This performance responds to the archives of Dublin Contemporary Dance Theatre (1979-1989), the first state funded contemporary dance company in Ireland.
Original company members Robert Connor, Joan Davis, Mary Nunan and Loretta Yurick explore their previous choreographies, working along with early and mid-career dance artists to respond to the past material from their current practices. The project addresses how we can find creative ways to animate archival dance material in Ireland, share the embodied history of DCDT with an audience and pass on the repertoire to future artists.
For the performance evening, Emma Meehan invited original DCDT company members to select one of their past choreographies interpreted with a new generation of dancers. Mary Nunan revisits her first choreography 'Search' (1983), based on Samuel Beckett’s text Company with dancer Katherine O’Malley and musician Oscar Mascarenas, reimagining a past work with no video record. Robert Connor and Loretta Yurick recreate their duet 'Coupled Reflections' (1984), to pass on the examination of relationship and partnering with dancers Anderson de Souza and Eimear Byrne. Joan Davis responds to her choreography Continuum (1986), based on spirals in the body, through a collaborative reworking based on her current somatic practice with dancer Lisa Cahill. Finally, we will also present the male solo from the choreography Lunar Parables (1984) created by guest DCDT choreographer Jerry Pearson for Robert Connor, reconstructing the material with dancer Anderson de Souza. Meehan weaves the evening together using stories from the process of working as researcher with the dancers and archives during the project. Some of themes which are explored include the connection between past work and current practice, the potential in dance archives to be mined, contemporary dance histories in Ireland, and the passing on the inherent qualities underlying choreography which is essential to their performance. The performance concludes with a post-show conversation hosted by a different local practitioner or scholar at each venue. December 2016-February 2017; Dance House Dublin, Dance Limerick, Firkin Crane Cork.
This performance was accompanied by an exhibition.