THERE ARE two Irish nominations for this year’s Laurence Olivier Awards, Britain’s most prestigious stage honours.
Dance company Fabulous Beast and Michael Keegan-Dolan are nominated for The Rite of Springin the best new dance production category. Dancer Colin Dunne is nominated for his solo show Out of Timein the outstanding achievement in dance category.
Choreographer Keegan-Dolan’s show is a co-production with English National Opera (ENO); it rehearsed in Galway and London last year and played to more than 14,000 at the London Coliseum in November. Fabulous Beast plans to stage it in Ireland this year.
Based on Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, Fabulous Beast's London premiere was excellently reviewed; it featured a multinational cast of 24, including Irish actor Olwen Fouéré, and an ENO orchestra of more than 100.
Out of Timewas originally commissioned by Glór Irish Music Centre in Ennis in 2008 and was at bite09 festival at the Barbican Centre.
Colin Dunne is known internationally in Irish step dance (he was principal dancer with Riverdance from 1995-1998) and in latter years, he has worked more in contemporary dance.
Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism Martin Cullen yesterday said the nominations “provide artistic recognition at an international level and serve to further expand Ireland’s reputation for creative excellence”.
Eugene Downes of Culture Ireland said they were “striking evidence of increasing international recognition for the excellence of Irish contemporary dance” and that both shows are “marked by formal innovation, a distinctive artistic vision and the skill and confidence to realise them”.
Arts Council chairwoman Pat Moylan said Fabulous Beast’s “distinctive dance-theatre idiom” creates “a powerful connection with audiences both in Ireland and abroad”.