The Dublin Dance Festival (DDF) performs May 13 - 28, 2011 at DanceHouse, Project Arts Centre, and several other venues around the city of Dublin, Ireland.
A major focus in DDF 2011 is the work of Asian choreographers -- fitting enough to us here in the US, where May 2011 is Asian American Heritage Month.
The Centerpiece Performance is Songs of the Wanderers by Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan. "A stream of rice drizzles onto the head of an Asian monk. Tonnes of golden grains ricochet and rain down to form an ever changing landscape through which some 20 extraordinary Cloud Gate dancers move." Based on Hermann Hesse’s novel Siddhartha, Lin Hwai-min’s signature work evokes a spiritual journey and a grand purification ritual.
Training in qi gong, meditation, internal martial arts, modern dance, ballet and calligraphy all feed into producing the awesome movements of the Cloud Gate dancers, who have been captivating audiences worldwide for over 20 years.
Other Dance presentations include:
Fearghus Ó Conchúir, one of Ireland‛s leading independent choreographers, performs his 2011 world premiere, Tabernacle. The work explores the nexus of the Catholic Church and the Irish people and "investigates authority, control and the individual search for purposeful living." In collaboration with Iarla Ó Lionáird (singer/composer), Sarah Browne (visual artist) and a quintet of experienced performers.
Balbir Singh Dance Company – Decreasing Infinity
A duet for two men dancing a fusion of Kathak (a north Indian classical dance style) and contemporary dance. The "two styles of dance are attracted to each other, until they collide, at which point neither style of dance exists; rather, something new is formed."
Yasuko Yokoshi – Bell
The Bessie Award winning choreographer from Hiroshima, Japan, performs her 2011 World Premiere. Bell is her interpretation of Kyoganoko Musume-Dojoji (a woman and a bell at Dojoji temple), a classical Japanese dance depicting the transformation of a woman from youth to mature beauty, which was based on the Noh play Dojoji, a tale of unrequited love and revenge.
Hiroaki Umeda – Haptic and Adapting for Distortion
Umeda unites his street-dance style and computer technology to present two works. In Haptic, he darts and glides to a "dense electronic music score and a stage flooded with changing colors and strips of light."
In Adapting for Distortion, Umeda "creates an almost disturbing, otherworldly atmosphere in which the boundaries of [his] body and the audience’s sense of time become blurred by a digitally created light grid projected onto the stage."
Mugiyono Kasido – Bagaspati and Kabar Kabur
From Kasido‛s classical Javanese dance background comes Bagaspati, an homage to the cycles of the sun as Mugiyono wears the mask of Panji, one of the most refined characters in Javanese mythology.
Created after the fall of the Suharto regime in 1998, Kabar Kabur presents a wry commentary on a country in chaos. Mugiyono occupies a tiny square of the stage to use his body as a metaphor for society at large.
Koncentrat – Floe
Koncentrat is a Polish artistic collective, one of the most unorthodox members of the Polish dance scene. Two of its members, choreographer Rafal Dziemidok and lighting designer Ewa Garniec, present this "dance based around simple contrasts". Like most unorthodox works, this cannot be described but must be seen.
Compagnie Sui Generis – Fractale and -transire- (France)
Fractale: Three dancers, standing on stage in swimwear, add layer upon layer of simple touches to become a constantly moving sculpture. Set to music from Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas.
-transire- : two dancers and two vocalists "follow a score which takes them on intimate yet separate journeys, from harmonious beginnings to the heightened energy of a trance-like state."
Co-presented with The Ark, A Cultural Centre for Children, the Festival hosts two dance groups from The Netherlands whose programs are geared to children.
De Stilte presents Madcap, where three dancers build a wonderfully imaginative farm-like world with simple objects – small bird cages, giant eggs and a metal bucket.
Erik Kaiel / Archeopteryx 8 Dance Group presents My True North and No Man is an Island. Both duets "push the limits of physical possibility" as dancers "climb, twist and turn."
Dance on Film – This year‛s documentaries:
Four Short Documentaries
Eiko & Koma
Eiko & Koma are Japanese-American choreographers and dancers who have been working together for 40 years. These films explore their history, some of their seminal works and their three-year Retrospective Project. The artists will be present for Q&A. They are also dancing at the Festival.
"Performance artist Hangman Takuzo hangs himself from a tree for a small audience (or usually no audience) in his own garden at home on the outskirts of Tokyo. He calls it a Garden Theatre and has presented it every day for the past eight years. The movie features him, the legendary dance artist Mika Kurosawa (Hangman Takuzo’s girlfriend) and 72-year old Namiko Kawamura, who is known for her Zenshin-Hoko (Naked-Walking-Forward) performance."
But the Dublin Dance Festival is more besides watching performances. There are chances to learn, to participate, and to meet professionals happy to share their experiences and encourage up-and-coming dancers.
These events include:
With Dublin‛s Centre for Creative Practices, the Festival hosts UK choreographer Balbir Singh to conduct a workshop aimed at dance artists and arts practitioners of all disciplines with no dance background, who wish to develop their understanding of composition.
Transferring ideas, thoughts and skills from classical Indian dance, Singh focuses on raising participants’ awareness of the language of rhythm, hand gesture and storytelling, among other aspects of Kathak dance.
Artist Talks – In Conversation with the artists in the Festival.
Re-Presenting Ireland – Now in its fourth year, this showcase presents the work of six Irish artists and/or companies whose expressions are representative of the diversity and strength of contemporary choreography in Ireland. This year‛s participants are:
A Meeting Place (AMP) offers choreographers, composers, dancers and musicians the opportunity to meet and learn about collaborative practice across music and dance.
A panel discussion chaired by Paul Johnson of Dance Ireland, followed by a Q&A, includes:
Master Classes at Dance House
The master classes provide an opportunity to learn from Festival artists. Two are geared for professional dancers and dance students, one is suitable for dancers and actors, and Eiko & Koma’s Delicious Movement is open to all.
Dance Expression – Portraits by Peggy Jarrell Kaplan
This photographic exhibition features portraits of French choreographers and other dance makers participating in the 2011 Dublin Dance Festival. Kaplan uses the portrait genre to approach dance in a way that reveals qualities related to performance, rather than reproducing it. "...Kaplan allows us to know the dancer from the dance."
For more information, go to www.dublindancefestival.ie.
Dublin Dance Festival 2011
May 13 - 28, 2011
Liberty Corner, Foley Street,
+353 1 855 8800
Project Arts Centre
39 East Essex Street,
Temple Bar, Dublin 2
+353 1 881 9613/4
Grand Canal Theatre
Grand Canal Square,
Docklands, Dublin 2
+353 1 677 7999
Samuel Beckett Theatre
Trinity College, Dublin 2
+353 1 896 2461
(Entrance through TCD front
gate or Lincoln Place)
Plus other venues around Dublin City