Dublin Dance Festival, the leading festival of its kind on the Irish arts calendar, fills our capital city each year with every imaginable example of the genre, plus a few you didn’t expect.

This year it features work from Ireland and overseas, as well as master-classes, family events, films etc as part of its 12-day programme.

It’s hard to pick out just a few from the huge selection, but here are five which express the wide-ranging brief and desire of the festival to offer something for everyone.


Moveable Feast on Sunday is a free family outdoor event in Merrion Sq Park from 11am to 2pm. A Baby Boogie for the 0-3s with Dylan Quinn Dance Theatre; a tea dance tent with CoisCéim Broadreach and members of The Dance Ensemble 50+; ‘upside down’ workshops for kids with Dublin Youth Dance Company; family hula-hooping workshops with Dublin Circus Project; Butterfly Ballet workshops, and a family zumba finale. Pack your picnic basket!


Also on Sunday is a special Dance on Film screening you shouldn’t miss. Dada Masilo’s explosive and passionate Swan Lake combines classical and South African dance, splicing Tchaikovsky with Steve Reich and other contemporary composers, and turning Swan Lake on its head to tackle issues of gender and homophobia in a country ravaged by AIDS. Project Arts Centre, 4pm.


Anything coming out of Siamsa Tíre, the National Folk Theatre of Ireland, is well worth chasing, and from next Monday to Wednesday it brings the world premiere of Anam. World-class step dancers from the US, Canada, and Ireland come together in an authentic fusion of styles accompanied by live music and song. Do you know your Appalachian Flat Foot from your North Kerry Munnix? You will after you’ve seen Anam. Samuel Beckett Theatre, 7.30pm.


Betroffenheit, on next Tuesday and Wednesday, is strong stuff. Olivier Award-winning choreographer Crystal Pite and pioneering playwright/performer Jonathon Young join forces in this unforgettable new hybrid of theatre and dance from Canada, receiving its European premiere here. Exploring the themes of loss, addiction, and recovery, Pite and Young explore what happens to a person in the wake of an appalling trauma. O’Reilly Theatre, 7.30pm.


An Irish premiere, this one for the children is on next Friday and Saturday. Chotto Desh, from the Akram Khan Company, draws on cross- cultural storytelling, creating a poignant tale of a young man’s dreams and memories from Britain to Bangladesh. An imaginary world is brought to life using a mix of dance, text, visuals, and sound. Vivid and touching, Chotto Desh celebrates the resilience of the human spirit in the modern world. There will also be a creative dance workshop for 7-12 year olds. O’Reilly Theatre, 2.30pm and 4.30pm.

  • Dublin Dance Festival May 17 to 28. 01 673 0660; dublindancefestival.ie 


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