The 2022 Edition A celebration of connection and the power of the collective. 17 May—29 May
Dublin Dance Festival burst onto Dublin's stages and streets from 17th – 29th May with a programme of boundary-breaking, energetic, and thought-provoking works from Ireland, Africa, Brazil, Europe and Japan. The core themes of the first programme by Artistic Director, Jazmin Chiodi explored the power of the collective and championed diversity in all its facets.
A constellation of talents from Mali, Senegal and Burkina Faso opened the Festival with Siguifin. This was a collaboration between three choreographers under the direction of Amala Dianor. The vitality of a collective African dance instantly connected with audiences and set the tone for the Festival. DDF had co-produced this new work along with other partners in the Big Pulse Dance Alliance, a Creative Europe network of dance festivals.
Other highlights included Brazilian choreographer Lia Rodrigues’s Encantado at the Abbey Theatre, performed by an ensemble of eleven dancers. The boundary-breaking star of the flamenco world, Rocío Molina divided audiences with Fallen From Heaven. Described as “punk and glorious” Rocio’s radical celebration of womanhood with a contemporary feminist aesthetic was the talking point of the Festival.
any attempt will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones by Jan Martens / GRIP & Dance On Ensemble was one of the largest ensembles presented by DDF. This seventeen-strong company with dancers ranging in age from 17 – 70 years received an overwhelming response from audiences. Audiences appreciated seeing work of this scale and calibre, and noted that it’s not possible to see dance like this in Ireland outside of Dublin Dance Festival.
DDF presented premieres of three Irish works by three of Ireland’s leading dance artists at Project Arts Centre. Choreographer Catherine Young took the brave decision to proceed with her performance of her new work, A Call To You, after losing a dancer due to illness 20 minutes before they were due on stage. DDF made an announcement at the start of the show to explain that despite the setback, the company wanted to go ahead after making very last-minute changes and to share the work with audiences. The performance was incredibly warmly received by a supportive audience.
Áine Stapleton’s Somewhere in the Body, a film installation which centred around Lucia Joyce was well attended and caught the eye of a number of international programmers, while Dances Like a Bomb by dance innovators Junk Ensemble sold out 10 days ahead of the premiere. Audiences witnessed a powerful and uplifting duet exploring ageing and care, performed by acclaimed actor Mikel Murfi and leading Irish dance artist Finola Cronin (former Pina Bausch company and former DDF Board member).
Club Origami, an immersive and interactive dance show invited young audiences to create, imagine and explore new ways of thinking, playing and moving. It received an electric response at The Ark. Programmers attended from Young at Art Festival (Belfast) and Baboró Arts Festival (Galway), and are currently in discussion with Japanese choreographer Takeshi Matsumoto about future performances.
Free outdoor performances in the grounds of Christ Church Cathedral and at Wood Quay Amphitheatre including Street Pantone by Gilles Viandier and The Shake by Laura Murphy drew large audiences. In addition, three young female artists (Onai Tafuma, Jessie O’Reilly and Jessie Thompson), connected by street dance culture in Ireland, created their first short choreographies and presented these at Wood Quay Amphitheatre under the banner of DanceScapes which worked really well, giving young, emerging choreographers a vital platform.
Over the 12 Festival days, audiences responded very positively with the majority of performances receiving a standing ovation. Michael Seaver (Dance Critic for The Irish Times) noted that “Dublin Dance Festival escapes the virtual and embraces the physical. This year’s return to live performance was met with packed houses.” Key funders, stakeholders and embassies who supported DDF were extremely complimentary about the respective events and the overall atmosphere and energy of the Festival.
It was unfortunate to lose one show by Italian choreographer Silvia Gribaudi who tested positive for Covid and could not travel to Dublin. DDF had prepared for this scenario and moved quickly to announce the cancellation and refund ticket holders. Customers were very understanding given the circumstances of the cancellation and many transferred their ticket to see Any Attempt… at the Abbey.
Artist and dance sector initiatives
The Originate – Performance Showcase (a work-in-development platform) returned in 2022. This platform for artists based in Ireland is a unique opportunity for them to present work to international programmers. Curation of this element was challenging due to the lag in production of work over the last two years, but programmers responded positively to Robyn Byrne; Luca Truffarelli; and Fearghus Ó Conchúir & Isabella Oberländer’s works. An additional element to this platform was introduced: Originate – Artist Pitches allowed artists to offer short presentations of work available for touring which was extremely well received. Liz Roche, Emma Martin, Luke Murphy and Sibéal Davitt gave insights into their recent works and new projects in development.
Professional artists and dance sector professionals also took part in Modes of Capture, a two-day symposium including a series of master classes with visiting choreographers and a roundtable discussion focused on building dance audiences.
As a partner of Big Pulse Dance Alliance, and one of the first live Festivals to take place in 2022, DDF hosted a Visiting Artist Programme and welcomed artists from across Europe to the Festival. The artists attended performances, workshops and discussions and met with DDF Artistic Director, Jazmin Chiodi.
An initiative called the DDF Artist Pass offered bursaries to dance artists based in Ireland to attend the Festival over 3 or 4 days. Accommodation, travel and tickets to workshops and performances were funded by Dublin Dance Festival. Four artists who would not otherwise have had the means to attend the festival were able to see a broad range of shows and meet other artists and programmers.
DDF also hosted 2 Ukrainian women who were in touch with the festival. The first, a woman who had recently moved with her family to Ireland, had worked as a producer and event manager on large scale dance events in Ukraine and was eager to meet people from the dance community here. DDF hosted her at a number of events and introduced her to other dance organisations and companies. The second was a young teenager who was interested in attending the workshop by Jan Martens and who would not have been able to do so without DDF’s support.
A Call To you
Catherine Young Dance
Fallen From Heaven (Caída Del Cielo)
Dances Like A Bomb
Jan Martens & Dance On Ensemble
Somewhere in the Body
Onai Tafuma | Jessie Thompson | Jessie O’Reilly
Originate – Performance Showcase
Robyn Byrne | Fearghus Ó Conchúir & Isabella Oberländer | Luca Truffarelli
Originate – Artist Pitches
Liz Roche | Emma Martin | Luke Murphy | Sibéal Davitt
Round Table Discussion
Pro Intensive Series
Amala Dianor | Lia Rodrigues Company | Takeshi Matsumoto
Modes of Capture Symposium
Irish World Academy (UL), Liz Roche Company, Dublin Dance Festival
Go behind the scenes and see more from the 2022 Edition
Watch footage from festival events, hear from audiences, get a glimpse into the rehearsal room and more in the DDF2022 Video Library.
The 2022 Edition in pictures
Catch a glimpse of some familiar faces, exciting events and the buzzing atmosphere at DDF2022 events.
Inside the 2022 Edition
Interviews, news and views… get the inside scoop on DDF2022 with the DDF Blog
DDF2022 in the press
Media and press features from the 2022 Edition.
With audiences over the moon to be back in theatres, our social media feeds were buzzing with #DDF2022.