DDF News — 10 May 2022

Festival Blog – Dancing Ireland

Festival Blog – Dancing Ireland

In less than two weeks, Dublin Dance Festival will welcome some of the best international dance artists to the city’s stages, bringing work from all over the world to Irish audiences. But the Festival programme is also awash with incredible home-grown dance. Dublin Dance Festival is an exciting time for Irish audiences and artists alike, as Irish dance work is platformed from earliest development stages right through to thrilling finished productions.

Taking to the stage in this latter category, there are productions from both early-career and long-established artists alike. This year, multi-award winning company and regular features in the Festival programme, Junk Ensemble, bring a new work Dances Like a Bomb to the main stage of Project Arts Centre, while Áine Stapleton’s video installation Somewhere in the Body inhabits the Cube, telling the story of iconic Irish contemporary dancer, Lucia Joyce. Catherine Young also brings her work, A Call to You, to Project Arts Centre, calling on people to come together through music and dance to face our turbulent world. Bringing people together is also a feature of The Shake, an immersive participatory performance from Laura Murphy, which invites audiences to unite in a celebration of dance.

Featuring a host of new faces to Dublin Dance Festival, DanceScapes is a series of three short dance works, co-curated by Tobi Omoteso, which brings new voices of the Irish street dance landscape to the fore. Onai Tafuma, Jessie Thompson and Jessie O’Reilly’s exciting choreography will be showcased at the Wood Quay Amphitheatre, where audiences can enjoy a sample of Ireland’s vibrant street dance scene.

Dances Like A Bomb by Junk Ensemble © Fionn McCann
Dances Like A Bomb by Junk Ensemble © Fionn McCann
Dances Like A Bomb by Junk Ensemble © Fionn McCann
Dances Like A Bomb by Junk Ensemble © Fionn McCann
Somewhere in the Body by Áine Stapleton
Somewhere in the Body by Áine Stapleton
Somewhere in the Body by Áine Stapleton
Somewhere in the Body by Áine Stapleton

Finished productions don’t just magically materialise though, the work you see on stage is just the tip of the iceberg. Below the surface is months of work from research and development, to creation, rehearsal and eventually performance. As well as showcasing the shimmering top of the iceberg, the Dublin Dance Festival programme carves space for its foundations too. For artists who want to develop their practice, a series of pro-intensives with Festival artists will be running throughout the Festival, and the Modes of Capture Symposium and a Round Table Discussion provide opportunities for practitioners, programmers, producers and other members of the dance industry to come together and discuss the possibilities of our work.

Expanding the Originate programme to include both performance showcases and artist pitches, the Festival provides an opportunity for Irish artists to present finished works or new works in development to international and local programmers, funders and other potential supporters and partners, as well as holding a space for the vital exploration and experimentation that leads to great work.

Throughout the Dublin Dance Festival 2022 programme, visionary artists invite us to imagine, to dream, to challenge, to protest, to embrace, so whether you are a dance artist, and audience member, or both, dive in and experience the exciting layers of Ireland’s dance industry.

Written by Saoirse Anton, DDF Blog Curator