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Thursday 26 April 2018

Dublin Dance Festival to mark first decade in existence

Anita McSorley

Dublin Dance Festival marks its first decade this year with an array of performances from leading dance artists and choreographers from around the world.

The festival, which began on Tuesday and runs until May 31st, will see top performers from both home and abroad take to the stage and the streets of the capital.

From world premieres, to intriguing street trails, to dance workshops with legends, there is something for all ages and tastes.

We take a look at seven upcoming highlights from the festival.

1. Tundra (Emma Martin dance)

Thu 22nd, Fri 23rd at 7.30pm

Samuel Beckett Theatre


Tundra is a wild and dangerous place inhabited by a cast of outsiders, where tension and absurdity simmer and the unseen world stirs. Reality and fantasy blur as the characters meet their darker selves and strive to escape to an imagined future filled with hope and possibility.

It explores the poetry of heaven and hell erupting in and around all of us via folklore and pom poms.

Following the acclaimed show Dogs, Emma Martin presents this bold and ambitious show which opened the festival.

The show features an exciting blend of theatre, live music and dance.


2. Please Be Gentle / Stay With Me (Alexis Vassiliou)

Fri 23rd,Sat 24th,Sun 25th at 6.30pm

Project Arts Centre


Choreographer Alexis Vassiliou presents two works from a series on the expression of pleasure.

Stay With Me experiments with the liberating effect of music and sound on the body, while in Please Be Gentle, two men attempt to stay connected to an involuntary bodily sensation we all know: the shiver.

The performance aims to challenge our understanding of intimacy, pleasure and bliss.


3. Bodies in Urban Spaces

Sat 24th, Sun 25th at 1pm and 4pm

Starts at the corner of The Lir on Pearse Street and Grand Canal Quay


Experience the worldwide sensation Bodies in Urban Spaces in Dublin city centre.

See the city from a fresh perspective as you follow the intriguing trail through some of Dublin's best known streets.

Twenty locally recruited performers create a chain of colourful and unexpected installations along a route through the city, starting at the corner of The Lir on Pearse Street and Grand Canal Quay.

The event times and locations are subject to change in case of adverse weather and performances include approximately one hour of walking, so wear suitable clothing and shoes.


4. Ours Was The Fen Country (Still House - Dan Canham)

Sat 24th, Sun 25th at 8pm

Project Arts Centre


Touching, funny and deeply evocative, this fascinating documentary of dance-theatre celebrates the beautiful, bleak and mysterious Fens region in the east of England, its people and its traditions.

A poetic look at the universal stories of rural communities that are fading from view, the show features recordings of people who live and work on the Fens, interviewed by Dan Canham over the last two years – from young farmers to horse-breeders to eel catchers. Dan and his team fuse movement and sound-design with the words and memories of their native collaborators.


5. Master Class with Dan Canham

Mon 26th at 11am

Dance House


UK-based theatre maker and dancer Dan Canham is known for creating work that responds to real places and people and often uses dance to bring the poetic out of the everyday and concrete. This master class will use movement and dance to look at some of the things he is most interested in: rhythm, ensemble work, sensitivity, dancing to music and a sense of play and shared discovery. This class is suitable for professional dancers and theatre makers, as well as dance and theatre students.


6. Still Current (Russell Maliphant Company)

Thu 29th, Fri 30th, Sat 31st at 7.30pm

Abbey Theatre


Drawing from contemporary dance, ballet and material arts, this new work sees internationally acclaimed choreographer Russell Maliphant perform together with his company of dancers including Thomasin Gülgeç, who brings his fluid agility to his daring choreography, and Dickson Mbi, who is famed for his incredible poppins style.

Maliphant is one of the world's leading dance creators, renowned for his fascination with the relationship between movement, light and music.


7. Name of the next song

Tue 27th, Wed 28th at 8pm

Project Arts Centre


Four dancers emerge from the darkness into a landscape of poetry and sound, drawing the spectator into a beautifully choreographed world where time and space are suspended. Seeming to appear from a time long ago, these characters encounter themselves, the audience and each other in a collection of solos, duets and trios — personal, up-close and visually stunning.

This performance take inspiration from Baroque paintings, our relationship with nature and the specially written score by experimental composer BJ Nilsen, who will perform live on stage.


The festival runs until May 31st in venues around the city. For more information and to see the entire programme, visit

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