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Dublin Dance Festival launches Summer 2021 Edition


Dublin Dance Festival is back with a new selection of fresh, daring and courageous dance online from May 18th-30th, including new and pioneering dance performances from trailblazing artists from Ireland and around the world; glimpses behind the scenes; and moments for families, friends, artists and communities to connect, move and play.

Explore the full programme here.

Pioneering dance performances

Among the highlights of the DDF’s Summer 2021 Edition are extraordinary new works by ground-breaking Irish and international artists.

Filmed on the Abbey Stage, Dēmos – Films of Separation and Togetherness from the Liz Roche Company/Crash Ensemble, brings together superb dancers and musicians. They pose urgent questions on how to feel together in a time when togetherness feels fractured.

Dēmos from Liz Roche/Crash Ensemble. © Steve O'Connor

Revisor is the latest critically acclaimed dance-theatre production from Crystal Pite & Jonathon Young/Kidd Pivot, creators of the Olivier Award-winning Betroffenheit, which stunned audiences at its European premiere during the 2016 Dublin Dance Festival.

Ballet national de Marseille/Direction (LA)HORDE presents a programme of dazzling short pieces from four stunning choreographers, showcasing the precision and clarity of Lucinda Childs and Tânia Carvalho, the dynamism of queer icon of Voguing in France Lasseindra Ninja, and the trailblazing force of DDF artist in residence Oona Doherty.

Lyon Opera Ballet presents an outstanding Triple Bill: Jan Martens, Ioannis Mandafounis, Alessandro Sciarroni. Their recent choreographies offer a window into the mastery, versality and daring that are so intrinsically part of the company’s work.

Period Piece from Lyon Opera Ballet. © Charlène Bergeat

dyad is a new duet created by Justine Doswell, framed in the magnificent surroundings of Dublin’s St Patrick’s Cathedral. This evocative work reflects on the qualities of a woman whose faith and body served as a connection between the human and the divine: Mary/Maryam, a woman chosen among all women, revered in both Christianity and Islam.

The Summer 2021 Edition also includes new works by familiar DDF artists Ali Chahrour (DDF2018, Leila’s Death) and Eric Minh Cuong Castaing (DDF2019, Phoenix; DDF Digital Capsule, L’Âge d’or), as well as Belgian choreographer Cassiel Gaube, up-and-coming duo Ginevra Panzetti & Enrico Ticconi, and contemporary artist Hiroshi Sugimoto.

dyad from Justine Doswell. © Luca Truffarelli

Behind the scenes

The Summer 2021 Edition will offer the chance to explore the inner worlds and exceptional artistry of celebrated artists and works, with films and documentaries that offer behind-the-scenes insights into the creative process. 

In Dancing at Dusk – A moment with Pina Bausch’s The Rite of Spring, Bausch’s iconic 1975 choreography The Rite of Spring is danced in an extraordinary setting, on the beach in Senegal’s Toubab Dialaw. Filmed as the world descended into lockdown, it captures the last rehearsal of a specially assembled company of 38 dancers from 14 African countries.

DDancing at Dusk – A moment with Pina Baush's The Rite of Spring from Pina Bausch Foundation/École des Sables/Sadler’s Wells. © Filmproduktion

Impulso by Emilio Belmonte is an intimate portrait of revolutionary flamenco star Rocío Molina as she prepares for a new collaborative live art performance at the Chaillot – National Theatre of Dance in Paris.

DDF audiences get the chance to see master choreographer Jirí Kylián in action in the short film Working On – Gods and Dogs & 14”20’ as he rehearses with the charismatic dancers of Lyon Opera Ballet. And a favourite from DDF2016, Euripides Laskaridis, returns to the festival with a short film documentary, Here Not Here/ELENIT in which he shares the story of his latest and most ambitious work, currently suspended as lockdowns interrupted all original plans.

Everybody dancing

Everyone is invited to get moving during the Summer Edition’s final weekend (May 28th-30th) with workshops for children, an online club experience for adults with intellectual disabilities, a sofa dance-off and much more.

Created by award-winning Galway-based charity That’s Life, Bounce is a club experience for adults with intellectual disabilities and their friends. Following the success of Bounce Club Night at DDF2019, the festival is delighted to host a special online edition (Bounce – Live Stream) with music from pop and rock to R&B and timeless classics. Supported by the ESB Energy for Generations Fund and NorthernTrust.

In the joyful short film The Sofa Dance from Mimbre, 30 performers physically express their experiences of lockdown from their sofas and invite audiences to take part in a fun Sofa Dance Workshop and share their own sofa dances online.

The Sofa Dance from Mimbre. © Joana Dias

For ages 4-7, Grass Films: Sunny Days & Insect Hands, along with related workshops from Second Hand Dance, celebrate the magic of the natural world – rolling in long grass, finding spiders in the park, and and the warm feeling of the sun on your face.

Grass Films from Second Hand Dance. © Foteini Christofilopoulou

Choreographers Laura Murphy and Siobhán Ní Dhuinnín host The Dawn Shake, guiding workshop participants on a journey that starts with a gentle sway and builds to a good old-fashioned boogie before coming back down with a soft landing.

The ongoing project As If Trying Not to Own the Earth finds Cloughjordan-based dancer/choreographer Rita Marcalo (Instant Dissidence) skill-swapping with a food grower and a food preparer, highlighting a need to reconnect with our bodies and Earth in a sustainable way.

Activities & connections for the dance community & friends

The festival will offer a programme of activity, events and connection for the dance and wider artistic community with discussions, performances and workshops. Events will include the three-day Modes of Capture Symposium (presented by the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance [UL], Liz Roche Company and Dublin Dance Festival), as well as a number of masterclasses from festival artists.

“We hope the online Summer 2021 Edition will bring pleasure and encourage reflection on the times we live in,” says DDF artistic director Benjamin Perchet. “We look forward to creating and sharing one-of-a-kind dance experiences again this year, with a broad audience at home in Ireland and around the globe. With fewer limitations of time and space, the online world offers new opportunities for people to engage with dance, although we cannot wait to be able to gather together again in Dublin’s theatres and streets to celebrate dance in person.”

For more information and to book tickets, visit

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