We had the chance to put some questions to Jazmin Chiodi, the new Artistic Director of the Dublin Dance Festival. You can see the results below.
Dublin Dance Festival – 17th – 29th of May
You took up your new role in August 2021. Was it a strange time to take a new job? It must have been very hard to plan for a festival as you weren’t sure what format it would take, online or in theatre?
It seems the world keeps challenging us with new issues every day!
What I will say is that I was ready for this role, after working as co-director of Tipperary Dance for over a decade, I had a clear vision of the areas in which I wanted DDF to continue to grow and expand. It also seemed like this nomination came as refreshing news for the sector in Ireland, to have a dancer/choreographer appointed to this role feels like an exciting positive development in a very unsettling time.
There were two particular challenges in taking up this role at that time. The first one was to be able to travel and see work – For me, it’s important to experience a production, to see how the work connects with its audience and imagine how it will be received in Ireland if I’m considering programming it for a live audience here.
The second challenge was to see how much the pandemic crisis affected our own national sector and how this impacted the creation of new work. I think it will probably take all of this year for the sector to regain its full capacity. But, at the same time, I have been really pleasantly surprised and excited by the amount of new and young voices that have been growing in Ireland and are ready to be supported to their next stage.
For this 2022 Edition of the festival, it was important to re-establish the relationship with our festival audiences and venues. Most of the festival events will be presented live in our partnering venues, together with an outdoor presence to reconnect the festival with its city and its citizens. Nevertheless, DDF will continue to maintain and invest in digital experiences and connections, offering audiences a new platform through which they can engage with DDF and its artists.
Did you have any involvement in the Winter Edition of the Dublin Dance Festival last year?
Last November’s Winter Edition was programmed by the previous artistic director Benjamin Perchet as part of his vision of 2021 which included a Summer online edition and an in-person Winter Edition. My role was then in supporting the team and welcoming artists and audiences back for the first time since May 2019. This proved a great way to get to know the DDF team better. I am very lucky to be working among an incredible group of professionals that have a real passion for dance and who are so conscientious about every detail to ensure the very best experiences for our audiences.
I expect your job involves a lot of travel to see new work. Are things starting to get back to normal with festivals around Europe?
It was only in October 2020 that I start travelling again. It was almost like cycling again after a long pause, it takes a while to remember how it all works!
Most festivals are back to normal at this point and slowly coming back to what their audience numbers used to be in 2019. I think people have to slowly reacclimatise to the culture of going out to see live works in a theatre again. This experience was so intensely disrupted during the two years of lockdown and restricted access to venues, that it is now something that we all need to awaken – the habit and the joy of attending live artistic events.
While I know that the digital space took over while we were indoors, and this space continues to offer us exciting ways to experience and engage with dance, for me, there is nothing like a live performance, and that moment of anticipation just before the show starts: The lights go off and for a second we are waiting, we are together to receive, we are all open. And of course, the moment after the performance as well, catching up with people, sharing the different views of what we just saw. For me, live experiences make us alive with others.
Continues in Part 2…
Dublin Dance Festival is on 17th – 29th May.
Book Online at dublindancefestival.ie
DDF Box Office:
Book in person or over the phone at our Festival Box Office in May.
Festival House, 12 East Essex Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
+353 1 673 0660
FURTHER INFORMATION – Please check out dublindancefestival.ie.
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