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Sep 27 2022

Michael Keegan-Dolan: back on the boards

Internationally acclaimed Kerry-based choreographer returns to the stage after 20 years with his new show for the Dublin Theatre Festival

Michael Keegan-Dolan is talking about movement, and it is enthralling. So it should be: the Longford-born choreographer has garnered raves and acclaim around the world. “You don’t ‘make’ bodies do anything,” he says. Instead, it’s about the mind and the spirit. “The energetic essence of a person. As soon as you impose on someone, you’re reducing their space.” While that may sound vague, the results in his own work are powerful and profound. His productions always bring you somewhere unexpected, and it’s quite a ride.

In 2003, his Giselle took threads from the 19th-century ballet, a staple of the classical canon, and transposed it to Ballyfeeny, Co Roscommon. He made the eponymous heroine a lonely local woman caring for her abusive brother, added a Bratislavan line-dancer, and set both the dance and theatre worlds on fire. That was with his company, Fabulous Beast, which he dissolved at the height of its success in 2014, to move to west Kerry and reinvent as Teaċ Daṁsa. Its first production, Swan Lake/Loch na hEala (2016) similarly unravelled and remade myths, won awards and toured from Stuttgart to Sydney, Moscow to London’s Sadler’s Wells.


Read the full article on the Irish Times website.