Session Colin Dunne & Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui

Irish Premiere. Dublin Dance Festival in partnership with the Abbey Theatre.


Photo © Koen Broos
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10—11 May 2019

Witness leading traditional Irish dance artist, Colin Dunne, and internationally revered Flemish-Moroccan choreographer and dancer, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, perform together on the Abbey Stage in this new duet commissioned by DDF for the 15th Festival.

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€13 – €40
Concession rates available


Abbey Theatre,
on the Abbey Stage


90 mins approx. (no interval)

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Fri 10 May

Sat 11 May

From the show

Photo © Koen Broos
Photo © Koen Broos

Dunne takes Irish dance into territories new, deconstructing tradition in wryly funny, intimate and experimental pieces.

The Guardian on Colin Dunne

Enormously exciting and inspiring. He thinks with his knees and his body in a way that is quite remarkable. It is like having the most conscious clay you could ever have.

Antony Gormley on Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui


Witness leading traditional Irish dance artist, Colin Dunne and Olivier Award-winning Flemish-Moroccan choreographer and dancer, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, perform together on the Abbey Stage. Commissioned for the 15th edition of Dublin Dance Festival, Session is the culmination of a three-year collaboration.

This is a rare opportunity to see a performance by Cherkaoui, an exceptional dance artist who fuses eclectic influences including martial arts, hip hop, Kathak and jazz into his unique choreographic style. In Session, these two diverse performers draw from the rich rhythmical and sonic aspects of Dunne’s traditional Irish dance to discover their relational possibilities through the exploration of sound. The lines between movement and music, seeing and listening become a source of play, as they create new modes of sound-making, ranging from the graceful to the absurd.

They are joined on stage by composer Michael Gallen and musician Soumik Datta. Gallen's score interweaves a diversity of sources, from percussive dance to sean-nós ornamentation, into a rich tapestry of sound featuring overlapping pianos and strings, electroacoustic textures and polyphonic choral performance.


  • Choreographers & Directors Colin Dunne, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui
  • Performers Colin Dunne, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Michael Gallen, Soumik Datta
  • Music Michael Gallen
  • Set Design Filip Peeters
  • Lighting Design Mark Van Denesse
  • Sound Design Michael Gallen, Jef Verbeeck
  • Additional Music Composition Colin Dunne, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Soumik Datta
  • Dramaturg Arthur Nauzyciel
  • Assistant Choreographers Laura Murphy, Shawn Fitzgerald Ahern

Produced by Eastman, Once Off Productions & Théâtre National de Bretagne

Co-commissioned by Dublin Dance Festival, the Abbey Theatre, Sibiu International Theatre Festival, Julidans, Noorderzon Performing Arts Festival, MC93 - scène nationale de Seine-Saint-Denis - Bobigny, Torinodanza, deSingel - Antwerp, Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg, Sadler’s Wells - London, Schauspiel Köln

  • Abbey
  • Flanders
  • Fondation Bnp
  • Arts Council
  • Casa Kafka
  • Belfius