CoisCéim Dance Theatre in collaboration with RHA Gallery presents the world premiere of Body Language by David Bolger this November.

The world premiere of Body Language marks the RHA’s first ever collaboration with a contemporary dance company. This winter, CoisCéim Dance Theatre and the RHA present a multimedia exploration of body language through dance, inviting visitors to discover how the project evolves over 3 exciting weeks of collaborative practice in Gallery 1.

Is it possible to choreograph a work based entirely on body language, being true to the spontaneous nature of our physical behaviour? For Body Language, CoisCéim’s Artistic Director, David Bolger set himself a task with this question.

It is said that over 65% of all our communication is non-verbal, made up of our gestures, posture, how we sound, how we look. As a choreographer, I am naturally inquisitive about body language. The tells and clues that are sent out from our limbic system (the emotional brain) are unplanned, natural, honest. They make up our everyday kinetic conversations, which are naturally organised but not pre-planned. Choreography is dance-writing. A choreographer is someone who organises and designs sequences of movement patterns and creates choreography by writing with the body.”

The Body Language project is an exploration and interrogation of non-verbal communication in the digital, aural and physical realms. It is a process. With choreography, video/photography by artist Christopher Ash, music by composer Michael Fleming, and some very talented dance artists, the project is a process of detection and consists of three unique cycles made up of Daily, Weekly, and Residual Practices:

Daily Practice will include an interview of a member of the public from anaesthesiologists to zookeepers – diverse subjects will be recorded and photographed. Nuance, detail, subtle themes and contrasts picked up by the camera will be explored and studied in order to construct a new piece of art work. Their physical narratives will be deconstructed to inform new choreography created each afternoon.

Weekly Practice will culminate each Sunday in a choreographic response to the daily interviews: a performance of new choreography and composition featuring the full cast of dancers with live music and projection. Each week will see new developments diversify and grow into an entire cycle of new dance, film, photography and music culminating in a presentation on Sunday 3 December.

Residual: From 4 to 10 December, after the company have physically left the gallery, a residual of the work will be projected and presented together with items of discovery, notes and sketches documenting the entire project from start to finish.

BODY LANGUAGE by David Bolger


Direction/Choreography – David Bolger
Designer/Media Artist – Christopher Ash
Composer – Michael Fleming
Dance Artists; Justine Cooper, Jonathan Mitchell, Ivonne Kalter, Emma O’Kane and Jack Webb

This open, durational performance at the RHA Gallery is the culmination of 4 years of creative development by one of Ireland’s leading dance companies. Under the artistic direction of David Bolger, for over 20 years CoisCéim has presented award winning work to audiences large and small, onstage and on film throughout Ireland and overseas, most recently as the first Irish contemporary dance company to perform at the iconic Sydney Opera House. With a contemporary and vibrant style and a knowing regard for the everyday, CoisCéim articulates stories and emotions that are relevant to the landscapes in which we live. In parallel with Body Language, CoisCéim Broadreach, the company’s participation and engagement initiative, will conduct Armoura participation performance project led by Philippa Donnellan at CoisCéim Dance Theatre.

BODY LANGUAGE by David Bolger
It is very exciting to be working with David Bolger and CoisCéim Dance Theatre on the presentation of Body Language. This opportunity creates a crackle of excitement throughout the RHA as we literally can’t predict what is happen from moment to moment during the three week run.”  –  Patrick T. Murphy, RHA Director

Dancing is body language and body language is dancing.”  –  David Bolger, Artistic Director, CoisCéim Dance Theatre


RHA Gallery 1
17 November – 10 December
Opening on Thursday 16 November, 6 – 8pm

the thin grey line

15, Ely Place
Dublin 2

Tel: (01) 661 2558

the thin grey line
All photographs © Christopher Ash

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