DDF News — 15 Feb 2021

A tribute to Emma O'Kane - dancer, choreographer, friend and colleague

A tribute to Emma O'Kane - dancer, choreographer, friend and colleague

As we process and grieve the passing of Emma O’Kane, we’re remembering the artistry, beauty, kindness and joy which she brought to Dublin Dance Festival and to the dance community.

These are just a few of the incredible dance experiences which Emma brought to Dublin audiences, and which we will treasure. Her spirit dances on. 

Embodied at the GPO
To mark the opening of the GPO: Witness History Centre in 2016 - a hundred years after the 1916 Proclamation was composed and publicly read at the GPO - seven female choreographers shared a series of dance solos offering a contemporary response to the Proclamation.

Emma O'Kane's 160 Voices formed part of this powerful series, taking inspiration from women's responses to the question "what are you willing to risk to improve your life and have your voice heard in 2016?" 

For this piece by WillFred Theatre at DDF2015, Emma O'Kane took on the challenge of learning how to ride as well as researching her grandfather Phillip De Burgh O' Brien, a bloodstock agent and racing journalist who died before she was born. 

Over twelve weeks in the lead up to the performance, Emma wrote a blog about her family research, her riding lessons and the creation of Jockey. You can explore this collection HERE.

A Life of Play
At DDF2018, Emma welcomed young and old to take part in a joyful dance experience - to move to music, dress up and explore in a playground of the imagination. Part of Bealtaine @ Temple Bar and Dublin Dance Festival, Meeting House Square was filled with fun and laughter as children and their parents and grandparents danced and played together.

Rest in peace, Emma. We are forever grateful you shared your light, talent, grace and friendship with us. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam.