John Scott’s Irish Modern Dance Theatre
In collaboration with Dance Ireland, Project Arts Centre, Dance Limerick, Irish Arts Center (New York), NOISEmoves Dance Festival & Centre Culturel Irlandais present
DANCER FROM THE DANCE 2021: Festival of Irish Choreography
Celebrating 30 years of Irish modern dance theatre, where dance thrives and identities flourish, with the 3rd annual five-day festival of dance, which 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 until 9th July, this year’s dance celebration 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 art-form 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 practices from 8 countries and 4 continents.”
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, Chuma is the director of the Bessie Award-winning performance art group The School of Hard Knocks in New York. Chuma was also artistic director of Ireland’s Daghdha Dance Company (2000-2003) where she developed the company’s international profile. This year’s festival will also host a full-length work from Croí Glan Integrated Dance Company which presents TILT – their thrilling aerial dance theatre show, featuring live music, Irish dance, twerking, street dance, aerial, contemporary dance, song, and a Chinese pole that flies, falls and circles, as a metaphor for instability and change in an unstable world. Morleigh Steinberg and Arcane Collective present RECONSTRUCTION, with music composed by U2’s Edge – this fascinating six-minute film is a spontaneous dance duet between a space and a body echoing this time of reconstruction.
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 recognises 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