Revisiting Lunar Parables: Dublin Contemporary Dance Theatre and the Intangible Archive

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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Abstract

In this chapter, I will reflect on a practice as research project revisiting the archives of Dublin Contemporary Dance Theatre (DCDT), the first state funded contemporary dance company in Ireland that ran from 1979-1989. Despite the important role that DCDT played in developing contemporary dance in an Irish context, very little has been researched or written about their work to date, or indeed about historical contemporary dance in Ireland more generally. One key aim of this project is to examine the knowledge revealed by revisiting DCDT’s archival materials through practice, focusing on the choreography Lunar Parables (1984). It considers what the ‘embodied archive’ of the performers can uncover about the company’s work, and what this reflects about Irish contemporary dance history and culture. The project also contributes to wider debates in performance and dance studies on ephemerality and documentation, as it moves between historical recordings and live re-enactments. Specifically, it explores how archival materials such as video, images and programmes are reanimated by the current practice of artists to track and share what can be described as the ‘intangible’ or ‘imperceptible’ features which are essential to the choreography (Blades 2016) such as memory, feelings, contexts, processes of making and so on. It is therefore concerned with how to open up the possibilities of the archives to engage the original artists and a new generation of dance artists to reflect on what the archives might mean today.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDance Matters in Ireland
Subtitle of host publicationContemporary Dance Performance and Practice
EditorsAoife McGrath, Emma Meehan
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Pages19-37
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-66738-6
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-66739-3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

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  • Research Output

    • 1 Anthology or Edited Book
    • 1 Performance

    Dance Matters in Ireland: Contemporary Dance Performance and Practice

    Meehan, E. & MCGrath, A., 1 Jan 2018, London: Palgrave Macmillan. 209 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportAnthology or Edited Book

  • Live Archive with Dublin Contemporary Dance Theatre performance

    Meehan, E., 8 Dec 2016

    Research output: Practice-Based and Non-textual ResearchPerformance

  • Cite this

    Meehan, E. (2018). Revisiting Lunar Parables: Dublin Contemporary Dance Theatre and the Intangible Archive. In A. McGrath, & E. Meehan (Eds.), Dance Matters in Ireland: Contemporary Dance Performance and Practice (pp. 19-37). London: Palgrave Macmillan.