland; a valuable platform for artists, and an exciting opportunity for audiences and programmers. This year’s showcase will include Robyn Byrne’s Queen of the Meadows, a tribute to a generation of women who, along with their folklore, are slowly disappearing; Luca Truffarelli’s The Weight with concept and choreography from Oona Doherty explores ideas of freedom and individualism, inviting us to think more closely about others, and to look more deeply at ourselves.; and Unreeled II from Fearghus Ó Conchúir & Isabella Oberländer, part of an ongoing exploration of queer sanctuary and solidarity between these two artists. The Originate – Artist Pitches event, for programmers and presenters will offer the opportunity to hear from leading Ireland-based artists Liz Roche, Emma Martin, Luke Murphy and Sibéal Davitt, and to gain insight into recent works and new projects in development.
This year’s two-day Modes of Capture Symposium presented by Irish World Academy, University of Limerick, Liz Roche Company & Dublin Dance Festival will explore the capacity for writing to capture embodied experience in dancemaking, with events including renowned UK choreographer Jonathan Burrows in dialogue with poet and dramaturg Jessica Traynor.
The “Pro Intensive” series of workshops will offer professional dancers and dance students the chance to learn from Takeshi Matsumoto, Amala Dianor and members of Lia Rodrigues Company and Dance On Ensemble.
As a partner of Big Pulse Dance Alliance, DDF will welcome artists from across Europe to the Big Pulse Visiting Artist Programme, a 4-day programme of creative exchange. Led by DDF Artistic Director Jazmin Chiodi, the programme will include attending performances, visiting significant venues and sites within the city, engaging with key figures in dance in Ireland and delving into valuable discussions together.
New Artistic Director Jazmin Chiodi says of her inaugural programme, “In the complexity of today’s world, the 2022 Edition is an invitation to celebrate the spirit of the collective, to elevate different voices and new perspectives, and to return to the body – its power and its beauty. I feel privileged to be presenting this programme as my first as DDF Artistic Director, and my hope is that it offers us all a unique moment to be together, and that it brings dance to the hearts of our people, and our people to the heart of our city.”