DDF News — 17 Nov 2015




The new director of Dublin Dance Festival, Benjamin Perchet, today announced highlights from the Festival’s programme for 2016. Next year’s Festival will run 17 -28 May, when Dublin’s stages will become home to world-class choreographers and dancers who challenge boundaries, both geographic and artistic. The 2016 programme will present artists exploring themes of identity, migration, mobility and territory, and those who combine dance with circus, visual arts, theatre and other art forms. The Festival is also commissioning new Irish work responding to the 1916 Proclamation and exploring how it resonates today.

Highlights of the 2016 Dublin Dance Festival announced today are:

  • A dynamic urban-fusion piece by Greek choreographer Patricia Apergi
  • Spectacular contemporary ballet at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre from visionary US ballet master Alonzo King
  • Major new dance-theatre work by Olivier Award-winning choreographer Crystal Pite and innovative playwright/performer Jonathon Young
  • World-class step dancers from the US, Canada and Ireland in a new piece co-commissioned by Dublin Dance Festival and The National Folk Theatre of Ireland

The 2016 festival will open with Planites from Greek choreographer, Patricia Apergi. This intensely physical, urban fusion piece for five male performers focuses on the foreigner, the immigrant - the person who travels, whether by choice or by force. While creating this production, Apergi soaked up flamenco in Barcelona, traditional step dance in Dublin, and Arabic and African moves in France. The result is an interplay between these diverse traditions and her own choreography, which is inspired by street culture and actions related to protest. An Irish premiere, Planites is a high-energy mix of dynamic movement and sharp humour. Read more

The extraordinary dancers of the Alonzo King LINES Ballet are coming from San Franscisco to Dublin for the first time to perform at the Festival. They will be presenting two technically brilliant and sublimely beautiful works at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre. This exquisite programme bridges classical technique and modernity and showcases King’s visionary choreographic style. The first work, Shostakovich, takes ballet to extreme dimensions with a fierce and focussed energy. Set to four Shostakovich string quartets, King pushes the dancers to the limit. This is followed by the deeply evocative and joyful Rasa, performed to an incredible original score by Grammy-winning Indian tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain. Read more

Betroffenheit is a major new production by two of Canada’s most adventurous artists, Olivier Award-winning choreographer Crystal Pite (Kidd Pivot) and playwright/performer Jonathon Young (Electric Company Theatre). Betroffenheit is a German word which describes a state of shock and trauma so all-encompassing no words can do it justice. But as Jonathon Young says, “Where words fail, movement can pick up and move on.” Rich in spectacle, Betroffenheit touches on universal themes of loss, trauma, addiction and recovery. Featuring six extraordinary performers and an A-team of artistic collaborators, this critically-acclaimed hybrid of dance and theatre is a compelling testament to the transformative power of art. Read more

Co-commissioned by Dublin Dance Festival and Siamsa Tíre, The National Folk Theatre of Ireland, Anam, (meaning ‘soul’) brings together the skills of world-class step dancers from the US, Canada and Ireland in an exhilarating fusion of styles. Authentic and raw, this percussive dance piece explores the similarities and differences between the dancers, each with their own distinct hard shoe style. Featuring dancers Matthew Olwell (Appalachian Flat Foot), Jonathan Kelliher (North Kerry “Munnix”), Nathan Pilatzke (Ottawa Valley, Canada), and John Fitzgerald (Modern Irish). Anam will be performed with live music and song by acclaimed musician Fergal O’Murchú. Read more

It was also recently announced that Dublin Dance Festival has been awarded a GPO: Witness History Public Art Commission. To mark the opening of the new GPO: Witness History Centre at the General Post Office (GPO), the Festival will present Embodied - a series of six new dance solos by female choreographers based in Ireland. Through an open call earlier this year, An Post invited individuals and organisations across the arts to respond to the 1916 Proclamation and how it resonates today. Embodied will be a series of ‘physical proclamations’ by choreographers Jazmín Chiodi, Sibéal Davitt, junk ensemble (Jessica Kennedy & Megan Kennedy), Liv O’Donoghue, Jessie Keenan and Emma O’Kane, to be performed in the GPO in April 2016 and as part of the 2016 Festival in May. DDF has chosen to work with female choreographers to present their response to the Proclamation, in contrast to the predominantly male voices and testimonies surrounding the events in 1916. The project will be directed by leading Irish choreographer Liz Roche. Photographer Luca Truffarelli will document the work for an exhibition. Read more

Benjamin Perchet says, “In 2016 and into the future, Dublin Dance Festival will continue to dream with boldness, generosity and open-mindedness, establishing and celebrating contemporary dance as a major art form. It is my intention to champion excellent artistic ideas and favour innovation, initiate new artistic collaborations to shift expectations, and create new exciting artistic trajectories. The Festival will go on strengthening its position on the international map as a key place to discover thoughtful and challenging artistic projects, both Irish and international. We are also working to strengthen the influence of Dublin on the European and international dance scene.”

Media Information: Please contact Stephanie Dickenson

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