Dublin Dance Festival is a creative catalyst, bringing outstanding dance to audiences. The core reason the organisation exists is to bring the best international dance to Irish audiences of all ages and backgrounds, and to create opportunities for Irish dance artists, through programming, commissioning and partnerships.
DDF delivers excellent and diverse dance experiences for the widest possible audience. We are committed to developing new artistic collaborations to shift expectations and create exciting artistic trajectories for dance in Ireland.
Since DDF’s inception as a bi-annual Festival in 2002 the Festival’s ambitions have been big and bold. The Festival became an annual event in 2008 reflecting the popularity and position it had gained in a relatively short period of time. DDF continues to bring iconic and influential international dance artists to Ireland offering audiences in Ireland one of the only opportunities to see world class international dance. Some of the artists DDF has brought since 2002 include: Merce Cunningham, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Akram Khan, Alain Platel, Jérôme Bel, William Forsythe, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Trisha Brown, Raimund Hoghe, Wim Vandekeybus, Israel Galvan, Alonzo King, Crystal Pite, Emanuel Gat.
DDF provides an important platform for Irish choreographers. We work with dance artists in Ireland to support the creation of new work and to encourage Irish and international artistic collaboration, experimentation, risk-taking and innovation in dance.
The Festival is going through a period of exciting change as it approaches its 15th edition in 2019. Building on the success of the Festival annually in May, DDF is creating exciting opportunities for dance at other times of the year, working with organisations and venues, nationally and internationally, who share our vision. Working with our strategic partners we will initiate diverse and meaningful access opportunities to the Festival and to dance with a special focus on children and young people. In collaboration with our national and international partners, DDF will continue to explore new, sustainable producing and touring models for dance.
2002–06: Catherine Nunes (Founding Artistic Director)
2008–11: Laurie Uprichard
2012–15: Julia Carruthers
Since 2016: Benjamin Perchet (Current Artistic Director)
Ireland / Journalist
Helen Meany is an arts journalist, critic and consultant. She was Editor of Irish Theatre Magazine from 2005-2011. She is currently Literature Adviser to the Arts Council and reviews theatre in Ireland for the Guardian. In 2005-6, she was the Curator of Critical Voices (3), the Arts Council’s programme of public debate on art, culture and ideas. Previously, she was an arts journalist with the Irish Times, covering all areas of the arts, in particular literature, theatre and film, becoming Deputy Arts Editor before leaving in 2002 to pursue a freelance career. She has recently completed a two-year Master’s programme in Cultural Leadership at City University London.
Ireland / Head of Theatre Programme of Trinity Laban
Brian Brady is Head of Theatre Programme of Trinity Laban, the UK’s first conservatoire for music and dance. Originally from Ireland he is a graduate of The Samuel Beckett Centre for Drama and Theatre Studies at Trinity College, Dublin. Since 2000 Brian has worked as a freelance theatre artist, directing Opera and Theatre in the UK and Europe, He is a former Associate Director of The Abbey and Peacock Theatres, Ireland’s National Theatre.
Ireland / Lecturer and Researcher in Dance at University of Limerick Trained at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance, London, Lisa has performed extensively across the globe with many companies as a freelance dancer, is an award-winning choreographer, and is a passionate advocate and teacher of dance. Currently lead artist and creator of The Autonomy Project, a multi-genre arts projects combining the work of over 100 young people, artists and academics. Lisa has been an active member in the dance community in Ireland and internationally for over 20 years. She is a lecturer and researcher in dance at the Irish World Academy, University of Limerick, holds a first-class honours MA in Dance combining dance and psychology, and is currently undertaking an Arts Practice PhD.
Anna Walsh is currently Executive Director of Theatre Forum, the membership organisation of Ireland’s performing arts community. She works closely with the organisation’s team, board of directors and over 280 organisation and individual members to plan, produce and deliver training as well as a full annual programme of events. Her background is in strategic communications and advertising, having worked with multinational and indigenous companies. internationally and locally. Combining academic interests in the arts and management, Anna holds an M.A. Cultural Policy and Arts Management awarded by UCD, an M.Phil. Irish Art History and an M.Sc. (Management) Organisational Behaviour, both awarded by Trinity College, Dublin. She was appointed an Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards judge in 2015 and chaired the judges’ panel in 2016.
