• Hunt by Tero Saarinen Company
    DDF 2013
    'Hunt' by Tero Saarinen Company
  • Nubes (Clouds) by Aracaladanza
    DDF 2012
    'Nubes (Clouds)' by Aracaladanza
  • Songs of the Wanderers by Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan
    DDF 2011
    'Songs of the Wanderers' by Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan
  • ‘Five Ways to Drown’ by Junk Ensemble
    DDF 2010
    'Five Ways to Drown' by Junk Ensemble
  • ‘One Shot by Evidence, A Dance Company
    DDF 2009
    ‘One Shot’ by Evidence, A Dance Company
  • DDF 2014 ‘Bruit De Coloir’ by Clement Dazin
    DDF 2014 'Bruit De Coloir' by Clement Dazin

About Us

Dublin Dance Festival is the leading dance event on the Irish arts calendar. Each year in May, the Festival brings together dance artists and choreographers from across the world to share vibrant contemporary dance with audiences in Ireland.


May 2017 saw the 13th Festival. In this short time, the Festival has developed a dedicated audience for dance in Ireland. Since its establishment in 2002 under founding Artistic Director Catherine Nunes, the Festival’s ambitions have been big and brave. The Festival became an annual event in 2008 reflecting the popularity and position it had gained. Laurie Uprichard led the next four Festivals, building audiences in addition to the event’s national and international profile. The Directorship then passed to Julia Carruthers, who led the 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 Festivals.


Enabling audiences to discover inspirational artists lies at the heart of the Dublin Dance Festival mission. The finest international choreographers and dance companies are programmed alongside emerging and established artists from Ireland and abroad in a variety of venues and spaces around the city. Audience members look forward to experiencing celebrated classics and discovering the freshest talents each year through a programme that is resonant and stimulating. Workshops, discussions, symposia, film screenings and other events are built around the programme to create new opportunities for audience members to encounter dance and to explore the art form more deeply.


Hugely influential dance makers have been introduced to Irish audiences by the Festival – Merce Cunningham, Russell Maliphant, Mark Morris, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Jérôme Bel, William Forsythe, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Trisha Brown, Yvonne Rainer, Jonathan Burrows, Lin Hwai-min, Raimund Hoghe and Akram Khan have all presented performances since 2002.


Dublin Dance Festival provides a platform for Irish choreographers to develop their work in an international context, premiering major new Irish works during each Festival and providing key networking opportunities. Each year the Festival attracts many prominent dance promoters from overseas for whom Dublin has become an exciting place to discover new dance.

Artistic Director

The current Artistic Director is Benjamin Perchet, who has been leading the Festival team since August 2015.

Our Mission

To present an inspirational, international dance festival that promotes the best of contemporary choreography, supports artists and develops audiences.


Dublin Dance Festival’s vision is to present the best of international contemporary dance within a festival context. We aspire to:

  • promote excellent and innovative dance
  • reflect the diversity of dance
  • increase access to the art of dance

We believe that Ireland can be an international focal point for artistic exchange and collaboration. We have a role in nurturing and supporting Irish choreographers in practical ways. Through the work of the Festival, we aspire to create increased opportunities for audiences to experience and be inspired by the non-verbal and universal emotions that can be uniquely expressed by choreographers.

Core Values

The Dublin Dance Festival actively seeks to embody the following tenets, inherent to our organisational philosophy and fundamental to our decision making.

We value:

  • creativity
  • originality
  • integrity
  • diversity
  • critical reflection
  • artists
  • our audiences
  • commitment and dedication
  • partnerships and collaboration
  • financial responsibility

Our Team

Benjamin Perchet


Benjamin Perchet joined Dublin Dance Festival in August 2015. He will lead the Festival as Director for the 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 editions.

Most recently, he was the Deputy Programme Manager and Artistic Advisor for two major French institutions in Lyon: Maison de la Danse (since 2004) and Biennale de la Danse (since 2008). In these roles he embraced dance in all its forms, being loyal to the most important choreographers of the 20th century and highlighting young creators, while developing the international profile of both institutions.

He has been an Aerowaves Partner/Presenter since 2012 and was a board member of European Dancehouse Network (EDN) from 2009 until 2015.

Carina McGrail

Executive Producer

Carina studied Cultural Policy and Arts Management at UCD after graduating with a BA (Hons) in Contemporary Dance from De Montford University, Leicester. She has extensive experience producing festivals and events. She has worked with St Patrick’s Festival, Festival of World Cultures and on the 2012 Dublin Tall Ships Festival where she produced a large programme of outdoor events, visual arts exhibitions, workshops, talks and community events.

Specialising in site-specific work and outdoor spectacle, Carina has presented a number of international companies in Ireland. She managed two transnational projects funded by the EU Culture 2000 programme across arts organisations in Ireland, Poland, Czech Republic, France and Italy.

Most recently, Carina was Street Arts and Spectacle Advisor to the Arts Council. She previously worked as Associate Producer with Landmark Productions and was part of the team that produced Playhouse, an interactive public art project presented on Liberty Hall as part of Dublin Theatre Festival in 2009.

Tiina Ylönen

Programme & Finance Manager

Tiina Ylönen joined the DDF team in January 2010. After receiving a BA with Honours in Tourism & Finance in Mikkeli University Of Applied Sciences, she came to live and work in Ireland in 2000.

Having worked in Tourism, Finance & Procurement she moved on to become an Administrator with the Dublin Fringe Festival for 2.5 years and gained further festival experience with the Dublin Theatre Festival in 2009.

Caroline Kennedy

Communications & Development Manager

Caroline studied International Marketing, French and German at DCU before going on to complete the IBEC EOP graduate placement programme in Germany and working in a variety of marketing roles both at home & abroad.

She later went on to complete a full-time degree in Painting at NCAD. During this time, Caroline began to focus on working with arts and cultural organisations, including Highlight Productions, the Cill Rialaig Project, Origin Gallery and Heneghan Peng Architects. Before joining the Dublin Dance Festival team in 2013, Caroline held a Marketing & PR position at the Gate Theatre.

Ruth Riordan

Communications & Development Executive

Ruth joined the Dublin Dance Festival in December 2017, having moved from South Africa where she was part of the team that launched the Cape Town International Dance Festival in 2015.

With a BA in Law & Psychology and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education from the University of Cape Town, Ruth has worked within communications, marketing and PR across diverse environments, including corporate, agency and non-profit.

Before joining the Dublin Dance Festival team, she held the position of Regional Team Manager for DUO Marketing + Communications as well as Communications Consultant for iKapa Dance Theatre, both based in Cape Town.

Board of Directors

Ms Helen Meany (Chair, appointed 2008)

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.

Mr Brian Brady (appointed 2013)

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.

Ms Lisa McLoughlin (appointed 2017)

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.

Lisa FitzGerald (appointed 2015)

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.

Ms Síona Meghen (appointed 2015)

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.

Mr Jerry O'Connell (appointed 2015)

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.

Ms Gemma Duke (appointed 2017)

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.


Organisation Structure

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 (2017) 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).


Donor Charter

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.