Lïnger is a critically-acclaimed contemporary Irish dance work involving former principal of Riverdance Breandán de Gallaí and Nick O’Connell, two male dancers at opposite ends of their dancing careers.
This ground-breaking theatrical experience received stellar reviews and sell-out success at home and at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2016, and is now back with an eight venue tour across Ireland this spring, starting with performances at Dublin’s Smock Alley Theatre 6th-8th March, and the Pavilion Theatre, Dún Laoghaire on 29th March.
Choreographed and directed by Breandán de Gallaí, this immersive work explores identity, sexuality, and ageing, unfolding through a rich tapestry of music, movement, live drawing, photography (Declan English), and film (Terry O’Leary). The piece offers a visceral aesthetic, the mercurial movements of youth juxtaposed with the more considered gestures of the less young. Lïnger harnesses this contrast, making us reflect on the passage of time and who we are at various junctures of our lives.
Although Irish dance is a choreographic starting point for Lïnger, de Gallaí is influenced by many dance genres, and what unfolds on stage is a new style of Irish dance that is both contemporary and provocative. The soundtrack ranges from classical music to traditional, from tango to jazz.
His artistic ethos is inspired by choreographic genius Pina Bausch and her perspective on dancers – “I’m not so interested in how they move as in what moves them.” By simultaneously maintaining the traditional Irish dance legacy and emphasising the expressiveness of the dance, de Gallaí strives to bring a fresh perspective to the art form.
He explains, “I grew up in the competition scene and subsequently became principal dancer with Riverdance. When I left the commercial performance world, I wanted to focus on exploring the capacity of Irish dance. I wanted to see what the dance could do in terms of evoking emotions, and use its expressive potential to address issues and themes rarely explored in traditional dance.” De Gallaí continues, “Lïnger is a meditation on masculinity, a concept that can mean many things, and it aims to leave the viewer a little closer to understanding its complexity. Lïnger is biographical, and it comes from quite a sad and painful place, but it resolves into something quite hopeful. It was a very cathartic experience to make the piece and it’s always very satisfying to perform.”
Responding to Lïnger, Dr. Jools Gilson has written, “Lïnger is a powerfully tender and muscular exploration of Irish gay masculinity. de Gallaí spins an aching narrative, where the extraordinary percussive virtuosity of Irish traditional dance is haunted with the taste of repression. Just gorgeous – moving and chilling in equal parts.”
The Dublin appearances are part of a tour, which will also see Lïnger performed in Derry 14th & 15th March, Galway 16th March, Tralee 18th March, Letterkenny 25th March, Ennis 30th March, and Belfast 31st March.
Choreographer & Director – Breandán de Gallaí
Dancers – Nick O’Connell & Breandán de Gallaí
Photographic Artist – Declan English
Film Maker – Terry O’Leary
Life Drawer – James Keane
Composer & Arranger – Zoë Conway
Soundtrack Arranger – Paddy Mulcahy
Lighting Designer – Sarah Jane Shiels
The Banquet Hall,
Smock Alley Theatre,
6/7 Exchange Street Lower,
Monday 6th – Wednesday 8th March 7:30pm
www.smockalley.com Tel: 01 677 0014
March 29th 8pm
Tickets: €16 / €14 concessions
www.paviliontheatre.ie Tel: 01 231 2929
“ ***** – Lïnger is superb: a must-see full-on theatrical show … intensely moving … technically brilliant … breathtaking” – Stephanie Green & Mark Harding, The Skinny
“De Gallaí is pushing and playing with his inherited language in ways I’ve never seen before in Irish dance, and in the process exposing aspects of himself and his dance career with a seriousness that feels both tender and brave.” – Judith Mackrell, The Guardian
“In one moment there is defiance and power … a proud living in the present. But there is also repression … a closed-eye uncertainty and vulnerability to outside forces. Lïnger skilfully manages these contradictory tensions that lie at the heart of human identity…. “the work has a universality that resists any one reading.” – Michael Seaver, The Irish Times
“Powerful, tender and achingly beautiful.” – Chris O’Rourke, examiner.com
All images courtesy Ériu Dance Company / Lïnger