Q&A with Jazmin Chiodi, Artistic Director of Dublin Dance Festival – Part 2
You can read Part 1 of our Q&A here.
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
There are productions from all over the globe arriving at our doorstep. Can you tell our readers about the international work at this year’s festival? Are there any productions you’re particularly excited about?
In 2022 we are presenting a fantastic line-up of artists and works coming from all around the world.
After so many months in isolation, it was important to bring back works from far and wide to keep exploring the world through the eyes and voices of international choreographers and to get back this fantastic feeling in which DDF becomes, for a couple of weeks in May, a window to the world.
Most of the works that we are presenting this year are large ensembles bringing to the stage between 9 and 17 dancers. This was important for me as a way to make visible response to all the uncertainty in which our societies are living today, making a statement about how essential the power of the collective is for social resilience, and inspire us all to continue to believe in a better future.
It is very difficult to select just a few pieces to suggest for people, as I am so excited to see all the productions here in Dublin!
But if I have to choose a few, I will say that I am thrilled to bring Lia Rodrigues’ work from Brazil. Being originally from Argentina myself I have been following her work for the last 20 years. The social work that her company is currently doing in the favelas of Brazil is so inspiring, placing dance at the centre and in dialogue with issues associated with poverty and segregation. The work Encantado (that I saw in Challiott National Theatre for Dance in Paris) is a journey, an invitation to receive a different culture, to be open to the imaginaries and to let oneself go to a ritualistic space in which the body reclaims its freedom.
I am also very excited to present the work of Amala Dianor, Siguifin. The creation of this new work, directed by Amala Dianor and co-choreographed with Alioune Diagne, Naomi Fall and Ladji Koné has been an inspiring process, bringing together a group of dancers and creators from France, Senegal, Burkina Faso and Mali to give shape and a voice to the stories that nine hugely talented dancers will bring to us. Siguifin is the first co-production presented by DDF as part of its association with Big Pulse Dance Alliance, a Creative Europe project that will run until 2024.
And to mention just one last production, I am very happy that we could bring Jan Martens & Dance On Ensemble’s work: any attempt will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones. The piece is beautifully crafted and performed by an astonishing group of diverse dancers ranging in age from 17-75! When I saw the work for the first time, I was moved by its strength and choreography which reveals the importance of diversity of identities, the right to speak up and that together we can produce change. It is an invitation to experience a fresh view on topics that need to be expressed and the power that lies in our bodies. This work is certainly challenging but is also probably the most moving of all the works we’re presenting this year.
The international programme is also bringing forward something that I stand by strongly, that is the voice of women that challenge the status quo of tradition, as Rocio Molina does in her absolutely mesmerising Fallen From Heaven (Caida del Cielo), or Silvia Gribaudi who defies the established aesthetics expected for dance (and for societies) in her humorous and poetic work Graces.
There is also a great selection of Irish productions. How important is the Irish backbone to the Festival?
This year we are presenting work by ten dance artists and choreographers who are based in Ireland, in theatres, dance studios and outdoors. There will be three premieres by Irish artists: A Call To You by Catherine Young, Somewhere in the Body by Áine Stapleton, Dances Like a Bomb by Junk Ensemble and a series of DDF outdoor commissions presented at the Wood Quay Amphitheatre by three dance artists, Onai Tafuma, Jessie Thompson and Jessie O’Reilly, bringing new voices and perspectives to the Street Dance Culture in Ireland. I had the pleasure of co-curating this programme with Tobi Omoteso, director of Top 8.
We are also offering a dance platform called Originate that invites international, programmers, visiting artists and audiences to see both Irish works in progress and ready-to-tour works in a networking event supported by Culture Ireland and Dance Ireland.
For DDF, presenting Irish works is not only a moment to share with our audiences the great work made by our artists but an opportunity and a window to share them with the world. Our festival attracts many people from abroad and I am conscious of the importance of creating avenues that cultivate multilateral relations to keep the work made by Irish-based artists on the radar of the international sector.
Also as part of this year’s festival, we are offering our local audiences and artists two programmes – The Pro Intensives and the Modes of Capture Symposium – to encounter international artists, improve skills, develop new knowledge and exchange experiences. This is also a moment for a younger generation of dancers to meet with established artists and mingle with dance fellows – more important than ever after the restrictions we’ve just been living in.
With these programmes and events, my hope is that the festival will – more than ever – be a welcoming and rich experience for visiting artists and programmers. One that is engaging and that makes the most of travel – something that is more rare and valuable than ever.
Do you have any advice for our readers, if they were tempted to go to a dance production for the first time?
Regardless of your age, social or cultural background, DDF can offer something that you can attend and enjoy. The outdoor programme is mostly free of charge and welcomes families. Club Origami by UK-based Japanese artist presented in partnership with The Ark is a specially curated show for children under 5 years old, while Street Pantone by French dance artist and architect Gilles Viander is creating an in-situ performance that will reveal Christchurch in a very new and unusual way.
My advice would be to follow your desires, your curiosity and your attraction to whichever of the themes, images, sounds, topics and cultural inheritances of the various productions speak to you. I always think it’s important to trust this first instinct – that initial attraction!
And I will say DDF is not an exclusive festival but an inclusive one! We have a curated festival that everyone is invited to. We want everyone to enjoy their experiences with us. Sometimes the language of dance could feel foreign to people, but dance is only a lens through which we can see the world and process today’s challenges, through a unique experience that awakens our senses and releases one’s imagination. The festival is an invitation to feel alive, to feel the joy of life through movement.
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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