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Ballet Ireland

Bold Moves

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In April, as part of its 21st anniversary celebrations, Ballet Ireland is delighted to present BOLD MOVES, a triple-bill of contemporary work featuring internationally renowned choreographers Ohad Naharin (Minus 16), Marguerite Donlon (Strokes Through the Tail) and Filipe Portugal (Stepping Over) at the Black Box Theatre, Galway; the O’Reilly Theatre, Dublin; Theatre at the Mill, Newtownabbey; National Opera House, Wexford; and Glór, Ennis

Featuring an eclectic score ranging from Dean Martin to mambo, techno to traditional Israeli music, Ohad Naharin’s Minus 16 uses improvisation and his acclaimed “Gaga” method, a unique movement language. As former Artistic Director of the Batsheva Dance Company, Naharin has been hailed as one of the world’s preeminent contemporary choreographers. Last year, Ballet Ireland were the first Irish company to present his work.

Irish choreographer, Marguerite Donlon, created Strokes Through the Tail for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in 2005, Ms Donlon found inspiration in Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 to create a work for six dancers that combines virtuosic dancing with buckets of humour and a delightful hint of irreverence, its definitely a crowd pleaser.

Created for Charlotte Ballet (USA) in 2018, Filipe Portugal’s Stepping Over is set to parts of Philip Glass’ “Tirol” Piano Concerto. Women fall or swoon into guys’ arms; couples move through positions that are sensuous and chastely romantic by turns. Bodies stay flexible, pliant, almost melting into place. The piece wowed audiences when it made its North American premiere.

Anne Maher, director of Ballet Ireland, said: “Reflecting on our 21st anniversary and on the back of an extremely successful Swan Lake tour this Christmas where we toured to 19 venues nationwide and performed to an audience of over 17,000 people, it has been an extremely exciting journey so far. Looking ahead, the future is very bright and promises to see the company take even greater strides as we work with exciting choreographers and collaborators in the coming months and years ahead. The company continues its commitment to presenting classical ballets alongside new and exciting work – BOLD MOVES exemplifies this and you simply cannot miss this next step in our journey. An evening of dance filled with startling energy, humour and fun!”

Ballet Ireland is Ireland’s only professional ballet company, bringing new narrative-led ballets to Irish audiences each Spring and Autumn. The company was founded in 1998, and has been funded by the Arts Council of Ireland since 1999. To date, Ballet Ireland has mounted over 30 seasons of work, and their activities - which also include summer schools and professional workshops - have had a profound impact on the landscape of ballet in Ireland.

“…they move in such heart-pounding, foot-thumping unison their intensity proves as satisfying to watch as the more refined and thoughtful steps later on.” - ★★★★ 4 Stars – Irish Times

Strokes Through the Tail (…) is quirky and full of sass delivered by the charismatic male dancers of the Bolshoi; and it’s enjoyable to see so much personality and humour brought to the stage. They copy Zakharova by donning a selection of tail coats and grass skirts, while Marguerite Donlon’s choreography is loaded with slapstick and silliness that ends the evening in giddy spirits.

Vikki Vile,, November 2017

“Set to generous selections from the "Tirol Concerto" by Philip Glass, Portugal's "Stepping Over" shuttled from fast to slow and back to fast in classic style. Action, divided among eight couples, was lively in the fast sections, most effectively in the final movement, where the music has a ragtime flavor. But I most enjoyed the slower middle movement with its style and grace. An impressive North American debut for Portugal.”

Perry Tanenbaum, CVNC (USA)

Recommended: Ages 12+

Duration 1 hour 50 mins (inclusive of 2 intervals)