UK / USA / Head of Human Resources at the Museum of London
Lisa FitzGerald is currently the Head of Human Resources at the Museum of London and has held similar HR roles at NCAD, UCD and the BBC. She previously has significant experience in dance administration with companies including Mark Morris Dance Group, Akram Khan Dance, Richard Alston Dance Company as well as related roles at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, City Centre Theatre (NY) and Rambert School of Ballet & Contemporary Dance.
Ireland / Commercial Director - Certus
Síona Meghen is currently Commercial Director of Certus, a financial services outsourcing firm, which she co-founded in 2010. Prior to establishing Certus, Síona held a number of senior positions in Bank of Scotland (Ireland), KBC Bank and the National Treasury Management Agency. She trained as a Chartered Accountant with Arthur Andersen and spent 8 years with the firm, working predominantly in the Business Consulting division, advising firms in the public and private sector.
Síona holds a Masters Degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Queen’s University Belfast and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland and a Qualified Financial Adviser. Síona is also on the Board of Women’s Aid.
Ireland / Financial Management
Originally from County Kerry, Jerry returned to Ireland in 2014 after 25 years working abroad in the International Financial Services sector. Jerry held senior finance management roles for various banks in Sydney, Frankfurt and London. A qualified accountant, Jerry has also served on the boards of various charities in the UK and has run seven marathons for charities in recent years. He also trained as a Latin American and ballroom dancer at Pineapple studios in London. Jerry is currently taking his Masters in Financial Services at University College Dublin.
Ireland / System Funding - HEA
Gemma Duke currently works in System Funding in the Higher Education Authority. Before joining the HEA, Gemma worked as the Development Manager at the National College of Art & Design, having previously performed roles in PR, marketing and development in Ireland and abroad, with the Dublin Theatre Festival, the Abbey Theatre and Sydney Festival. Gemma has a Masters in Strategic Management & Planning from the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School.
Dublin Dance Festival is the registered trading name of International Dance Festival of Ireland CLG registered in Ireland under registration number 328122. The Festival is a not-for-profit arts organisation which was incorporated in 2000. See DDF Governing Document here. The Festival is governed by a voluntary, non-executive Board of Directors. See list of Directors and Directors’ biographies above.
Dublin Dance Festival is committed to best practice and good governance. The Festival complies with the standards as set out in the Governance Transparency Scale, adapted by the Arts Council and signed Governance Code principle statement in September 2017, Governance_Code_statement.
Financial Controls and Reporting
Dublin Dance Festival operates within strict financial procedures and controls and keeps detailed books and records of accounts. The Festival is fully transparent in all of its financial activities and reporting. The most recent set of audited accounts (2018) is available here. These accounts are compliant with the requirements of the Companies Act and Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP FRS102 ) for charities and not-for-profit organisations.
Standards in Fundraising Practice
Dublin Dance Festival is a registered charity with CRA issued registered charity number 20047436. The Festival is open, honest and fully transparent in all of its fundraising activities. All monies which the festival raises are re-invested in the Festival’s primary activity of organising and promoting a world class festival with the best of contemporary choreography, which supports artists and develops audiences of all ages.
In December 2016 the Festival confirmed compliance with the Statement of Guiding Principles for Fundraising, as developed by the Irish Charities Tax Reform Group (ICTR).
As a charity seeking donations from the public, Dublin Dance Festival pledges to treat all of our donors with respect, honesty and openness. Donors and prospective donors can be assured that the Festival will be accountable and transparent in its dealings, using all donations to the Festival for their intended purposes to support the primary activity of the Festival as outlined above.
Dublin Dance Festival is open about whether those seeking donations on our behalf are volunteers, employees of the organisation or third party agents. Anyone fundraising on the Festival’s behalf will ensure that prospective donors are aware of their status. The current salary scale for the Director is €55,000-65,000 and for the Executive Producer is €45,000-55,000 pro rata.
Feedback & Complaints Procedure
Dublin Dance Festival is committed to ensuring that all our communications and dealings with the general public and our supporters and stakeholders are of the highest possible standard. We pledge to listen and respond to the views of the general public, our supporters and our stakeholders. We welcome all feedback. See our Feedback and Complaints Procedure here.
You can view our full online archive here.