Dublin Dance Festival

Dublin Dance Festival 2018 will offer spectacular, entrancing and provocative dance from all over the world and across Ireland from 2nd – 20th May. From a phenomenal production of Giselle by the English National Ballet and Akram Khan to a high energy Street Dance Battle; from devastatingly beautiful traditional Muslim rituals to a queer South African shamanic ceremony; from the fierce and proud femininity of flamenco to a dreamlike adventure for young audiences, you can witness it all at DDF2018.

Festival Opening Performance:  Giselle from English National Ballet / Akram Khan

Giselle, presented by Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in association with Dublin Dance Festival, is without doubt one of this year’s most hotly-anticipated performance events, with the English National Ballet performing in Ireland for the first time in over 55 years.  This heartrending story of love, betrayal and redemption receives a contemporary interpretation by the award-winning choreographer Khan, one of the most original and exciting artists of today. This is the first full-length ballet to be choreographed by Khan, who is renowned for his innovative style that draws on contemporary dance and the ancient Indian dance form, Kathak. The result of this ambitious collaboration has been a triumph, earning an Olivier Award nomination and wowing audiences and critics alike.

After its blistering premiere at Belfast International Arts Festival, Oona Doherty will bring Hard To Be Soft – A Belfast Prayer to Dublin’s Abbey Stage for DDF2018. A prodigious talent, Doherty has garnered international attention, winning the Total Theatre Award for Dance at the 2017 Edinburgh Festival Fringe and receiving rave reviews for her standout performance in Enda Walsh’s Arlington. Created in collaboration with renowned DJ and composer David Holmes and designer Ciaran Bagnall, Hard To Be Soft – A Belfast Prayer is based on the experience of living in today’s Belfast, exploring masculinity, sectarianism, culture, class and sexuality. This powerful piece features a unique cast, including Doherty herself and Hip-Hop dancers from Belfast’s Ajendance Youth Dance Company.

Revolutionary NYC-based artist Yvonne Rainer will be in Dublin for a historic conversation about her career as part of a special programme at IMMA. The programme will include three of her iconic early dance works from the 60s, with each event including a pre-performance talk offering audiences deeper insight into the works of this pioneering artist.

Junk Ensemble are known for their imaginative and brave dance-theatre work, with recent productions including 2017’s celebrated Soldier Still. At DDF2018 they will premiere their immersive new work Dolores, inspired by Vladimir Nabokov’s poetic and disturbing novel Lolita, offering a powerful, uncompromising new take on the story. Featuring a cast of acclaimed Irish and international performers including actor Mikel Murfi and performance artist Amanda Coogan, Dolores gives voice to three distinct aspects of the character: the neglected and traumatised child, the candy-fed girl filled with American hopes and dreams, and the enraged woman full of fire and revenge.

At the Ark, Philippe Saire‘s magical Hocus Pocus for audiences 7+ creates a playful game of appearance and disappearance, suspending our disbelief and unleashing our imagination. Two brothers dive into dreamlike adventures: a contortionist’s escape from a spider’s web; a journey in a damaged flying machine; and underwater encounters with fabulous aquatic creatures.




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