Dancing bodies make for an unforgettable opening night
Dance historian Deirdre Mulrooney and film-maker Mia Mullarkey at the opening of Body and Forgetting at the Peacock. photograph: dara mac dónaill
THE SOCIAL NETWORK:The choreographer Liz Roche was running – or possibly jumping – around the national theatre on Tuesday, coming from main-stage rehearsals for King Lear to the Peacock space for the opening night of her company’s work, Body and Forgetting.
The portrait artist James Hanley attended with his fellow artist Dorothy Smith. He knows Roche from when he worked at the National Gallery “years ago” and once collaborated on a piece bringing the Daniel Maclise painting of Strongbow and Aoife to life. Hanley was Strongbow, but he has since built a career immortalising people in paint. He recently completed a portrait of the US senator George Mitchell.
Paul Johnson, the chief executive of Dance Ireland and a former contemporary dancer, said the dance community could be shy, and it was great to open up their work to new audiences by bringing dance to the Peacock. He was chatting to Anne Maher of Ballet Ireland.
Someone who wasn’t shy was the pianist Finghin Collins. “You have the great honour of sitting next to me,” he said after he was congratulated in the foyer on his new position as artistic director of Music for Galway, although his tongue was in his cheek as he waved off inquiries about insuring his fingers. “I don’t have money for that . . . but I don’t ski.”
So his upcoming trip to Switzerland is strictly about Beethoven, then.