Five Unmissable Experiences To Savour At Dublin Dance Festival 2024!

Posted 1 week ago in Festival Features

DDF apr-may-24 – Desktop

Dublin Dance Festival (easily one of our favourite events of the cultural year) returns this week, offering a vital programme of innovative and important works by artists, foreign and domestic.

This year, while highlighting singular artistic voices, with performances from Portuguese choreographer Marco da Silva Ferreira’s ‘CARCAÇA’, alongside acclaimed Irish choreographer Emma Martin’s Abbey Theatre Debut with ‘Night Dances’, the event also offers dancers and dance students the opportunity to take masterclasses with some of the artists featured at the festival. Programmers and attendees alike can also look forward to The Originate Performance Showcase at the Project Arts Centre, which will include extracts from recent works and works-in-development from emerging choreographers alongside celebrated groups such as Junk Ensemble with Croí Glan, and Off the Rails Dance. Here’s five unmissable experiences to explore over the festival’s run.


13 Tongues

Nothing short of astonishing, the Cloud Gate Dance Company is opening this thrilling festival by bringing artistic director Cheng Tsung-lungs recollections of his mothers stories about the eponymous Thirteen Tongues, a street artist and storyteller of fond notoriety in Taipei’s renowned Bangka District. With an astounding score by Lim Giong – drawing together electronic music with evocative Taiwanese Folk and Taoist chant – and a stunning show of light and projection, the work promises “an immersive and exhilarating representation of of Bangka’s bustling street life, bridging generations of behaviors and beliefs.”

Tues 14 – Wed 15 May 2024, Bord Gaís Energy Theatre.



The sophomore full-length work from lauded new choreographer, Mufutau Yusef, ‘Impasse’ attempts to “understand the politics of the Black body in a contemporary western society, [interrogating] notions of representation, and the lack of representation.” His debut, ‘Òwe’ premiered in New York and Dublin in 2022, and immediately earned the young artist some well deserved renown. This powerful piece sees two performers embody and confront biased narratives steeped in violence, exploitation and cultural imperialism, “reclaiming the humanity and celebrating the autonomy and determination of Black bodies.”

Fri 24 – Sat 25 May 2024, Project Arts Centre



One of the most anticipated performances of the festival, and winner of the Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production in 2019, ‘BLKDOG’ from Far From The Norm founder, Botis Seva, presents a “beautifully brutal commentary on how the youth of today navigate a world not built for them.” In an emotional and physical performance inspired by hip hop, the work draws lines between self discovery and self destruction, as well as reminiscence and trauma. With a dark and brooding score from longtime collaborator Torben Sylvest, the work offers emotional relief for “those who have faced trauma, dealt with grief, or witnessed loved ones grappling with depression and loss. It is a call to speak out and it champions the transformative power of acceptance.”

Fri 17 – Sat 18 May 2024, Abbey Theatre


Bench #3

CoisCéim Dance Theatre and Waterways Ireland presents a new outdoor dance commission inspired by Dublin’s canals and surrounds. Fresh from her tour of the critically acclaimed MINSEACH, Sibéal Davitt is the commissioned artist and choreographer for Bench #3. An award-winning artist, Sibéal’s work is influenced by contemporary, classical and Irish traditional sean-nós dance which she will bring to this innovative new commission. A collaborative project between CoisCéim Dance Theatre in partnership with Waterways Ireland and curated by Irish Dance legend David Bolger, Bench is a collection of artworks that celebrates everyday places as creative spaces. It encourages us to pause and be inspired by these feats of engineering through vibrant choreographic commissions and short live performances by distinctive local dance artists. With free outdoor performances over two days, Bench #3 is an invitation to take a breath and discover dance.

Fri May 24th & Sat May 25th: 13:00 + 13.30. Free admission. No Booking required. Grand Canal Dock 


This Is It

Choreographer and Director, Laura Murphy, in collaboration with Pato Cassinoni, animator Alan Early and composer Irene Buckley, has put together pioneering and complex portraits of eight women in dance in Ireland: Jean Butler, Alicia Christofi Walshe, Lisa Cliffe, Finola Cronin, Joan Davis, Katherine O’Malley, Mary Nunan and Angie Smalis.

A rare look into the life of a dancer beyond the performance, the film has been celebrated for its brave, dedicated subjects and the intimacies of what happens in the shadows of a career often measured by how long one has spent in the limelight, challenging preconceptions of what is meant by words like ‘success’ while exploring the women’s values and philosophies.

Sat 25 May 2024, Irish Film Institute

Book tickets and explore the full Festival Programme at

Words: Adhamh Ó Caoimh


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