The incredible Dublin Dance Festival returns this month with over 40 events featuring artists from 11 countries and more than 50 dancers performing at events in venues across the city. From 18 to 28 May, Dublin will burst into life with an amazing array of performances that range from a Baroque feast to a Hip-Hop Dance Battle, with everything from baby boogies to UFO-inspired performances in between. They will be accompanied by acts as diverse as 3 DJs, an opera singer and a graffiti artist to name but a few.
Festival Director Benjamin Perchet says that this diversity is a key principle of the festival. “We value the artists’ freedom of expression, conscience, blasphemy, criticism – all of which offers us a precious mirror in these ever more obscene contemporary times,” he said. “The festival continues to honour its fundamental mission: to make choreographic art in all its variety accessible to as many people as possible.”
The festival will be opened by traditional Irish dance artist Colin Dunne. His highly anticipated solo show Concert features Dunne performing alongside fiddle player Tommie Potts’ album The Liffey Bank – which is widely considered to be impossible to dance to. Armed with just an LP, portable speakers and some sheets of flooring to dance on, Dunne will attempt the impossible in collaboration with Sinéad Rushe, director of Dunne’s Olivier Award-nominated solo Out of Time (2008), and acclaimed composer Mel Mercier.
Elsewhere, Bessie Award-winning French company Emanuel Gat will take to the stage of the Abbey Theatre with DJ, singer and performer Awir Leon for Sunny. In this playful and sensual show, ten dancers respond to each other and to the soundtrack, which unfolds from Marvin Gaye’s song Sunny. The uplifting piece explodes with ideas, new sounds and an exuberant energy, masterfully orchestrated by Gat, and has been described as “a blast of pleasures”.
Deep Dish, from Austrian company Liquid Loft, is a bizarre garden party that offers an insight into the beauty and decadence of human existence. Projecting live footage from a handheld camera, four performers lead the viewer through parallel worlds of organic objects, accompanied by lush imagery and evocative soundscapes.
Inspired by UFO sighting reports, Extraterrestrial Events is a multi-sensory new work presented by Philip Connaughton. He is joined by four incredible dancers, composer Michael Gallen and world renowned soprano Kim Sheehan.
The festival will also play host to a feast of other delights, such as; The Top 8 Hip-Hop Dance Battle from Hip-Hop innovator Tobi Omoteso, Iconic choreography from Pina Baush brought to life in Ireland’s biggest NELKEN-Line, a multi-media dance show from one of Europe’s most sought-after choreographers at The Ark, A fun free day of dance and entertainment for all ages with Moveable Feast in Merrion Square Park and an on-screen appearance from Demi Moore in Striptease from Spanish choreographer Pere Faura.
With such a quality, diverse line-up, Dublin Dance Festival has something to offer anyone – from those passionate about dance and performance to those who are dipping their toes into this fascinating world for the first time.