July 5 – 9, 2021
Celebrating 30 years of Irish modern dance theatre where dance thrives and identities flourish with the 3rdannual five-day festival of dance, that gathers Irish and Irish identifying choreographers and dancers.
John Scott’s Irish modern dance theatre (IMDT) marks a special anniversary of 30 years creating the most revolutionary dance in the country and overseas. This summer is no better opportunity than to share the news with the whole world at the company’s annual Dancer From The Dance: Festival of Irish Choreography. Running for five days in July, this year’s dance celebration that identifies Irishness with 30 contributing choreographers from across the globe including Ireland, the USA, Germany, Belgium, UK, Australia, Ethiopia, Japan, and Nigeria.
Curated by revered Irish choreographer John Scott, the festival crosses many national borders, practices, ethnicities, and generations. This 3rd edition connects live performance with the incredibly visual artform of dance films and live-streaming, and honours the diversity of Irish choreography from the four corners of the world. The Festival will celebrate live dance, dance films, and new works in progress, as well as traditional Irish Céilí dancing.
“John Scott, Artistic Director and founder of Irish Modern Dance Theatre says: “I am excited that in our third edition of Dancer from the Dance: Festival of Irish Choreography we offer the possibility to view some major figures of recent dance history including Joan Davis, founder of Dublin Contemporary Dance Theatre, through Mary Wycherley’s film ‘In the Bell’s Shadow’, and a work by Yoshiko Chuma whose relationship with Ireland began in 1986 and includes her important Artistic Directorship of Daghdha Dance Company. Dancers in the festival range from six to 82 years old. We will include 30 Irish choreographers from diverse backgrounds and practises from 8 countries and 4 continents.”
The festival title Dancer from the Dance emanates from the last line of William Butler Yeats’s poem “Among School Children”, which ends, “O chestnut-tree, great-rooted blossomer, / Are you the leaf, the blossom or the bole? / O body swayed to music, O brightening glance, / How can we know the dancer from the dance?”. In this, Yeats recognizes that although people are the sum of their separate deeds, life is an amalgamation of actions, as can be extracted from the dance pieces being performed at the festival this July.
“O body swayed to music, O brightening glance, How can we know the dancer from the dance?” – William Butler Yeats
The festival will host some big names in contemporary dance like Tere O’Connor, instructor in dance at the prestigious Tisch School of the Arts, New York, whose work BLEED will feature at the festival. BLEED is a large-scale work that encompasses O’Connor’s love of complexity and layering in dance – and is a ‘must see’. Also, pioneer of contemporary dance in Ireland, Joan Davis, who is synonymous with exploration of the creativity of nature, particularly from a body-based perspective, for over 40 years. Dancer From The Dance welcomes back TikTok sensation Morgan Bullock who returns with her magnificent hybrid of hip hop and traditional Irish dance. Yoshiko Chuma returns to Ireland for the first time in nearly twenty years. A Japanese-born dancer and choreographer, Chum
Dancer From the Dance 2021 draws national and international attention to Irish choreographers north and south of the border and from the greater Irish diaspora. Following huge critical success in New York and at home in Dublin in 2019, and last year in 2020, the festival in 2021 aims to celebrate age, gender and the ethnic diversity of Irish dance artists.
Transcending borders and gathering Irish and Irish-identifying dance artists, the festival will show the strength of contemporary Irish dance practise while it develops and strengthens links between Irish dance artists around the world. This too will be evident in the Festival’s PANEL TALK which will feature dance artists such as Belfast based award-winning choreographer/dance artist Oona Doherty, US-born dancer/teacher Christine Kono, Dance Ireland CEO Sheila Creevey,and many more. The Festival and the talks programme will increase the visibility of Irish choreographers and support Irish dance artists to discuss their work and share their individual artistic visions in a public forum.
MORE OF THE 2021 LINE UP
The latest star alumna from the prestgious Shawbrook School of Dance, Longford, one of Ireland’s leading ballet schools, is Orla McCarthy (IRL). Orla has her bachelor’s degree in contemporary dance from the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts. She is part of Dance Theater Heidelberg, Germany, since 2018; Linda Fearon (IRL) is co-artistic director or Croí Glan with Tara Brandel (IRL). Fearon has worked with Johh Scott in the past and is thrilled to take integrated dance to this year’s festival and show the dynamics of dance performance for people living with cerebral palsy; Jessie Keenan (IRL) is a young but established Irish choreographer making work that crosses over into science, visual art, architecture and archives. Interdisciplinary connections are at the heart of her work and this is her first time presenting at Dancer From The Dance; Roisin Whelan (IRL) is a Matthew Borne dance artist prodigy and she now teaches the company class focusing on work with children and adults across the UK. In the past she was a recipient of a Dance Ireland Residencies in DanceHouse 2020 and 2021. In 2020, she was also supported by Dance Ireland’s Emerging Artist HATCH Award. Commencing her professional training at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance (UK) where she completed her Bachelor in Performing in Arts and Masters in Performance, graduating with first class hons and receiving the Kathleen Tatterstall leadership Award; Barbados-born dancer, performer, choreographer, teacher, and arts manager, Justine Doswell (IRL); Mayo dance artist Liam O Scanláin (IRL) who has been dancing since he was five years old mainly in the sean-nós style of Irish dance where he became an All-Ireland dancing champion; Nigeria-born Mufutau Yusuf, one of IMDT’s Dancer’s in Residence and a stunning performer known for his recent work in Cloud Study by John Scott; Internationally acclaimed Bboy (breakdancer) and hip hop dancer Tobi Omoteso (IRL); Fearghus Ó Conchúir (IRE),choreographer, dance artist and artistic director, frequently collaborating with artists and experts from other disciplines, he is a champion for what dance can help us understand about how we live in the world; Zoë Ashe Browne (IRL), a dance artist and choreographer from Dublin. Since completing her professional training with the English National Ballet School in London she has danced for companies and choreographers all over Europe; Chris Yon (USA) is a North Carolina based choreographer, teacher and performer. Yon’s choreographies have been presented across the U.S. and internationally. Performance credits include work with and for Ann Carlson, Yoshiko Chuma, David Neumann, Karinne Keithley Syers, Basil Twist, and Kristin Van Loon. He is the recipient of a 2003 NYFA Fellowship for Performance Art, a 2005 BESSIE Award for Performance, a 2009 SAGE Award for Choreography, a 2011 McKnight Artist Fellowship for Choreography, and was named Best Choreographer in the 2015 Minneapolis City Pages; American dancer Sean Curran(USA) is an acclaimed choreographer/performer and current Chair of NYU Department of Dance. His work transcends genres as he has choreographed and/or directed many operas and plays too. He founded the Seán Curran Company in 1997, which has presented 30 premieres and toured to over 100 venues in the U.S., France, Germany, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic and Turkmenistan.