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Announcement: Two Of Europe’s Most Exciting Dance Artists On The Abbey Stage For DDF2018

Wed 29 Nov 2017

Announcement: Two Of Europe’s Most Exciting Dance Artists On The Abbey Stage For DDF2018

Ground-breaking star of the flamenco world Patricia Guerrero presents her masterpiece Catedral

Trailblazing dancer and choreographer Oona Doherty presents her reflection on her hometown Hard To Be Soft – A Belfast Prayer

Dublin Dance Festival in association with the Abbey Theatre today announced that two of Europe's leading dance artists, Spain’s Patricia Guerrero and Northern Ireland’s Oona Doherty, will be presenting stunning, powerful works as highlights of the Festival’s 2018 programme.

Breakout star of the flamenco world, the astonishing Patricia Guerrero, described as "an artist of extraordinary gifts" (Diario de Sevilla) will take to the Abbey stage to present her celebrated show Catedral, declared a "masterpiece" by Deflamenco.com. Drawing from the worlds of flamenco, religious singing and lyrical chant, Catedral is a captivating and provocative expression of the traditional flamenco form. Winner of the Critic’s Choice Award for Best Performance at Seville’s renowned Bienal de Flamenco in 2016, Guerrero transforms the stage in Catedral into a sacred, spiritually charged space. In this densely atmospheric world of phantoms, light and shadow, a woman battles her demons, raging against the religious and social constraints that paralyse her. Four female dancers, three musicians, two opera singers and one flamenco singer create an explosive interplay ofdance and live music. Catedral will be on the Abbey stage on 15th and 16th May.

After its blistering premiere at Belfast International Arts Festival, Oona Doherty will be presenting Hard To Be Soft – A Belfast Prayer on the Abbey stage on 18th and 19th May. A prodigious talent, Doherty has garnered international attention as one of Europe’s most gifted and promising dance artists, most recently winning the Total Theatre Award for Dance at the 2017 Edinburgh Festival Fringe and receiving rave reviews for her standout performance in Enda Walsh’s Arlington. Created in collaboration with renowned DJ and composer David Holmes and designer Ciaran Bagnall, Hard To Be Soft – A Belfast Prayer is a reflection on their hometown, exploring masculinity, sectarianism, culture, class and sexuality. Doherty abstracts the memories of her youth to create a physical prayer in four episodes "like Sci Fi Stations of the Cross." This compelling piece features a unique cast of performers, including Doherty herself and nine Hip-Hop dancers from Belfast’s Ajendance Youth Dance Company.

Dublin Dance Festival Artistic Director Benjamin Perchet says,
“The 2018 Dublin Dance Festival brings together an exhilarating line-up of prominent Irish and international dance artists who stand for the vitality and the multiplicity of the art form, significantly amplifying the importance of dance and the allied arts of music, design and theatre over three weeks, 2nd-20th May. The Abbey Theatre is dedicating one week to two very important shows, Catedral and Hard to Be Soft - A Belfast Prayer, that offer sophisticated and strong images of protest, hope and compassion.”

Directors of the Abbey Theatre Graham McLaren and Neil Murray say,
"We want the Abbey to embrace all art forms. We’re delighted to partner with the Dublin Dance Festival on a mix of events that include opera, flamenco, hip hop, sound design and choreography with incredible artists."

Patricia Guerrero (Spain) Catedral
Dates: Tues 15th& Wed 16th May 2018
Venue: Abbey Theatre, on the Abbey stage
Time: 7.30pm
Tickets: €13 - €40
Running time: 80 mins (no interval)
Supported by Acción Cultural Española (AC/E) & Instituto Cervantes Dublin.

Oona Doherty (Northern Ireland) Hard To Be Soft – A Belfast Prayer
Dates: Fri 18th & Sat 19th May 2018
Venue: Abbey Theatre, on the Abbey stage
Time: 7.30pm
Tickets: €13 - €34
Running time: 60 mins approx. (no interval)
(Parental Advisory: This performance contains strong language.)
Co-commissioned by Dublin Dance Festival, the Abbey Theatre, Prime Cut Productions and Belfast International Arts Festival. Supported through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Support for the Individual Artist Major Award and The British Council.

Tickets for these performances go on sale from Dublin Dance Festival from Wednesday 29th November.

Dublin Dance Festival and Bord Gáis Energy Theatre have already announced that the English National Ballet in Akram Khan’s stunning new Giselle will come to the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre from Wed 2nd – Sun 6th May, opening the 2018 festival which will run from 2nd – 20th May. This hugely successful reimagining of a much-loved classic will feature 40 dancers and a live orchestra.

Prior to the festival, the Abbey will be home to a creative lab hosting a conversation about connecting to younger audiences/participants through dance, performance and live art, Open Studio, which will run in the Peacock 18th-21st April. Hosted by Dublin Dance Festival, Live Collision and the Abbey Theatre, Open Studio's user-driven programme of workshops, seminars and scratch events will bring together a range of perspectives and methodologies, exploring the potential of future programmes, including work which is curated by young people for young people.

Open Studio
Dates: Wed 18th - Sat 21stApril 2018
Venue: Abbey Theatre, at the Peacock
Further details to follow in March 2018.

The full programme for Dublin Dance Festival, which is the leading dance event in Ireland, taking place each year in May, will be announced in March 2018.
Dublin Dance Festival is funded by the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon, Dublin City Council and Fáilte Ireland.

For further media information please contact:
Stephanie Dickenson | stephaniedickenson12@gmail.com | + 353 (0) 87 993 7650

Images can be downloaded here.